TABLE 6-1 Explanation of the Matrix Provided to Working Groups to Report on Effects of Practices Spanning the Life Cycle of Foods

Source(s) of Effect Environmental Effect Measurement/Limitations Externality? Public Health or Other Effect
What practice or action is the primary source of the effect? Describe the effects of practices that have an impact (positive or negative) on the environment. What indicators or methods can be used to measure this effect? Is the effect an externality? Describe the effects of practices that have a public health, economic, or social impact (positive or negative).
For example, are the effects from crop production, manure management, fertilizer use, from use of farm machinery, transportation, or dietary intake? What methodological limitations may inhibit measuring this effect? Yes (Y), No (N), or Unclear (U) If this effect is an indirect or mediated effect of an environmental effect, list the related effects in the same row. If this effect is not indirectly linked to an environmental effect, start a new row.
  1. Whether the effect is an externality
  2. Trade-offs related to the source of the effect and methodologies and limitations to measuring trade-offs
  3. The life cycle stage during which the effect occurs (e.g., production, processing, distribution)

The groups took different approaches to addressing these items, with some participants noting that the matrix did not allow for an exhaustive examination since components, like the magnitude of the effect, are missing. This chapter summarizes the discussions that took place during the small-group discussions.1


1 The summaries of the working group discussions are intended to demonstrate the diversity of perspectives and divergent opinions and should not be construed as reflecting any group consensus.

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