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Browsing by Subject "natural pasture-raised beef"

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  • Hyypiä, Iisa (2022)
    More meat is consumed in the world than ever before causing an intensifying number of social, environmental, and economic problems. Lately, consumers’ willingness for change has been examined by several scholars. Plenty of hope is placed on the consumers’ role as active participants in the sustainable nutrition transition. Therefore, many consumer-based strategies have been conceptualized to reduce meat consumption and thus enhance the transition to less animal-based proteins without taking it to the extreme (no meat/vegan ideology). “Less and better” is one of these strategies. It encourages, not only to eat less meat but also to replace the remaining meat with “better” meaning meat with positive outcomes and smaller negative environmental and social impacts. In this context “better meat” refers to extensively produced natural pasture-raised beef (luonnonlaidunliha) which has positive impacts on for instance animal wellbeing, biodiversity, and farmers’ livelihoods. This research aims to understand if buyers of “better meat” make linkages between “less” and “better” and whether they perceive the need for a sustainable protein transition. Being a relatively new approach, “less and better” has not been studied before from the perspective of consumers who already choose “better”. The data were collected in cooperation with Bosgård farm, which produces natural pasture-raised beef. Firstly, an email survey was sent out to the customers of the farm receiving 126 responses and secondly, six consumers were interviewed to gather a more in-depth understanding of the consumer perspectives. The results suggest that while a clear linkage between buying better and eating less exist, it also has a reverse side; many consumers are consuming more meat due to the access to what they perceive as better. The motives for meat reduction vary widely yet environmental and climate change reasons have not reached a significant position. It seems that meat reduction amongst the buyers of “better” meat is shadowed by pleasure orientation, lack of understanding of the scope of negative impacts of meat production and of the message “less meat”, high trust in Finnish meat production as such, and resistance to change caused by polarized information and attitudes. Even though many participants had found ways to incorporate more sustainable eating habits into their everyday lives and meat's position at the top of the food hierarchy is slowly changing, the results do not seem to correspond to high expectations held by the proponents of the concept. Though this is a small study, it questions a validity of the claim that “less and better” can be a sufficiently strong solution to support a sustainable nutrition transition in the way it is currently being presented.