Knowledge for better food systems

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.

4 March 2013

Another study highlighting the benefits of the Mediterranean diet. This one reports on the findings of a randomised controlled trial finding that a Mediterranean diet high in fruit and vegetables, seafood, whole grains, mono-unsaturated fats and very low in meat and dairy delivers better health outcomes as regards prevention of cardiovascular heart disease and strokes than a low fat diet.

25 February 2013

This paper looks at the attitudes of different consumer segments to reducing meat consumption / consuming alternatives to meat consumption. It finds that general awareness of the environmental impacts of meat consumption is fairly low, and that while there is some acceptance of consuming less meat or consuming alternatives, this is not the case for all consumers and varies by consumer segment.

25 February 2013

This paper has been widely reported – and also misinterpreted.  It has been publicised as a study which suggests that healthier diets (which seems to be conflated with one containing lower levels of meat and dairy) do not necessarily lead to reduced GHG emissions; however, a closer reading of the conclusions reveals otherwise. 

25 February 2013

The environmental organisation, WWF has published a new report entitled A balance of healthy and sustainable food choices for France, Spain and Sweden. It builds on the Livewell project undertaken in the UK which considers what a healthy acceptable and lower GHG  diet might look like.

24 January 2013

A study conducted by researchers at McGill University, Canada, and published in the journal Environmental Research Letters, shows that changing diets have accounted for a 38% increase in the world’s per capita ‘phosphorous footprint’ between 1961 and 2007. Researchers analyzed annual country-specific diet composition data to calculate the amount of phosphorous applied to food crops. Their findings indicate that a sustainable supply of the essential mineral is in question. 
 

24 January 2013

A report by Low Carbon Oxford and LandShare entitled “Foodprinting Oxford” calculates the resources and risks involved with Oxford’s food supply, and explores how best to make the city’s food system more reliable. As part of LandShare’s “How to feed a city” programme, the report aims to help people understand where their food is coming from and how to make it more secure.
The FoodPrinting Oxford project takes a systematic look at two aspects of the city’s food system:

19 November 2012

An article in Insights, the magazine of the International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI), explores the complex issues of increasing livestock production and consumption. As consumption is flattening in the developed world, over the next several  decades  demand for meat will continue to increase in the developing world. The article also explores the need for raising livestock sustainably in order to mitigate negative impacts on human health and the environment.

19 November 2012

This study by CE DELFT, a Dutch independent research and consultancy  organisation , examines how food consumption patterns might be influenced in order to reduce food related GHG emissions. Its stated objective is to identify and  analyse  policy options which offer potential for achieving this goal.

24 September 2012

This paper starts with a summary of why food waste is an issue, from an environmental and economic perspective, reviews other developed country estimates of food waste losses, and then calculates the volume and economic value of retail and consumer stage food losses in the US, looking at this at an aggregate and individual consumer level (it doesn’t quantify environmental impacts). 

31 July 2012

Oxfam have published a new report entitled ‘The Food Transformation’. This report, written by Brook Lyndhurst, examines the global food system and the social and environmental injustices inherent in it, and at the potential of consumer action to effect change. 

11 July 2012

FCRN mailing list member Kurt Schmidinger has recently been awarded his thesis on the following subject: "Worldwide Alternatives to Animal Derived Foods – Overview and Evaluation Models", subtitle "Solutions to Global Problems caused by Livestock".

11 July 2012

This report presents findings based on an interdisciplinary systems level scenario approach designed specifically to address complex societal problems. The project was funded by the Sustainable Consumption Institute to explore how the UK food system may develop and change in response to futures bounded by more or less extreme climate impacts and emission cuts. The UK is taken as a case study to explore suites of possible futures that address adaptation, mitigation and demand.

26 June 2012

A study by the Institute of Fiscal Studies at the University of Manchester has looked at the effect of the recession on households’ food purchasing patterns.

19 June 2012

According to the market reseach company Key Note, the market for vegetarian foods in the UK reached a value of £786.5m in the year ending January 2011, up 7.7% from £730.4m in the year ending January 2007. 

19 June 2012

This is a very interesting paper that reviews the literature on the relationship between consumption and GHG  emissions, between population and emissions, and the interactions among all three. It raises doubts that improvements in technology, or shifts in patterns of behaviour (consumption) will be sufficient in addressing GHG emissions unless combined with a greater focus on population growth (scale effects). 

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