Inderscience Publishers

The impact of household food consumption on resource and energy management

How can private households contribute to a more resource-efficient food production system? The importance of meat consumption has previously been highlighted. Various life-cycle analysis studies suggest which products are favourable from an ecological point of view. This study uses a material flux analysis to assess material and energy fluxes of the entire system of food production and consumption. It compares different steps in production and consumption as well as different product categories. The results reveal that agricultural production and private households account for most of the system's energy requirements. The outcomes of two possible initiatives taken by private households are analysed by scenario calculation. It compares optimisation of technical devices in private households with purchase decisions that favour organically produced food products. The results reveal an astonishing optimisation potential of cooling devices in private households. However, it also shows the importance of specific parameters, such as the energy-mix coefficient.

Keywords: energy consumption, food, household consumption, material flux analysis, regional resource management

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