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18 January 2019

EAT-Lancet: dairy is part of a sustainable and healthy diet

On January 16, the EAT-Lancet report was published in the scientific journal The Lancet. The Dutch Dairy Association (NZO) welcomes this scientific review as a supplement to all of the knowledge that scientists around the world are gathering in the search for a healthy and sustainable diet. In the sustainable diet proposed by EAT-Lancet, which aims to produce healthy food for 10 billion people by 2050, dairy plays an important role.

For people worldwide, milk and milk products are a natural source of key nutrients. The EAT report confirms the important role that dairy plays as a source of nutrients: 1 portion per day (250 g) or a range up to 500 g per day. The authors acknowledge that the theoretical model used for the EAT report has a number uncertainties. For example, in the EAT-Lancet reference diet, 1 dairy portion is equivalent to 718 mg of calcium, while the Netherlands Nutrition Centre recommends a minimum daily intake of 950 mg.

The authors indicate that the reference diet must be translated to local circumstances. In the Netherlands, the Nutrition Centre translates recommendations for a sustainable and healthy diet into the Wheel of Five. The Nutrition Centre advises consumers to eat in a more sustainable and healthy way by combatting food waste and following the recommendations in the Wheel of Five. Milk, yogurt and cheese are part of the Wheel of Five and are delicious, affordable and safe. They are a time-honored part of Dutch food culture.

For years, dairy farmers and dairy companies have come together in the Sustainable Dairy Chain to work towards a more sustainable dairy sector, where they monitor land use and the Paris Agreement. In the Dutch Climate Agreement, the Dutch dairy sector has pledged to make a substantial contribution to the reduction of greenhouse gasses. Up to 2030, the dairy sector will reduce greenhouse gasses by a total of 1.6 megatons. 

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