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Strategies towards healthy and sustainable protein consumption: A transition framework at the levels of diets, dishes, and dish ingredients

de Boer, Joop, Aiking, Harry
Food quality and preference 2019 v.73 pp. 171-181
Dietary Guidelines, animal proteins, food choices, income, ingredients, marketing, meat consumption, plant proteins, protein content, protein intake
This paper proposes a transition framework for restoring a healthy and sustainable balance in protein consumption in high-meat eating countries. The transition aims to reduce total protein intake as well as the dietary ratio of animal over plant protein (from 60:40 via 50:50 to 40:60), which will require changes in consumer food choice processes at the levels of diets, dishes and dish ingredients. The paper describes the background and the potential use in strategy development of the proposed DDDI (diets, dishes, dish ingredients) framework, building on existing literature. The material is integrated in a novel manner, with a key role for two dish-oriented strategies as links between national dietary guidelines, on the one hand, and product-oriented marketing approaches, on the other hand. The first strategy is promoting a varied dish pattern that includes at least some dishes with alternative protein ingredients, chosen for reasons of either meatiness, authenticity or convenience. The second strategy involves promoting a shift to mixed dishes in which part of the protein is of animal origin and the rest of plant origin. Additional complimentary strategies will be necessary to address high incomes (for sustainability) and low incomes (for health).