April 18, 2024

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Will climate impact labels affect meat demand?

Studies show that putting climate labels on foods such as red meat is an effective way to deter people from making choices that harm the planet.

Policy makers have debated ways to get people to choose low-carbohydrate foods. Called to support the transition to a low-carbon diet where possible and healthy.

In Britain, government food official Henry Dimbleby recently said it was politically impossible for the government to tell people to stop eating meat. Dimbleby believes the UK needs to cut meat by 30% over 10 years to sustainably use land, and Greenpeace advocates a 70% cut.

This clinical study, published in the Jama Network Open journal, found that consumers responded well to climate labeling on food.

Using a nationally representative sample of U.S. adults, they were shown a fast food menu and asked to choose the items they would like to order for dinner. Low climate impact green labels (positive framing) for poultry, fish or vegetarian items or a red label with high climate compatibility for red meat (negative framing).

Compared to participants a control group that did not see any impact labels, 23.5% more participants chose sustainable menu items when the menu was labeled as having a high climate impact and the menu which had a low climate impact found 9.9% more participants chose sustainable menu items.

Under all experimental conditions, participants who chose sustainable items rated the order as healthier, according to the average perceived health score, than participants who chose unsustainable items.

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