This study aims to assess the carbon footprint associated with vegan, vegetarian, and omnivorous menus for primary school lunches in Italy. For this purpose, healthy and acceptable menus with minimal greenhouse gas emissions have been designed by a binary linear programming model. The results show that the adoption of a specific diet may help in reducing the carbon footprint of menus, but it is the optimal selection of dishes that ultimately makes the difference. Interestingly enough, the optimal choice of dishes and the restriction of meat consumption in omnivorous menus can lead up to a 40% emission reduction compared to the current school lunch menu of the municipality of Rome. Moreover, the optimal choice of dishes in vegan menus provides the menu with the lowest carbon footprint among all kinds of diets.
2022, FRONTIERS IN NUTRITION, Pages - (volume: 9)
The carbon footprint of Italian schools meals: An optimal choice of dishes in vegan, vegetarian, and omnivorous menus (01a Articolo in rivista)
Benvenuti Luca, De Santis Alberto, Ferrari Marika, Martone Deborah, Rossi Laura