On May 11, GSL Investigator Chloe Clifford Astbury published a short piece in Nature Food on the importance of changing food practices for a sustainable food system and how research grounded in everyday meals can make a difference.
The piece suggests that examining dinner recipes from various countries can help identify diets that are healthy and sustainable while minimizing changes relative to existing consumption patterns. Researchers found that across all countries, the recipes generally stood in contrast to dietary guidelines, with few recipes being vegetarian or vegan, despite all countries’ guidelines recommending increased consumption of plant-based foods.
Recipes from the USA contained more red meat than those from Norway and the UK, resulting in higher environmental impacts. The main source of protein in a recipe was an important driver of its associated greenhouse gas emissions and land use. Reducing the quantities of red meat in recipes or exchanging it for more sustainable proteins, such as poultry, fish, or plant-based protein, could contribute to changing consumption norms and practices in contexts where households rely on recipes to plan their meals.