The anthropogenic nitrogen turnover of Western societies is highly unbalanced. As a consequence, a permanent supply of nitrogen via mineral fertiliser (produced with high energy inputs) and/or imported fodder are required and result in significant impacts of nitrogen emissions on the environment (air, water, soil). Key factors to an improved nitrogen balance on a national scale are the nutrition habits of the population. According to primary calculations a shift from the actual animal-based nutrition to a “healthier nutrition” (mainly characterised by 2/3 vegetable protein supply) would lead to a reduction of needed nitrogen supply as well as of nitrogen emissions to the environment by about one quarter to one third on a national scale. More detailed investigations are required in this respect in order to arrive at more specific conclusions and have commenced by an interdisciplinary team led by the authors.
Considerations on the importance of nutrition habits for the national nitrogen balance of Austria
Matthias Zessner, Simon Thaler, Katerina Ruzicka, Stephanie Natho, Helmut Kroiss; Considerations on the importance of nutrition habits for the national nitrogen balance of Austria. Water Sci Technol 1 July 2010; 62 (1): 21–27. doi: https://doi.org/10.2166/wst.2010.270
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