To meat or not to meat: food as an environmental dilemma 
Yve le Grand (ICS - Institute of Social Sciences - University of Lisbon)
Block 1, Piso 1, Room 74
Start time:
20 April, 2011 at 14:30 (UTC+0)
Session slots:

Short Abstract:

As people have to eat everyday, the production and consumption of food is of the essence. However, how food is produced and distributed, and what food is eaten has a direct impact on our natural and social environment. Exploring more sustainable foodways is essential for food production and consumption not to become environmental dilemmas.

Long Abstract

Current issues and developments in the global food system of industrial meat production and its detrimental impact on the environment have led various researchers and institutions to suggest that eating less meat and adopting a vegetarian - or even a vegan - diet would lessen the impact of GHG emissions into the environment. This discussion is becoming more and more urgent, as it seems that humanity is on a suicidal crash course when it comes to food production and consumption. Despite record agricultural production, one in every six people goes hungry every day. At the same time obesity - in both developed and developing countries - is on the rise.

For some, eating meat is becoming an environmental dilemma. Issues to be discussed are:

- Is the increase in the consumption of meat supply- or demand-driven?

- How can food production keep up with a growing world population in terms of resources and social justice?

- Can people become food agents again as opposed to food 'choosers' (Appadurai)?

- If the supply side does not change, how can the demand side induce change?

In short, the panel will entail a discussion about what would be a more sustainable way of eating and how to get there.

Accepted papers: