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New funding to investigate impact of increased animal product consumption on environment and health



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A consortium brought together by the Oxford Martin Programme on the Future of Food has received a major award from the Wellcome Trust as part of their 'Our Planet, Our Health' programme.

The project will look at the consequences of the global increase in the consumption of meat, dairy and other animal-sourced foods and how it affects the environment and human health.  It will focus on how to achieve changes towards more sustainable and healthy diets.

Researchers will use combined economic, health and environmental models to tease out the complex interactions involving animal-sourced foods within the broader food system.  The project will explore the political economy of meat and dairy, and the social norms and narratives that influence diets.  It will test what interventions can lead to healthier and sustainable dietary patterns, and explore the prospects and acceptability of meat and dairy alternatives.  Finally, the project will investigate the different environmental consequences of meat and dairy production, which may be positive or negative.

As an integral part of the research the project will engage with policy makers and stakeholders in the public, private and third sectors, as well as civil society.

The project is a collaboration between Oxford University, the International Food Policy Research Institute, the supermarket group Sainsbury’s and The Nature Conservancy.  It will work with other organisations interested in this topic and in particular with the Sustainable and Healthy Food Systems (SHEFS) project led by the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine and also funded as part of the “Our Planet Our Health” programme.

The project is co-directed by Charles Godfray (Department of Zoology) and Susan Jebb (Nuffield Department of Primary Care Health Sciences).  Other Oxford researchers involved in the project include Paul Aveyard (Nuffield Department of Primary Care Health Sciences), Jim Hall & Tara Garnett (Environmental Change Institute), Peter Scarborough, Tim Key and Marco Springmann (Nuffield Department of Public Health), Ray Pierrehumbert (Department of Physics) and David Stuckler (Department of Sociology).  It will engage with other food system projects at Oxford and beyond through the Future of Food Programme at the Oxford Martin School.