The effect of religious dietary cultures on food nitrogen and phosphorus footprints: A case study of india

Aurup Ratan Dhar, Azusa Oita, Kazuyo Matsubae

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

1 Citation (Scopus)

Abstract

The excessive consumption of nitrogen (N) and phosphorus (P), two vital nutrients for living organisms, is associated with negative environmental and health impacts. While food production contributes to a large amount of N and P loss to the environment, very little N and P is consumed as food. Food habits are affected by multiple regulations, including the dietary restrictions and dictates of various religions. In this study, religion-sensitive N-Calculator and P-Calculator approaches were used to determine the impact of religious dietary culture on the food N and P footprints of India in the major religious communities. Using 2013 data, the food N footprint of Hindus, Muslims, Christians, and Buddhists was 10.70, 11.45, 11.47, and 7.39 kg-N capita−1 year−1 (10.82 kg-N capita−1 year−1 was the national average), and the food P footprint was 1.46, 1.58, 1.04. 1.58 and 1.58 kg-P capita−1 year−1 (1.48 kg-P capita−1 year−1 was the national average). The findings highlight the impact of individual choice on the N and P food footprints, and the importance of encouraging the followers of religion to follow a diet consistent with the food culture of that religion. The results of this study are a clear indication of the requirement for religion-sensitive analyses in the collecting of data pertinent to a particular country for use in making government policies designed to improve the recycling of food waste and the treatment of wastewater.

Original languageEnglish
Article number1926
JournalNutrients
Volume13
Issue number6
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2021 Jun

Keywords

  • Bottom-up approach
  • Culture and religion
  • Food consumption
  • Nutrient management
  • Religion-sensitive footprint methods

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Food Science
  • Nutrition and Dietetics

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