University of Minnesota
College of Food, Agricultural and Natural Resource Sciences
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Graduate Studies in Natural Resources Science and Management

Cassidy, Emilypic cassidy

MS.; Economics, Policy, Management, and Society

Advisor:

Dr. Jonathan Foley

Project:

Quantifying the environmental impacts of global dietary transitions

Contact:

cass0131 at umn.edu
ph: 612/242-1069
Institute on the Environment
1954 Buford Ave
Suite 325 (IonE)
Saint Paul, MN 55108

Position:

Graduate Research Assistant
Global Landscapes Initiative
Institute on the Environment

Support:

Gordon and Betty Moore Foundation through the Institute on the Environment's Global Landscapes Initiative

Project Abstract:

Agricultural land occupies approximately 4.9 billion hectares of the earth's surface.  The amount of land that is required to feed a person differs globally however, dependent mainly on diet. Emily Cassidy's research investigates how diets differ globally, and the land resources required to sustain these diets. 

As a majority of the world’s population is becoming more affluent, they are undergoing a "dietary transition" which means their diets shift to ones that are composed of a greater proportion of animal products, and a smaller proportion of grains and starches. Diets dense in grain-fed animal protein require more land than plant-based diets in order to supply the same quantity of calories and protein. Therefore, when we talk about future global environmental change, population growth is only a part of the picture. Value preferences such as diets play a major role in environmental change and are likely to stress future agricultural production. 

Publications:

Foley, J.A. N. Ramankutty, K. A. Brauman, E. S. Cassidy, J. S. Gerber, M. Johnston, N. D. Mueller, C. O’Connell, D. K. Ray, P. C. West, C. Balzer, E. M. Bennett, S. R. Carpenter, J. Hill, C. Monfreda, S. Polasky, J. Rockström, J. Sheehan, S. Siebert, G. D. Tilman, D. P.M. Zaks (2011). Solutions for a cultivated planet. Nature, 478(7369), 337.

http://www.nature.com/nature/journal/v478/n7369/full/nature10452.html