Knowledge for better food systems

Showing results for: Food culture

30 July 2014

Prepared foods, for sale in streets, squares or markets, are ubiquitous around the world and throughout history. This volume is one of the first to provide a comprehensive social science perspective on street food, illustrating its immense cultural diversity and economic significance, both in developing and developed countries.

9 July 2014

special issue of the Journal of Agriculture, Food Systems, and Community Development (JAFSCD) on Cooperatives and Alternative Food Systems Initiatives is now out.

5 March 2014

The Food Climate Research Network has published a major new report focusing on China’s changing food system.

Appetite for Change provides a detailed and integrative analysis of the dramatic changes in China’s food system over the last 35 years, and explores the linkages among the environmental, health, economic and cultural trends that are emerging.  

27 February 2014

CONSENSUS has been awarded funding by the Irish EPA to further its innovative research on sustainable consumption. CONSENSUS is the first large-scale, all-island research project on sustainable consumption in Irish households. The research will involve In-Home Living Labs which mean that households will be testing novel solutions for more sustainable food practices around food purchasing, cooking, waste management and washing. For example, householders will experiment with new-to-market composting tools, smart food apps, and grow-your-own kits. Researchers will also conduct ethnographic research to evaluate how these interventions affect food practices, advancing knowledge on practice-oriented approaches to behaviour change and identifying R&D, policy and educational initiatives.

18 February 2014

This systematic review examines the most common persuasive techniques used to promote junk food to children on television. The study shows that the approaches most frequently used are: free toys, gifts, discounts and competitions, promotional characters and celebrities, and appeals to taste and fun to promote junk food to children. These persuasive techniques were found to be used more often when promoting unhealthy food. The study authors argue that a ban on junk food advertising to children under 16 would be an important measure to fight child obesity. NB: the study looks at which persuasive techniques were most commonly used – it doesn’t assess which are the most effective.

6 February 2014

WRAP (the Waste Resources Action Programme) has published a new report which uses an econometric modelling approach to investigate the influences on household food waste and food purchases. It also looks into the implications of less food being wasted.

15 October 2013

In this study, researchers contrast values and psychological associations and underpinnings of vegetarianism across cultural contexts.  The paper focuses on different perceptions among vegetarians and omnivores with regards to the impact of their daily food choices on the environment and animal welfare, universalistic motives and beliefs that eating meat is polluting. The study analyzes vegetarianism in USA and India and concludes that in USA the primary concerns are universalism, animal and environmental welfare while in India purity, pollution, authority, and tradition are primary concerns.

26 September 2013

This is the first time that Korean foods are listed in the Ark of Taste, an international slow-food catalogue showing foods that are in danger of extinction.  The new foods include seasoned beans, dwarf wheat, wild fowl, Hanson Lily and beef from cows raised on medicinal herbs.   The listing is part of an attempt to highlight the risk of extinction of these foods and encourage people to protect them.

13 May 2013

This is an interesting study which tests preferences for sugar, fat, salt and umami (savoury-ness) among children in a range of European countries. It finds that children’s liking for these tastes varies by country, suggesting that culture has a very strong part to play in influencing food preferences. While hardly a major revelation in itself, what I take from this study is that the very common assumptions we see about the ‘inevitability’ of growth in demand for high fat and high sugar foods, or for meat products, are open to challenge.

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. 

Pages