Knowledge for better food systems

Showing results for: Food consumption

Photo credit: Masahiro Ihara, Flickr, Creative Commons License 2.0
17 November 2016

This paper by FCRN member Lukasz Aleksandrowicz and colleagues consolidates current evidence on the environmental impacts of dietary change, finding environmental benefits are possible from shifting typical Western diets to a variety of alternative dietary patterns. The results also highlight that there is still complexity in defining environmentally sustainable diets, though moderate reductions in meat consumption (particularly ruminant meat) replaced by plant-based foods, seem to reliably reduce greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions, land use, and water use, as well as improve health.

17 November 2016

The Eating Better Alliance has launched a new campaign about eating less meat. The alliance have worked to create a new way of talking about eating less meat, through fun and positive messages and a set of adverts to inspire a new generation of men to be more daring with their food and give vegetarian options a chance. 

Photo credit: ItzaFineDay, Flickr, Creative Commons License 2.0
2 November 2016

Researchers at CGIAR/CCAFS have written a report about different demand side measures aimed at changing food consumption so as to reduce GHG emissions. In particular, they placed their analysis in the context of the Paris climate agreement which aims to limit the increase of global temperatures due to anthropogenic climate change to below 2ºC.

Photo: Susan Lucas Hoffman, Greek Salad, Flickr, creative commons licence 2.0)
24 October 2016

At a time when interest in the sustainability of food is increasing, the need for well-defined, interdisciplinary metrics of the sustainability of diets is evident. In this study, a group of researchers from Michigan performed a systematic literature review of empirical research studies on sustainable diets to identify the components of sustainability that were measured and the methods applied to do so.

18 October 2016

In a new report, entitled ‘Fiscal policies for diet and the prevention of noncommunicable diseases’, the World Health Organisation (WHO) advocates subsidies and taxes on healthy and unhealthy foods respectively. One of the report’s major conclusions was

Credit: wellunwell, soft drinks, Flickr, Creative Commons Licence 2.0
11 October 2016

This study estimates the environmental impacts of what it terms discretionary foods - foods and drinks that do not provide nutrients that the body particularly needs. It finds that these foods account for 33-39% of food-related footprints in Australia.

Photo: Wessel, Meat, Flickr, Creative Commons License 2.0
4 October 2016

This study evaluates the attainability of sustainable targets for better integrating food security and environmental impacts. Many studies have looked at how much food production could increase given a plausible mitigation solution, for example if food waste was halved from 24% to 12% then an additional 1 billion people could be fed. These studies, however, lack a temporal component that this study attempts to include, which enables evaluation of whether these advances can keep pace with projected increases in human demand.

Photo: USFWS Mountain-Prairie, Wetlands in Croplands, Flickr, Creative Commons License 2.0
28 September 2016

In this modelling study, the authors examine potential trade-offs between sufficient food provisioning in the future and sustaining biodiversity. On the one hand they find that cropland expansion increases food security, particularly in areas which are currently struggling with access to safe and nutritious food.

Image: the research paper’s appendix
20 September 2016

Psychological research has shown that people often don’t make decisions on a rational basis, but rather do so heuristically - based on rules of thumb - that can systematically bias choices. This has important implications when it comes to promoting the sustainable consumption of food.

Photo: Joshua Rappeneker, Flickr, Creative Commons License 2.0
16 September 2016

This month’s issue of Discover Society is entirely dedicated to the topic of food and eating. Tara Garnett has contributed with an article on sustainable healthy eating patterns.

Photo: Flickr, Steven Leith, Recycling, Creative Commons License 2.0
16 September 2016

In the past few years there has been much interest in consumption behaviours and how these can be influenced for the better of the environment. A huge obstacle faced is that, compared to women, men are much less likely to be eco-friendly in their attitudes, choices and behaviours.

Photo: Flickr, Anders Eriksson, Creative Commons License 2.0
16 September 2016

This study explores how fear of climate change affects affluent Swedish individuals in their intentions to reduce or alter meat consumption. Noting that fear appeals form the dominant communications approach used in raising awareness about environmental issues and motivating behavioural change, the authors set out to explore the processes through which such appeals may or may not motivate consumers to change.

6 September 2016

This report from INNOCAT, a project set up to help encourage eco-innovation in the catering sector, showcases best practices from a group of cities working on procurement of food and catering services.  The report takes a close look at school catering since this represents a significant share of the procurement budget of many local governments.

Image: US Department of Agriculture Cropland Data Layer, Flickr
31 August 2016

Future demand for food and for land is set to grow. A key question is therefore: how can we most productively use land for food, in order balance the multiple competing demands for the ecosystem services it provides? One way this has been investigated previously is by looking at crop yields and how to increase them. Another way, focussing instead on the consumption side, has looked at the metric of dietary land footprint.

Photo: Sam Sherratt, Meat, Flickr, creative commons licence 2.0
23 August 2016

In their latest dietary guidelines, the Chinese government recommends a slightly lower meat intake than it did in its previous 2007 guidance.

Photo: Jim Pennuci, Flickr, Creative commons licence 2.0
23 August 2016

This report, produced by the Behavioural Insights Team, seeks to resolve an important area of uncertainty for obesity policy, asking, are official UK statistics on calorie consumption plausible?

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