The blog explores the hypothesis that with food consumption increasingly taking place outside of the home, policies seeking to promote sustainable consumption might benefit from an expanded focus targeting less what people eat, and more where and how food is consumed.
This, they argue, is likely to be more fertile ground than asking the majority to shun behaviours that they enjoy, such as consuming familiar foods. Food systems comprise a complex of energy intensive practices, and could be reconfigured by a shift towards more cooking and eating outside of the home, with the potential for sustainability benefits. This would also provide benefits for women, who still disproportionately perform cooking and cleaning within households.
However they highlight that the feasibility of this utopian vision of future food consumption, remains an open question for researchers to investigate.
Supporting an infrastructure for more eating out and less cooking at home might achieve substantial reductions in energy and resource consumption. We do not know for sure, as this question is never asked. More research is needed to understand the shape, size and trade-off involved in moving from one mode of eating to another. For now, we can only imagine what might be possible.
The full article can be read here.
For more writing on food by researchers at the Sustainable Consumption Institute, see also Issue 36 of Discovery Society here.