Sustainable food production in a temperate climate – a case study analysis of the nutritional yield in a peri-urban food forest
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Food forestry is an emerging multifunctional perennial polyculture food production system that has the potential to contribute to food security and mitigate malnutrition in urban and peri-urban areas by addressing the three main components of food security: Availability, access and utilisation. Despite this potential to increase food security only very few studies have estimated the food production potential of food forests in a temperate climate. In this study the actual food production potential of a 0.08 ha peri-urban food forest in Coldstream, Scotland is determined based on average annual yield records of the 99 species grown in the food forest from 2011–2017, coupled with information about energy and macronutrient content of these species obtained from nutritional databases, research articles and laboratory measurements. The results show that the average annual yield of the 0.08 ha food forest is 713 kg, corresponding to 415,075 kcal, 9868 g protein, 8394 g fat and 85,627 g carbohydrates. Assuming a carbohydrate rich diet where the maximum recommended 60% of energy comes from carbohydrates and the remaining 40% is divided between 25% from fat and 15% from protein, one hectare of food forest with the same species composition as the Garden Cottage food forest would be able to supply up to 7 males or 9 females with carbohydrates, 4 males or 5 females with fat, and 3 males or 4 females with protein. This is somewhat lower than previous assessments and estimates of the food supply capacity of food forests ranging from 6 to 10 people, but since the studied food forest has a relatively low production of protein and fat compared with carbohydrates, this could potentially be increased by incorporating more protein and fat crops, such as legumes and nut trees.
|Journal||Urban Forestry and Urban Greening|
|Number of pages||9|
|Publication status||Published - 2019|
- Dietary recommendations, Food forestry, Food production potential, Food supply capacity, Macronutrients, Nutritional requirements