Dietary transition requires work: exploring the practice-transition processes of young Danish meat reducers

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There is a growing acknowledgment in research and policy that populations, especially in wealthy nations, have undesirably high levels of meat consumption seen from a climate change perspective. Many studies on the subject have focused on the characteristics and choices of individual consumers to explain their food consumption habits. Instead, this paper focuses on the interrelated everyday food practices of shopping, cooking, and eating, and what practice-demands processes of transition pose for practitioners when they reduce their meat consumption. We do this by analyzing interview data from 27 interviews with young people in Denmark (which has a very high meat consumption per capita) who have reduced or are in the process of reducing their meat consumption. We show how the transition of food practices is a gradual and non-linear process, which entails that the practitioner develop the elements necessary to successfully perform the modified food practice. We also show that this transition process demands work of the practitioner, in the form of time and effort. Finally, we show that while the explicit intention to reduce meat is widespread among practitioners, such an "intention to change" is not a prerequisite element of food practice transitions that result in reduced meat consumption.

Original languageEnglish
JournalFood, Culture & Society: An International Journal of Multidisciplinary Research
Number of pages19
Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - 25 Mar 2023

    Research areas

  • Dietary transition, meat reduction, food practices, everyday life, practice theory, VEGETARIANS, FOOD, FLEXITARIANS, CONSUMPTION, BELIEFS, VALUES, POLICY, MODEL

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