Besides the widely discussed negative environmental effects of dairy production, such as greenhouse gas emissions, the feeding of large amounts of potentially human-edible feedstuffs to dairy cows is another important sustainability concern. The aim of this study was therefore to investigate the effects of a complete substitution of common cereal grains and pulses with a mixture of wheat bran and sugar beet pulp in a high-forage diet on cow performance, production efficiency, feed intake, and ruminating behavior, as well as on net food production potential. Thirteen multiparous and 7 primiparous mid-lactation Holstein dairy cows were randomly assigned to 1 of 2 treatments in a change-over design with 7-wk periods. Cows were fed a high-forage diet (grass silage and hay accounted for 75% of the dry matter intake), supplemented with either a cereal grain-based concentrate mixture (CON), or a mixture of wheat bran and dried sugar beet pulp (WBBP). Human-edible inputs were calculated for 2 different scenarios based on minimum and maximum potential recovery rates of human-edible energy and protein from the respective feedstuffs. Dietary starch and neutral detergent fiber contents were 3.0 and 44.1% for WBBP, compared with 10.8 and 38.2% in CON, respectively. Dietary treatment did not affect milk production, milk composition, feed intake, or total chewing activity. However, chewing index expressed in minutes per kilogram of neutral detergent fiber ingested was 12% lower in WBBP compared with CON. In comparison to CON, the human-edible feed conversion efficiencies for energy and protein, defined as human-edible output per human-edible input, were 6.8 and 5.3 times higher, respectively, in WBBP under the maximum scenario. For the maximum scenario, the daily net food production (human-edible output minus human-edible input) increased from 5.4MJ and 250g of crude protein per cow in CON to 61.5MJ and 630g of crude protein in the WBBP diet. In conclusion, our data suggest that in forage-based dairy production systems, wheat bran and sugar beet pulp could replace common cereal grains in mid-lactation dairy cows without impairing performance, while strongly increasing human-edible feed conversion efficiency and net food production index.