Damian Carrington, The Guardian, Jan. 31, 2022
Making more sustainable choices easier could be a more acceptable approach than meat taxes, say researchers
Tilting menus towards plant-based meals significantly cuts the amount of meat eaten, according to new research.
The experiments in work and university cafeterias showed making it easier to choose meat-free food can be effective and could be a more acceptable approach than other proposals, such as taxing meat or banning it on certain days.
Meat production is an important driver of the climate crisis and red meat in particular is linked to heart disease and other illnesses. Substantial falls in meat consumption are needed in rich nations to curb global heating and ill health.
The new research, published in the International Journal of Behavioral Nutrition and Physical Activity, involved three separate experiments, including the first scientific online study of plant-based menu choices. This used a representative sample of 2,200 UK adults and found that when three of four meal options were meat-based, 12% chose the plant-based option. But when three of four meal options were vegetarian, 48% chose the vegetarian meal. The effect was the same whether the participants were female or male, rich or poor….
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