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Tags: environmental | zeal | woke | food | labels

'Woke' Scientists Want Fast Food Menus to State Environmental Impact

(Newsmax/"John Bachman Now")

By    |   Tuesday, 27 December 2022 02:36 PM EST

Some scientists are pushing for warnings on foods such as fast food burgers to display they are bad for your health, joined with their impact on the planet.

A group of American researchers tested the climate-change warnings on fast food menus and found they encourage people to make more sustainable dietary decisions.

The labels were colored-coded. A red environmental impact stamp placed on beef led to a quarter more people abstaining, compared to those who did not see the warning.

Environmental guilt was more effective than the green "good for the planet" label, which encouraged only a tenth more people to choose more sustainable food.

British consumers already are used to the "traffic-light" good labels for those with more than the recommended fat, sugar, or salt.

A new group of American researchers is testing adding a similar system to combat climate change, among other things.

Their study, published in JAMA Network Open, claims it could have merit because animal-based food production, primarily through beef, accounts for 14.5% of global greenhouse gas emissions.

They tested it by enrolling over 5,000 participants putting them in three groups, and showing them a fast-food menu.

They had to select one item from the hypothetical 14 that had affixed labels from a red food lkabel stating, "This item is not environmentally sustainable. It has high greenhouse gas emissions and a high contribution to climate change," to green one which read, "This item is environmentally sustainable. It has low greenhouse gas emissions and a low contribution to climate change."

The study found red labels to be the most effective at 23.5% more than the comparative choosing nonbeef in the control group.

Only 10% of people chose green, compared to the control group.

The lead author of the study, professor Julia Wolfson, an expert in food policy at John Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health, said the results showed an effectiveness with the red-style labeling.

"We found that labeling red meat items with negatively framed, red high–climate impact labels was more effective at increasing sustainable selections than labeling non-red meat items with positively framed, green low–climate impact labels," she said.

Wolfson added those who were likely to choose green labels tended to eat healthier than the control. This is despite no fast food included on the menu.

She said regardless of its effectiveness, governments would need to enforce it by law.

"It is unlikely that industry would voluntarily adopt a negatively framed label approach; such an approach may need to be mandated or incentivized via legislation or regulation," Wolfson said. 

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Scientists are pushing for warnings on foods such as fast food burgers to display they are unhealthy, joined with their impact on the planet.
environmental, zeal, woke, food, labels
Tuesday, 27 December 2022 02:36 PM
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