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Making More Sustainable Food Choices One Meal at a Time: Psychological and Practical Aspects of Meat Reduction and Substitution
RISE Research Institutes of Sweden, Bioeconomy and Health, Material and Surface Design. Linköping University, Sweden.ORCID iD: 0000-0002-4730-6328
RISE Research Institutes of Sweden, Bioeconomy and Health, Material and Surface Design.ORCID iD: 0000-0002-0408-3910
RISE Research Institutes of Sweden, Bioeconomy and Health, Material and Surface Design.ORCID iD: 0000-0002-2473-9171
RISE Research Institutes of Sweden, Bioeconomy and Health, Material and Surface Design.ORCID iD: 0000-0001-9394-0349
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2022 (English)In: Foods, E-ISSN 2304-8158, Vol. 11, no 9, article id 1182Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

Switching out meat in favour of plant-based alternatives such as meat substitutes is an important step towards eating more sustainably. Here, the aim was to identify and explore the specific barriers experienced by Swedish consumers when replacing meat with more sustainable alternatives. All meat-eating participants in this study reported some interest in reducing their meat consumption. Aspects of home-use and central-location test methods were combined by using a digital conferencing system to host cooking sessions and focus group discussions online, which was shown to be a viable setup even in this hands-on setting. The discussions targeted participants’ experience preparing meals using meat substitutes as well as their perceived motivators and barriers to reducing meat consumption. Four themes identified through thematic analysis indicated that meat-eating participants, despite their desire or intent to reduce their meat consumption, experienced barriers relating to the following: internal conflict due to holding multiple positive and negative beliefs about meat simultaneously (ambivalence), justification of eating meat (rationalisation), a desire for variety in and control over their food choices (agency), and sensitivity to the views and expectations of other people and the situational context regarding meat (social and structural factors). Possible strategies to support ambivalent individuals in aligning their behaviour with their beliefs instead of vice versa are discussed in the context of the meat paradox. Agency and practical skills, including increasing knowledge in preparing meals with plant-based proteins, likely play a role in bridging this intention–behaviour gap. © 2022 by the authors. 

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
MDPI , 2022. Vol. 11, no 9, article id 1182
Keywords [en]
climate change, consumer behaviour, cooking at home, meat paradox, meat substitutes
National Category
Health Sciences
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:ri:diva-59223DOI: 10.3390/foods11091182Scopus ID: 2-s2.0-85129301895OAI: oai:DiVA.org:ri-59223DiVA, id: diva2:1667292
Note

Funding details: Svenska Forskningsrådet Formas, 2018-01867; Funding text 1: Funding: This research was funded by FORMAS—Research Council for Environment, Agricultural Sciences and Spatial Planning, grant number 2018-01867.

Available from: 2022-06-10 Created: 2022-06-10 Last updated: 2023-06-05Bibliographically approved

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Collier, Elizabeth SNormann, AnneHarris, Kathryn LOberrauter, Lisa-MariaBergman, Penny

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