Healthy Planet, Healthy People: New survey shows a shift towards sustainable diets in the UK & USA

Healthy Planet, Healthy People: New survey shows a shift towards sustainable diets in the UK & USA

A quarter of British and American consumers are opting to follow sustainable diets to tackle global warming amidst urgent calls to curb wildlife extinction. Nearly a third are urging retailers for more help on how to choose plant based foods.

In the wake of a new UN-backed report claiming that plant heavy diets are urgently needed to curb rising levels of wildlife loss, a new survey by Spoon Guru reveals how British and American consumers are embracing diets that are healthy for the planet as well as healthy for themselves.

According to these new findings, Global Warming is a particularly motivating factor, with over a quarter of Americans and Brits (27% & 24% respectively) actively choosing more sustainable food options with this in mind. The threat of future pandemics are of particular concern to Americans with 41% saying they’ve changed their diet to try and help fight against this risk, while animal welfare and eco issues due to agriculture expansion have surfaced as major factors in both of these regions.

The findings also show that the planet’s wellbeing is mirroring a similar focus on our own health. The study revealed that COVID-19 is changing eating habits for a third (31%) of American consumers and one in five (22%) Brits, highlighting the growing trend for conscious eating and the intrinsic link between eating healthily and eating sustainably.

The new research also shows that consumers across the board would welcome more help when it comes to choosing more sustainable food options – over a quarter in both regions call for more guidance from retailers and many people urge the government to collaborate with retailers to promote a dietary shift from meat to plant-heavy diets.

The study reveals the issues that have the most influence on British and American consumers when it comes to changing their food habits and adopting more sustainable diets are:

Adrian Hodgson
Adrian Hodgson,
Chief Health Officer, Spoon Guru

“A focus on eating less meat and adopting plant based options as part of a well-rounded, balanced diet that includes moderate amounts of all the food groups, not only benefits people’s health but also helps to combat many urgent environmental issues – not least the threat to wildlife and the risk of pandemics. 

Our findings show that consumers are taking heed and adapting their diets to include more sustainable food options. However, the challenge remains – how can we all select better foods, not only to support our health and immune systems but to also address pressing environmental concerns? Today we are spoilt for choice and it really is a minefield out there – consumers need more help than ever when it comes to navigating healthy food items and educating themselves about more sustainable food choices.”

Markus Stripf
Markus Stripf
CPMO & Co-Founder, Spoon Guru

Retailers are currently looking at ways that they can guide the consumer to more sustainable eating, and technology is very much at the forefront of this.”

“That’s where Spoon Guru can help – our technology can safely and speedily process and accurately classify all products to help shoppers in seconds, giving consumers the information they need to help them make wiser food choices helping to both support a healthy mind and body but also tackle the globe’s urgent environmental issues. We are delighted to be in talks with major global supermarkets to help them with their ESG agenda and look forward to sharing news on developments in this area soon.

Spoon Guru’s 5 tips for eating more sustainably and helping to shape better choices for health and wellbeing goals are:

  1. Eat seasonally – buying food that is harvested in the season that you are eating it in reduces the need for out of season produce to be shipped or transported from other countries. Seasonal goods also provide you with the full nutritional benefits of the produce
  2. Shop local – by supporting local farmers and producers you not only reduce food miles, but also can enjoy fresh and nutritious food, which is often organic and pesticide free
  3. Reduce meat intake – supplementing your animal protein intake with plant based alternatives can reduce the threat to wildlife and limit the risk of pandemics, whilst providing a well-rounded, balanced diet
  4. Plan ahead – planning meals for the week limits food waste and allows you to plan for healthy, nutritious meals rather than grabbing food on the go when unhealthy options are often selected
  5. Look for the logo – many foods now carry a logo to signify that they have been sourced and produced sustainably. Logos to look out for include Fairtrade International; Rainforest Alliance;  MSC (Marine Stewardship Council); ASC (Aquaculture Stewardship Council); LEAF Marque; and RSPO (Roundtable on Sustainable Palm Oil) amongst others