A quarter of Britons says they are following a sustainable diet in an effort to help tackle the climate crisis and biodiversity loss, a new survey shows.
The survey – by London-based global AI food technology start-up Spoon Guru – reveals the extent to which Britons are embracing diets that they believe are healthy for the planet as well as healthy for themselves.
The survey shows that a quarter (24%) are actively choosing more sustainable food options to tackle global warming; 22% are following a more eco-conscious diet to address animal welfare; and 25% are eating more sustainably to tackle eco issues due to agriculture expansion.
The findings also show that the planet’s wellbeing is mirroring a similar focus on our own health. The Spoon Guru study reveals that COVID-19 is changing eating habits for one in five (22%) of Britons highlighting the growing trend for conscious eating and the intrinsic link between eating healthily and eating sustainably.
Shoppers want more guidance from retailers
The new research also shows that Britons would welcome more help when it comes to choosing more sustainable food options – 27% call for more guidance from retailers and 37% urge the government to collaborate with retailers to promote a dietary shift from meat to plant-heavy diets.
The nationwide study reveals the issues that have the most influence on Brits when it comes to changing their food habits and adopting more sustainable diets.
“This study reinforces the fact that a healthy planet and healthy people are intertwined”
Adrian Hodgson, chief health officer at Spoon Guru comments: “This study reinforces the fact that a healthy planet and healthy people are intertwined. We’ve seen a significant rise in calls for dietary shifts from meat to more plant-heavy diets to combat the impact that farming animals has on the environment, with 1 in 10 Brits now following a vegetarian or plant based diet. A focus on eating less meat and adopting plant based options as part of a well-rounded, balanced diet that includes moderate amounts of all the food groups, not only benefits people’s health but also helps to combat many urgent environmental issues – not least the threat to wildlife and the risk of pandemics.
“Our findings show that consumers are taking heed and adapting their diets to include more sustainable food options. However, the challenge remains – how can we all select better foods, not only to support our health and immune systems but to also address pressing environmental concerns? Today we are spoilt for choice and it really is a minefield out there – consumers need more help than ever when it comes to navigating healthy food items and educating themselves about more sustainable food choices.”
Markus Stripf, founder and CPMO of Spoon Guru, says: “Retailers are currently looking at ways that they can guide the consumer to more sustainable eating, and technology is very much at the forefront of this. That’s where Spoon Guru can help – our technology can safely and speedily process and accurately classify all products to help shoppers in seconds, giving consumers up and down the country the information they need to help them make wiser food choices helping to both support a healthy mind and body but also tackle the globe’s urgent environmental issues. We are delighted to be in talks with major global supermarkets to help them with their ESG agenda and look forward to sharing news on developments in this area soon.”
Top 5 tips
Spoon Guru’s 5 tips for eating more sustainably and helping to shape better choices for health and wellbeing goals are:
- Eat seasonally – buying food that is harvested in the season that you are eating it in reduces the need for out of season produce to be shipped or transported from other countries. Seasonal goods also provide you with the full nutritional benefits of the produce
- Shop local – by supporting local farmers and producers you not only reduce food miles, but also can enjoy fresh and nutritious food, which is often organic and pesticide free
- Reduce meat intake – supplementing your animal protein intake with plant based alternatives can reduce the threat to wildlife and limit the risk of pandemics, whilst providing a well-rounded, balanced diet
- Plan ahead – planning meals for the week limits food waste and allows you to plan for healthy, nutritious meals rather than grabbing food on the go when unhealthy options are often selected
- Look for the logo – many foods now carry a logo to signify that they have been sourced and produced sustainably. Logos to look out for include Fairtrade; Rainforest Alliance; MSC (Marine Stewardship Council); ASC (Aquaculture Stewardship Council); LEAF Marque; and RSPO (Roundtable on Sustainable Palm Oil) amongst others