Thursday, November 8, 2012

National Academies Report Released: Exploring Health and Environmental Costs of Food: Workshop Summary

Recently, the National Academies Press (NAP) released a report authored by Leslie Pray, Laura Pillsbury, and Maria Oria, Rapporteurs; Food and Nutrition Board; Board on Agriculture and Natural Resources; Institute of Medicine; and the National Research Council titled, Exploring Health and Environmental Costs of Food: Workshop Summary (2012). The 106-page report is available free with a one-time registration. According to the summary, the focus of the report

was on the environmental and health impacts of food, using externalities as a basis for discussion and animal products as a case study (i.e., specifically beef, poultry, pork, and dairy). The intention was not to quantify costs or benefits, rather lay the groundwork for doing so. A major goal of the workshop was to identify information sources and methodologies required to recognize and estimate the costs and benefits of environmental and public health consequences associated with the U.S. food system . . .  It was anticipated that the workshop would provide the basis for a follow-up consensus study of the subject and that a central task of the consensus study will be to develop a framework for a fullscale accounting of the environmental and public health effects for all food products of the system.


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