Knowledge for better food systems

Meat-eating habits and climate concern in British youth

According to a survey by UK NGO Eating Better, 63% of 11 to 18 year olds in the UK see the environment and climate change as the top concern for the UK at the moment. While most do not want to change their levels of meat consumption, 29% of those who do eat meat would like to reduce their consumption.

18 year olds were both more likely to be concerned about the environment and to be either vegan or vegetarian, compared to 11 year olds. Among 18 year old survey respondents, 7% were vegan and 18% were vegetarian, compared to no 11 year olds being vegan and 6% being vegetarian.

Survey respondents who wanted to reduce their meat intake pointed to the following barriers:

  • Not enough meat-free options in school canteens (27%)
  • No control over which food is bought for the home (25%)
  • The prevalence of advertising for fast food containing meat (17%)
  • Parents will only prepare meals containing meat (16%)
  • Packed lunch usually contains meat (9%)
  • Pressure from friends to eat meat (3%)

34% of the relevant respondents said that none of the barriers above applied to them.

Read the full report, 2019 Youth Survey, here. See also the Foodsource resource What are the influences on our food choices?

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Europe is the world's second-smallest continent by surface area, covering just over 10 million square kilometres or 6.8% of the global land area, but it is the third-most populous continent after Asia and Africa, with a population of around 740 million people or about 11% of the world's population. Its climate is heavily affected by warm Atlantic currents that temper winters and summers on much of the continent. In the European Union, farmers represent only 4.7% of the working population, yet manage nearly half of its land area.

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