Environmental Implications of Household Food Consumption in Mexico

Jorge Gonzalez, El Colegio de México
Landy Sanchez, El Colegio de México

Agriculture feeds society but also has significant environmental impacts given its requirements of land, water, and energy. Agricultural land expansion is linked to population growth, productive transformations and, increasingly, dietary changes. In Mexico, recent economic and demographic changes transformed households’ food consumption. Modern foods are gaining terrain, as it happened in other countries characterized by greater per capita income, higher education, and increasing female labor force participation. Mexican households, however, are still quite heterogeneous regarding socio-demographic behavior and diet composition. Dissimilarities that could express distinct consumption patterns as a result of different caloric intake needs, household preferences associated to their lifecycle stage, cultural heritage, taste and time and budgetary constraints. Using data from the 2008 Income and Expenditure Survey, we fit latent class models to identify consumption profiles based on food items, income and demographic characteristics. We assess the environmental impact of each consumption profile by estimating their land requirements.

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Presented in Poster Session 3