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Appendix to the Australian Dietary Guidelines: Dietary Guidelines through an environmental lens submission

ID: 
29
Personal Details
First Name: 
Chris
Last Name: 
Forbes-Ewan
General Comments
Comments: 

COMMENTS AND SUGGESTIONS ON REVISION OF THE DRAFT APPENDIX TO THE AUSTRALIAN DIETARY GUIDELINES

By

Chris Forbes-Ewan

Nutrition and Food Group

Defence Science and Technology Organisation

 G1

I suggest that the spacing between paragraphs should be consistent within this section and throughout the document. (Currently the spacing between the second and third paragraphs differs from the spacing between other paragraphs, and the spacing in this section differs from that in later sections.)

In the fourth paragraph there is a sentence that does not make sense. It reads: ‘The environmental implications of food choices involve new, often narrative evidence that is drawn from research in the areas of environmental, agricultural and economics’.

I suggest that it be revised (with the suggested revisions in bold and italics) to read: ‘The environmental implications of food choices involve new, often narrative evidence that is drawn from research in environmental science, agricultural science and economics.

G2

The sentence that begins ‘Therefore, the environmental impact of the life cycle of particular foods cannot be considered as only a characteristic of the food …’ would be better expressed as ‘Therefore, the environmental impact of the life cycle of a particular food cannot be considered as only a characteristic of the food …’

Table G3

Practical considerations and environmental benefits

Under Guideline 2, with respect to vegetables and fruit, I suggest adding a sentence along the following lines: ‘Growing some of your own fruit, vegetables and/or herbs will increase your access to fresh produce, and reduce the overall environmental impact of your food consumption.’

With respect to grain consumption, the existing advice reads: ‘Varying the types of grain foods you eat may reduce their overall environmental impact.’

Comment: I cannot see how this is likely to occur. If there is a mechanism for how a reduced overall environmental impact may occur through varying the types of grain foods eaten, I suggest that a sentence be added here that briefly describes this mechanism.

With respect to dairy consumption, the sentence that reads ‘Consuming quantities in line with the Australian Dietary Guideline … rather than rely on any one food …’ contains a syntax error. It should read: ‘Consuming quantities in line with the Australian Dietary Guideline … rather than relying on any one food …’

Under guideline 3, I suggest that the existing advice be revised as follows: ‘Avoiding foods produced with high levels of added sugar, salt or fats such as packaged snacks, confectionery and many sugar-sweetened drinks can benefit health and reduce the environmental impacts associated with their production, and with disposal of waste food and packaging.

Under guideline 4, I suggest adding a sentence immediately after the sentence that reads: ‘Breastfeeding does not put any demands on environmental resources.’ The suggested additional sentence would read: ‘Breastfeeding also reduces the demand for formula foods, whose production and consumption impacts the environment (including through disposal of packaging and waste formula).’

G4 Practical Tips

3 Minimise wastage

Insert a hyphen between ‘use’ and ‘by’ (so it reads ‘Buy only what you need, check use‑by dates regularly.’)

4 Consider how you buy, store, prepare and dispose of food 

The advice given here includes ‘… introducing home composting for disposal of food waste.’

Comment: This advice is consistent with my suggestion to add advice about ‘Growing some of your own fruit, vegetables and herbs …’ in Table G3. Otherwise, home composting would be pointless.  

 

Page reviewed: 4 February, 2013