Date of Graduation


Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Science in Chemical Engineering (MSChE)

Degree Level



Chemical Engineering


Greg Thoma

Committee Member

Marty Matlock

Second Committee Member

Robert Beitle


Agriculture, Diet, Life Cycle Assessment, Meal


The following report details a life cycle assessment of several dietary and meal scenarios with and without pork. The goal of the LCA was to identify the impacts of greenhouse gas emissions, water use, and land use of pork containing and porkless diets and meal plans in a field-to-fork analysis. The dietary and meal plan scenarios are iso-caloric meaning they contain the same number of calories. The first set of diets is based on a USDA consumption pattern, 2000 kcal per day. This diet was used to create three other dietary scenarios with and without pork. The USDA recommended food pattern and the USDA Lacto-Ovo Vegetarian pattern based on a 2000 kcal diet were also analyzed. The second set of diets uses the USDA Loss Adjusted Food Availability Database (LAFA), and four dietary scenarios were created with and without pork. Four diets and three meal plans were made from the National Health and Nutrition Database Survey 42(NHANES) data, but from these only two meal plans were used. Input output and process modeling were used in SimaPro for the different life cycle stages of the diets and meals. It was found that the four major food groups that contribute to greenhouse gas emissions are beef, poultry, vegetables, and fish/seafood. There were no significant differences in greenhouse gas emissions of pork containing and porkless diets. For land use impacts, it was found that the foods that had the highest impacts are poultry, beef, and grains. Porkless meals show an overall increase in land use by approximately 6-8%. Results for water impacts were found to be similar to those of land use impacts. The highest contributors are grains, poultry, and beef. However, irrigation for crop growth requires the most water. Meals without pork show a reduction of water use by approximately 3-4%. The information presents possibilities to improve greenhouse gas emissions, land impact, and water impact for the pork industry. This information could provide the pork industry with a beneficial marketing opportunity.