American consumers are hungry for more climate-friendly plant-based diets, but need more information, according to results from a national survey released recently by Earth Day Network (EDN) and theYale Program on Climate Change Communication (YPCCC).
Areport, titled “Climate Change and the American Diet,” found that 51% of Americans surveyed said that they would eat more plant-based foods if they had more information about the environmental impacts of their food choices.
As noted in the report, food production is the leading source of greenhouse gas emissions that cause global warming, with animal agriculture contributing to the highest levels of emissions.
“Globally, changes to food production and consumption, including reducing food waste and shifting to a more plant-based diet, are critical to reducing global warming and other environmental impacts,” according to the report.
“This data is a wake-up call for the climate movement,” Jillian Semaan, Food and Environment Director of Earth Day Network, said in a statement. “Animal agriculture is one of the major drivers of our climate crisis, we need to provide people with the relevant information that connects food choices, animal agriculture, and climate change.”
Shockingly, the survey also revealed that 70% rarely or never talk about this issue with friends or family. Nearly two-thirds of the Americans surveyed report having never been asked to eat more plant-based foods, and more than half rarely or never hear about the topic in the media.
THIS MUST CHANGE!
On a positive note, the report found more than half of Americans are willing to eat more vegetables and plant-based alternatives and less red meat. Additionally, consumers are already changing their diets and purchasing habits in favor of plant-based foods.
“Many American consumers are interested in eating a healthier and climate-friendly diet,” said Anthony Leiserowitz of Yale University. “However, many simply don’t know yet which products are better or worse: resulting in a substantial communication opportunity for food producers, distributors, and sellers.”
These and other findings come from a national survey conducted by the Yale Program on Climate Change Communication and Earth Day Network. The survey of 1,043 American adults eighteen years or older, was conducted in December 2019 on the Ipsos Knowledge Panel. The research was funded by Earth Day Network as part of its Foodprints for the Future campaign.