Issue 1: Is meat and dairy consumption in developing countries all about taste and affordability?

October 1, 2020

When advocates plan their food consumption campaigns in low- and middle-income countries, is it wise to assume that the overwhelming reason people in these countries eat more meat and drink more milk is because these foods are getting cheaper and they appeal to people’s taste buds more than other kinds of food?

A growing body of academic research indicates that the food choices of individuals in developing countries are not simply a matter of the price or taste of the food itself.

Their choices are closely tied to deep-seated meanings, values, aspirations, personal identities, and a host of important contexts each individual associates with different foods (e.g. who they eat with, where they get their food).

This research insight suggests that there are benefits to be gained if advocates take into account such meanings as well as the contexts in which people consume their food.

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