Journal of Environment and Health Science
Psychosocial Basis of a Sustainable Food Pyramid
- 1Research Group on Community Nutrition and Oxidative Stress, University of Balearic Islands
- 2Policy Support Area, FAO
Jordi Pich, Department of Psychology, University of Balearic Islands, Cra. de Valldemossa km 7.5. 07122 Palma de Mallorca, Spain; E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org
Pich, J., et al. Psychosocial Basis of a Sustainable Food Pyramid. (2016) J Environ Health Sci 2(2): 170- 173.
© 2016 Pich, J. This is an Open access article distributed under the terms of Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License.
KeywordsSustainable diets; Food choice; Ethical consumption; Dietary change; Meat reduction
Drawing on FAO’s definition of “sustainable diet”, we propose a “sustainable food pyramid” (SFP) which aims to eradicate malnutrition, promote health and protect the environment. These aspirational objectives require changes in the productive system, eating habits of the population, and rebalancing power relations between all actors in the food chain. This study addresses the psychosocial attitudes and food behaviours entrenched within the SFP, based on scientific consensus on the environmental and nutritional benefits of reducing the consumption of red and processed meat. A review of the evolution of traditional food choice questionnaires and surveys on current food concerns and behavioural intentions is presented. The results reveal that ideals of safety, health and morals, inherent to any food culture, still prevail despite the unprecedented contemporary access to food; this is shown by the fast-growing concern for personal (safety and health) and ethical consequences (malnourished farmers, water footprint, climate change, animal welfare). A growing number of consumers are increasingly interested in adapting their diets to the SFP’s values, an opportunity that should be addressed through public recommendations to support a turn towards a more sustainable diet. We highlight the need for a social recognition of those non-vegetarian individuals who intend to reduce their meat consumption and recognize this new trending food identity. Public strategies should, therefore, be backed by empirically-based research.