Skip to content
Author:

Eating the planet

Updated Thursday, 24th April 2008

This is a text version of the Your Diet - At what cost interactive? which shows the assumptions and conclusions used in making the simulation.

This page was published over five years ago. Please be aware that due to the passage of time, the information provided on this page may be out of date or otherwise inaccurate, and any views or opinions expressed may no longer be relevant. Some technical elements such as audio-visual and interactive media may no longer work. For more detail, see our Archive and Deletion Policy

This data drives the Eating The Planet: Your Diet At What Cost? Interactive.

 

Your Diet – At What Cost?

Recommended daily allowances of nutrients and vitamins

Nutrients

 

Nutrients RDA
Protein 60g
Carbohydrate 300g
Fibre 25g; high = 40g; very high = 45g
Fat 53g

 

Vitamins

 

Vitamin RDA
A 900ug
C 60mg
K 70ug
Folate 400ug
Biotin 30mcg
Thiamine (B1) 1.2mg
Riboflavin (B2) 1.2mg
Niacin (B3) 15mg

 

Minerals

 

Mineral RDA
Calcium (Ca) 1200mg
Phosphorus (P) 700mg
Iodine (I) 150ug
Iron (Fe) 10mg
Magnesium (Mg) 370mg
Copper (Cu) 1.5mg
Zinc (Zn) 14mg
Selenium (Se) 60ug
Chromium (Cr) 50ug
Molybdenum (Mo) 75ug
Manganese (Mn) 2mg
Fluoride (F) 4mg
Sodium (Na) 500mg
Chloride (Cl) 750mg
Potassium (K) 2000mg

 

 

Beef

High in protein, B12, fat, iron
Grazing for cows - 4.83 sq. metres
Cereals for cow feed - 0.64 sq. metres

Energy = 229
Protein = 28
Carbohydrate = 0
Fibre = 0
Fat = 13

Vitamins

Vitamin A = 0
Vitamin D = 0
Vitamin E = 0
Vitamin K = 0
Vitamin C = 0
Folate = 6
B1 = 0.11
B2 = 0.14
B3 = 2.84
B6 = 0.44
B12 = 2.50
Biotin = 0 |
B5 = 0.32

Minerals

ca = 6
p = 163
i = 0
fe = 14.7
mg = 18
cu = 0.06
zn = 3.45
se = 22
cr = 0
mo = 0
mn = 0.01
f = 0
na = 53
cl = 0
k = 295

Mutton or lamb

High in protein, B12, fat, niacin (B3)
Grazing for sheep - 13.51 sq. metres

Nutrients

Energy = 279
Protein = 25
Carbohydrate = 0
Fibre = 0
Fat = 20

Vitamins

Vitamin A = 0
Vitamin D = 0
Vitamin E = 0.21
Vitamin K = 0
Vitamin C = 0
Folate = 19
B1 = 0.11
B2 = 0.23
B3 = 6.55
B6 = 0.15
B12 = 2.44
Biotin = 0
B5 = 0.69

Minerals

ca = 10
p = 170
i = 0
fe = 1.66
mg = 23
cu = 0.11
zn = 3.43
se = 20.7
cr = 0
mo = 0
mn = 0
f = 0
na = 0
cl= 60
k= 249

Pork

High in protein, thiamine (B1), fat, selenium
Cereals for pig feed 0.92 sq. metres

Nutrients

Energy = 244
Protein = 28
Carbohydrate = 0
Fibre = 0
Fat = 15

Vitamins

Vitamin A = 0
Vitamin D = 0
Vitamin E = 0
Vitamin K = 0
Vitamin C = 0.7
Folate = 4
B1 = 0.93
B2 = 0.25
B3 = 4.33
B6 = 0.44
B12 = 0.66
Biotin = 0
B5 = 0.67

Minerals

ca = 14
p = 200
i = 0
fe = 0.86
mg = 21
cu = 0.06
zn = 2
se = 30
cr = 0
mo = 0
mn = 0.01
f = 0
na = 56
cl = 0
k = 287

Chicken

High in protein, B5, fat, B12
Cereals for chicken feed 3.33sq metres

Nutrients

Energy = 153
Protein = 24
Carbohydrate = 0
Fibre = 0
Fat = 6

Vitamins

Vitamin A = 0
Vitamin D = 0
Vitamin E = 0
Vitamin K = 0
Vitamin C = 1
Folate = 4
B1 = 0.06
B2 = 0.09
B3 = 9.9
B6 = 0.53
B12 = 0.34
Biotin = 0
B5 = 0.81

Minerals

ca = 12
p = 174
i = 0
fe = 0.74
mg = 25
cu = 0.04
zn = 0.8
se= 17.8
cr= 0
mo= 0
mn= 0.02
f= 0
na= 64
cl= 0
k= 206

Carrot

High in vitamin A, B12, potassium
Ploughed land for carrots 0.026sq metres

Nutrients

Energy = 43
Protein = 1
Carbohydrate = 10
Fibre = 3
Fat = 0.19

Vitamins

Vitamin A = 2813
Vitamin D = 0
Vitamin E = 0.460
Vitamin K = 0
Vitamin C = 9
Folate = 14
B1 = 0.09
B2 = 0.06
B3 = 0.93
B6 = 0.93
B12 = 0
Biotin = 0
B5 = 0

Minerals

ca = 27
p = 44
i = 0
fe = 0.5
mg = 15
cu = 0.05
zn = 1.1
se = 1.1
cr = 0
mo = 0
mn = 0.14
f = 0
na = 35
cl = 0
k = 323

Cabbage

High in fibre, vitamin C, folate
Ploughed land for cabbage 0.026sq. metres

Nutrients

Energy = 25
Protein = 1
Carbohydrate = 5
Fibre = 23
Fat = 0.3

Vitamins

Vitamin A = 13
Vitamin D = 0
Vitamin E = 0.1
Vitamin K = 0
Vitamin C = 32
Folate = 43
B1 = 0.05
B2 = 0.04
B3 = 0.3
B6 = 0.1
B12 = 0
Biotin = 0
B5 = 0

Minerals

ca= 47
p= 23
i= 0
fe= 0.59
mg= 15
cu= 0.02
zn= 0.18
se= 0.9
cr= 0
mo= 0
mn= 0.16
f= 0
na= 18
cl= 0
k= 246

Cauliflower

High in vitamin C, folate
Ploughed land for cauliflower 0.026 sq metres

Nutrients

Energy = 100
Protein = 2
Carbohydrate = 5
Fibre = 3
Fat = 0.21

Vitamins

Vitamin A = 2
Vitamin D = 0
Vitamin E = 0.04
Vitamin K = 0
Vitamin C = 46.4
Folate = 57
B1 = 0.06
B2 = 0.06
B3 = 0.53
B6 = 0.22
B12 = 0
Biotin = 0
B5 = 0.65

Minerals

ca = 22
p = 44
i = 0
fe = 0.44
mg = 15
cu = 0.04
zn = 0.28
se = 0.60
cr = 0
mo = 0
mn = 0.16
f = 0
na = 30
cl = 0
k = 303

Potato

High in riboflavin, vitamin C, potassium
Ploughed land for potato 0.026

Nutrients

Energy = 79
Protein = 2
Carbohydrate = 18
Fibre = 2
Fat = 0.1

Vitamins

Vitamin A = 0
Vitamin D = 0
Vitamin E = 0.06
Vitamin K = 0
Vitamin C = 19.7
Folate = 12.8
B1= 0.09
B2= 0.97
B3= 1.48
B6= 0.26
B12= 0
Biotin= 0
B5= 0

Minerals

ca = 7
p = 46
i = 0
fe = 0.76
mg = 21
cu = 0.25
zn = 0.39
se = 0.3
cr = 0
mo = 0
mn = 0.26
f = 0
na = 6
cl = 0
k = 510.21

Granary bread

High in chromium, B1, fibre, folate
Cereals for bread 0.167 sq metres

Nutrients

Energy = 235
Protein = 9.3
Carbohydrate = 46.3
Fibre = 6.5
Fat = 2.7

Vitamins

Vitamin A = 0
Vitamin D = 0
Vitamin E = 0
Vitamin K = 0
Vitamin C = 0
Folate = 55
B1 = 0.24
B2 = 0
B3 = 0
B6 = 0
B12 = 0
Biotin = 0
5 = 0

Minerals

ca = 55
p = 6.2
i = 0
fe = 1.65
mg = 48
cu = 0
zn = 0
se = 45
cr = 0
mo = 0
mn = 0
f = 0
na = 0
cl = 0
k = 0

Grain

Chickens and pigs are grain-fed animals. They do not use any grazing land, but their feed is grown on ploughed land.

Feedback

Low fibre

Your fibre intake is too low! You have an increased risk of colon cancer, bowel disorders, coronary artery disease, hypertension, obesity and diabetes. You should eat more vegetables, or bread.

High fibre

The recommended daily intake of dietary fibre for adults is 25-40 grams per day. There appears to be no advantage to an intake of more than 40 grams per day, except for the treatment of specific dietary conditions, such as diabetes and high blood cholesterol.

Very high fibre

Too much fibre is unhealthy for children and the elderly. Growth may be compromised in children. Children have small stomachs and appetites, and require concentrated energy sources to support growth. One such source is meat and another is tofu.

Pesticides

The high vegetable content in your diet is resulting in high pesticide use. You are damaging our environment.

All vegan

If you are a vegan, you can get all of the nutrition you need from your diet, except for vitamin B12. As animal products are the only readily available source of vitamin B12, vegans have to find alternative sources, such as yeast extract.

All red meat

Animal products have a high fat content, which could lead to high blood cholesterol and heart disease. Animal products contain no carbohydrate, therefore fats and or proteins have to be converted into energy by your body or used directly. This could lead to a protein deficiency or a lack of essential fatty acids.

All grain

A grain-fed diet lacks the mineral iron. This will lead to anaemia, which in extreme cases is fatal. If the meat is lean, (with the fat removed) the fat content is lower than for red meat. There is no carbohydrate in a white meat diet, therefore fats and or proteins have to be converted into energy by your body or used directly. This could lead to a protein deficiency or a lack of essential fatty acids.

Low iron

Iron deficiency leads to anaemia. Symptoms are fatigue, weakened immune system and loss of concentration.

Low vitamin C

Food rich in vitamin C doubles or triples the amount of iron absorbed into the body.

Low zinc

Zinc plays a large role in the enzyme system of the body. It helps the ability to taste, heal wounds, and is essential for growth, reproduction and sexual maturation. It also protects against free radicals. A lack of zinc will lead to a loss of appetite.

Low calcium

Calcium is used for bone density and growth, and is particularly important for women over 35.

Low vitamin D

Vitamin D has a key role in helping calcium absorption. If we have too little vitamin D, children can get rickets and adults may get osteomalacia. It maintains blood calcium at exactly the right level. Sunlight also provides vitamin D.

Low riboflavin

Riboflavin, or vitamin B2, helps maintain body tissues, skin and mucous membranes. Symptoms of its deficiency are cracks at the corner of the mouth, and changes in the tongue. Whole grains and dairy products are good source of riboflavin.

Low B12

Vitamin B12 (cyanocobalamin) helps the metabolism of amino acids and fatty acids. It plays a role in cell production brain and spinal cord function and nerve fibres. Deficiency can lead to nerve and spinal cord damage and anaemia.

High fat

Too much fat in your diet can contribute to coronary artery disease, cancer and diabetes. It is important to reduce fat intake in a western diet. However, a small amount of fat is recommended for a balanced diet. Fat is one of the most concentrated sources of energy, providing 9 calories per gram. Fats aid in the absorption of vitamins A, D, E and K.

High phosphorous

Too much phosphorus will interfere with the ability of the body to use calcium and iron.

 

 

Author

Share

Related content (tags)

Copyright information

For further information, take a look at our frequently asked questions which may give you the support you need.

Have a question?