What is sustainable food?

 In Defining Sustainability, inspiration

Prof. Dr. Dirk Strijker – Professor, Cultural Geography, Faculty of Spatial Sciences, University of Groningen

What is sustainable food?

There is a lot of support for a more sustainable food production. Modern agriculture is large in scale, has certain problems with animal welfare, and has many environmental impacts. However, it is not so easy to define which aspects are related to sustainable food production. The general accepted definition of sustainable development is the Brundtland-definition: “development which meets the needs of current generations without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their own needs”. But how does the scale of production or animal welfare fit into it? And what should be the scale of analysis? Minimal pollution on a global scale could require concentrated production, which could be heavily polluting on a local scale. There are many fundamental aspects to be solved and implemented by smart students.

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The psychology of meat – why is our attitude changing?

For centuries, the consumption of animal products in most parts of the world was accepted as normal and even a prerequisite for human survival. More recently meat consumption is increasingly criticized. This is partly related to health issues (obesity), partly to environmental issues (inefficient use of resources), but also partly to psychological factors (ways of production, animal welfare, the relation between humans and animal). Are health and environment the underlying factors of this change in attitude, or are there other factors that could explain this development?

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