A great new article by Diana Bogueva – Koprinkova exploring Gen Z, climate change and alternative proteins. The most striking outcome form the study for me was that 62% of Gen Z don’t believe that “diet is a major contributor to climate change”! This is in distinct contrast to the finding that “86% of the participants perceive climate change as anthropogenic”. So while believing that climate change is due to human activity they separate out food from that activity.
I tend to take a more positive view of the finding that “only” 28% find cultivated meat to be an acceptable food source. That’s because;
Firstly, if the full 28% uptake of cultivated meat could be achieved that would still represent a massive change in meat consumption.
Secondly, the finding is from a study performed in 2019. I would suggest that awareness and understanding of cultivated meat has significantly increased in the intervening 3 years. Familiarity can lead to increased acceptance of new concepts, as may be the case here.
Overall I see that Gen Z’s acceptance of the anthropogenic cause of climate change is a positive indicator. The contribution of the global food system needs to become better understood, but with every challenge there’s an opportunity! The question is, how do we achieve this?
I’d very much like to see a repeat of the Gen Z survey and to see a similar survey for Gen alpha, those after Gen Z (2010 onwards). Including Gen alphas is important because, as we look to the longer term future of 2030 to 2040 they will be major drivers of the future, including food.