Showing results for: Consumer stage
Consumer preferences, demands, needs and ultimately consumption patterns influence global and local patterns of agricultural production and affect all other stages of the food chain. However the consumption practice of individuals is itself shaped by a huge host of influences including national and international regulations and legislation, market prices and food’s affordability, food industry advertising and marketing, technological innovations, and societal norms, mores and taboos.
New data from Canadean based on a survey of 2000 individuals finds that many people in Britain are interested in trying insects and around 6% say that they would like to eat them regularly.
In our mailing of 1st July 2014 we highlighted a new paper by Pete Scarborough et al. which compared the GHG intensity of diets adopted by vegetarians, fish eaters and meat eaters in the UK. The Oxford Martin School has now published a short interview with Pete, in which he outlines his motivation for undertaking this work, the method he adopted, and the insights gained from the study.
Scarborough, P., "Q&A: Should We All Become Vegans to save the Planet?" Interview by Sally Stewart. Web log post. ThinkLONG. Oxford Martin School, University of Oxford, 08 July 2014.
Square Meal: why we need a new recipe for farming, wildlife, food and public health’ is a new report published by The Food Research Collaboration, the RSPB, Friends of the Earth, the National Trust, the Food Ethics Council, Sustain, the Wildlife Trusts, the Soil Association, Eating Better and Compassion in World Farming.
The book ‘Challenging Consumption’, produced by the CONSENSUS research team, explores the topic of sustainable consumption. It includes discussions on future scenarios and innovations for sustainable food consumption practices. The book was launched in Dublin on 12th June 2014 by Dara Lynott, a Director of the Environmental Protection Agency who funds CONSENSUS research.
In 2013 the UK’s Waste Resources Action Programme (WRAP) released the publication entitled Household Food and Drink Waste in the UK 2012 which quantified the amounts, types and reasons for food and drink being wasted from UK households. It found that the amount of avoidable household food waste in 2012 (4.2 million tonnes per year) is equivalent to six meals every week for the average UK household. Preventing this food waste could save the average family up to £700 a year and deliver significant environmental benefits through landfill avoidance and by mitigating climate change (on the basis that this ‘unnecessary’ food would not need to be produced and hence all the costs associated with its production and distribution would be avoided).
This paper provides a review of the current literature analysing environmental impacts of dietary recommendations. The review focuses on three aspects of dietary advice in particular: reducing the consumption of fat, reducing the consumption of meat-based protein and animal-based foods, and finally increasing the consumption of fruit and vegetables. It then reviews the environmental impact assessments and Life Cycle Analysis (LCA) that have been undertaken in foods that have relevance to these three dietary recommendations.
In this feature on Food Choices & Health, the United States Department of Agriculture and Economic Research Service (ERS) discusses food loss and food waste and points out the distinction in meaning between the two. They describe food loss as includes moisture loss and cooking shrinkage; loss from mould, pests, or inadequate climate control; and food waste.
This study from Monash University looks at the effects of introducing a tax on sugar-sweetened beverages across different income groups, comparing impacts on consumption, bodyweight and tax burden. They compare between introducing a flat rate 20% valoric tax and a 20 c/L volumetric tax and find that for low-income households the volumetric tax leads both to greater per capita weight loss and lower tax burden.
A summary of a discussion on sustainable diets, hosted by the Guardian, is now available on their website. It sought to take a holistic approach to the interlinked issues of food, farming, environment and health, focusing on the issues of how a sustainable diet should be defined and achieved.
Discussants included Jo Confino (Chair) Executive editor, the Guardian, Tim Lang Professor of Food Policy, City of London and David Nussbaum Chief executive, WWF, Tim Smith Group quality director, Tesco.
This blog by Daniel Tan, Senior Lecturer in Agriculture at University of Sydney, discusses how one might eat both healthy and sustainably.