Is There a Relationship Among Overall Nutritional Quality Index, Carbon Footprint and the Price of Food?
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This study explores the relationship among the overall nutritional quality index (ONQI), the carbon footprint and price of 90 different foods. The ONQI and carbon footprint measure the healthiness and environmental impact of a food, respectively. Two models are estimated. The first is a hedonic model of the food price and two characteristics: ONQI and carbon footprint. A positive relationship between price and carbon footprint is found, implying higher priced foods have a larger environmental impact. The second model is a regression of ONQI on price and carbon footprint. A negative, non-linear relationship between ONQI and carbon footprint is found. This implies there is a complementary relationship between the healthiness of food and its environmental impact. Both models show that healthier food is also higher priced. This could explain why poorer consumers are less healthy than richer consumers, and why taxing food would disproportionately impact the health of the poor.