In this file:

 

·         The secret to curbing meat consumption? The answer is shockingly simple.

A new study finds that increasing the proportion of vegetarian dishes in university cafeterias reduces meat consumption.

 

·         Scientists Say Schools and Hospitals Need to Cut Meat and Dairy

In a bid to help prevent a climate change crisis, scientists from 11 countries are asking cities to cut down on meat and dairy served in public canteens.

 

 

 

The secret to curbing meat consumption? The answer is shockingly simple.

A new study finds that increasing the proportion of vegetarian dishes in university cafeterias reduces meat consumption.

 

By Grace Wade, Popular Science 

October 3, 2019

 

We've heard it again and again: Eating meat is one of the top contributors to climate change. Feed production, poop lagoons, and cow's methane-filled burps together make livestock and aquaculture responsible for around 57 percent of the global food system's greenhouse gas emissions. Livestock also takes up to 83 percent of total farmland and played a partial, indirect role in the recent Amazon fires.

 

Despite this, humans aren't readily giving up their burgers and steak dinners. Rather, overall meat consumption has increased by 1.25 percent in 2017 and is projected to be 15 percent higher in 2027 than it was in 2015. Educating people about the devastating impacts of meat consumption can raise awareness, but it rarely changes consumer behavior. What might shift public eating habits, however, is simply increasing the quantity of vegetarian options. One study, published this week in Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, suggests it might actually help.

 

Scientists from the University of Cambridge’s departments of Zoology, Geography, and Public Health joined together to collect data from over 94,000 meal purchases across three of its college cafeterias. Doubling the vegetarian options—from one in four to two in four—reduced the proportion of meat-based purchases by up to 79 percent without affecting overall food sales.

 

The study focuses on understanding and manipulating consumers' choice architecture, which is the physical, economic, and social context in which people make decisions. For a worldwide population of 10 billion, some recent studies suggest that a healthy and sustainable meat consumption should be closer to 44 pounds per person annually However, the average annual meat consumption in the US, including food waste, is about 331 pounds per person. That's over seven times higher than where we need to be if we want a healthy planet. To achieve this goal, we need to find low effort, non-controversial solutions.

 

“Replacing some meat or fish with more vegetarian options might seem obvious, but as far as we know, no one has tested it before,” said lead author of the study Emma Garnett, a PhD candidate in the University of Cambridge’s Department of Zoology. “Solutions that seem obvious don’t always work, but it appears this one does.”

 

The research was broken into two studies: one observational, the other experimental. For the observational study, the researchers collected data from two college cafeterias over the course of one year, in 2017. Both colleges operated normally, varying their menus on a daily basis. On days when vegetarian offerings doubled, the proportion of vegetarian sales increased by 62 percent in one college and 79 percent in the other. Even the most carnivorous quartile of eaters—those cafeteria-goers who ate the most meat-based meals during the prior summer semester—were more likely to choose a vegetarian option on those days.

 

For the experimental portion of the study, researchers analyzed data from 44 lunches across the 2017 autumn semester. Menus alternated every two weeks between one veggie option and two. For the two veggie option weeks, the proportion of vegetarian sales increased by 41 percent. However, this number could be up to 25 percent higher due to a misclassification of vegetarian meals as meat due to miscoding (no meat meals were ever misclassified as vegetarian).

 

Because meals were purchased with university cards, researchers were able to track dinner purchases for consumers as well. They found that there was no rebound effect among consumers who purchased a vegetarian lunch. In other words just because they ate a meat-free lunch did not mean they were more likely to eat a meat-based dinner as a form of compensation. Their dinnertime behaviors stayed the same...

 

more

https://www.popsci.com/vegetarian-options-cafeteria-consumer-behavior/

 

 

Scientists Say Schools and Hospitals Need to Cut Meat and Dairy

In a bid to help prevent a climate change crisis, scientists from 11 countries are asking cities to cut down on meat and dairy served in public canteens.

 

Charlotte Pointing, Live Kindly

October 4, 2019

 

More than 60 scientists have signed an open letter calling on governments from around the world to reduce the amount of meat and dairy served in public canteens.

 

The scientists — who come from 11 different countries — are urging mayors, in particular, to do their bit for the environment by cutting down on animal products served in school and hospital canteens.

 

The letter was spearheaded by Professor Pete Smith of the University of Aberdeen. He is also a lead author of reports by the UN’s Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change. According to the panel, humans have under 12 years to prevent a catastrophic climate change crisis.

 

One way to reduce the risk of this happening is to cut down on the amount of meat and dairy we eat.

 

Animal agriculture is responsible for huge amounts of environmental damage. Not only does the industry emit high levels of greenhouse gases, but it is also responsible for a multitude of other environmental issues, including deforestation. The Amazon rainforest fires are linked to cattle ranchers, who are clearing land for beef production.

 

‘Cities Play a Crucial Role’ ...

 

more

https://www.livekindly.co/scientists-school-hospitals-cut-meat-and-dairy/