Knowledge for better food systems

Showing results for: Consumption and diets

The type, quantity and formats of foods we eat vary considerably over time and space. A person’s consumption of food is rarely a matter solely (or even largely) of personal conscious choice. Instead, it is affected by such wide-ranging factors as cultural identity and taboos, food availability and price, genetics, legislation, technological innovation and marketing campaigns. Governments and civil society organisations have long been promoting healthy diets to reduce the burden of noncommunicable diseases both at a global and national scale and the concept of ‘sustainable healthy diets’ – diets that have lower environmental impacts but fulfil nutritional requirements –  is very slowly gaining ground.

8 May 2019

New York City has launched a new strategy to tackle climate change, inequality and other social and environmental issues. The strategy calls for the City to end unnecessary purchases of single-use plastic foodware, phase out the purchase of processed meat and halve purchases of beef.

24 April 2019

The Swedish EAT Forum has produced a series of podcasts that examine how the findings of the EAT-Lancet report on healthy diets from sustainable food systems can be translated into action.

24 April 2019

According to the BMJ (British Medical Journal), the World Health Organisation pulled out of sponsoring a launch event for the EAT-Lancet report on healthy and sustainable diets after Gian Lorenzo Cornado, Italy’s ambassador to the United Nations, questioned the health and economic impacts of the report’s largely plant-based diet recommendations.

16 April 2019

14% of Brits are “flexitarians”, i.e. they have a mixed diet that is mainly based on vegetarian foods but they occasionally eat meat, according to this white paper from the UK-based market research firm YouGov. Flexitarianism is more common among young women than other demographic groups and more common in inner London than other geographic regions.

Image: Nick Youngson, Bell peppers, Picserver, Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 Unported
1 April 2019

In two experiments where participants were asked to choose between hypothetical canteen meals, “traffic light labelling” (red, amber or green labels) of different meal options was found to shift meal choices towards those lower in carbon emissions and calorie content.

26 March 2019

This book by Bee Wilson explores how changing diets affect health, social interactions and the wider world.

Image: DanaTentis, Sardines fish lunch, Pixabay, Pixabay Licence
26 March 2019

FCRN member Christian Reynolds uses linear programming to calculate diets that meet both health and greenhouse gas emission criteria while being affordable for different income groups in the UK. Generally, the optimised diets are higher in plant-based foods than diets consumed in the UK in 2013, although seafood is higher in the optimised diet than in 2013 diets.

20 March 2019

This report from WRAP and Valpak combines data sets on food purchase and food waste to derive a more up-to-date picture of UK food consumption patterns.

20 March 2019

This report from the Japanese Institute for Global Environmental Strategies shows how lifestyles would have to change in industrialised countries and some industrialising countries in order to meet climate change targets.

4 March 2019

This report from the UK think tank, the Food Foundation identifies ten statistics that illustrate the effect that the UK’s food system has on health, and makes recommendations aimed at ensuring that healthy diets are accessible to all.

26 February 2019

The National Farmers’ Union, which represents agriculture and horticulture in England and Wales, reports on the trends that might influence food production, diets and food retail in the UK over the next two decades, including edible insects, robots, vertical farming and nanoencapsulation.

11 February 2019

The report Solutions Menu: A Nordic guide to sustainable food policy by the Nordic Food Policy Lab is now available in Spanish.

4 February 2019

The UK Eating Better alliance has released an impact report detailing the progress of its Less and Better campaign (which calls for people to eat less but ‘better’ meat) during 2017 and 2018, including publications, related actions by third parties, and social media statistics.

Image: Pengo, Mealworms. Displayed as if for human consumption in an exhibit at an aquarium, Wikimedia Commons, Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 3.0 Unported
4 February 2019

This paper explores attitudes towards eating insects, based on a online survey of Finnish consumers. It finds that both vegetarians and omnivores are more likely than vegans to consider eating food made from insects.

Image: Pixnio, Food meal knife, Public domain
4 February 2019

FCRN member Diego Rose has written a paper on the links between dietary choices in the United States (based on real dietary data), environmental impacts, and nutrition quality, finding that the diets with the lowest greenhouse gas emissions per calorie generally scored better on the US Healthy Eating Index.

Image: Sandstein, A chocolate-flavored multi-protein nutritional supplement milkshake (right), consisting of circa 25g protein powder (center) and 300ml milk (left), Wikimedia Commons, Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 Unported
29 January 2019

This feature in the Guardian discusses the reasons for the current popularity of high-protein foods, explores consumption patterns between countries, and questions whether protein shakes have the same nutritional benefits as relatively unprocessed options such as salmon.

29 January 2019

Canada’s new dietary guidelines include environmental considerations as well as health, suggesting that diets higher in plant-based foods generally help to conserve “soil, water and air”.

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