Burning Questions
Fellowship Award Winners

Alexandra Navarro

Location: Argentina
Academic field: Social communication
Award category: PhD Holder

Topics to be Addressed during the Award Period

Can getting student canteens in public universities in Argentina to serve pre-set vegetarian meals reduce meat consumption of these students (who make up 3.5% of the country's population) and costs for the universities?

  1. Why is influencing public universities important? 
  2. How can public universities be influenced to put vegetarian meals in their pre-set menus? How to get the students to like the vegetarian food that is provided to them and which they have no alternative but to eat if they were to eat in the canteens?
  3. Is cost reduction and saving money a compelling reason for universities to serve vegetarian meals in their student canteens?
  4. What strategies can NGOs use to get public universities to serve vegetarian meals?

Some of the Things We Really Liked when We Read the Application

  • Providing people with an appropriate and supportive food environment is among the most effective interventions one can use to change people's food choices and diet. People situated in places and surroundings that encourage, enable, and entice them to reach out to a particular kind of food will likely consume that food. But food environments are notoriously complex and multi-faceted, and changing them is very challenging. There are not that many opportunities where one can have a significant influence on an entire food environment. Student canteens in Argentina's public universities offer one such opportunity. 
  • Argentina is not a country with food environments that are conducive to adopting a vegetarian diet. Meat consumption is seen as necessary and highly positive, and meat production is significant. A topic focused on a possible way to reduce meat consumption in that country is therefore to be welcomed.
  • Focusing on young people at institutions respected by the public has a broad impact on the wider society.
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