Exploring the Social, Economic and Environmental Footprint of Food Consumption: A Supply Chain-linked Sustainability Assessment
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This research is the first empirical analysis on the macro-level social, economic and environmental impacts of food consumption categories in the United States of America. Current study assessed the direct and supply chain-related indirect social, economic and environmental footprints of 29 U.S. food consumption categories by using high resolution economic input-output tables of the U.S economy. To accomplish this goal, the supply and use tables published by the U.S. Bureau of Economic Analysis are merged with a range of social, economic and environmental metrics. To this end, we developed 14 macro level indicators. The results are presented for total impacts and per million-dollar economic output basis considering the direct and supply-chain impacts. This research is important attempt to develop the first social, economic and environmental impact database for U.S. food consumption that can be produced for other sectors. Analysis results also indicate that supply chains of food consumption categories are heavily responsible for the impacts with over 80% shares for some socioeconomic and environmental indicators such as gross operating surplus and imports. Especially, animal (except poultry) slaughtering, rendering and processing category is found as the most dominant sector in most of the socioeconomic and environmental impact categories.