An average consumer could now measure nutritional value as well as environmental impact of a food he/she consumes, as per a new study.
The study authors Chris Wharton and Carol Johnston from ASU College of Health Solutions developed an algorithm in order to allot a score for a few common foods rich in protein and then rank them on the basis of their efficiency at providing the most amount of protein at lowest environmental impact.
The impact on environment was calculated via LCA (life cycle assessment) analysis which takes into account an array of measures in a food’s life cycle, starting production to consumption and finally disposal.
The findings of the study showed that foods such as protein powders and peanuts offered efficient nutrition with a minor environmental impact while grains, cheeses as well as beef weren’t that efficient. Most people think that animal proteins have environmental impacts while plant-based proteins are good for environment. However, when one actually considers nutritional quality simultaneously with environmental impact, the results vary drastically.
According to the researchers, these rankings could prove to be very useful for people who previously have tried to follow vegetarian diets but failed. Furthermore, it could also help determine what type of foods should be sent to those who are protein deficient.