Global Survey Says We’re Eating Better, But Our Diet Is Still Unsustainable

Posted: October 1, 2014 at 7:54 am

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More people are eating local and organic foods and plan to consume less meat and bottled water. However, most also believe they lack enough information and influence to become more environmentally sustainable consumers, a new National Geographic survey has found.

The latest Greendex survey by the National Geographic Society and the research consulting firm GlobeScan measured consumption habits and attitudes in 18 countries. Each was scored on the relative size of its environmental footprint. (Related: 8 Surprising, Depressing, and Hopeful Findings From Global Survey of Environmental Attitudes.)

This year's report, the fifth since 2008, focused on food. It found noticeable improvements in eating habits even as environmentally sustainable behavior when it came to housing, transportation, and consumer goods appeared stuck or had worsened.

Consumers in 11 countries, including South Korea, Hungary, Australia, and Canada, had higher food scores compared with their scores in the previous survey, in 2012. (Read "The Next Green Revolution" in National Geographic magazine.)

The Greendex is a quantitative study of 18,000 consumers in a total of 18 countries (14 in 2008, 17 in 2009 through 2012) asked about energy consumption and conservation, transportation choices, food sources, the relative use of green products versus conventional products, attitudes toward the environment and sustainability, and knowledge of environmental concerns. A group of international experts helped determine the behaviors that were most critical to investigate.

NGM Staff

India, which has ranked first in food sustainability in every Greendex, came out far ahead again, thanks to its culturally dictated eating habits. Nearly one in four Indians is a vegetarian, and those who aren't tend to avoid beef, the most environmentally damaging meat. Indians have reduced the amount of imported food they eat and increased their consumption of locally produced, homegrown, and organic foods.

Sprawling Countries Eat the Most Locally

More than half of consumers surveyed frequently eat locally grown food. Russians are the biggest locavores77 percent consume local food daily or several times a weekfollowed by Indians and Chinese.

Russians, along with Hungarians, Swedes and Germans, also are eating more organic food and natural foods, now more and more part of mainstream diets.

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Global Survey Says We're Eating Better, But Our Diet Is Still Unsustainable

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Written by simmons |

October 1st, 2014 at 7:54 am

Posted in Organic Food