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.
This study reveals that consumers tend to underestimate calorie counts for companies with positive corporate responsibility programs, and then consume more of the foods produced by them. The study suggests that consumers may infer (often incorrectly), that if the company is engaged in doing ‘good deeds’, their products are healthy. For the research, they split participant groups between two fictional product launches, one company with a positive CSR profile, and the other with neutral CSR, and determined that participants consuming products from the positive CSR profile, ate more. Furthermore, these participants also underestimated the consumed calories for the company with the positive CSR.
A study led by University of Minnesota's David Tilman finds that shifting modern diets towards healthier, Mediterranean diets could improve quality of life and reduce greenhouse gas emissions. The team synthesized data on the environmental costs of food production, diet trends and population growth, and showed the health and environment costs of continuing our current health trends as compared to shifting to a healthier diet.
British families throw away about seven million tonnes of food and drink every year, enough to fill Wembley stadium to the brim. While most of this food has gone past its sell-by date, in this article Michael Mosley talks to a food safety expert to find how much of it could still safely be eaten. There is some useful information on when it is ok to scrap mould off food and eat it, and where it is not.
Read the full article here.
In the 'Carnivore's Dilemma', part of National Geographic’s special series on The Future of Food, Robert Kunzick (National Geographic’s senior environmental editor) contributes to the current meat debate by discussing his visit to 'Cactus Feeders', the company that operates 9 feed yards in Kansas, USA. He explores the role of pharmaceuticals and hormones for the health and productivity of the animals and also discusses environmental issues including water supply, beef’s carbon footprint and feedlots.
For the complete article with infographics and photographs, see here.
In this report commissioned by Center for Global Development, researchers at Chalmers University, Linköping University and Vienna University describe how international trade with agricultural and wood products is an increasingly important driver of tropical deforestation. More than a third of recent deforestation can be tied to production of beef, soy, palm oil and timber.
The latest survey by the Food Standards Agency presents results on reported behaviours, attitudes and knowledge relating to food safety issues. It provides data on people’s reports of their food purchasing, storage, preparation, consumption and factors that may affect these, such as eating habits, influences on where people choose to eat out and experiences of food poisoning.
In this blog, Eating Better’s Sue Dibb writes of her disappointment that the long awaited Communication on Sustainable Food from the European Commission remains unpublished, amid reports of political and industry lobbying to bury it.
Read the full blog post here.
According to the latest Greendex survey by the National Geographic Society, more people are eating local and organic foods and plan to consume less meat and bottled water. However, most also believe they lack enough information and influence to become more environmentally sustainable consumers. The survey, undertaken in collaboration with research consulting firm GlobeScan, measured consumption habits and attitudes in 18 countries. Each was scored on the relative size of its environmental footprint.
The following two reports deal with food waste costs and mitigation. The first report focuses on costs and introduces a methodology that allows for full-cost accounting (FCA) of the food waste footprint, including costs associated with the environmental impacts of food waste. The FCA framework incorporates market based evaluations of the direct financial costs, non-market valuation of lost ecosystem goods and services and well-being valuation to assess the social costs associated with natural resource degradation.
About 1900 species of insects are eaten worldwide by at least 2 billion people – not because they are short of food, but out of choice. But for most Western consumers the idea of insects as food is disgusting. However, a handful of entrepreneurial start-ups are working to change this.