Policies are focusing on halving food waste to help conserve increasingly strained food resources. However, expanding their scope of action to include dietary changes and complement targets with resource footprints has greater potential to save resources while avoiding trade-offs.
This paper shows that in Germany:
- Healthy, plant-based diets are more effective at reducing land and biomass use than halving food waste
- A combination of more plant-based food consumption and food waste reduction in distribution and consumption is most effective at saving resources
- Focusing exclusively on food waste reduction as a policy target can be detrimental to the overarching goal of saving resources because it deflects attention away from more effective alternatives.