Building environmentally sustainable food systems on informed citizen choices: evidence from Australia

Pearson, David, Friel, Sharon and Lawrence, Mark 2014, Building environmentally sustainable food systems on informed citizen choices: evidence from Australia, Biological agriculture and horticulture, vol. 30, no. 3, pp. 183-197, doi: 10.1080/01448765.2014.890542.

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Title Building environmentally sustainable food systems on informed citizen choices: evidence from Australia
Author(s) Pearson, David
Friel, Sharon
Lawrence, MarkORCID iD for Lawrence, Mark
Journal name Biological agriculture and horticulture
Volume number 30
Issue number 3
Start page 183
End page 197
Total pages 15
Publisher Taylor and Francis
Place of publication Abingdon, Eng.
Publication date 2014-07-03
ISSN 0144-8765
Keyword(s) diets
environmental sustainability
food system
Summary To address imminent concerns of global food security and agricultural sustainability, international research activities are increasingly focusing on ways of improving the food system’s efficiency and effectiveness at providing nutritious food for all in an environmentally sustainable manner. A significant component of this will involve understanding and ultimately influencing people’s dietary choices. However, for people-oriented intervention strategies to be effective, the gaps between existing behaviour and what is required for environmentally sustainable and healthy food choices must be specified. This paper identifies priority areas for behavioural change in relation to the types of food purchased, how they have been produced and the individual’s food provisioning behaviour. In order to determine the most effective ways to influence people’s consumption behaviour in light of these priority areas, the authors conducted a pilot study on a group of 163 Australians who would be expected to be ‘early adopters’ of a sustainable diet. Results show that only around 1 in 10 are presently actively engaged in reducing the environmental impact of their diets in these priority areas. Hence, there is a significant need to engage many more people in sustainable dietary behaviours. Furthermore, it was found that areas where interventions are most likely to have the largest impact, based on high cost to the environment and likelihood of citizens changing their behaviour, are reducing the amount of food waste generated in the household and lowering the amount of junk food eaten.
Language eng
DOI 10.1080/01448765.2014.890542
Field of Research 119999 Medical and Health Sciences not elsewhere classified
Socio Economic Objective 920411 Nutrition
HERDC Research category C1 Refereed article in a scholarly journal
Copyright notice ©2014, Taylor & Francis
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