Knowledge for better food systems

Showing results for: Specific behaviour and practice theories

A range of different disciplines are contributing with theories to help us understand and predict human behaviours and practices that relate to food, consumption, resource use or climate change. For example, psychologists might analyse how a consumer-oriented society impacts well-being; economists try to understand consumer reactions to sugar taxes; anthropologists look at cultural variables affecting preferences for meat and sociologists at how inequality, technical innovations or power structures differently affect norms of consumption among different groups.

Photo: Lablascovegmenu, vegan fried rice, Flickr, Creative Commons License 2.0 generic.
25 April 2017

BBC’s Claudia Hammond and Tim Cockerill hosted an event at the Wellcome Collection that can now be listened to online.

4 April 2017

This report from IIED looks at when and how social learning-oriented approaches contribute to better and more sustainable development outcomes, focusing specifically on food security and climate change.

24 January 2017

Hivos, Slow Food Youth Network and Food Hub have published a guide with practical tips for “changemakers” in the area of food sustainability. 

Photo credit: Alex, Flickr, Creative Commons License 2.0
17 November 2016

FCRN members Prof. Dr. Susanne Stoll-Kleemann and Uta Schmidt (MSc.) have brought our attention to their recent article on reducing meat consumption.

Photo: Amy West, Flickr, Creative Commons License 2.0
17 November 2016

This article in Science explores the importance of social norms as a factor in sustainable behavioural change. It notes that formal institutions can drive behaviours that positively influence, for example, environmental and public health outcomes (examples given include lead pollution and acid rain). However, in many instances, it is not possible to enforce collectively desirable outcomes. Social norms, so the authors argue, are a key entry point to meaningful change in relation to many global issues.

Image: the research paper’s appendix
20 September 2016

Psychological research has shown that people often don’t make decisions on a rational basis, but rather do so heuristically - based on rules of thumb - that can systematically bias choices. This has important implications when it comes to promoting the sustainable consumption of food.

(Photo: Mangroves by Pat (Cletch) Williams, Flickr, creative commons licence 2.0)
7 July 2016

Voluntary programs represent a widely accepted policy tool for biodiversity conservation on private land and are often market-based (monetary) rather than appealing to values and morals. A growing body of evidence suggests that market-based approaches to conservation, albeit effective and relevant in many cases, are not always sustainable in the long term.

28 June 2016

Globally, the food system and the relationship of the individual to that system, continues to change and grow in complexity. Eating is an everyday event that is part of everyone’s lives. There are many commentaries on the nature of these changes to what, where and how we eat and their socio-cultural, environmental, educational, economic and health consequences.

20 April 2016

Recent agri-food studies, including commodity systems, the political economy of agriculture, regional development, and wider examinations of the rural dimension in economic geography and rural sociology have been confronted by three challenges.

20 April 2016

In this paper, researchers from a number of European and Australian research institutions seek to (1) identify global inequalities in the distribution of environmental pressures, and (2) determine the relative importance of the drivers behind these inequalities.

31 March 2016

This paper analyses a questionnaire for measuring greenhouse gas emissions (GHGE) from diets – the food frequency questionnaire (FFQ) or Meal-Q.  The paper compares the Meal-Q questionnaire to a 7-day weighed food record and this is the first study validating diet-related GHGE from a FFQ.

16 February 2016

This paper by researchers from the University of Oxford, British Heart Foundation and the University of Reading investigates the impact on both health and greenhouse gas emissions (GHGEs) in the UK of introducing taxes on foods and drinks with high GHGEs, and/or on drinks with added sugar (sugar-sweetened beverages; SSBs).

3 February 2016

In this BBC Radio 4 programme, restaurateur Henry Dimbleby explores the historic and cultural relationship between the British and their meat, in particular the quintessentially British roast beef dinner. Dimbleby discusses his growing feeling of guilt at his meat consumption and his efforts to cut down, asking the key question: why is it so difficult?

17 December 2015

In this blog-post, various archetypes or tropes of consumers are portrayed and scrutinized. General claims about consumer behaviour that pervade the discourse of food politics are discussed and three archetypes are identified. The author, Dr Ben Richardson from the Department of Politics and International Studies at University of Warwick, describes and questions both the figures of the food consumer being presented to us and the ideological projects with which they are associated.

17 December 2015

This paper looks at how supplier relationship management impacts emission levels from food supply chains. It investigates the influence of corporate Supplier Engagement Programmes (SEP) and the limitations of SEP-led improvements. Supplier Engagement Programmes are programmes set up to allow supermarkets to, for example, review carbon reduction measures and request GHG emissions and other data from their suppliers.

2 December 2015

The local food movement is one of the most active of current civil engagement social movements. This work presents primary evidence from over 900 documents, interviews, and participant observations, and provides the first descriptive history of local food movement national policy achievements in the US, from 1976 to 2013, and in the UK, from 1991 to 2013, together with reviews of both the American and British local food movements. It provides a US-UK comparative context, significantly updating earlier comparisons of American, British and European farm and rural policies.

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