Over 1,600 delegates from over 50 countries around the world are in attendance at our Annual International Conference being held in Cardiff this week. Here are some of our highlights for new research being presented during today’s programme.
Meat-free men? Men want to eat less meat but avoid vegetarian and vegan food in social settings with other men
A study, led by Dr Emma Roe and Dr Paul Hurley from the University of Southampton, has revealed that men who want to reduce their meat consumption are embarrassed to eat vegetarian or vegan food when in public with other men. Even those who don’t like meat or have been advised to eat less by a medical doctor, especially middle aged men, still find it difficult to choose the vegetarian option in a public setting.
As Dr Roe pointed out, “What we have discovered is that many men are interested in eating less meat, they just need social permission to do so.”
The study has also made an important link to sustainable agriculture. With animal farming taking up 83% of the world’s agricultural land, and being responsible for 14% of current global greenhouse gas emissions, unpicking this cultural association between men and meat is an important aspect for global food security research.
Find out more.
This research has been covered by:
The Daily Mail
The Times (subscription required)
Global Food Security - Blog
BBC Radio 4 “The World Tonight” 28.08.18 – Listen now
London’s night time workers struggling to access transport despite new Night Tube
According to new research being presented today by Dr Jenny McArthur, Enora Robin and Emilia Smeds of University College London, night workers still rely on low-frequency, slow night buses to get to work. This is in spite of the recent introduction of the 24-Hour Vision which aims to enhance London’s night time economy, but instead runs the risk of neglecting night workers’ needs by focusing instead on bars, clubs and going out.
Dr McArthur said: “London's Night Strategy is a key opportunity to improve transport for the 720,000 workers who keep the city running at night. Travel needs are more complex at night, and our research focuses on building an evidence base to better understand the diverse needs of night-time workers, to translate this agenda into transport planning and service provision.”
This research has highlighted the urgency of the needs of night time workers including nurses, cleaners, venue staff and those working in logistics, which require more consideration by the Greater London Authority.
Swap meat and chocolate puddings to make drastic reductions in the carbon and water footprints of school meals
Researchers Valeria De Laurentiis, Dr Dexter Hunt and Professor Chris Rogers assessed the environmental impact of an existing school menu in England using an environmental assessment tool they developed. Currently, in primary schools in England, beef and lamb dishes make up 5% of the total food served in terms of weight, but account for 37% of the total carbon footprint. Whereas, chocolate desserts make up 3% of the total food in terms of weight, but are responsible for 19% of the total water footprint.
The team from the University of Birmingham tested swapping out just four of 20 meals. The result was a 45% reduction in the overall carbon footprint of the school meals in a one month period.
Valeria De Laurentiis said: “There is growing awareness that we all need to adopt more sustainable diets. A key strategy to achieving this is encouraging a shift amongst school children, as they are the custodians of the future generations to come.”
The team hope this tool can be used more widely, in restaurants and other catering settings, as well as by individuals and families who want to make a greener home by reducing their carbon and water footprint.
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