Our latest blog post is from Katie Major-Smith, a PhD Candidate at Plymouth Marjon University. Katie is requesting that Bristolians take part in a short survey on their food choices, particularly in relation to meat, dairy and palm oil. This research will improve our understanding of what influences peoples’ food choices in Bristol, and aims to help make our food systems more sustainable.
Needless to say, I love food. Food is an important part of my life – I love tending to the small vegetable patch in my garden, trying new dishes and baking sweet treats. Even phone conversations with family members often end up being about what we’re all having for dinner! This love of food made me start exploring how food is produced globally and understand the complexities of our food systems. It was this passion for food that made me undertake a PhD on sustainable food at Plymouth Marjon University.
Food is one of the most important commodities we produce. Responsible for feeding a growing population, our food systems are vital for ending food poverty, enhancing food security, combating malnutrition and supporting livelihoods. Having already increased by 30% per capita since 1961, the Food and Agriculture Organisation of the United Nations estimates that food production will need to double by 2050 to meet the global demands of our growing population. However, increasing food production is having a big impact on the environment and biodiversity.
My PhD is exploring the complexities of food production by examining the sustainability of our food systems. Part of my research is focusing specifically on Bristol. Having lived in Bristol for six years, I appreciate the strong food scene that Bristol has and the amazing food-related work being carried out across the city – it is great that Bristol has been awarded Gold Sustainable Food City status. There are also a diverse range of diets practised across the city making it an exciting place to conduct my research.
For this research I am examining the factors influencing the food choices made by Bristolians, particularly in relation to meat, dairy and palm oil, and their plant-based alternatives. It is hoped that the findings from this research will help improve our understanding of the barriers and drivers people face when consuming food and help make our future food systems both in Bristol and nationally more sustainable.
If you are interested in helping out with this research, you can share what influences your food choices by taking part in the following short survey. All diet types are welcome!
By setting the wheels in motion now, together we can transform the future of food in our city, building in resilience over the next decade. So, what change do you want see happen that will transform food in Bristol by 2030? Do you already have an idea for how Bristol can make this happen? Join the conversation now.