Joseph, Sarah, Irene Peters and Hanno Friedrich

Can Regional Organic Agriculture Feed the Regional Community? A Case Study for Hamburg and North Germany

Ecological Economics, 164 (106342), (2019).

Copy reference link   DOI: 10.1016/j.ecolecon.2019.05.022

Abstract: We compute degrees of food self-sufficiency for regions in North Germany with the city state of Hamburg at the centre, given different diets (the German average diet versus increasing substitution of legumes for meat) and production methods (conventional versus organic). Triangulating data of statistical databases, literature, and our own collection, we compute land footprints per capita and multiply by regional populations. Our findings indicate that there is great potential to feed the regional community surrounding Hamburg solely with regionally, organically grown foods, but this result depends on (1) composition of diets — specifically, the per capita meat consumption – and (2) agricultural area available in the defined region. On the basis of simplifying assumptions, the computation indicates an approximation of what is possible.

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