000152215 001__ 152215
000152215 005__ 20180122225619.0
000152215 0247_ $$2Other$$aISSN 1795-5300
000152215 037__ $$a1126-2016-91961
000152215 041__ $$aen
000152215 245__ $$aInter-household variations in environmental impact of food consumption in Finland
000152215 260__ $$c2013-07
000152215 269__ $$a2013-07
000152215 270__ $$mxavier.irz@mtt.fi$$pIrz,   Xavier
000152215 270__ $$msirpa.kurppa@mtt.fi$$pKurppa,   Sirpa
000152215 300__ $$a29
000152215 336__ $$aWorking or Discussion Paper
000152215 490__ $$aMTT Discussion Papers
000152215 490__ $$a1/2013
000152215 520__ $$aThe environmental impact of food consumption depends on the type of foods consumed and the amount of food wasted. It follows that dietary change represents one means of directing food systems towards greater environmental sustainability. The difficulty, however, lies in developing ways of motivating people to modify what they purchase and eat, as many constraints potentially hinder changes in behaviour, including established habits, limited income, lack of information on environmental impact, cognitive limitations, or the difficulty of accessing environmentally friendly foods. In order to understand those constraints better, and identify potential target groups for intervention, we have analysed the environmental impact of food consumption at household level in Finland, paying particular attention to lower socio-demographic groups. 

The data originates from the Finnish Household Budget Survey 2006, which gives a detailed record of the foods (259 aggregates) consumed by over 4000 households.  The food quantity data are matched to indicators of greenhouse gas emissions and eutrophication, as well as a food composition database. Tests of differences in means of the environmental indicators identify the socio-demographic groups that are statistically different in terms of their environmental impact of food consumption. The total environmental impact is decomposed further into a diet composition effect (i.e., what foods households consume) and a quantity effect (i.e., how much food households consume). 

Results indicate that the environmental impact varies widely across households, and that this heterogeneity relates both to the types and quantities of foods consumed. We find significant differences in impacts among socio-demographic groups. For instance, household income is strongly and positively associated with greenhouse gas emissions from food consumption (i.e., relatively better off households have a relatively larger climate change impact). Educational level is also positively associated with greenhouse gas emissions, although the relationship is not as strong as with income. On the other hand, differences in environmental impact for household types defined in terms of occupational status are small. Overall, and on the basis of the two indicators considered, the lower socio-demographic groups have a relatively smaller ecological footprint of food consumption than households belonging to relatively higher groups. 

The results suggest that there is no decoupling of household income growth and environmental impact of food consumption. The relatively better-off and better educated should be targeted for behavioural change in order to promote sustainable food consumption in Finland. Further research is needed to identify the causal mechanisms underlying the associations that we describe and assess how various policies (e.g., labelling regulation, environmental education) would affect the ecological footprint of the Finnish diet.
000152215 542__ $$fLicense granted by Jaana Ahlstedt (jaana.ahlstedt@mtt.fi) on 2013-07-09T10:50:55Z (GMT):

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000152215 650__ $$aConsumer/Household Economics
000152215 650__ $$aEnvironmental Economics and Policy
000152215 650__ $$aFood Consumption/Nutrition/Food Safety
000152215 6531_ $$aconsumption
000152215 6531_ $$asustainability
000152215 6531_ $$aenvironmental impact
000152215 6531_ $$afood
000152215 6531_ $$adiet
000152215 6531_ $$anutrition
000152215 6531_ $$aFinland
000152215 6531_ $$aeutrophication
000152215 6531_ $$aclimate change
000152215 6531_ $$agreenhouse gas emissions
000152215 6531_ $$aconsumption
000152215 6531_ $$ahousehold
000152215 6531_ $$afootprint
000152215 6531_ $$asocio-demographic
000152215 6531_ $$asocio-economic
000152215 6531_ $$ademographic
000152215 6531_ $$aheterogeneity
000152215 6531_ $$avariability
000152215 6531_ $$avariation
000152215 700__ $$aIrz, Xavier
000152215 700__ $$aKurppa, Sirpa
000152215 8564_ $$s1357822$$uhttp://ageconsearch.umn.edu/record/152215/files/DP2013_1.pdf
000152215 887__ $$ahttp://purl.umn.edu/152215
000152215 909CO $$ooai:ageconsearch.umn.edu:152215$$pGLOBAL_SET
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  Previous issue date: 2013-07
000152215 980__ $$a1126
000152215 982__ $$gMTT Agrifood Research Finland>Discussion Papers