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Flexitarianism: Decarbonising through flexible vegetarianism

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... The two R's of reducing and replacing are incorporated in flexitarianism, which may be defined as a food consumption pattern in which meat is eaten occasionally without avoiding it completely. In contrast to the original (Anglo-Saxon) interpretation of flexitarianism taking vegetarianism as its starting pointa flexitarian is a vegetarian who still eats meat on occasion, see Rosenfeld (2018); Rosenfeld, Rothgerber, and Tomiyama (2020a) -, the (European) definition of flexitarianism used here (and elsewhere, see Dagevos, 2014;Dagevos, 2016;Forestell, Spaeth, & Kane, 2012;Malek & Umberger, 2021;Raphaely & Marinova, 2014;Verain, Dagevos, & Antonides, 2015) gives priority to a meat-eating perspective. Flexitarianism, then, means meat reduction on a part-time basis, and by the same token, a flexitarian abstains from eating meat occasionally without abandoning meat totallyin contrast to vegetarians who follow a meat-free diet and vegans who follow a strict plant-based diet and abstain from consuming all animal-based foods. ...
... The notions of flexitarianism and flexitarian have also started to appear in the titles of scientific work (e.g. Cliceri, Spinelli, Dinnella, Prescott, & Monteleone, 2018;Curtain & Grafenauer, 2019;Dagevos, 2016;Dagevos & Reinders, 2018;Derbyshire, 2017;Duckett, Lorenzo-Arribas, Horgan, & Conniff, 2020;Forestell, 2018;Kemper & White, 2021;Umberger, forthcoming;Raphaely & Marinova, 2014;Spencer, Cienfuegos, & Guinard, 2018;Verain Dagevos, & Jaspers, forthcoming;Wozniak et al., 2020). ...
... Related research is a study by Koch et al. (2019) in which low-meat consumers are defined as people who do not exceed the maximum meat intake officially recommended by national dietary guidelines. Although the word flexitarianism is not used in this German study, Raphaely and Marinova (2014) specifically define flexitarianism as the reduction of individual meat consumption to recommended healthy dietary guidelines. Taken together, participants classified as low-meat eaters (n = 5404) could be identified as flexitarians and comprised more than 42 per cent of the total sample (n = 12,733) of the second German National Nutrition Survey (Koch et al., 2019). ...
Article
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Background Much scientific evidence has been found about positive effects of lowering meat consumption on the environment, human health and animal welfare. Nevertheless, particularly in developing economies demand for meat is rising whereas in high-income countries meat intake remains at high levels. Although many of today's Western consumers are unwilling to cut their meat consumption, it appears that a fraction is receptive to limit meat consumption by abstaining from eating meat occasionally. This is called flexitarianism. A great deal of hope has been placed lately on a flexitarian diet to help solving food-related environmental sustainability and human health problems. To determine whether flexitarianism can meet such high hopes, it is – to begin with – important to get an idea about the extent of contemporary food consumers' shift towards more meat-restricted diets. Such an overview has so far been lacking. Scope and approach This study collected recent consumer research on meat eaters and meat reducers conducted in various affluent countries to explore the state of play in the field of flexitarianism. Key findings and conclusions The present work demonstrates that multiple studies point to the existence of a group of flexitarians that is distinct from consumers who are deeply attached to meat eating and have no intention whatsoever to limit their meat intake, let alone are already changing meat-eating behaviours. Flexitarians not only differ from meat lovers but they also differ from each other. Against the backdrop of numerous devoted meat eaters, and flexitarians who frequently reduce their meat consumption only slightly, the question is raised whether flexitarianism is enough to tackle the pressing environmental and human health problems.
... These studies differed from other studies that matched diets on the basis of overall energy levels, giving consideration to ensuring adequate nutrition levels for each diet. 8,33 By contrast, Vieux et al 28 matched diets on the basis of the calories needed to replace a 20% meat reduction. Wilson et al 30 matched diets according to nutrient levels and found that replacements for eggs and dairy were more costly economically and had greater GHG emissions for the equivalent nutrient levels. ...
... Most studies found that diets containing less meat resulted in significantly reduced emissions in the primary phase of food production, with two studies 22,24 finding that a vegan diet contributed approximately one-half of the GHG emissions of the typical average food consumption. According to Raphaely and Marinova, 33 estimates from various sources indicate that a 25% reduction in global meat consumption would translate into a 12.5% reduction in global anthropogenic GHG emissions. Some authors concluded that the widespread adoption of a healthier diet, with small or even no reductions in meat consumption, could both improve population health and reduce carbon emissions. ...
Article
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Research over the past 10 years has illustrated an important connection between dietary choices, the food systems required to produce them, and the subsequent impact on greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions. Several recent studies have used data on the GHG contribution of different food types to model the impact of different dietary patterns on GHG emissions; these studies have most commonly compared the average diet for a particular country to healthier dietary options and vegetarian options. We present a systematic review of this research that models different dietary choices and the associated GHG emissions with the main aim in this paper of contrasting the research implications for policy and practice. A database search of CINAHL, ScienceDirect, Scopus, Web of Science, ProQuest, Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews, and Mednar in July 2014 identified 21 primary studies modeling the GHG emissions related to a dietary pattern published since 1995. Diets containing a higher ratio of plant to animal products were generally associated with lower GHG emissions; however, the results varied across countries and studies, as did the recommendations by the study authors. Some authors proposed leading with health messages that have a dual environmental gain, whereas others proposed messaging around environmental impact. These inconsistencies in recommended approaches to reduce diet-related GHG emissions relate not just to differences in research findings but also to assumptions about community and political support for action, and there is little empirical evidence on community knowledge, attitudes, and behavioral intention at present to support these recommendations. The paper concludes with a commentary on the policy implications and the need for further research on how to frame the issue so as to garner community and political support to address the leading recommendations of this research.
... For instance, animal based products tend to have higher impacts in terms of greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions, water footprint, biomass use and reactive nitrogen mobilization than most nutritionally equivalent plant-based foods (e.g., Ercin, Aldaya, & Hoekstra, 2012;Gonz alez, Frostell, & Carlsson-Kanyama, 2011;Mekonnen & Hoekstra, 2012;Pelletier & Tyedmers, 2010;Stehfest et al., 2009). Drawing on estimates of future production and consumption, scholars have voiced concerns that the impacts of the livestock sector alone may bring irreversible environmental changes regardless of any technological methods of addressing climate change (Raphaely & Marinova, 2014). A major transformation of agrifood systems has thus been called for to meet the regulatory capacity of the earth, along with a global transition towards a more plant-based diet (i.e., diets which have the bulk of calories from plant sources while limiting or avoiding animal sources) (e.g., Kahiluoto, Kuisma, Kuokkanen, Mikkil€ a, & Linnanen, 2014;Stehfest et al., 2009). ...
... As for informing practice and policy, in the long-term, familiarization with the construct of meat attachment, the dimensions that comprise it and learning how it relates with willingness and intentions concerning meat substitution, may empower practitioners and policy makers to design, deliver and evaluate tailored interventions and initiatives facilitating a shift towards a more plant-based diet. For instance, providing targeted information and campaigns for reducing meat consumption, particularly in highrisk groups or populations vulnerable to misinformation, is advanced as a policy suggestion to encourage people to eat less meat and more plant-based protein sources (Raphaely & Marinova, 2014). On this note, it has been proposed that consumers already with lower levels of meat attachment are more open to information on the impacts of meat and the benefits of changing habits, whereas for consumers more attached to meat, some initiatives to encourage reducing meat-eating may actually trigger defense or loss-aversion mechanisms, thus increasing entrenchment in meateating justifications (Graça et al., 2015;Rothgerber, 2014). ...
... Food policy strategies and action programs need to take plant proteins onto the agenda, and policy measures need to be developed. For instance, it has been suggested that meat should be included in emissions trading and carbon tax schemes and that the general sales tax should be higher for meat and meat products than for nonmeat options (Raphaely and Marinova, 2014). Also public catering institutions in schools and workplaces have an important role in promoting plant proteins in both vegetarian dishes and dishes that combine meat and pulses. ...
... Breaking down the dichotomy between meat consumption and vegetarianism and making visible multiple forms of combining moderate meat consumption and vegetable consumption could help this transition. This change might take place in the form of flexitarianism, referring to eating styles that reduce meat eating to healthy levels (Raphaely and Marinova, 2014) and that flexibly combine meat and vegetable-based proteins. It has been argued that flexitarianism "offers an immediate, accessible and effective opportunity to mitigate climate change and its negative impacts" (Raphaely and Marinova, 2014, p. 94). ...
Chapter
To better understand the conditions for increasing plant protein consumption globally and in particular in those food cultures in which plant proteins are a less culturally embedded part of the cuisine, this chapter examines the barriers to a transition to more plant-based diets. Here, barriers refer to both individual and structural issues that make it difficult for people to increase their use of plant proteins and to decrease that of meat and dairy products. The chapter reviews the current meat and pulse consumption trends in Western countries, the intentions that consumers already have for changing their diets to include less meat, and the different kinds of barriers to increasing the use of plant proteins. In the final section, potential solutions are discussed, and future directions are outlined for food research and policies aiming at enhancing plant protein consumption in Western food cultures.
... Regarding the environment, the United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization has identified the livestock industry as a major global contributor to greenhouse gas (emissions) that promote global warming ( Steinfeld et al., 2006). In addition to a lesser negative impact on climate change and public health, a reduction in meat con- sumption would promote long-term food sustainability in that it would allow the food sector to feed a growing global population because the path from plant crops directly to humans is inherently more efficient than the path from plant to animal products to humans (Donati et al.,& Oliveira, 2015;Hodson & Earle, 2018;Macdiarmid et al., 2016;Raphaely & Marinova, 2014;Spencer, Cienfuegos, & Guinard, 2018;Tucker, 2014). For these reasons, it is challenging to switch to a strict vegetarian diet for the majority of the population, but a semi-vege- tarian, or flexitarian, diet is more feasible and sustainable as a lifestyle change (Derbyshire, 2017;Mullee et al., 2017;Raphaely & Marinova, 2014;Rothgerber, 2014;Ver Schage, 2016;de Boer, Schösler, & Aiking, 2018). ...
... In addition to a lesser negative impact on climate change and public health, a reduction in meat con- sumption would promote long-term food sustainability in that it would allow the food sector to feed a growing global population because the path from plant crops directly to humans is inherently more efficient than the path from plant to animal products to humans (Donati et al.,& Oliveira, 2015;Hodson & Earle, 2018;Macdiarmid et al., 2016;Raphaely & Marinova, 2014;Spencer, Cienfuegos, & Guinard, 2018;Tucker, 2014). For these reasons, it is challenging to switch to a strict vegetarian diet for the majority of the population, but a semi-vege- tarian, or flexitarian, diet is more feasible and sustainable as a lifestyle change (Derbyshire, 2017;Mullee et al., 2017;Raphaely & Marinova, 2014;Rothgerber, 2014;Ver Schage, 2016;de Boer, Schösler, & Aiking, 2018). We have termed this dietary shift from the traditional meat-centric diet of Western society to a semi-ve- getarian diet the Flexitarian Flip™ . ...
... Flexitarian diets involve limiting meat intake without abstaining from meat completely (Rosenfeld et al., 2019). While vegetarianism can be perceived as difficult to adopt and maintain (e.g., Corrin & Papadopoulos, 2017;Mullee et al., 2017;Pohjolainen et al., 2015), flexitarian diets have been advertised as "easy" (Raphaely & Marinova, 2014; "One ...
Article
Many people agree that reducing the consumption of meat has good ends (e.g., for animal welfare, the environment, and human health). However, the question of which advocacy strategies are most effective in enabling wide-spread meat reduction remains open. We explored this by prescribing four different meat reduction diets to omnivorous participants for a seven-day adherence period, and studied their meat consumption over time. The diets included a Vegetarian diet, and three flexitarian diets (Climatarian – limit beef and lamb consumption; One Step for Animals – eliminate chicken consumption; Reducetarian – reduce all meat consumption). Results showed pronounced differences between groups in meat consumption during the adherence period, where the Vegetarian group ate significantly less meat than the flexitarian groups. All groups decreased their meat intake in the weeks following the adherence period compared to baseline, however, there were no significant group differences in the level of decrease over time. Participants also changed their attitudes toward meat and animals from pre-to post-intervention, and decreases in commitment toward and rationalization of meat-eating partially mediated change in meat intake. These findings reveal that the diet assignments had some impact on participants’ meat consumption and attitudes even after the prescribed adherence period had ended. However, the sustained decrease in consumption did not vary depending on what meat reduction strategy was originally used.
... The Climate Conference in 2021 has once again drawn the world's attention to the importance of climate protection and the challenges and opportunities ahead of us in protecting the planet (Smith, 2021). The removal of fossil fuels is the main focus of climate action plans, but it also affects a number of other areas such as: quickly cutting emissions of short-lived pollutants, for example methane, restoring and protecting natural ecosystems, reforming the food system by reducing meat consumption, food transport and waste, transitioning to a carbon-free economy, stabilizing the world's population (Raphaely 2014, Ripple 2021. ...
Conference Paper
Textile industry wastewater has complex properties such as high chemical oxygen demand (COD), color, turbidity, temperature, pH, toxic chemicals and different types of non-biodegradable dyes. When textile wastewater is discharged directly into rivers, it causes pollution of large water bodies, so it must be treated before being discharged. Coagulation plays an important role in the removal of dyes, suspended solids and COD in the pre-treatment of textile industry wastewater. In addition, being simple and easy to apply is among the advantages of this process. Due to its advantages, in this study, the treatability of textile industry fabric dyeing wastewater was evaluated in terms of COD removal efficiency by applying the coagulation process, and ferric chloride (FeCl3), which is widely used in coagulation processes, was chosen as the coagulant. The effectiveness of the coagulation process on COD removal from textile wastewater was investigated depending on pH (4-10), coagulant dosage (0.2-1.0 g/L) and reaction time (15-60 min.) parameters. It was observed that the highest COD removal efficiency was achieved with 72% at pH of 6, FeCl3 dosage of 0.5 g/L, reaction time of 50 min. The obtained COD removal efficiency of 72% showed that the coagulation process can be applied as a pre-treatment process before the dye wastewater is discharged to conventional wastewater treatment plants, or it can be combined with another process to provide full purification.
... The identification of this segment of consumers framed in the axes of affective connection is merely a starting point. It calls for further studies to explore the intersections among recent trends towards eating less meat that are being observed and labelled under different terms in the literature (e.g., meat avoidance, Beardsworth & Keil, 1991; meat-reduced diet, Hayley, Zinkiewicz, & Hardiman, 2015; flexitarianism, Raphaely & Marinova, 2014; conscious omnivorism, Rothgerber, 2015). Likewise , it calls for more research to learn how to empower these consumers to effectively make sustained and lasting changes in their habits. ...
... See e.g.Goodland (2014),Raphaely & Marinova (2014), or the Guardian column by George Monbiot, https://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2018/jun/08/save-planet-meat-dairy -livestock-food-free-range-steak, from 8 June 2018. ...
Book
Social practice theories help challenge the often hidden paradigms, worldviews and values at the basis of many unsustainable practices. However, practice theoretical research can also struggle to provide useful results for policymaking. Connected to social practices, discourses and their boundaries define what is seen as possible, what the range of issues and their solutions are. By exploring the connections between practices and discourses - where paradigms, worldviews and values are represented through cognitive frames – this book develops, firstly, a conceptual approach to help enable purposive change in unsustainable social practices. This is done in an interdisciplinary manner integrating different literatures. Secondly, the book takes the current vastly unsustainable meat system as a central theme. Radical transformation towards new meatways, such as strong flexitarianism, is arguably necessary, yet complex psychological, ideological and power related mechanisms still inhibit change. Discourses around new solutions, such as cultivated meat, new generation plant-based meats, and insects, are explored for answers.
... In Western countries, this has Remesy (Meaning, not eating meat -red meat, poultry, seafood and the flesh of any other animal -a stricter version of which is also avoidance of by-products of animal slaughter). But the respective share of animal and plant products in the human diet is now of paramount importance, to ensure adequate food availability for a fast-growing global population, to optimise the relationship between diet and health, and to reduce the ecological impact of agriculture and livestock (5,6). ...
Article
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It is surprising that in the early twenty-first century, a clear strategy of how best to eat for the health of humans and for the planet has not been really defined, or at least not exactly enough. But good guides are traditional dietary patterns that have proven nutritionally and environmentally healthy and sound, such as the Mediterranean or many Asian diets.
... [35][36][37] Greater urbanization, 35,38 growing international trade, 39 and planet-wide ramifications of poor environmental stewardship require a global approach to food and agricultural systems. 38,40,41 Agriculture is a major contributor to greenhouse gas emissions 36,42,43 and water constraints. 36,44 If current dietary trends hold, they are projected to create an 80% increase in global greenhouse gas emissions and global land clearing, while simultaneously contributing to high rates of chronic disease. ...
... See e.g.Goodland (2014),Raphaely & Marinova (2014), or the Guardian column by George Monbiot, https://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2018/jun/08/save-planet-meat-dairy -livestock-food-free-range-steak, from 8 June 2018. ...
... It is well established that the substitution of animal protein by plant protein in the human diet can reduce the negative environmental footprint caused by meat production and consumption (Gephart et al., 2016). However, while the change in consumption habits is a personal decision from the consumer (Raphaely and Marinova, 2014), the adequate provision of plant proteins depends on versatile farming systems. Next to biomass production and food quality, the fraction of time fields were occupied with crops revealed a substantial difference between the cropping systems. ...
Article
Developing cropping systems that meet multiple demands of high production, resource-use efficiency and low ecological footprint is a major global challenge. In Southern Brazilian lowlands, irrigated rice (Oryza sativa L.) in combination with fallow for beef production is the dominant cropping system. This system is key to Brazilian food security but faces problems of resource use efficiency, soil preservation and greenhouse gas emissions typically associated to rice irrigation. In this research, a multi-criteria analysis of the usual rice-fallow system, and a number of alternative production Schemes – i.e., the more recent rice-soybean (Glycine max (L.) Merr.) rotations and the newly developed systems based on large ridges, was made. The latter is based on the construction of large ridges (8 m width) on which rainfed maize (Zea mays L.) and soybean, conducted in no-tillage, are integrated with either beef-livestock production or cover crops in winter. This study was done in an experiment that lasted for nine years. The five cropping systems were managed as independent fields and a range of indicators related to crop management, productivity and sustainability was measured. The Rice-Fallow system required the lowest amount of energy, but it had the lowest energy use efficiency and highest carbon-based environmental footprints, when expressed as greenhouse gasses emitted per kg of food produced. The rice-soybean rotation system presented an improved performance for the carbon-based footprints in comparison to the rice-fallow system. Within rice-soybean rotation, using minimum-tillage instead conventional tillage increased the overall carbon balance and the carbon sequestered into the soil as organic matter. Most strikingly, the new ridge-based systems exhibited the most favourable values for many of the indicators. The more diverse rotation system, and particularly the extension of the growing season to winter, resulted in improvements in soil quality, biomass production and carbon sequestration into the soil. Water- and light- use efficiency were increased, whereas greenhouse gas emissions reduced. The ridge-based crop-livestock integration offered the best balance between food production and environmental preservation. This cropping system is potentially one of best alternatives to increase agricultural diversification and sustainability in the sub-tropical lowlands such as in southern Brazil. This shows that modifications of cropping systems can result in major simultaneous improvements in yield, resource-use efficiency and ecological sustainability.
... The American diet is lacking in plant-based foods and vegetables, much higher in animal protein than necessary, and far too centered on meat and poultry (de Boer and others 2014; American Heart Association 2016; Culinary Institute of America 2016; Dietary Guidelines 2017; WHO 2017). There is a growing need for Americans to shift from a meat-centered diet to a plant-based diet, with meat on the side or in moderation; this is known as a flexitarian diet (Raphaely and Marinova 2014; Culinary Institute of America 2016; Ver Schage 2016; Derbyshire 2017). We have termed and trademarked this shift the Flexitarian Flip TM . ...
Article
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Practical application: There is little knowledge of American consumer preferences regarding vegetables in mixed dishes. Mixed dishes are a strategy recommended by the U.S. Dietary Guidelines to increase vegetable consumption and variety of protein sources. This research explores various flavor and culinary strategies with which to carry out the mixed dish meat-vegetable swap and to test the potential of the Flexitarian Flip™ (the shift from meat-centric to plant-centric diets). This research shows that individuals have different preferences regarding the type of flavor they prefer in mixed dishes (for example, some consumers prefer salty and some prefer spicy), so if the dietitian can recommend recipes that cater to that client's food and flavor preferences, the client will be more likely to adhere to their diet.
... Plant-based diets low in saturated fats are linked to decreased blood cholesterol, which reduces the risk of coronary heart disease and other health consequences (Dietary Guidelines, n.d.;Ferdowsian & Barnard, 2009). It is difficult to fully commit to the shift from a typical meat-centric American diet to strict vegetarianism or veganism, due to barriers such as positive beliefs and attachments formed to meat and meat-centric societal constructs (de Boer & Aiking, 2017;Derbyshire, 2017;Graça, Calheiros, & Oliveira, 2015;Hayley, Zinkiewicz, & Hardiman, 2015;Macdiarmid et al., 2016;Raphaely & Marinova, 2014;Ver Schage, 2016). However, switching to a semi-vegetarian diet (mostly plant-based, with meat in moderation) is less strict but still has a positive impact. ...
... On the surface, these may seem sensible suggestions for people and planet. Indeed, certain physical activities 56 and healthier diets 57,58 containing fewer animal-based foods 59,60 , reduce fossil fuel usage 61 and benefit mental health. The issue is that individual capacity to follow health-related advice is profoundly qualified by opportunity structures 9 , social determinants 62 and service access, all of which are most deficient among those in greatest need 62,63 . ...
Article
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It is increasingly necessary to quantify the impacts of climate change on populations, and to quantify the effectiveness of mitigation and adaptation strategies. Despite growing interest in the health effects of climate change, the relationship between mental health and climate change has received little attention in research or policy. Here, we outline current thinking about climate change and mental health, and discuss crucial limitations in modern epidemiology for examining this issue. A systems approach, complemented by a new style of research thinking and leadership, can help align the needs of this emerging field with existing and research policy agendas.
... With global meat consumption projected to be 72% higher in 2030 when compared to year 2000 levels (Fiala, 2008), the associated impacts are only expected to increase. Implementation of the latest technologies and mitigation strategies are expected to reduce production-related environmental impacts by only 20% (Weidema et al., 2008), which has led many authors to suggest a reduction in the consumption of meat in order to promote environmental sustainability (Carlsson-Kanyama & González, 2009;McMichael, Powles, Butler, & Uauy, 2007;Pelletier & Tyedmers, 2010;Raphaely & Marinova, 2014;Tilman & Clark, 2014;Weber & Matthews, 2008). ...
Article
The present study focused on adding to the understanding of meat consumption and potential drivers for its reduction in New Zealand. Using the Theory of Planned Behaviour (TPB) and the recently developed Meat-Attachment Questionnaire (MAQ), this study investigated New Zealand consumers' attitudes, motivations and behaviours in regards to meat consumption. Results derive from a questionnaire sent across New Zealand in March 2017, in which 841 responses were obtained from representative consumer panels. Consumer awareness of the severity of meat's environmental impacts was found to be quite low in comparison to other sustainable food behaviours. Motivations for reduction seem to shift across consumer groups, with different considerations rising and falling in importance depending on current meat consumption habits. Among the TPB components, only attitudes were found to accurately and consistently predict willingness and intentions to reduce personal meat intake, while both attitudes and subjective norms predicted agreement with proposed structural measures that would promote meat reduction and/or plant-based food consumption. In addition, the MAQ was found to provide explanatory power above and beyond that of the TPB components alone and this research supports its use as a tool to further understand meat consumption and potential motivations for reduction. The authors believe these results could be useful for governments or organizations wishing to implement meat reduction strategies, as well as providing a stepping stone for further research inquiry into motivations behind meat consumption and its potential reduction.
... The spread of vegetarianism or plant-based diets could have a strong health, social, economic, and environmental impact (Hargreaves et al. 2021, Lusk & Norwood 2009, Leitzmann 2003, Leitzmann 2014). If the phenomenon becomes widespread, its impact on tourism (Dilek & Fennell 2018), the agricultural economy, and the food industry will be decisive (Gomez et al. 2018, Raphaely & Marinova 2014. ...
Article
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In Hungary, very little data is available on vegetarianism, even though the phenomenon affects many sectors of the economy. Initially, we intended to examine the impact of vegetarianism on the agricultural sector when we realized that there was no adequate data available. Therefore, to collect adequate data on this issue, we compiled a questionnaire on September 9, 2021. We weighted our data based on the distribution of gender/age and gender/education level of the country. In our experiment, involving 1642 Hungarian participants over age 7, 86% of the respondents were regular meat consumers, 9 % flexitarians, 2 % pescatarians, 2 % vegetarians, and 1% vegans. The proportion of people consuming reduced amounts of meat was the highest between ages 46- 60. The proportion of the most radical vegetarian forms is the highest in the 19–25 age group. The proportion of vegetarians in the Hungarian population increases with the education level, as it is the highest among Ph.D. graduates. In the case of the older generation, health motivation, while in the case of the younger generation, environmental and animal welfare motivation is crucial in choosing the form of nutrition. The love of meat's taste and the idea that it is impossible to live a healthy life without it are the two most important reasons Hungarians consume meat. Current costs do not influence the choice of meat versus plant nutrition, but Hungarian society would be sensitive to significant increases in meat prices. Omnivores would largely give up eating meat due to health problems, but they are open to laboratory-produced meat. If artificial meat were offered in supermarkets at affordable prices with the right taste and texture, 43% of respondents would stop eating meat.
... The second dimension relates to the perspective of sustainability. In a way, the vegetarian diet makes the reduction of pollution, the minimization of climate change, and less extinctions of species possible, since livestock stands out as the activity that causes the greatest emission of greenhouse gases (Raphaely and Marinova 2014). ...
Article
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Discussions about the impacts of marketing systems on society have been strongly encouraged in the field of macromarketing. However, these studies have focused on analyzing human and organizational actors, neglecting, to a large extent, the impacts of practices of marketing systems on other non-human stakeholders, such as those associated with or materialized in the form of a product. This article debates the material basis of the product of animal origin based on the concepts of justice, stakeholder theory, and externalities. An argument was developed attributing the status of a moral agent to the animals used to make products and focusing on this debate, arguing for the establishment of a consumption pattern that morally considers animals. This was made feasible by new alternatives for food performances exemplified by the conduct of vegetarian and vegan consumers.
... 36 También el flexitariano que es la persona que decide reducir el consumo de todo tipo de carnes, con fines casi siempre ambientales. 37 Ese tipo de dietas presentan un perfil alimentario caracterizado por una mayor ingesta de granos enteros, frutas, soya y derivados, leguminosas y legumbres, vegetales, especialmente hojas verdes oscuras, nueces, semillas y en algunos casos mayor ingesta de leche y lácteos bajos en grasa, lo que la hace nutricionalmente adecuada. Puede aportar -bajo una correcta planeación-un alto contenido de fibra, magnesio, potasio, vitamina A, vitamina C, vitamina E, tiamina, riboflavina, folatos, carotenoides, flavonoides y otros fitoquímicos de gran potencial antioxidante y dependiendo del tipo de vegetarianismo, aportará también suficiente cantidad de hierro y calcio, al tiempo que es baja en grasa saturada, colesterol, sodio, lo que puede explicar algunas de las ventajas que presentan para la salud. ...
Article
Resumen En los últimos años, se ha reportado en la literatura científica un declive en la calidad seminal. La significancia biológica de ese evento podría estar relacionada con la reducción en la fertilidad masculina o con el aumento del riesgo de enfermedades en la descendencia. La occidentalización en el estilo de vida, caracterizado por el aumento del peso corporal, el sedentarismo, el uso de cigarrillo, la ingesta de alimentos ricos en grasas y sodio y la reducción en la ingesta de alimentos fuente de fibras y antioxidantes, pudieran estar implicados en esos resultados. A su vez, cambios en el estilo de vida, que conduzcan a una reducción de peso corporal, de la ingesta de grasa y sodio, a un mejor estado antioxidante y a un aumento de la ingesta de fibra, se han asociado a mejores parámetros seminales. Por lo tanto, la alimentación basada en plantas o vegetariana, podría ser una estrategia válida para mejorar el estado nutricional y la salud masculina.
... Previous research has reported that lifestyle changes can reduce CO2 emissions substantially compared to baseline emissions (Cafaro, 2011;van Sluisveld et al., 2016). For example, reducing the intake of meat and other animal products can make a considerable contribution to climate change mitigation (Berners-Lee et al., 2012;Creutzig et al., 2016;Joyce et al., 2014;Raphaely & Marinova, 2014;Scarborough et al. , 2014). Among scientists, it is widely agreed that demand-side actions are part of the climate solution (Alfredsson et al., 2018;Creutzig et al., 2016: 157;Rogelj et al., 2018;von Stechow et al., 2016). ...
... According to the global online food delivery Just Eat, "going vegan" is the biggest food trend of 2018 with 33% of its 93,700 restaurant partners offering vegan options (Just Eat, 2018). With veganism slowly and surely becoming a mainstream dietary choice, other allied movements, such as flexitarianism (de Bakker & Dagevos, 2012;Raphaely & Marinova, 2014;Dagevos & Reinders;, are also working on reducing the global carbon footprint by convincing people to decrease the amount of meat they consume. Given the health and environmental benefits from such a change, strong calls are being made for the need for social marketing which can be the mechanism to transform the dominant eating behavior. ...
Chapter
Traditional hegemonic masculinity can be traced on the typical man's plate where meat represents the centerpiece. Meat consumption dominates the current marketing discourse which builds on masculinity to reinforce the stereotyped gender-based diets. In light of scientific evidence about the detrimental impacts of meat consumption on human wellbeing and environmental health, this chapter argues that men are at the crossroads where the concept of masculinity is being redefined. Their social role is similarly changing with new expectations for more sustainable diets which call for plant-based food choices and possibly lab-grown meat. Some men are endorsing these imperatives while others continue to succumb to social inertia. A new marketing discourse is needed which reconciles masculinity with not eating meat and encourages a transition to alternative dietary choices that are better for personal health, allow improved use of the planet's resources, and have less impact on climate change.
... For many Australians, meat remains part of what it means to eat well. Meanwhile, there is evidence of a shift to what some call flexitarianism (Raphaely & Marinova, 2014), just as multiple waves of immigration have shaped Australian eating patterns in new ways (Australian Institute of Health and Welfare, 2012), introducing varied cuisines and "a greater range of meals in which meat is not the centrepiece" (Stanton, quoted in Ting, 2013, n.p.). Civil society campaigns such as Meat Free Monday and Meat Free Week are promoted, just as commercial meat substitute products are now widely available in major Australian supermarkets. ...
Article
Recent widespread calls and strategies for consumers to change and reduce meat consumption position meat as both an environmentally unsustainable and highly desired food. Such change is often understood as an unattractive and difficult process of relinquishment, and that perspective informs interventions designed to lessen the presumed hardship involved. This article troubles such assumptions by reference to a practice theoretical approach and by extending conceptual debates circulating within consumption geographies. The work explores food preferences and tastes generated in what I describe as everyday “mealing” practices, within which meat's relevance may be diminishing, contingent, or negotiable. I draw on go‐along stories about meals‐in‐flux told to me by Australian householders participating in “Meat Free Mondays” and/or consuming meat substitute products. I analyse the practical, material, and sensorial aspects of “mealing‐practice” change and show how the stir‐fry is a meal displacing “meat and three veg.” The work contributes to geographical research increasingly focused on understanding desires and tastes produced through everyday practices. In the process, it complicates understandings of meat consumption reduction as sacrifice and points to possibilities for new research and more effective forms of intervention.
... The practice of killing animals to enrich our diets has persisted since the origin of mankind, but it appears that an increasing number of people are becoming less and less comfortable with it (Martins et al., 2013;Leitzmann, 2014;Oreskovic et al., 2015). Many philosophers have made repeated cases for vegetarianism (Fox, 2006;DeGrazia, 2009;Singer, 2011;Jenkins, 2012 AQ : 5 ; Raphaely and Marinova, 2014;Rachels, 2016), sparking scientific interest in the movement. Berndsen and van der Pligt (2004) and Riley (2004) found that a large segment of the population-one that by far exceeds the number of vegetarians-considers meat consumption to be problematic. ...
Article
Purpose Per capita meat consumption in Switzerland has been rather consistent for decades, although the percentage of vegetarians has risen to 14 per cent according to a recent survey. This study tries to resolve this apparent contradiction Design/methodology/approach The study is based on household consumption data from Switzerland and focuses on the distribution of consumption rather than on average amounts, using descriptive statistics and a mixed-effects model which explains the coefficient of variation between single consumer consumption amounts. Findings Vegetarianism and veganism are not only overestimated through surveys but also associated with a segment of the population that is consuming increasing amounts of meat. This dual development leads to a stable per capita meat consumption. Originality/value Our results indicate that greater scientific attention should be paid to this segment of heavy meat eaters.
... In light of these challenges, there have been calls for designing and implementing public policies to reduce meat consumption and promote more plantbased diets (i.e., Meat Curtailment Policies; MCPs), which may help trigger large-scale changes toward healthier and more sustainable eating patterns Clark & Tilman, 2017;de Boer & Aiking, 2017, 2018Graça, Godinho, et al., 2019;Godfray et al., 2018;Neff et al., 2018;Raphaely & Marinova, 2014;Van Loo, Hoefkens, Verbeke, 2017). Such policies may include, for instance, using institutional pledges and proposals, legislation, and taxes and subsidies to help shape and regulate the production and consumption of animal-sourced and plant-based foods (e.g., Vinnari & Vinnari, 2014;Whitley et al., 2018). ...
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In light of increasing calls for environmental policies that reduce meat consumption and promote more plant-based diets (i.e. Meat Curtailment Policies, MCPs), this study aimed to increase knowledge on how consumers may react to these policies. Participants (N = 784) were randomly presented with a small real news piece about an actual law approval referring to a MCP, or assigned to a no-information control condition. The study measured a set of ideological and consumption variables, and support for MCPs. Participants with increased pro-environmental ideology were more positive toward MCPs, whereas participants who endorsed human supremacy beliefs, and who were more attached to meat consumption, were less supportive of MCPs. Despite these associations, reading about the law approval increased participants’ support for MCPs irrespectively of individual differences in ideology and consumption. This suggests that communicating legal innovation on the topic may be used to increase support for policies that promote more plant-based diets.
... However, the public's preferences and the consumers' responses remain largely unknown. Although, trends towards eating less meat have been observed and labelled under different terms in the literature, i.e., meat-reduced diet (Hayley, Zinkiewicz, & Hardiman, 2015), flexitarianism (Raphaely & Marinova, 2014), semi-vegetarianism (Clarys et al., 2014) or conscious omnivorism (Rothgerber, 2015). More research is needed to ascertain consumerś food patterns and mechanisms so that an effective transition to sustainable low-meat diets could be achieved. ...
Article
One of the current trends in dietary preferences involves the transition to a low- or reduced-meat diet, which is often desirable for health and environmental reasons. This change in dietary preferences requires an in-depth insight into consumers’ preferences towards a variety of alternative/non-meat proteins. This study aimed to investigate the consumers’ preferences and willingness to purchase three alternative dietary protein sources, namely plant-, cultured meat- and insect-based proteins in four countries with dissimilar economic development status (the United Kingdom, Spain, Brazil and the Dominican Republic). It also aimed to determine which factors would most influence the willingness to purchase. From a total sample of 729 valid respondents, psychographic variables were analysed. The alternative protein deemed the respondents’ most preferred willing to purchase was the plant-based type since that option tended to be more widely available in the market. Among the analysed economic groups, the countries classified in the higher economic groups tended to show more readiness to replace traditional meats for the three alternatives. Models suggest that the respondents regarded the alternative characteristics and/or the attributes compared to meat as being the most important factors that influence their willingness to purchase rather than environmental, convenience or healthy buying decisions, or a low level of neophobia. If the perception of healthiness, safety and nutritiousness increases one-unit for the cultured meat in Brazil, the probability of willingness to purchase would increase 86.82%. One-unit stronger belief in Spanish that plant-based are healthy, safe and nutritious higher the probability of willingness to purchase 68.74%. One-unit higher perceive the characteristics of healthiness, safety and nutritional content of the insects-based products would increase 68% the probability of willingness to purchase in the United Kingdom, 72% in Brazil and 58% in the Dominican Republic.
... Flexitarianism, defined by Raphaely and Marinova (2014) as ''part-time vegetarianism'' or as ''the reduction in individual meat consumption to the recommended healthy dietary guidelines'', could open new market opportunities for the meat industry. As Hicks et al. (2018) suggest, ''it would be efficient and wise for the meat industry to build a strategy around the flexitarian demographic, to ensure their needs are met and to keep them consuming meat, rather than risk losing them to veganism''. ...
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The study aimed to investigate the effect of introducing texturized soy protein (TSP) at different levels (15% and 30%) with and without nutritional yeast as flavour enhancer on the sensory and instrumental quality of beef meatballs, compared to a soy and yeast-free control. Proximate analysis, colour, instrumental texture, cook loss, and sensory quality were investigated. Sixty participants assessed the samples using Check-all-that-apply (CATA) questions and hedonic scales. Overall, the texture of all TSP-containing samples received significantly higher acceptability scores than control, while 15% TSP with yeast received the highest flavour and overall acceptability scores. Penalty-lift analysis of CATA terms identified the main drivers for liking as “moist looking”, “juicy”, “soft” and “crumbly and easy to cut”. Control samples were significantly more often associated than the other recipes to the term “hard”, a key driver for dislike and the least associated to “soft” and “crumbly and easy to cut”. Adding 15–30% TSP with or without yeast inclusion could be beneficial for the development of future meat hybrids with acceptable sensory quality.
... According to the global online food delivery Just Eat, "going vegan" is the biggest food trend of 2018 with 33% of its 93,700 restaurant partners offering vegan options (Just Eat, 2018). With veganism slowly and surely becoming a mainstream dietary choice, other allied movements, such as flexitarianism (de Bakker & Dagevos, 2012;Raphaely & Marinova, 2014;Dagevos & Reinders;, are also working on reducing the global carbon footprint by convincing people to decrease the amount of meat they consume. Given the health and environmental benefits from such a change, strong calls are being made for the need for social marketing which can be the mechanism to transform the dominant eating behavior. ...
Chapter
Traditional hegemonic masculinity can be traced on the typical man’s plate where meat represents the centerpiece. Meat consumption dominates the current marketing discourse which builds on masculinity to reinforce the stereotyped gender-based diets. In light of scientific evidence about the detrimental impacts of meat consumption on human wellbeing and environmental health, this chapter argues that men are at the crossroads where the concept of masculinity is being redefined. Their social role is similarly changing with new expectations for more sustainable diets which call for plant-based food choices and possibly lab-grown meat. Some men are endorsing these imperatives while others continue to succumb to social inertia. A new marketing discourse is needed which reconciles masculinity with not eating meat and encourages a transition to alternative dietary choices that are better for personal health, allow improved use of the planet’s resources, and have less impact on climate change.
Article
Global warming and livestock farming are intertwined, and both call for radical policy changes that recognize animal rights. India has the world's largest bovine head count, and is exceptionally vulnerable to climate change. It is uniquely placed in having cow protection legislations, though the focus is limited to the end of the bovine lifecycle by criminalizing slaughter and beef. However, breeding programs, the start of the industrial animal lifecycle, also need to be abolished for animal rights and environmental protection. Using the exploitation of bulls in bovine frozen-semen farms, this article critiques the practice in terms of cruelty; speciesism; and climatic change. It argues that with an expanded moral baseline on protection that is explicitly embedded in animal rights, India is well placed to respond with radical action by abolishing nonhuman animal husbandry as an outdated food production system that is inconsistent with planetary and ethical realities.
Conference Paper
We show how a mandatory tax and/or a more subtle type of instrument (i.e., pairing consumption with voluntary donations that account for the negative ecological effects of consumption) shifts consumers’ choices towards environmentally friendly options (i.e. vegetarian dishes). We show how consumers emotionally and behaviorally react to an additional levy on meat products. These instruments can significantly, but through different mechanisms, influence individual feelings of regret and shift consumers product preferences towards vegetarian food choices. The effect of introducing a tax on certain products whose consumption is associated negative environmental effects is psychologically different from adding a voluntary donation to the product, even if it has the same aim.
Chapter
The main purpose of this research is to identify and characterize phenomena of rationalization in food behavior of Polish consumers and the factors shaping them. For this purpose, household budget surveys are conducted. It makes it possible to observe changes in food consumption over a period of 10 years. Moreover, direct surveys among 660 respondents using quantitative methods are used. The collected data are analyzed using factor analysis (main component method), Cronbach’s alpha-factor, linear regression models, Pearson’s χ2 and Cramer’s V coefficients, and descriptive statistics and structure indicators. The analyses show that the phenomenon of rationalization is clearly visible in food behavior of Polish consumers and is associated with higher food awareness of Poles, lower consumption of most of the food articles, higher importance of quality and consistence of food, development of phenomena of foodsharing and freeganism, and growing popularity of some diets such as vegetarian or vegan diet.
Chapter
Diet therapy or nutritional therapy has become a real challenge in the fight against the increasing number of modern illnesses such as obesity, diabetes, cardiovascular diseases and cancers. The scientific community has recognized the importance of studies that will support or rebut the association of certain nutrition/energy inputs with the prevention and/or improvement of certain diseases. Patient counseling is offered by medical doctors, nutritionists and dieticians, but patients often seek additional sources of information from popular media that may not be adequately scientifically supported. Whose responsibility is it when the Diet Therapy is not an effective treatment and where does the consequent ethical and moral responsibility lie? This chapter argues for the importance of a nutritionally educated scientist evaluating the diets that are seen to be related with the health improvement also excluding diets that are mostly related to the patients’ well-being as the Mediterranean, DASH (Dietary Approaches to Stop Hypertension), Ketogenic and Vegetarian diet. Diet guidelines are often explained with linguistic variables (as “reduce the input of” etc.) which can be differently perceived by the end user. The interpretation if a linguistic variable is presented using the body mass index categories using a bell-shaped curve. The preferable area fits to the linguistic variable “acceptable BMI.” But also are indicated those areas which are less preferable. Those examples of information interpretations show the necessity of knowledge transfer. The quantity of information presented in diet guidelines can be experienced as a great muddle for patients; leaving them not knowing where and how to start. So, remains the ethical and moral responsibility of all links in the chain of nutritional and diet research and recommendations. Only objective and open-minded recommendations based on the latest scientific facts can gain confidence of the social, economical, and political subjects which must put the well-being of the population uppermost in their mind.
Chapter
In Australia, the public got its first mass marketing about climate change and the measures that would be required to avoid it, by TV images of black balloons and Professor Tim Flannery turning off light switches. Journalistic coverage has been similarly dominated by household electricity. More technical literature is generally dominated by the concept of "carbon dioxide equivalence" (CO2eq) as spelled out in the Kyoto protocol. This concept isn't used in climate models because it makes no physical sense. The use of CO2eq and the focus on household electricity has lead to a profound mismatch between the causal factors as understood by climate scientists and causal factors as perceived by the public. "The public" here isn't just the general public, but people of many backgrounds with a strong interest in climate change but without the deep knowledge of professional climate scientists. We need images consistent with climate models, which accurately rank the causes of climate change and guide proposed actions. Such images point to meat as a key focal issue.
Chapter
A global shift away from diets dominated by meat, dairy and eggs to mainly plant-based diets is as necessary in mitigating anthropogenic climate change as the shift away from fossil fuels. Yet a large awareness gap exists about animal agriculture's contribution to greenhouse gas emissions. Recent studies in Australia and the United States show this issue is represented in less than 1 percent of all newspaper articles about climate change. This chapter examines the opportunities and barriers in addressing the livestock sector's impact on climate change. Policy recommendations in the literature are compared with the responses of governments, industry and the NGO sector. Australia's unique socioeconomic and cultural ties to livestock production and the consumption of animal products represent a significant barrier to demand-side mitigation. An analysis of newspaper articles mentioning animal agriculture's link to climate change in The Sydney Morning Herald between 2006 and 2014 provides insights into the facilitation and shaping of public awareness on the issue to date. The findings can inform strategies to increase future media coverage and encourage a more engaged discourse on demand-side mitigation.
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The central position of meat in the contemporary Western diet may be under threat. Meat, especially mammalian meat, appears to have an image problem, losing some of its prior associations with health and vitality. Although overall global meat consumption is steadily increasing, it has peaked in some industrialized countries and is in decline. Endless expansion of meat production on current trajectories is widely considered unsustainable and undesirable and raises environmental, ethical, social, and ecological issues, to which governments, the general public and the meat consumer is increasingly attuned. While it has traditionally been the intrinsic properties (texture, flavor, freshness, visual appearance, nutritional content, and satiety) that maintain our appetite for meat, complex external cues (perceived healthfulness, animal welfare, environmental impact, and sustainability) are increasingly taken into account in consumer decisions. In this context we attempt to identify some emerging trends in attitudes toward meat from a sensory and flavor perspective.
Article
The literature on sustainable diets is broad in its scope, and application yet is consistently supportive of a move away from animal-based diets towards more plant-based diets. The positioning of seafood within the sustainable diet literature is less clear. A literature review was conducted to examine how the environmental impacts of seafood consumption are assessed and what conclusions are being drawn about the inclusion of seafood in a sustainable diet. Seafood is an essential part of the global food system but is not adequately addressed in most of the sustainable diet literature. Aquaculture, the world's fastest growing food sector, was considered by very few papers. Seafood consumption was commonly presented as a dilemma due to the perceived trade-offs between positive health outcomes from eating seafood and concerns of overfishing. A number of studies included seafood as part of their sustainable diet scenario, or as part of a diet that had lower impacts than current consumption. Most of the indicators used were biophysical, with a strong focus on greenhouse gas emissions, and very few studies addressed biological or ecological impacts. The assessment of seafood was limited in many studies due to relevant data sets not being incorporated into the models used. Where they were used, data sources and methodological choices were often not stated thereby limiting the transparency of many studies. Both farmed and wild-capture production methods need to be integrated into research on the impacts of diets and future food scenarios to better understand and promote the benefits of sustainable diets.
Chapter
It is difficult to separate western consumerism from excessive meat consumption and through globalization this culture is spreading through the planet to traditional places, such as Bangladesh and the Indian subcontinent. The chapter argues that the socio-economic and planetary cost of increasing meat consumption is clearly untenable and initiating a process that restores natural resources is imperative. A major objective of this chapter is to raise awareness about the consequences from unsustainable meat production and consumption and the negative implication from a Western type of diet. Drawing on the spiritual messages from the Baul philosophers, it makes the case that preserving traditional flexitarianism, defined here as meat in the absence of any other food options or rare ceremonial meat consumption, is essential for the health of the planet and its inhabitants.
Chapter
In Australia, the public got its first mass marketing about climate change and the measures that would be required to avoid it, by TV images of black balloons and Professor Tim Flannery turning off light switches. Journalistic coverage has been similarly dominated by household electricity. More technical literature is generally dominated by the concept of "carbon dioxide equivalence" (CO2eq) as spelled out in the Kyoto protocol. This concept isn't used in climate models because it makes no physical sense. The use of CO2eq and the focus on household electricity has lead to a profound mismatch between the causal factors as understood by climate scientists and causal factors as perceived by the public. "The public" here isn't just the general public, but people of many backgrounds with a strong interest in climate change but without the deep knowledge of professional climate scientists. We need images consistent with climate models, which accurately rank the causes of climate change and guide proposed actions. Such images point to meat as a key focal issue.
Book
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In the past two hundred years, industrialisation and economic development have been heavily dependent on fossil fuels. The intensive exploitation of these energy sources has resulted in the accumulation of an excessive amount of carbon dioxide (CO2) in Earth’s atmosphere, which has increased the global temperature by 0.9 Celsius degree (° C) since the last Industrial Revolution. Such a rapid temperature rise has the potential to destabilise society and threaten human existence. Climate change and the resulting environmental crisis our world faces today is often problematised as a ‘global crisis’ in climate discourse. Climate scientists and activists stress the need for a unified international response to the threat, calling for all nations to reduce their carbon emissions and contribute to the fight against climate change, often through objectives under sustainable development. Differences in climate policies between the Global North and South have impacted the two areas’ relations and caused a lack of cooperation in addressing the climate crisis. Without a coordinated response to global inequality, climate action under multilateral agreements will continue to fail. The Global South are most impacted by climate change from emissions of the Global North and, as a result, are experiencing a rise in socio-political instability. Countries such as the Maldives require greater international efforts to mitigate the effects of climate change on migration, state sovereignty and food security. Climate change responses are not geared sufficiently towards addressing the impact on vulnerable communities. Geographical, political and cultural differences are frequently disregarded in formulated responses, despite the majority of countries with little to no international political power being the most at risk for the destructive affects of climate change. Economic growth and competitiveness in global markets is prioritized over human and environmental security. This has led to an increase in deforestation, cultural degradation and excess greenhouse gas emissions in countries like Indonesia, where land acquisition is producing climate violence. Responses to the climate crisis have varied significantly from one another, ranging from the individual to the global level. Emerging findings on the environmental impacts of animal agriculture on greenhouse gas emissions, water security and biodiversity loss have prompted a re-evaluation of the food system and sustainability of industrial farming practices. Migration of people from the areas most at risk for rising sea levels and increased natural disasters has resulted in a new form of individual seeking asylum – the climate refugee. Adaptive measures to the long-term and irregular rises in climate-induced migration from countries in the Pacific have yet to be formed. Australia is a key example of possessing a limited existing policy framework to mitigate the effects of an influx in climate refugees, both in its national climate change commitments and short-term Pacific Island targeted schemes. China’s shift in agenda towards support for collective efforts to combat climate change also contains shortfalls in its ideological implications of securing regional power in the Indo-Pacific. The recent COVID-19 crisis has resulted in major losses to the global economy, exacerbated socioeconomic inequalities and heralded cooperative international developments. It stands as a preview of the equally drastic effects of a climate change-induced crisis and has increased the ability for international responses to take place against global emergencies. The crisis presents a window of opportunity for the global community to acknowledge humanity’s impact on the planet and formulate comprehensive climate action that is taken seriously by all actors involved.
Article
Purpose While economists are increasingly acknowledging the importance of distributional issues, the distribution of the consumption of food items has largely been neglected. The purpose of this paper is to demonstrate that important insights can be obtained by analysing the distribution of consumption of food products within society. Design/methodology/approach This study was conducted by analysing food consumption in two very different countries: Romania, a middle-income country and Switzerland, one of the most prosperous countries in the world. In order to test the formulated hypotheses, consumption per capita was calculated, as a base for the calculation of the Gini coefficient of consumption for each product. A mixed effect model was applied for total food and for meat, computing the predictors for the variable “consumption distribution”. Findings Using the Gini coefficients of food and drink item consumption by Romanian and Swiss households, the authors tested the hypothesis that in prosperous middle-income countries the homogeneity of food consumption is growing over time as a sign of consumption democratisation, whereas in high-income countries a growing degree of individualisation is leading to decreasing homogeneity. For meat, the bifurcation of consumption patterns between vegetarians and hedonists leads to a growing Gini coefficient over time for both countries. The analysis controls for factors such as the products’ importance in the diet and their price. Originality/value The paper approaches a new subject and raises a new research question that may be relevant for structural issues of contemporary society. Both the comparative analysis of food distribution in two different societies and their dynamics is a novelty.
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Improving observations of ocean heat content show that Earth is absorbing more energy from the sun than it is radiating to space as heat, even during the recent solar minimum. The inferred planetary energy imbalance, 0.59 ± 0.15 W m<sup>−2</sup> during the 6-year period 2005–2010, confirms the dominant role of the human-made greenhouse effect in driving global climate change. Observed surface temperature change and ocean heat gain together constrain the net climate forcing and ocean mixing rates. We conclude that most climate models mix heat too efficiently into the deep ocean and as a result underestimate the negative forcing by human-made aerosols. Aerosol climate forcing today is inferred to be −1.6 ± 0.3 W m<sup>−2</sup>, implying substantial aerosol indirect climate forcing via cloud changes. Continued failure to quantify the specific origins of this large forcing is untenable, as knowledge of changing aerosol effects is needed to understand future climate change. We conclude that recent slowdown of ocean heat uptake was caused by a delayed rebound effect from Mount Pinatubo aerosols and a deep prolonged solar minimum. Observed sea level rise during the Argo float era is readily accounted for by ice melt and ocean thermal expansion, but the ascendency of ice melt leads us to anticipate acceleration of the rate of sea level rise this decade. Humanity is potentially vulnerable to global temperature change, as discussed in the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC, 2001, 2007) reports and by innumerable authors. Although climate change is driven by many climate forcing agents and the climate system also exhibits unforced (chaotic) variability, it is now widely agreed that the strong global warming trend of recent decades is caused predominantly by human-made changes of atmospheric composition (IPCC, 2007). The basic physics underlying this global warming, the greenhouse effect, is simple. An increase of gases such as CO<sub>2</sub> makes the atmosphere more opaque at infrared wavelengths. This added opacity causes the planet's heat radiation to space to arise from higher, colder levels in the atmosphere, thus reducing emission of heat energy to space. The temporary imbalance between the energy absorbed from the sun and heat emission to space, causes the planet to warm until planetary energy balance is restored. The planetary energy imbalance caused by a change of atmospheric composition defines a climate forcing. Climate sensitivity, the eventual global temperature change per unit forcing, is known with good accuracy from Earth's paleoclimate history. However, two fundamental uncertainties limit our ability to predict global temperature change on decadal time scales. First, although climate forcing by human-made greenhouse gases (GHGs) is known accurately, climate forcing caused by changing human-made aerosols is practically unmeasured. Aerosols are fine particles suspended in the air, such as dust, sulfates, and black soot (Ramanathan et al., 2001). Aerosol climate forcing is complex, because aerosols both reflect solar radiation to space (a cooling effect) and absorb solar radiation (a warming effect). In addition, atmospheric aerosols can alter cloud cover and cloud properties. Therefore, precise composition-specific measurements of aerosols and their effects on clouds are needed to assess the aerosol role in climate change. Second, the rate at which Earth's surface temperature approaches a new equilibrium in response to a climate forcing depends on how efficiently heat perturbations are mixed into the deeper ocean. Ocean mixing is complex and not necessarily simulated well by climate models. Empirical data on ocean heat uptake are improving rapidly, but still suffer limitations. We summarize current understanding of this basic physics of global warming and note observations needed to narrow uncertainties. Appropriate measurements can quantify the major factors driving climate change, reveal how much additional global warming is already in the pipeline, and help define the reduction of climate forcing needed to stabilize climate.
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It is morally impossible to justify the power wielded by the livestock industry. This paper describes the human, ecological and animal welfare concerns caused by excessive meat production and consumption, including climate change, water depletion and degradation, land misappropriation and degradation, rainforest destruction, biodiversity and rapid species loss and the significant threats and challenges presented to human health and wellbeing. It offers flexitarianism (flexible or part-time vegetarianism) as a personal opportunity and moral responsibility to combat the destructive duplicity of the global livestock megamachine. Through personal nutritional paradigm shifts and the resulting food choices, individuals can reclaim the possibility of a more sustainable world and global society.
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Background Recent scientific investigations have revealed a correlation between nutrition habits and the environmental impacts of agriculture. So, it is obviously worthwhile to study what effects a change in diet has on land use patterns, energy demand, and greenhouse gas emissions of agricultural production. This study calculates the amount of energy and emission savings as well as changes in land use that would result from different scenarios underlying a change in diet. Methods Based on the healthy eating recommendations of the German Nutrition Society, meat consumption in Austria should decrease by about 60%, and consumption of fruits and vegetables has to increase strongly. Results This investigation showed that compliance with healthy eating guidelines leads to lower energy demand and a decrease in greenhouse gas emissions, largely due to a decrease in livestock numbers. Furthermore, arable land and grassland no longer needed for animal feed production becomes redundant and can possibly be used for the production of raw materials for renewable energy. The scenario examination shows that in the self-sufficiency scenario and in the import/export scenario, up to 443,100 ha and about 208,800 ha, respectively, of arable land and grassland are released for non-food uses. The cumulative energy demand of agriculture is lower by up to 38%, and the greenhouse gas emissions from agriculture decrease by up to 37% in these scenarios as against the reference situation. Conclusion The land use patterns for the scenario demonstrate that animal feed production still takes up the largest share of agricultural land even though the extent of animal husbandry decreased considerably in the scenarios.
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ABSTRACT Since its discovery in the early 2000s, methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA) clonal complex 398 (CC398) has become a rapidly emerging cause of human infections, most often associated with livestock exposure. We applied whole-genome sequence typing to characterize a diverse collection of CC398 isolates (n = 89), including MRSA and methicillin-susceptible S. aureus (MSSA) from animals and humans spanning 19 countries and four continents. We identified 4,238 single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) among the 89 core genomes. Minimal homoplasy (consistency index = 0.9591) was detected among parsimony-informative SNPs, allowing for the generation of a highly accurate phylogenetic reconstruction of the CC398 clonal lineage. Phylogenetic analyses revealed that MSSA from humans formed the most ancestral clades. The most derived lineages were composed predominantly of livestock-associated MRSA possessing three different staphylococcal cassette chromosome mec element (SCCmec) types (IV, V, and VII-like) including nine subtypes. The human-associated isolates from the basal clades carried phages encoding human innate immune modulators that were largely missing among the livestock-associated isolates. Our results strongly suggest that livestock-associated MRSA CC398 originated in humans as MSSA. The lineage appears to have undergone a rapid radiation in conjunction with the jump from humans to livestock, where it subsequently acquired tetracycline and methicillin resistance. Further analyses are required to estimate the number of independent genetic events leading to the methicillin-resistant sublineages, but the diversity of SCCmec subtypes is suggestive of strong and diverse antimicrobial selection associated with food animal production. IMPORTANCE Modern food animal production is characterized by densely concentrated animals and routine antibiotic use, which may facilitate the emergence of novel antibiotic-resistant zoonotic pathogens. Our findings strongly support the idea that livestock-associated MRSA CC398 originated as MSSA in humans. The jump of CC398 from humans to livestock was accompanied by the loss of phage-carried human virulence genes, which likely attenuated its zoonotic potential, but it was also accompanied by the acquisition of tetracycline and methicillin resistance. Our findings exemplify a bidirectional zoonotic exchange and underscore the potential public health risks of widespread antibiotic use in food animal production.
Article
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Unlabelled: Since its discovery in the early 2000s, methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA) clonal complex 398 (CC398) has become a rapidly emerging cause of human infections, most often associated with livestock exposure. We applied whole-genome sequence typing to characterize a diverse collection of CC398 isolates (n = 89), including MRSA and methicillin-susceptible S. aureus (MSSA) from animals and humans spanning 19 countries and four continents. We identified 4,238 single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) among the 89 core genomes. Minimal homoplasy (consistency index = 0.9591) was detected among parsimony-informative SNPs, allowing for the generation of a highly accurate phylogenetic reconstruction of the CC398 clonal lineage. Phylogenetic analyses revealed that MSSA from humans formed the most ancestral clades. The most derived lineages were composed predominantly of livestock-associated MRSA possessing three different staphylococcal cassette chromosome mec element (SCCmec) types (IV, V, and VII-like) including nine subtypes. The human-associated isolates from the basal clades carried phages encoding human innate immune modulators that were largely missing among the livestock-associated isolates. Our results strongly suggest that livestock-associated MRSA CC398 originated in humans as MSSA. The lineage appears to have undergone a rapid radiation in conjunction with the jump from humans to livestock, where it subsequently acquired tetracycline and methicillin resistance. Further analyses are required to estimate the number of independent genetic events leading to the methicillin-resistant sublineages, but the diversity of SCCmec subtypes is suggestive of strong and diverse antimicrobial selection associated with food animal production. Importance: Modern food animal production is characterized by densely concentrated animals and routine antibiotic use, which may facilitate the emergence of novel antibiotic-resistant zoonotic pathogens. Our findings strongly support the idea that livestock-associated MRSA CC398 originated as MSSA in humans. The jump of CC398 from humans to livestock was accompanied by the loss of phage-carried human virulence genes, which likely attenuated its zoonotic potential, but it was also accompanied by the acquisition of tetracycline and methicillin resistance. Our findings exemplify a bidirectional zoonotic exchange and underscore the potential public health risks of widespread antibiotic use in food animal production.
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The ongoing explosion of antibiotic-resistant infections continues to plague global and US health care. Meanwhile, an equally alarming decline has occurred in the research and development of new antibiotics to deal with the threat. In response to this microbial "perfect storm," in 2001, the federal Interagency Task Force on Antimicrobial Resistance released the "Action Plan to Combat Antimicrobial Resistance; Part 1: Domestic" to strengthen the response in the United States. The Infectious Diseases Society of America (IDSA) followed in 2004 with its own report, "Bad Bugs, No Drugs: As Antibiotic Discovery Stagnates, A Public Health Crisis Brews," which proposed incentives to reinvigorate pharmaceutical investment in antibiotic research and development. The IDSA's subsequent lobbying efforts led to the introduction of promising legislation in the 109 th US Congress (January 2005-December 2006). Unfortunately, the legislation was not enacted. During the 110 th Congress, the IDSA has continued to work with congressional leaders on promising legislation to address antibiotic-resistant infection. Nevertheless, despite intensive public relations and lobbying efforts, it remains unclear whether sufficiently robust legislation will be enacted. In the meantime, microbes continue to become more resistant, the antibiotic pipeline continues to diminish, and the majority of the public remains unaware of this critical situation. The result of insufficient federal funding; insufficient surveillance, prevention, and control; insufficient research and development activities; misguided regulation of antibiotics in agriculture and, in particular, for food animals; and insufficient overall coordination of US (and international) efforts could mean a literal return to the preantibiotic era for many types of infections. If we are to address the antimicrobial resistance crisis, a concerted, grassroots effort led by the medical community will be required.
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Improving observations of ocean heat content show that Earth is absorbing more energy from the sun than it is radiating to space as heat, even during the recent solar minimum. The inferred planetary energy imbalance, 0.59 \pm 0.15 W/m2 during the 6-year period 2005-2010, confirms the dominant role of the human-made greenhouse effect in driving global climate change. Observed surface temperature change and ocean heat gain together constrain the net climate forcing and ocean mixing rates. We conclude that most climate models mix heat too efficiently into the deep ocean and as a result underestimate the negative forcing by human-made aerosols. Aerosol climate forcing today is inferred to be 1.6 \pm 0.3 W/m2, implying substantial aerosol indirect climate forcing via cloud changes. Continued failure to quantify the specific origins of this large forcing is untenable, as knowledge of changing aerosol effects is needed to understand future climate change. We conclude that recent slowdown of ocean heat uptake was caused by a delayed rebound effect from Mount Pinatubo aerosols and a deep prolonged solar minimum. Observed sea level rise during the Argo float era is readily accounted for by ice melt and ocean thermal expansion, but the ascendency of ice melt leads us to anticipate acceleration of the rate of sea level rise this decade.
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There is increasing recognition that the nutrition transition sweeping the world's cities is multifaceted. Urban food and nutrition systems are beginning to share similar features, including an increase in dietary diversity, a convergence toward "Western-style" diets rich in fat and refined carbohydrate and within-country bifurcation of food supplies and dietary conventions. Unequal access to the available dietary diversity, calories, and gastronomically satisfying eating experience leads to nutritional inequalities and diet-related health inequities in rich and poor cities alike. Understanding the determinants of inequalities in food security and nutritional quality is a precondition for developing preventive policy responses. Finding common solutions to under- and overnutrition is required, the first step of which is poverty eradication through creating livelihood strategies. In many cities, thousands of positions of paid employment could be created through the establishment of sustainable and self-sufficient local food systems, including urban agriculture and food processing initiatives, food distribution centers, healthy food market services, and urban planning that provides for multiple modes of transport to food outlets. Greater engagement with the food supply may dispel many of the food anxieties affluent consumers are experiencing.
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Food systems--in particular, livestock production--are key drivers of environmental change. Here, we compare the contributions of the global livestock sector in 2000 with estimated contributions of this sector in 2050 to three important environmental concerns: climate change, reactive nitrogen mobilization, and appropriation of plant biomass at planetary scales. Because environmental sustainability ultimately requires that human activities as a whole respect critical thresholds in each of these domains, we quantify the extent to which current and future livestock production contributes to published estimates of sustainability thresholds at projected production levels and under several alternative endpoint scenarios intended to illustrate the potential range of impacts associated with dietary choice. We suggest that, by 2050, the livestock sector alone may either occupy the majority of, or significantly overshoot, recently published estimates of humanity's "safe operating space" in each of these domains. In light of the magnitude of estimated impacts relative to these proposed (albeit uncertain) sustainability boundary conditions, we suggest that reining in growth of this sector should be prioritized in environmental governance.
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Continuing population and consumption growth will mean that the global demand for food will increase for at least another 40 years. Growing competition for land, water, and energy, in addition to the overexploitation of fisheries, will affect our ability to produce food, as will the urgent requirement to reduce the impact of the food system on the environment. The effects of climate change are a further threat. But the world can produce more food and can ensure that it is used more efficiently and equitably. A multifaceted and linked global strategy is needed to ensure sustainable and equitable food security, different components of which are explored here.
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Climate change will bring more frequent, long lasting and severe adverse weather events and these changes will affect mental health. We propose an explanatory framework to enhance consideration of how these effects may operate and to encourage debate about this important aspect of the health impacts of climate change. Literature review. Climate change may affect mental health directly by exposing people to trauma. It may also affect mental health indirectly, by affecting (1) physical health (for example, extreme heat exposure causes heat exhaustion in vulnerable people, and associated mental health consequences) and (2) community wellbeing. Within community, wellbeing is a sub-process in which climate change erodes physical environments which, in turn, damage social environments. Vulnerable people and places, especially in low-income countries, will be particularly badly affected. Different aspects of climate change may affect mental health through direct and indirect pathways, leading to serious mental health problems, possibly including increased suicide mortality. We propose that it is helpful to integrate these pathways in an explanatory framework, which may assist in developing public health policy, practice and research.
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Antibiotics are used in animal livestock production for therapeutic treatment of disease and at subtherapeutic levels for growth promotion and improvement of feed efficiency. It is estimated that approximately 75% of antibiotics are not absorbed by animals and are excreted in waste. Antibiotic resistance selection occurs among gastrointestinal bacteria, which are also excreted in manure and stored in waste holding systems. Land application of animal waste is a common disposal method used in the United States and is a means for environmental entry of both antibiotics and genetic resistance determinants. Concerns for bacterial resistance gene selection and dissemination of resistance genes have prompted interest about the concentrations and biological activity of drug residues and break-down metabolites, and their fate and transport. Fecal bacteria can survive for weeks to months in the environment, depending on species and temperature, however, genetic elements can persist regardless of cell viability. Phylogenetic analyses indicate antibiotic resistance genes have evolved, although some genes have been maintained in bacteria before the modern antibiotic era. Quantitative measurements of drug residues and levels of resistance genes are needed, in addition to understanding the environmental mechanisms of genetic selection, gene acquisition, and the spatiotemporal dynamics of these resistance genes and their bacterial hosts. This review article discusses an accumulation of findings that address aspects of the fate, transport, and persistence of antibiotics and antibiotic resistance genes in natural environments, with emphasis on mechanisms pertaining to soil environments following land application of animal waste effluent.
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The observed increase in the concentration of greenhouse gases (GHGs) since the preindustrial era has most likely committed the world to a warming of 2.4 degrees C (1.4 degrees C to 4.3 degrees C) above the preindustrial surface temperatures. The committed warming is inferred from the most recent Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) estimates of the greenhouse forcing and climate sensitivity. The estimated warming of 2.4 degrees C is the equilibrium warming above preindustrial temperatures that the world will observe even if GHG concentrations are held fixed at their 2005 concentration levels but without any other anthropogenic forcing such as the cooling effect of aerosols. The range of 1.4 degrees C to 4.3 degrees C in the committed warming overlaps and surpasses the currently perceived threshold range of 1 degrees C to 3 degrees C for dangerous anthropogenic interference with many of the climate-tipping elements such as the summer arctic sea ice, Himalayan-Tibetan glaciers, and the Greenland Ice Sheet. IPCC models suggest that approximately 25% (0.6 degrees C) of the committed warming has been realized as of now. About 90% or more of the rest of the committed warming of 1.6 degrees C will unfold during the 21st century, determined by the rate of the unmasking of the aerosol cooling effect by air pollution abatement laws and by the rate of release of the GHGs-forcing stored in the oceans. The accompanying sea-level rise can continue for more than several centuries. Lastly, even the most aggressive CO(2) mitigation steps as envisioned now can only limit further additions to the committed warming, but not reduce the already committed GHGs warming of 2.4 degrees C.
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Red meat and processed meat have been associated with carcinogenesis at several anatomic sites, but no prospective study has examined meat intake in relation to a range of malignancies. We investigated whether red or processed meat intake increases cancer risk at a variety of sites. The National Institutes of Health (NIH)-AARP (formerly the American Association for Retired Persons) Diet and Health Study is a cohort of approximately 500,000 people aged 50-71 y at baseline (1995-1996). Meat intake was estimated from a food frequency questionnaire administered at baseline. Cox proportional hazards regression was used to estimate hazard ratios and 95% confidence intervals within quintiles of red and processed meat intake. During up to 8.2 y of follow-up, 53,396 incident cancers were ascertained. Statistically significant elevated risks (ranging from 20% to 60%) were evident for esophageal, colorectal, liver, and lung cancer, comparing individuals in the highest with those in the lowest quintile of red meat intake. Furthermore, individuals in the highest quintile of processed meat intake had a 20% elevated risk for colorectal and a 16% elevated risk for lung cancer. Both red and processed meat intakes were positively associated with cancers of the colorectum and lung; furthermore, red meat intake was associated with an elevated risk for cancers of the esophagus and liver.
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This article was submitted without an abstract, please refer to the full-text PDF file.
Article
Looking past the near-term concerns that have plagued population policy at the political level, it is increasingly apparent that the long-term sustainability of civilization will require not just a leveling-off of human numbers as projected over the coming half-century, but a colossal reduction in both population and consumption.
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Three billion people-more than half of the global population-are malnourished, suffering from hunger, vitamin and mineral deficiency, or overeating. And for the first time in history the world's overweight population now rivals the number that is underweight. The hungry and the overweight often face similar impairments: increased risk of disease and disability, reduced productivity, and reduced life expectancy. The World Bank estimates that hunger cost India between 3 and 9 percent of its GDP in 1996, while obesity cost the United States $118 billion-some 12 percent of what the nation spends on health care. For individuals as well as societies, malnutrition is a drag on development. But the reverse is also true: poor development choices spawn malnourished societies. Where hunger is the problem, governments have often failed to assure access to land and other productive resources, as well as basic social services. Where overeating is the issue, policymakers have typically neglected nutrition education, allowing giant food companies to influence people's food choices by default. In an age of unprecedented wealth, there is no excuse for malnutrition on such a massive scale. From the Indian state of Kerala to the island of Singapore, governments that appreciate the role of nutrition in national development and make good nutrition a priority demonstrate that both hunger and obesity can largely be eliminated.
Article
The life cycle and supply chain of domesticated animals reared for food account for about half of all human-caused greenhouse gases (GHG). Emissions from livestock respiration are part of a fast cycling biological system, where the plant matter eaten was itself developed through the conversion of atmospheric carbon dioxide into organic compounds. The extra emissions from landuse for livestock and feed comes to around 2,672 million tons of CO 2e, while livestock generates 37% of human-induced methane. Livestock-related GHGs could be managed by governments through the imposition of carbon taxes, in which case leaders in the food industry and investors would search for opportunities that such carbon taxes would help create. Large organic-food companies might find these opportunities particularly appealing and such companies could establish subsidiaries to sell meat and dairy analogs, possibly exclusive of meat or dairy products.
Book
The China Study was an epidemiological study that compared diet and health outcomes for rural Chinese, finding that extremely low protein (animal), fat, and cholesterol intake improved health outcomes even within a population that eats far less animal products than Americans. Campbell conducted animal experiments and became a leading expert in nutrition, but gradually became convinced that a plant-based, whole-foods diet could have impressive positive effects on heart disease, cancer, diabetes, and many other diseases of affluence that are so prevalent in Western societies. The authors critique much of the accepted nutrition wisdom, calling attention to its scientific shortcomings, corporate influence, and and conflicts of interest among scientists and government offiicals.
Article
In this paper I discuss ethical issues related to mitigation of climate change. In particular, I focus on mitigation of climate change to the extent this change is caused by livestock production. I support the view—on which many different ethical approaches converge—that the present generation has a moral obligation to mitigate climate change for the benefit of future generations and that developed countries should take the lead in the process. Moreover, I argue that since livestock production is an important contributing factor to climate change, we should undertake mitigation measures also in this sector and not only in, for example, the transport and energy sectors. However, technological solutions do not seem sufficient in the livestock sector, leaving us with the option of reduced meat production and consumption. In order to reach significant results in mitigation of climate change, political steering seems necessary. With this in mind, I argue in favor of a tax on meat consumption.
Book
Abstract The first half of the Review focuses on the impacts and risks arising from uncontrolled climate change, and on the costs and opportunities associated with action to tackle it. A sound understanding of the economics of risk is critical here. The Review ...
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"We all witness, in advertising and on supermarket shelves, the fierce competition for our food dollars. In this engrossing exposé, Marion Nestle goes behind the scenes to reveal how the competition really works and how it affects our health. The abundance of food in the United States--enough calories to meet the needs of every man, woman, and child twice over--has a downside. Our over-efficient food industry must do everything possible to persuade people to eat more--more food, more often, and in larger portions--no matter what it does to waistlines or well-being. Like manufacturing cigarettes or building weapons, making food is big business. Food companies in 2000 generated nearly $900 billion in sales. They have stakeholders to please, shareholders to satisfy, and government regulations to deal with. It is nevertheless shocking to learn precisely how food companies lobby officials, co-opt experts, and expand sales by marketing to children, members of minority groups, and people in developing countries. We learn that the food industry plays politics as well as or better than other industries, not least because so much of its activity takes place outside the public view. Editor of the 1988 Surgeon General's Report on Nutrition and Health, Nestle is uniquely qualified to lead us through the maze of food industry interests and influences. She vividly illustrates food politics in action: watered-down government dietary advice, schools pushing soft drinks, diet supplements promoted as if they were First Amendment rights. When it comes to the mass production and consumption of food, strategic decisions are driven by economics--not science, not common sense, and certainly not health. No wonder most of us are thoroughly confused about what to eat to stay healthy. An accessible and balanced account, Food Politics will forever change the way we respond to food industry marketing practices. By explaining how much the food industry influences government nutrition policies and how cleverly it links its interests to those of nutrition experts, this path-breaking book helps us understand more clearly than ever before what we eat and why." © 2002, 2007, 2013 by The Regents of the University of California.
Article
A primary contribution of this essay is to provide a survey of the human and environmental impacts of livestock production. We will find that the mass consumption of animals is a primary reason why humans are hungry, fat, or sick and is a leading cause of the depletion and pollution of waterways, the degradation and deforestation of the land, the extinction of species, and the warming of the planet. Recognizing these harms, this essay will consider various solutions being proposed to "shrink" livestock's long shadow, including proposed "technical" or "market" solutions, a transition to "new agrarian" methods, and a vegetarian or vegan diet. Though important and morally relevant qualitative differences exist between industrial and non-industrial methods, this essay will conclude that, given the present and projected size of the human population, the morality and sustainability of one's diet are inversely related to the proportion of animals and animal products one consumes.
Article
The World Energy Outlook 2010 is a comprehensive energy report issued by the IEA. It is rewritten annually to reflect the world's changing energy and economy realities; it also introduces new issues relevant to the energy sector. This year it dealt with Caspian Energy, Energy Poverty and Energy Subsidies. WEO is controversial in few aspects; it still promotes a 450 Scenario which has become out of reach. This year however it introduced a more realistic New Policies Scenario which will need a lot of good will and investments to accomplish. Governmental policies are going to chart future energy sector performance; increasingly this is becoming decided by non-OECD countries. A more pragmatic future energy outlook is needed to reflect developing countries priorities for growth and utilization of local resources and how to accommodate this with abatement priorities through energy efficiency measures and technologies.
Chapter
The intensification of agricultural production has been a focus of debate because of its profound effects on food availability, rural populations, use of resources, biodiversity, and many other issues. In the case of animal production, however, the debate over intensification has taken on a distinctive tone because at the centre of the process are animals. In many cultures animals are viewed, at least to some extent, as sentient beings with interests of their own. Moreover, animals are the focus of ancient moral beliefs about the relation of humans to the natural world and about proper human conduct towards other beings. Thus, to confront ethical concerns about the intensification of animal production, we need to understand how intensification affects animals and their welfare, and how it relates to ethical beliefs about the care and use of animals. In this essay I will explore different ideas about the welfare of animals and the roots of these ideas, examine some key features of the intensification of animal production, look at some traditional ethical ideas about animal care in order to help explain why the intensification of animal production has become such a prominent social and ethical issue, argue that some of the standard claims made by critics of intensive animal production are flawed, propose an alternative hypothesis to account for key developments in the intensification of animal production, and identify some actions to improve animal welfare that follow from this hypothesis.
Article
Climate change mitigation policies tend to focus on the energy sector, while the livestock sector receives surprisingly little attention, despite the fact that it accounts for 18% of the greenhouse gas emissions and for 80% of total anthropogenic land use. From a dietary perspective, new insights in the adverse health effects of beef and pork have lead to a revision of meat consumption recommendations. Here, we explored the potential impact of dietary changes on achieving ambitious climate stabilization levels. By using an integrated assessment model, we found a global food transition to less meat, or even a complete switch to plant-based protein food to have a dramatic effect on land use. Up to 2,700Mha of pasture and 100Mha of cropland could be abandoned, resulting in a large carbon uptake from regrowing vegetation. Additionally, methane and nitrous oxide emission would be reduced substantially. A global transition to a low meat-diet as recommended for health reasons would reduce the mitigation costs to achieve a 450ppm CO2-eq. stabilisation target by about 50% in 2050 compared to the reference case. Dietary changes could therefore not only create substantial benefits for human health and global land use, but can also play an important role in future climate change mitigation policies.
Article
Cancer is set to become a major cause of morbidity and mortality in the coming decades in every region of the world. We aimed to assess the changing patterns of cancer according to varying levels of human development. We used four levels (low, medium, high, and very high) of the Human Development Index (HDI), a composite indicator of life expectancy, education, and gross domestic product per head, to highlight cancer-specific patterns in 2008 (on the basis of GLOBOCAN estimates) and trends 1988-2002 (on the basis of the series in Cancer Incidence in Five Continents), and to produce future burden scenario for 2030 according to projected demographic changes alone and trends-based changes for selected cancer sites. In the highest HDI regions in 2008, cancers of the female breast, lung, colorectum, and prostate accounted for half the overall cancer burden, whereas in medium HDI regions, cancers of the oesophagus, stomach, and liver were also common, and together these seven cancers comprised 62% of the total cancer burden in medium to very high HDI areas. In low HDI regions, cervical cancer was more common than both breast cancer and liver cancer. Nine different cancers were the most commonly diagnosed in men across 184 countries, with cancers of the prostate, lung, and liver being the most common. Breast and cervical cancers were the most common in women. In medium HDI and high HDI settings, decreases in cervical and stomach cancer incidence seem to be offset by increases in the incidence of cancers of the female breast, prostate, and colorectum. If the cancer-specific and sex-specific trends estimated in this study continue, we predict an increase in the incidence of all-cancer cases from 12·7 million new cases in 2008 to 22·2 million by 2030. Our findings suggest that rapid societal and economic transition in many countries means that any reductions in infection-related cancers are offset by an increasing number of new cases that are more associated with reproductive, dietary, and hormonal factors. Targeted interventions can lead to a decrease in the projected increases in cancer burden through effective primary prevention strategies, alongside the implementation of vaccination, early detection, and effective treatment programmes. None.
Article
Is red meat bad for you? In a word, yes. In this issue, Pan et al1 describe the outcomes from more than 37 000 men from the Harvard Health Professionals Follow-Up Study and more than 83 000 women from the Harvard Nurses Health Study who were followed up for almost 3 million person-years.This is the first large-scale prospective longitudinal study showing that consumption of both processed and unprocessed red meat is associated with an increased risk of premature mortality from all causes as well as from cardiovascular disease and cancer. In a related study by Pan et al,2 red meat consumption was also associated with an increased risk of type 2 diabetes mellitus.
Article
Meat could be involved in bladder carcinogenesis via multiple potentially carcinogenic meat-related compounds related to cooking and processing, including nitrate, nitrite, heterocyclic amines (HCAs), and polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs). The authors comprehensively investigated the association between meat and meat components and bladder cancer. During 7 years of follow-up, 854 transitional cell bladder-cancer cases were identified among 300,933 men and women who had completed a validated food-frequency questionnaire in the large prospective NIH-AARP Diet and Health Study. The authors estimated intake of nitrate and nitrite from processed meat and HCAs and PAHs from cooked meat by using quantitative databases of measured values. Total dietary nitrate and nitrite were calculated based on literature values. The hazard ratios (HR) and 95% confidence intervals (CI) for red meat (HR for fifth quintile compared with first quintile, 1.22; 95% CI, 0.96-1.54; P(trend) = .07) and the HCA 2-amino-1 methyl-6-phenylimidazo(4,5-b)pyridine (PhIP) (HR, 1.19; 95% CI, 0.95-1.48; P(trend) = .06) conferred a borderline statistically significant increased risk of bladder cancer. Positive associations were observed in the top quintile for total dietary nitrite (HR, 1.28; 95% CI, 1.02-1.61; P(trend) = .06) and nitrate plus nitrite intake from processed meat (HR, 1.29; 95% CI, 1.00-1.67; P(trend) = .11). These findings provided modest support for an increased risk of bladder cancer with total dietary nitrite and nitrate plus nitrite from processed meat. Results also suggested a positive association between red meat and PhIP and bladder carcinogenesis.
Article
There is now clear scientific evidence that emissions from economic activity, particularly the burning of fossil fuels for energy, are causing changes to the Earth´s climate. A sound understanding of the economics of climate change is needed in order to underpin an effective global response to this challenge. The Stern Review is an independent, rigourous and comprehensive analysis of the economic aspects of this crucial issue. It has been conducted by Sir Nicholas Stern, Head of the UK Government Economic Service, and a former Chief Economist of the World Bank. The Economics of Climate Change will be invaluable for all students of the economics and policy implications of climate change, and economists, scientists and policy makers involved in all aspects of climate change.
Article
The Oxford Vegetarian Study is a prospective study of 6000 vegetarians and 5000 nonvegetarian control subjects recruited in the United Kingdom between 1980 and 1984. Cross-sectional analyses of study data showed that vegans had lower total- and LDL-cholesterol concentrations than did meat eaters; vegetarians and fish eaters had intermediate and similar values. Meat and cheese consumption were positively associated, and dietary fiber intake was inversely associated, with total-cholesterol concentration in both men and women. After 12 y of follow-up, all-cause mortality in the whole cohort was roughly half that in the population of England and Wales (standardized mortality ratio, 0.46; 95% CI, 0.42, 0.51). After adjusting for smoking, body mass index, and social class, death rates were lower in non-meat-eaters than in meat eaters for each of the mortality endpoints studied [relative risks and 95% CIs: 0.80 (0. 65, 0.99) for all causes of death, 0.72 (0.47, 1.10) for ischemic heart disease, and 0.61 (0.44, 0.84) for all malignant neoplasms]. Mortality from ischemic heart disease was also positively associated with estimated intakes of total animal fat, saturated animal fat, and dietary cholesterol. Other analyses showed that non-meat-eaters had only half the risk of meat eaters of requiring an emergency appendectomy, and that vegans in Britain may be at risk for iodine deficiency. Thus, the health of vegetarians in this study is generally good and compares favorably with that of the nonvegetarian control subjects. Larger studies are needed to examine rates of specific cancers and other diseases among vegetarians.
Article
Worldwide, an estimated 2 billion people live primarily on a meat-based diet, while an estimated 4 billion live primarily on a plant-based diet. The US food production system uses about 50% of the total US land area, 80% of the fresh water, and 17% of the fossil energy used in the country. The heavy dependence on fossil energy suggests that the US food system, whether meat-based or plant-based, is not sustainable. The use of land and energy resources devoted to an average meat-based diet compared with a lactoovovegetarian (plant-based) diet is analyzed in this report. In both diets, the daily quantity of calories consumed are kept constant at about 3533 kcal per person. The meat-based food system requires more energy, land, and water resources than the lactoovovegetarian diet. In this limited sense, the lactoovovegetarian diet is more sustainable than the average American meat-based diet.
Article
To study the association between nitrite and nitrosamine intake and gastric cancer (GC), between meat and processed meat intake, GC and oesophageal cancer (OC), and between preserved fish, vegetable and smoked food intake and GC. In this article we reviewed all the published cohort and case-control studies from 1985-2005, and analyzed the relationship between nitrosamine and nitrite intake and the most important related food intake (meat and processed meat, preserved vegetables and fish, smoked foods and beer drinking) and GC or OC risk. Sixty-one studies, 11 cohorts and 50 case-control studies were included. Evidence from case-control studies supported an association between nitrite and nitrosamine intake with GC but evidence was insufficient in relation to OC. A high proportion of case-control studies found a positive association with meat intake for both tumours (11 of 16 studies on GC and 11 of 18 studies on OC). A relatively large number of case-control studies showed quite consistent results supporting a positive association between processed meat intake and GC and OC risk (10 of 14 studies on GC and 8 of 9 studies on OC). Almost all the case-control studies found a positive and significant association between preserved fish, vegetable and smoked food intake and GC. The evidence regarding OC was more limited. Overall the evidence from cohort studies was insufficient or more inconsistent than that from case-control studies. The available evidence supports a positive association between nitrite and nitrosamine intake and GC, between meat and processed meat intake and GC and OC, and between preserved fish, vegetable and smoked food intake and GC, but is not conclusive.
Article
As the income and the average caloric intake of developing country populations increase, a relative shift in diets is taking place. The general pattern of change can be described as a shift towards more “westernized” diets and away from traditional ones. Accompanying this dietary trend are the substantial and rapid changes in food production, retailing and distribution systems. After reviewing these combined shifts and changes, the paper discusses the implications for rural poverty and food security, food safety and quality but also for diet-related non-communicable diseases and the related, emerging challenges for policymakers.
What's wrong with what we eat, podcast, EG 07 conference
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Prime cuts: valuing the meat we eat. WWFeUK and Food Ethics Council
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The global benefits of eating less meat
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How the food industry can reverse climate change quickly and profitably, global forum for food and agriculture. Berlin: International Green Week
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Nicholas Stern: 'I got it wrong on climate change e it's far, far worse', the Observer
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Environment and development initiative (LEAD) Livestock's long shadow: environmental issues and options. Rome: Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations
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