When people think about food and sustainability, they typically focus on how the food is produced. Is it, for example, locally sourced, GMO-free, pasture-fed, organic or certified? Just as important, however, is the question of what is eaten. What we eat is rapidly changing around the globe, as people converge toward diets high in calories, protein and animal-based foods. A new WRI paper, Shifting Diets for a Sustainable Food Future, explores these changes and the challenges they pose for food security and a sustainable future. To help shift people to more sustainable diets at a large scale, the paper introduces the Shift Wheel, which harnesses marketing and behavior change strategies already used by the food industry to influence consumer purchasing. This gap stems primarily from population growth and changing diets. Global population is projected to grow to nearly 10 billion by , with two-thirds of people living in urban areas. As nations urbanize and incomes rise, their citizens diversify their diets and consume more calories and more animal-based foods such as beef, dairy, pork, chicken, eggs and fish. Demand for animal-based food is expected to rise by 80 percent between and , with beef specifically increasing by 95 percent.
Chicken and pork are more resource-efficient than beef, but still require three times more land and emit three times more greenhouse gas emissions than beans. We also hope you will sign up for Better Buying Lab updates and consider joining our work. Our early findings identify four kinds of language to avoid and three to embrace to help restaurants and the food industry boost sales of plant-rich menu items. Vegetarian 4. Shifting Diets for a Sustainable Food Future presents solutions to the challenge of feeding a growing population by reducing animal protein consumption, especially beef, and helping shift billions of people to more sustainable diets. And emphasizing the variety of color in a dish can result in a significant increase in ordering. One potentially high-impact but low-cost strategy to help consumers shift their diets to be better for the planet is changing the language used to describe food. To help shift people to more sustainable diets at a large scale, the paper introduces the Shift Wheel, which harnesses marketing and behavior change strategies already used by the food industry to influence consumer purchasing. More and more fast food restaurants are adding plant-based meals to menus. Leave this field blank. Business Economics Finance Governance. For the ambitious animal protein reduction scenario, the land spared is roughly two times the size of India.
This is more than the entire area of land converted to agricultural use over the past 50 years. Compared to vegans, vegetarians tend to benefit more from being seen as virtuous, thoughtful and animal lovers. Sign up for the weekly WRI Digest. Get Involved For corporations For individuals. For corporations For individuals. Instead, we need to engage leaders in the food sector to experiment with new approaches that increase the share of plant-based protein in consumer choices. Just as important, however, is the question of what is eaten. This last point is especially important since research shows that taste is a primary driver of consumer decisions on what food to buy. How we produce and eat food will need an overhaul. Get our latest commentary, upcoming events, publications, maps, and data. Provenance 6.