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Open AccessArticle

Food Preferences in Finland: Sustainable Diets and their Differences between Groups

1
Water and Development Research Group, School of Engineering, Aalto University, P.O. Box 15200, FI-00076 Aalto, Finland
2
Faculty of Social Sciences and Business Studies, University of Eastern Finland, P.O. Box 1627, FI-70211 Kuopio, Finland
3
Finnish National Defence University, PL 7, 00861 Helsinki, Finland
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Sustainability 2019, 11(5), 1259; https://doi.org/10.3390/su11051259
Received: 20 December 2018 / Revised: 11 February 2019 / Accepted: 20 February 2019 / Published: 27 February 2019
The world is facing the great challenge of how to feed the increasing and wealthier population sustainably in the future, with already limited natural resources. The existing literature reveals the negative impacts of animal-based diets, and thus global diet changes are required to ensure future food availability. Nevertheless, it is important to acknowledge that food consumption is more than caloric intake—it is based on personal preferences. We assessed how sustainable food choices vary among Finnish citizens. The respondents (n = 2052) answered nine statements about their consumption behavior. We applied quantitative and qualitative methods, and our results indicate that favoring plant-based diets was the highest among people under 30 and above 60 years old. Middle-aged men with high incomes was the most reluctant group to adopt sustainable diets. Health-related issues and origin of food were the most preferred reasons for food choices, while environmental awareness was ranked lower. The key to mainstream sustainable diets lies in the co-benefits —transition towards more sustainable diets among Finns could be possible, if people felt that they can combine the selfish, hedonistic factors (e.g., health, weight loss) and altruistic factors (e.g., ecological benefits) in their everyday diets. View Full-Text
Keywords: animal-based diets; consumer behaviour; co-benefits; diet change; food culture; plant-based diets; sustainable diets animal-based diets; consumer behaviour; co-benefits; diet change; food culture; plant-based diets; sustainable diets
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Lehikoinen, E.; Salonen, A.O. Food Preferences in Finland: Sustainable Diets and their Differences between Groups. Sustainability 2019, 11, 1259.

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