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.

Image: Engin_Akyurt, Burger bread meat, Pixabay, Creative Commons CC0
23 April 2018

This paper used a survey to explore consumer views of burgers made from beef, plant-based or cultured meat. The survey participants were asked to choose, hypothetically, between the varieties of burger and were told that all burgers tasted the same (the participants did not actually get to try any burgers during the experiment). The results predict that, if prices were equal, 65% of consumers would buy the beef burger, 21% the plant-based burger, 11% the cultured meat burger and 4% would not buy any.

Image: Tomatoes and friends, Vietnamese Rice Noodle Salad with Tofu, Flickr, Creative Commons Attribution 2.0 Generic
23 April 2018

This paper is the first to provide US data about what people eat when they reduce their meat consumption without becoming vegetarian or vegan. The objective of the research was to understand what is eaten in meatless meals and Americans’ attitudes to and perceptions of meat reduction.

10 April 2018

FCRN member Corné van Dooren defended his PhD thesis at VU University Amsterdam on 20 March 2018 on the topic of optimising both nutritional quality and environmental sustainability of diets.

26 March 2018

This book, edited by Fabricio Chicca, Brenda Vale and Robert Vale, calculates the environmental impacts of lifestyles around the world. FCRN readers may be particularly interested in Chapter 10, which looks at food.

Image: Jeremy Noble, Roast, Flickr, Creative Commons Attribution 2.0 Generic
26 March 2018

In this paper, the authors conducted a review of numerous studies to examine the content, advantages and limitations of a frame-based approach to assist consumers in reducing their intake of conventional meat (e.g. eating less meat or different meat, such as organic or certified for animal welfare or environmental impact). Particularly, they want to evaluate whether behaviour can be shifted by creating new frames and to identify frames that can bridge a transition by highlighting ‘push’ factors away from routine meat eating, or ‘pull’ factors towards encouraging the consumption of alternatives.

Image: Memphis Meats Press Kit, Southern Fried Chicken
19 March 2018

Social scientist and co-founder of the Sentience Institute Jacy Reese discusses public attitudes to diets and the potential of lab-cultured meat to end animal farming, as well as possible pitfalls.

19 March 2018

This report from Foodservice Footprint discusses the need for more sustainable diets, outlines the business case for introducing them and provides a framework to help food service businesses offer sustainable food options.

12 March 2018

Greenpeace is calling for global meat and dairy consumption to be halved by 2050, citing climate change, the health benefits of plant-based foods and the association of animal farming with antimicrobial resistance.

12 March 2018

This report from the Nordic Council of Ministers assesses two future food scenarios for the Nordic countries on the basis of nutrition and environmental impacts.

Image: Stacy Spensley, creamy pasta bake, Flickr, Creative Commons Attribution 2.0 Generic
12 March 2018

In this study, researchers investigated two message strategies – message framing and the refutation of misinformation – to evaluate their effectiveness in persuading consumers to reduce meat consumption and increase the intake of plant-based alternatives. The study also takes into account people’s prior beliefs (previous knowledge or factual beliefs) about the health and climate impacts of red meat consumption.

Image: Jorge Franganillo, Drowning by numbers, Flickr, Creative Commons Attribution 2.0 Generic
6 March 2018

This Buzzfeed story follows allegations that a Cornell researcher published studies obtained through the scientifically dubious method of ‘p-hacking’.

6 March 2018

Wilson Warren outlines the history of how meat became so popular, with a particular focus on government influences on meat-eating in East Asia.

Image: stu_spivack, hummus, Flickr, Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 2.0 Generic
6 March 2018

In this article, researchers aim to understand the factors predicting why people return to eating meat after adopting a non-meat diet. Since past research shows that political ideologies play a role in predicting meat consumption, the researchers’ focus is investigating to what extent these ideologies predict lapsing from vegan/vegetarian diets.

Image: Jon Åslund, Frukt och Grönt (och andra färger) i Östermalmshallen, Flickr, Creative Commons Attribution 2.0 Generic
26 February 2018

In this paper, FCRN member Michael Martin examines the environmental impacts of various Swedish dietary choices across a wide range of environmental impact categories, paying particular attention to the trade-offs between impact categories.

26 February 2018

This book, edited by Diana Bogueva, Dora Marinova and Talia Raphaely, explores how social marketing (which tries to change behaviours for the common good) can impact consumption of and attitudes towards animal products.

Image: USDA, 20130920-OC-LSC-0594, Flickr, Public Domain
26 February 2018

Three letters have been published in a recent edition of PNAS criticising the assumptions and conclusions drawn by a 2017 paper which sought to quantify the greenhouse gas (GHG) and nutritional implications of completely eliminating animals from US agriculture. A rebuttal letter by the authors of the original 2017 paper appears alongside the three letters in the journal.

Image: Jason Tester Guerrilla Futures, 01194819376347000000106932_0.jpg, Flickr, Creative Commons Attribution-NoDerivs 2.0 Generic
26 February 2018

In this study, researchers investigated the interplay between meat consumption and personality traits, political views, and environmental attitudes.

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