Organic food has lower environmental impacts per area unit and similar climate impacts per mass unit compared to conventional
Artikel i vetenskaplig tidskrift, 2024

In recent years, interest in studying the climate and environmental impact of organic food has grown. Here, we compared the environmental impacts of organic and conventional food using data from 100 life cycle assessment studies. Most studies focused on climate impacts, with fewer addressing biodiversity loss and ecotoxicity. Findings revealed no significant differences in global warming, eutrophication potential, and energy use per mass unit. However, organic food showed lower global warming, eutrophication potential, and energy use per area unit, with higher land use. Additionally, organic farming showed lower potential for biodiversity loss and ecotoxicity. Challenges in life cycle assessment include evaluating biodiversity, toxicity, soil quality, and carbon changes. The choice of functional units influences results, highlighting the importance of considering multiple units in assessing organic food’s environmental footprint. This study emphasizes the necessity for comprehensive assessments at both product and diet levels to support informed decisions.


Fatemeh Hashemi

Aarhus Universitet

Lisbeth Mogensen

Aarhus Universitet

H. M. G. van der Werf

Sol Agro et hydrosystème Spatialisation (SAS)

Christel Cederberg

Chalmers, Rymd-, geo- och miljövetenskap, Fysisk resursteori

Marie Trydeman Knudsen

Aarhus Universitet

Communications Earth and Environment

26624435 (eISSN)

Vol. 5 1 250





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