Maximising potential of plant-based convenience foods in real-life sustainable diets.


  • Prof Jennie Macdiarmid

    University of Aberdeen, United Kingdom

Project summary

Reducing meat and dairy consumption is essential to mitigate climate change, but sustainable plant-based diets must be realistic, particularly given the cost-of-living crisis. This project will assess the potential of appealing, nutritionally balanced plant-based convenience foods to overcome barriers to sustainable diets. We will compare plant-based ready meals to home-cooked meals on dimensions of cost, convenience, appeal, nutrition, greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions. We will analyse real-life food decisions of young women in the transition to sustainable diets and co-create scenarios with them illustrating computationally modelled trade-offs between key dimensions. Creative illustrations and scenario narratives will provide accessible insights for policymakers to feed into successful, realistic policy. Using these outputs, we will work with our UK policy partners (heath and climate) to co-produce policy options and actionable climate change mitigation solutions with health co-benefits. Key goals - Quantify cost, preparation time, GHG emissions and nutrition of plant-based ready meals and home-cooked meals; - Compute GHG emission reductions of substituting meat-based meals with plant-based ready meals; - Analyse real-life food decisions and potential impacts of plant-based convenience foods; - Identify trade-offs of dimensions associated with plant-based convenience foods; - Create visuals and narratives depicting scenarios for realistic sustainable diets; - Co-produce with policymakers context-relevant options for policy development.