Sustainable eating: The challenges of changing towards climate-friendly food habits

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1 Sustainable eating: The challenges of changing towards climate-friendly food habits 1

2 Sustainable eating: The challenges of changing towards climate-friendly food habits Bachelor thesis Ingrid Susannah Matilda Carlsson 230sgb030 No. of characters: Bachelor supervisors: Pernille Malberg Dyg & Runa Midtvåge Public Health Nutrition & Food Policy Metropol University College

3 Abstract In recent years, sustainable consumption and climate-friendly living have become familiar concepts to many Swedish consumers, prompting them to learn, consider and take action. Media has addressed the concepts through television and newspapers with programs on climate-friendly living. Federal and municipal public sectors have implemented sustainable solutions across different institutions of society. These solutions comprehend food and purchase, waste, energy and transport. In the year 2000, the emission from carbon dioxide in Sweden varied amongst regions from 9,000 to 11,000 kg per year per household ( These numbers comprehend emissions from the production of all goods and services consumed, both domestic and imported. Motivational projects helping families learn to live more climate-friendly and sustainable lives are still few. This thesis sets out to investigate how a project on sustainable consumption can motivate families to apply a more climate-friendly diet through reducing their number of meat-based meals. This project, KlimatVardag, was carried out in the year 2010 in Skåne, the south region of Sweden. 147 families participated. This thesis focuses on what motivations and barriers influence the project participants. Thirty participants have answered a questionnaire regarding their consumption of meat and vegetables before and after the project. Ten participants were selected as interviewees for semi-structured interviews. These interviews were executed in order to investigate which factors inhibit and motivate the interviewees. This study uses mixed methods, with emphasis on the qualitative research method. 3

4 Six families have reduced their meat-based meals from 5 times or more per week to 3-4 times per week. Eight families went from never eating vegetarian meals to 1-2 times or even 3-4 times per week. The semi-structured interviews have shown that the main motivational factors and barriers are 'locus of control' and 'responsibilities and priorities'. These categories deal with self-efficacy and family patterns. Five interviewees were positively reinforced within the category of 'responsibilities and priorities. The three interviewees that also were strong in 'locus of control' showed to be the participants that had been most motivated by the project. Meat culture, availability and the positive effect of being in a project are other categories that have been found to influence behavioural change. When designing projects on sustainability in the future, it is recommended to emphasize these categories in order to enhance positive outcome. More research is needed within the areas of meat culture and sustainable product availability. Table of Content 1Introduction...6 2Research question Aim of the thesis Delimitation Definition of key concepts Methodology and Philosophy of Science Multi-strategy research Methodological triangulation Qualitative research approach Inductive approach Interpretivism and Hermeneutics Method and study design Project KlimatVardag Structural planning Carrying out the study Transcription Qualitative data analysis Secondary data supporting findings through quantitative data analysis Ethical issues Informed consent

5 4.7.2 Confidentiality Consequences The role of the researcher Literature search Theoretical framework Climate-friendly food guidelines Model of pro-environmental behaviour Demographic factors External factors Internal factors Social Cognitive Theory Results and analysis Analysis of quantitative tables on changes in meat and vegetable consumption after KlimatVardag Food preference and reasoning Analysis of qualitative collected data Demographic factors: External factors External factors Political, social, and cultural factors: Internal factors Motivation Environmental knowledge Values Environmental awareness Emotional involvement Locus of control Responsibility and priorities Behavioural factors Personal factors Reinforcements Discussion Knowledge and attitude Project-effect Family patterns Locus of control Availability Sustainable eating Other areas within the project Validity and reliability Conclusions and recommendations References Appendices...58 Appendix 1 Climate concern...58 Appendix 2: Grounded Theory Appendix 3: Mail to 12 interviewees from the director of HUT Skåne...60 Appendix 4: Mail to all participants selected for questionnaire Appendix 4: Questionnaire to 39 participants

6 Appendix 5: Interviewguide semi-structured interviews Appendix 6: Literature search, Keywords Appendix 7: Transcription Interviewee no Interviewee no Interviewee no Interviewee no Interviewee no Interviewee no Interviewee no Interviewee no Interviewee no Interviewee no Introduction For many decades environmentalists of all kinds have been doing immense amounts of work to raise public awareness around all the problems surrounding the human's way of exploiting the world resources. During the last decade the climate issue has become the new global environmental threat. The issue swiftly moved from an exclusively scientific discussion to a great concern for many people in the world's general population. It is also a high priority on the international political agenda. In 2009 before United Nations Climate Change Conference in Copenhagen (COP15), a questionnaire was answered for the third year in a row by 1000 people in each of following countries: Australia, Brazil, Canada, China, France, Germany, Hong Kong, India, Malaysia, Mexico, UK and USA. Appendix 1 show a table that the climate-change is generally of big concern to people, though it differentiates between developed and emerging economies. In the report from 2009, 69% regarded the climate issue as of equal importance as the world financial crisis (HSBC Holdings, 2009). Lots of areas in society are contributing factors to the climate change and challenge people, governments and industries on all levels. 6

7 The challenges in the area of food consumption and climate are many. The main emissions related to cultivation come from anthropogenic warming. The greenhouse gases contributing to emissions are carbon dioxide, methane, nitrous oxide and latter gases. The main emissions related to transportation, processing, retailing, storage and preparation comes from fossil fuels, such as carbon dioxide (Carlsson-Kanyama and González, 2009). Comparing 20 of the most common Swedish food items has shown that the emissions from greenhouse and transportation are in a span of 0,4-30 kg CO2 equivalent for every kilo of edible product. The highest emissions come from beef, cheese and pork and in the lowest from legumes, poultry and eggs (Carlsson-Kanyama and González, 2009). One of the most comprehensive studies made in the area of vegetarian versus non-vegetarian diets combines findings from the Adventist Health Study (AHS) on 34, 000 people and California state agricultural data. Eleven food items that differed in the two diets were examined. This study shows, that the nonvegetarian diet uses 2,5 times more primary energy, 13 times more fertilizer and 1,4 times more pesticides than the vegetarian diet (Marlow, et al., 2009). These examples show that emissions from a more meat-based diet contribute more to anthropogenic warming of the atmosphere due to the extended use of the different gases. Hence it lays a heavier burden on the climate than a more vegetarian diet. Replacing a meat-based meal with vegetables and pulses seems to be very difficult. Our preferences for meat are heavily founded in our culture. Taste and texture have shown to be the most common reasons to choose meat (Holm and Møhl, 2000). This will also be examined in the analysis of this thesis (see section 6.2). It has been shown that despite awareness of poor transportation methods 7

8 and possible health disadvantages, most people in northern countries consume meat on a daily basis. In Sweden the consumption has in fact increased in 2010 (Jordbruksverket, 2011). The negative feelings surrounding meat during the 90's were linked to diseases, animal welfare, and health. Now the meat industry has new problems trying to change its bad reputation after scandals of re-labelling of old meat in supermarkets across of Denmark ( and Sweden ( Even though meat is now pointed out as one of the heaviest food-related burdens for the environment and also a contributing factor to different cancers (Larsson and Wolk, 2012), the culture around meat still seems to be extremely strong and difficult to change (Holm and Møhl, 2000). Based on these findings, studies and projects on changing people's behaviour towards a more climatefriendly diet have become more relevant than ever. In the south region of Sweden an organisation called Hållbar Utveckling Skåne (HUT Skåne, Sustainable Development Skåne) arranged a comprehensive project on sustainable consumption in all municipalities that were interested in participating for a year s duration. It was called KlimatVardag. 147 families all over the region participated on lectures, group meetings and workshops on recycling, transport, food and purchase, and energy-saving. The author of this thesis was an intern at HUT Skåne, and possessed the aim of evaluating the food-related part of the project. An e-questionnaire answered by thirty participants was carried out, followed by semi-structured interviews with ten selected participants. A multi-strategy approach (mixed methods) was used, however the main findings were analysed and presented through qualitative research design. The thesis will discuss main motivations and barriers experienced by the participants after having been a part of the project. Main motivations and possible barriers that enhance or inhibit their behaviour will also be examined. Recommendations on important factors to take into account when 8

9 designing similar future projects will also be discussed, as well as further research needed. Looking at the outcome from a project of this kind is relevant to the education of Public Health Nutrition and Food Policy. By approaching the topics of sustainable consumption, project evaluation and behaviour change the thesis comprehends different areas that are linked to the education. Carrying out a study prepare the author for the profession in the sense that the steps that are connected to the topics stated above are experienced in reality. This thesis recommends how different sectors of the society can gain knowledge from the categories that are found to influence the behaviour of the interviewees. Governments can create new guidelines or reduce taxes where climate-friendly food is considered. Municipalities can move towards more sustainable foods in all institutions and create further projects. The private sector would have to meet the needs and the pressure from consumers and the public sector for more sustainable food choices. The aspect of a healthy diet is also possible to connect to sustainable consumption. A Danish report concludes that consumers are able to follow dietary recommendations and both improve their own health and the environment (Saxe, Jensen, and Petersen, 2006). Designing projects focused on observing change towards sustainable behaviour is relatively new. One project that have almost exactly the same project design as KlimatVardag is Miljövardag (Environmental Everyday) created in the Municipality of Karlstad. 111 families were connected to the project (Karlstad Kommun, 2009). The evaluation of the project showed that the greatest success was within the area of food and purchase. Purchasing locally grown, fair trade, organic, environmentally labelled food increased with 10% (Karlstad Kommun; 2009). 9

10 There are lot of projects on sustainability, but they deal with institutions, restaurants, retailing business, sustainable labelling, cultivation, urban farming etc. Literature found to support the empirically collected data of this thesis mostly derives from research made on consumers' perception of sustainability and of what would enhance their consumption towards more sustainable food choices. Moving towards more sustainable food-choices is thought to be a gradual process, where different groups in the society need different incentives to make changes (Gilg, Barr and Ford, 2005). When directing campaigns it is important to remember that not all people will change their behaviour only because of an ideal, a sense of responsibility (de Boer et al., 2007). By presenting the factors that determine the actions of the interviewees from KlimatVardag, this thesis can contribute to existing literature by presenting the different challenges and opportunities that are bound to projects of this kind. 2 Research questions How can participation in a project on sustainable consumption motivate families to a more climate-friendly diet containing less meat-based dinners per week? A: Why is it so difficult to replace meat with vegetables in dinners? B: How do the motivation and barriers interrelate with one another? 2.1 Aim of the thesis The motivation for finding answers to the research questions comes from a personal interest in the areas of food-related sustainable consumption, meat culture and what characterises food patterns in a family. The food-related part of sustainable consumption is a large area that comprehends all stages from farm to fork. The challenges are many within cultivation practices, transport of crops and animals, importing non-seasonal vegetables and recycling waste, just to mention a few. It is difficult to grasp the immense burden our food-consumption lays on the environment. The culture around meat is firmly established in our 10

11 diet in the Nordic countries because of its protein abundance (Holm and Møhl, 2000). Even if we are informed and motivated, our food patterns are difficult to change. This thesis sets out to investigate underlying causes on what influence the participants from the project KlimatVardag when they gain new knowledge and are motivated in their attitudes and skills. Investigating why they choose as they do in the store and what lies beneath serving dinner in their families motivates the author to write this thesis. It is an expected finding that despite the motivation the participants possess to join a project on sustainable consumption, many other issues affect their willingness to choose sustainable foods. 2.2 Delimitation The culture around meat in our society could be studied from different angles. It can deal with which feelings the interviewee has when eating meat, the exact amount per day, or include how much cold cuts used on bread. However, this thesis will only deal with whether there has been any difference in how many dinners consist of meat per week and why it has or has not changed during the course of the project. This thesis will investigate whether the participants have replaced any meals with vegetarian dishes and what they are aware of when shopping. The project KlimatVardag, which the interviewees have been a part of, focused on strengthening knowledge, attitudes and skills of what to buy and why. This thesis does not make any explicit difference between organic food and locally grown even if there are tremendous differences in some regards. Locally grown food contributes to sustainability in the sense of reducing emissions from transports while organic foods contributes by not polluting the soil and atmosphere with fertilizers and pesticides. ( As stated earlier there are many areas within sustainable consumption. Another extremely complicated area within sustainable consumption is the depletion of the ocean. Major 11

12 challenges lies ahead for those involved. However, marine stocks, eco-systems of the oceans and consumption of fish and will not be touched upon within this thesis. This thesis strictly deals with the possible changes in meat and vegetable consumption. However, the interviewees also answered questions on their experience of the project there was not room for discussing this matter in a scientific way in this thesis. The two main areas of this thesis connected to the field of Public Health Nutrition and Food Policy are sustainable consumption and project evaluation. The concept of health is therefore dealt with in more comprehensive terms for both humans and for the environment. The direct nutritional value from the sustainable diet, i.e., less meat reduce intake of saturated fat, more vegetables and pulses enhance intake of vitamins, minerals and dietary fibres, will not be dealt with in the empirically collected data. The aim of the study was designed together with HUT Skåne in order for the author to systematically determine the possible effects of the project. 2.3 Definition of key concepts Climate-friendly is not a scientific definition, but has been frequently used by media during the last couple of years. It is also a common term used when governmental or private institutions direct messages, guidelines or campaigns to ordinary people regarding the climate issue. The word climate-friendly is used in the interview guide. The interview guide is based on an EU proposition by the Swedish government, formulated as recommendations to create climate-friendly guidelines. Sustainable consumption is defined as follows in the Oslo Roundtable declaration (1995): "Sustainable production and consumption is the use of goods and 12

13 services that respond to basic needs and bring a better quality of life, while minimizing the use of natural resources, toxic materials and emissions of waste and pollutants over the life cycle, so as not to jeopardize the needs of future generations." Sustainable eating is a small part of this comprehensive area but has the same fundamental basis for reaching its goal. KlimatVardag (Climate Everyday) is the name of the project from which the interviewees are collected. Hållbar Utveckling Skåne (HUT Skåne) [Sustainable development Skåne] is the association that facilitates the project. It has support from municipalities from the south region of Sweden called Skåne. Pro-environmental behaviour is a concept that explains different factors that influence whether a person acts environmentally friendly or not (Kollmuss and Agyeman, 2002). 3 Methodology and Philosophy of Science In order to answer the research question a multi-strategy research approach is used. However the main approach is qualitative. Induction, interpretivism and hermeneutics are other concepts that will be presented in this chapter. 3.1 Multi-strategy research The participants that are fulfilling the criteria to be in this study are derived from the whole group of participants from the project. This is explained thoroughly in section 4.1. This thesis is also an evaluation for HUT Skåne. In order to present a broader picture for HUT Skåne of possible changes from the project, these interviews will be supported with results from a questionnaire. This small quantitative study presents findings on possible change of food habits within the whole group. A multi-strategy approach is chosen to strengthen and support the data collection of the main method, in this case the qualitative method. A research method from one strategy is viewed as capable of being pressed into 13

14 the service of another (Bryman, 2004, p. 454). 3.2 Methodological triangulation In order to give more confidence to the findings methodological triangulation is used as a tool for the multi-strategy approach. This method can be used to improve accuracy of the results and improve validation of the study. It can also be a source of complementary data, hence give a fuller picture (Denscombe, 2007). Figure no. 1: Model of improved accuracy Figure no. 1 shows the model of improved accuracy (Denscombe, 2007). In this study the qualitative interviews are the main focus. The quantitative tables validate the qualitative findings in order to support the possible change in meat consumption for this specific target group. The results can be seen more easily in a questionnaire answered by thirty subjects from the large group. This is further explained in section 4.6. It will therefore be a validation of data from the semistructured interviews. The literature findings will further support or reject the 14

15 findings on the factors that can determine both behaviour changes and barriers to overcome. 3.3 Qualitative research approach The main study design of this thesis is based on qualitative research methods. The most suitable approach for generating theory will be through induction. Data will then be considered epistemologically through interpretivism followed by hermeneutics (see further elaboration of the concepts in the sections below). Within this research method words or actions from the person studied are observed, coded and interpreted so that new theory in the end can be developed. It differs from quantitative research which mainly derives its knowledge from the quantity of numbers measured and e.g. presented through charts. Data from this study is mostly collected through semi-structured interviews where the words of the participant have been the focus. It is in the interest of the author to make use of qualitative research methods since themes, characteristics and surrounding influences are of interest. These topics suits the qualitative research approach because they deal with perceptions, feelings and the experience of the world that the interviewee possess Inductive approach When using induction, theory will be formulated after the empirically collected data has been broken down and interpreted. It differs from deduction which is mainly used in quantitative research. Deduction is used to test theory as a hypothesis, in order to support or contradict it (Bryman, 2004). The empirical study of this thesis did not test any hypotheses but will build its analysis on the findings in chapter Interpretivism and Hermeneutics An epistemological issue concerns the question of what is (or should be) regarded as acceptable knowledge in a discipline (Bryman, 2004, p. 11). The 15

16 epistemological position known as interpretivism is a strategy that intend to differ people from objects in natural sciences. Interpretivism has come forth from scientists criticism the use of applying an epistemological position on social sciences that is used within natural sciences, mainly positivism (see section 4.6). It is thought that the logic of subjective meanings that humans express, need to be interpreted with tools that embrace the total social action. The semistructured interviews will be interpreted through the subjective meaning that is perceived and in the social context that the participants live in. The hermeneutical research tradition is aimed at reaching understanding of the person studied. According to the hermeneutic tradition there needs to be empathy and compassion in order to comprehend the person's situation (Johansson, 2003). Interpretation is necessary and thought not to be possible without subjectivity from the researchers point of view. The starting-point for approaching the empirically collected data has begun with a certain amount of understandings and assumptions on whether the interviewees were motivated to make changes after the project. The method is based on the steps of grounded theory (see appendix 2), but hermeneutics is used to interpret on the concepts found when breaking down the empirically collected data into fragments (see further elaboration in section 4.5). 4 Method and study design In order to have insight, a presentation of the project and a report on the steps accomplished through the internship follows below. The methods used when analysing data are also presented. 4.1 Project KlimatVardag The purpose of KlimatVardag is not solely to show how the participating households could by simple means can reduce their carbon emissions and thus 16

17 live more environmentally friendly. It also aims to present these households as good examples for others; colleagues, acquaintances, neighbours and the public. The project shows in this way that there are great opportunities to decide how they can define their climate-friendly living. Since households have different compositions and the participants come from different professions and locations, the aim is to spread the information and inspiration from KlimatVardag around the region of Skåne. The experiences and results from the participants will be communicated within the participating organisations to the public with the goal of increased awareness and participation in climate and environmental issues. KlimatVardag desires to show that household environmental measures are simple to implement, adaptable to individual needs, and rich in benefits. HUT Skåne builds partnerships to many institutions within the public sector. The participants in KlimatVardag were recruited by HUT Skåne through their work. All of the participants are working within the public sector administrations connected to municipalities around Skåne. They are working in hospitals, prison and probation service, social services, etc. 147 families have participated in the project. 4.2 Structural planning The author of this thesis is a member of a working-group on sustainable food created by Miljöförvaltningen Malmö Stad (the Environmental Administration in the City of Malmö) and HUT Skåne. Through the working-group it became clear that HUT Skåne had a project called KlimatVardag. HUT Skåne was contacted by the author with the purpose of organising an evaluation of KlimatVardag formulated as a bachelor thesis. The work process around creating empirically collected data for the bachelor thesis was to be a part 17

18 of an internship at HUT Skåne. A planning meeting with the director of operations for HUT Skåne was held. It was proposed by the author that the study should consist of an interview guide and a questionnaire. The author had meat and vegetable consumption and behaviour change within sustainable eating as a field of interest for the bachelor thesis. A small evaluation on how the participants had experienced the project was also desired by the director. It was decided that a quantitative questionnaire on any possible change within meat and vegetable consumption the last year would be created. Afterwards semi-structured interviews were to be carried out for a smaller group of participants. The director was interested in choosing two groups with different traits of characteristics to be compared with each other. The two groups with different traits of characteristics were families with children that live at home, and families whose children have moved away from home, meaning couples on their way towards retirement and beyond. The participants who did not fall into the two categories were singles and couples without children. This was the delimitation of groups decided. The families with children who had moved away from home were a more interested and an eager group than first was anticipated. There was a preconception that middle-aged people were not that eager to join a project of this kind, and that younger families were more interested in making changes. This proved to be wrong when participants from this age group signed up for the project, and were eager participants in the meetings. This group was therefore chosen as target group together with the target group of families with children who live at home. It was decided that the analysis would consist of a comparison between these two groups. It was thought that there should be six families in each 18

19 group to have enough sampling for the interviews. It however turned out to be ten families in the end, because of problems contacting the chosen interviewees. In the second meeting a working plan was made. Along with the selection criteria of the two different types of family, but it was decided that a requirement should be that they should have attended the regional lecture on food and consumption. This requirement was of great importance to the author since they should have been having the opportunity to be exposed to all information and training that was offered by project energy advisors and not just group meetings in order to have had the maximum ability to consider changes. The project comprehends all the region of Skåne, comprised of 147 participants divided into fourteen local groups, each with its own group meetings. All fourteen coordinators for these local groups were contacted to give information on which participants fell into the two different categories selected for the study. The director then shared the attendance list from the regional lectures on food and purchase which took place in Malmö, Ystad, Helsingborg and Hässleholm/Kristianstad. After a comprehensive work on establishing the two groups of interest, 39 families were found to fall into the two different categories. Six families in each group were selected through a simple random sampling by a randomizing software-program on the internet ( The randomizing selection were carried out by the author and director together. The director of operations on HUT Skåne sent a mail to all the selected families and offering them a free subscription on a environmental magazine upon join the study (appendix 3). All 39 families received a mail with the e-questionnaire (appendix 4). In the end, ten families were interviewed and 30 families answered the e- questionnaire. 19

20 All work on contacting coordinators and participants through and phone has been created and executed by the author. The contacts have been mediated by the director of operations so that the greatest workload has been on the intern for the sake of maximum experience of fieldwork. 4.3 Carrying out the study Since the author wished to use a qualitative approach to the field of interest, it was decided as already mentioned that the interviews would be semi-structured. This approach was also seen as being suitable to answer the research question. 'The sevens stages on interview investigation' from Kvale (1996, p. 88) have been used as a framework. The stages are: thematising, designing, interviewing, transcribing, analysing, verifying and reporting. These stages form basis for all steps connected to the execution of data collection. The interview guide (see appendix 5) was created by the author, however in cooperation with the director of HUT Skåne. The themes of interest were: 1. Food preference and reasoning: What kind of meat and vegetables does the interviewee eat, and why. 2. Climate-friendly food; perception and opportunities: What is climatefriendly food and is it possible for the interviewee to live climate-friendly for the interviewee. 3. Awareness regarding labelling of meat and vegetables. 4. Experience in environmental behaviour change. The aim was to execute the interviews as similarly as possible and make the interviewees feel comfortable in the situation. The questions did not change much during the ten interviews in order to have as much similar data to compare with as possible. However the author learned to ask further into their answers during the process. 20

21 The time and date for the execution of the semi-structured interviews were agreed upon by the author and the participant through phone or mail. The interviews were conducted as recorded telephone calls via Skype ( and a recording program called Soundflower ( 4.4 Transcription Even if transcriptions (see appendix 7) sometimes are seen as being the direct collection of data, it has still gone through a change from oral to written mode (Kvale, 1996). The signs [...] are shown in the analysis chapter when something irrelevant for the sentence interpreted is left out. All demographic facts are in the beginning of the transcripts as part of the interview. There are no names of the interviewees in the transcripts. The first letter of their names are shown, just as the first letter (S) of the author's name. 4.5 Qualitative data analysis To analyse data, the author has been inspired by the steps from grounded theory (see appendix 2). However the steps have not been fulfilled according to the technique and will therefore be a supplement to the qualitative data analysis. After the transcription of the interviews, an immense process of coding has taken place. Coding is the first tool to reduce the vast amount of data into phenomenons, fragments, categories and concepts (Bryman, 2004). The steps on the process of coding from Bryman (2004) have been followed thoroughly. The transcripts have been read through many times during the whole process to be sure nothing is missing. As many of the remarks and observation of statements have first been noted. A review of the codes in order to investigate whether there are different statements that in fact describe the same phenomenon. At this stage, concepts and categories begin to be revealed from the statements. It has been found that one statement can fall into different categories. Many codes were 21

22 generated, however when the codes were connected to the categories in the theoretical frameworks used (see chapter 5) patterns and cohesion began to emerge. The concept of the hermeneutical circle is about the relationship between parts and whole (Johansson, 2003). When interpreting a text through the philosophy of hermeneutics as interpretation tool, the overall picture found depends on the terms in the coding process. To justify the interpretation of the text as a whole, one must refer to the interpretations of various sections of the text, such as sentences (see analysis chapter 6). The meaning that the interpreter (in this case the author of the thesis) assigns these elements is dependent on the overall picture or the meaning that the interpreter gives to the text as a whole. This technique has been used when interpreting sentences stated by the interviewees in order to generate the analysis that culminates in the discussion and conclusion chapters. 4.6 Secondary data supporting findings through quantitative data analysis After all 39 families were contacted, they received an e-questionnaire with questions on how many times they eat meat and vegetables in a week, and if it had changed in the last year during the project (appendix 5). The supporting data from the questionnaires are of quantitative kind, hence measurable, and will be presented through diagrams in section 6.1 in order to validate the semi-structured interviews. As stated in section there is no hypothesis to test, hence the approach is still inductive and bound as supplement to the qualitative data analysis. The approach to the analysis of the questionnaire is quantitative and analyses the relationships between variables and not between people (Trost, J; 2005). The supporting data lies within the epistemological consideration of positivism, which is based on the view that in social and natural 22

23 science, measurable analysis of data is the source to reliable knowledge (Bryman, A; 2004). It should also be possible to treat data from the questionnaire starting from an objective angle. The answers should be testable, verified, confirmed or falsified. Although the low number of people answering the questionnaire is statistically insignificant, it will be used as a complement to the interviews, and will serve to verify the changes across a larger number of participants than just the ten interviewees. 4.7 Ethical issues Four issues are presented as being important when considering ethics around the process of collecting data. They are presented below and aim at protecting the subject from harm Informed consent The interviewees of the study have been informed about the purpose of the study and the themes dealt with previous to accepting the interview. In appendix 4 the mail from the director states that the interviews are a part of an internship that will culminate in a bachelor thesis. The mail also reveals that it will consist of questions around their food-habits, mainly meat and vegetables after they have began the project Confidentiality Before the interview started, the interviewees were informed that there were no places in the transcripts where their names were recorded. It is important to communicate to the interviewee that they are protected from privacy invasion Consequences In order to contribute to the increased success of future projects, the intention of this thesis is to investigate what factors exist that influence the interviewees after a sustainable project. At the same time it is crucial that the interviewee also 23

24 benefits from the interview (Kvale, 1996). The researcher needs to have in mind what the consequences are for the interviewee to participate. The element of simply listening can be a great experience for both researcher and interviewee (Kvale, 1996). It is the perception of the author that the interviews have been a pleasant event for the interviewees The role of the researcher It is the responsibility of the author to present knowledge that is worth knowing. It is also essential to do it in a way that is verified as much as possible (Kvale, 1996). The relation to the subject has been fairly neutral because of telephone interviews with interviewees whom the author has never met. The independence of research is also connected to the above stated matter since this can serve to inhibit biased research. 4.8 Literature search The main strategy for searching literature has been on the world wide web through Springerlink (, Science Direct (, PubMed ( and Google Scholar ( When articles found were of interest, their reference lists have been thoroughly examined in order to find more on the matter of interest. Reference lists have shown to be truly helpful since literature on sustainability is fairly new and the researchers are referring back and forth to each other s articles and studies. The books have either been used at the specialisation of Public Health Nutrition and Food Policy, or found in reference lists of other books. One week in the beginning of the process was devoted solely to literature search. Literature has however been searched and added all along. Keywords for the literature search are documented in appendix 6. 5 Theoretical framework Three frameworks are presented in this chapter. They have been used to create 24

25 the interview guide and finding categories that are useful for the analysis. 5.1 Climate-friendly food guidelines The Swedish national food administration ( has developed a proposition for the EU on climate-friendly food guidelines. The guidelines are developed upon research from the Swedish University of Agricultural Science. The interview-guide is based on the proposed guidelines: 1. Replace one or two meat-based meals per week with vegetable-based meals. 2. Choose locally grown and free-range meat (where the cattle has been able to stroll around freely outdoor instead of being kept inside). 3. Choose Chicken and pork instead of beef and lamb whose rumination and digestion results in three times as high CO2 emissions. 4. Buy seasonal and locally grown vegetables as well as more roots and kaleproducts which can last longer and hence be provided by local producers year-round. 5.2 Model of pro-environmental behaviour The model of pro-environmental behaviour by Kollmuss and Agyeman (2002) from the article Mind the Gap: Why do people act environmentally and what are the barriers to pro-environmental behaviour? will be used to analyse the empirical collected data from this study. The article is presenting several environmental models created by other authors. The models are reviewed on their strengths and weaknesses. On the basis of earlier environmental behaviour models the authors are creating their own expanded model (see figure 2 below), which is more comprehensive than earlier work. The following contributing factors taken into account are based upon research found in the area of environmental behaviour. The factors are demographic, external and internal factors. These contributing factors are to be found in the model of pro- 25

26 environmental behaviour developed by the authors (Kollmuss and Agyeman, 2002). Figure no. 2: Model of pro-environmental behaviour Demographic factors The authors have found two demographic factors to be of importance to proenvironmental behaviour, namely gender and years of education. It seems that women tend to be more emotionally engaged in pro-environmental behaviour than men. It is also suggested that more years of education results in more knowledge of environmental issues, thus resulting in pro-environmental behaviour (Kollmuss and Agyeman, 2002) External factors There are three main categories identified as external factors. (Kollmuss and 26

27 Agyeman, 2002). 1. Institutional factors: Availability of environmental-friendly products in the store is needed for the consumer to be able to buy them. 2. Economical factors: Governmental decisions on lowering price for environmental-friendly grown food. 3. Political, social and cultural factors: The traditions of certain dishes in one country or if the family is not willing to give up a food items such as meat, can be inhibiting for the pro-environmental behaviour. Political willingness to promote environmental-friendly products is also inspiring the society to change Internal factors Eight categories are stated as being the fundament of internal factors in the model (Kollmuss A & Agyeman J, 2002). 1. Motivation: Briefly summarized, there are two categories of motivation: Primary motives are larger and more universal. They comprehend ideas on how to live environmentally friendly. Selective motives are directed towards a certain action. It can deal with issues of whether a person chooses to by a locally grown vegetable, or one from another continent that is of higher taste preference. 2. Environmental knowledge: Kollmuss and Agyeman argue from research that it is a rather small part of pro-environmental behaviour that comes from environmental knowledge. They suggest that it is easier to motivate people through cultural values or economical incentives (Kollmuss and Agyeman, 2002). However the research question of this thesis is build upon that the subjects in the study have been participating in a project that probably have increased their knowledge so this is relevant for the thesis. It is thought that the answers of the participants are more or less based on knowledge gained from the project. 27

28 3. Values: A person's values are shaped by their social network and media. Political organisations can also have an effect on the values, but not in the same extent as the social network. 4. Attitudes: It is unexpected that pro-environmental behaviour is found not to be influenced by attitudes (Kollmuss and Agyeman, 2002). However it is found that low-cost pro-environmental behaviour such as changing light bulbs is more linked to attitudes than high-cost pro-environmental behaviour such as changing towards more locally produced and organic food-consumption. 5. Environmental awareness: Both emotional and cognitive limitations inhibit the person to comprehend the impacts on the environment. The degradation of the environment is so slow, that it is difficult for humans to comprehend before damage is already done. Humans are known to act swiftly to a problem that is of sudden appearance, but not to slow cumulative changes (Kollmuss and Agyeman, 2002). 6. Emotional involvement: The connection to nature and affection towards the environment shapes values, beliefs and attitudes and hence also if we want to act upon it (Kollmuss and Agyeman, 2002). Lack of knowledge and awareness is also a source to non-involvement. However knowledge can also cause defence mechanisms if it contradicts our beliefs and therefore not be perceived at all. 7. Locus of control: Is defined as an individual's perception of being able to change behaviour. If the locus of control is weak people tend to feel helpless, and that their change does not make any difference. 8. Responsibility and priorities: Responsibility is shaped by our values and attitudes. Priorities are set by our own well-being and the well-being of our family. If it is a priority for us to eat organic for this reason it is more likely that it will happen. These factors are all contradicting, conflicting and competing for the decision- 28

29 making progresses in our lives. Habits are not discussed in this model. However it will be touched upon in the analysis of the data on the basis of literature findings. 5.3 Social Cognitive Theory Social cognitive theory is a learning theory that deals with how behavioural, personal and environmental factors interact with each other in order to either promote or limit motivation and behaviour (Bandura, 1986). Figure no. 3 below shows interaction between the factors. Environmental factors refer to factors that can affect the person from outside. It is divided into two parts, social and physical environment. Figure no 3: Model of Social Cognitive Theory Personal factors refers to learning ability, cognitive understanding and emotional involvement etc. Behavioural factors deals with strengths and weaknesses that reinforce different behaviours of the person. Concepts that further elaborate on this model (Glanz, Rimer and Lewis, 2002) are stated below. They will be used in the analysis of answers from the semi- 29

30 structured interviews 1. Social: Social network meaning family, friends, colleagues affecting choices. 2. Physical: Availability of e.g. sustainable foods. 3. Situation: Perception or misperception of what is climate-friendly. 4. Expectancies: Positive outcomes that means something for the participant that enhances the possibility of reaching the goal. 5. Self-control: The ability to decide how to reach the set goal and the capability of getting there. 6. Observational learning: Watching the sustainable behaviour of others and become affected so that a change will be repeated. 7. Self-efficacy: Confidence in the possibility of success by making small steps towards new behaviour. 8. Behavioural capability: Knowledge and skills to perform a new behaviour 9. Expectations: What the persons expect to gain from the project with the new behaviour. 10. Reinforcements: Incentives, rewards or penalty that determines the likeliness that the behaviour will repeat. 6 Results and analysis Following sections are presenting the empirically collected data from a questionnaire and semi-structured interviews. The findings presented will then be analysed. The frameworks from previous chapter are used. The analysis is the basis for answering the research question. 6.1 Analysis of quantitative tables on changes in meat and vegetable consumption after KlimatVardag As stated in section X the diagrams are supporting the semi-structured interviews. Thirty participants who have participated on the workshop on food 30

31 consumption have answered the questionnaire. Table no. 1: Meat-based meals per week after project Table no. 2: Meat-based meals per week before project Table no. 1 shows meat-based meals per week and table no. 2 shows meat-based meals per week before the project. The largest change can be seen within the 31

32 group eating meat-based meals 5 times or more per week. Six families have reduced their consumption to 3-4 times per week. It seems as though these families might not have been thinking of their meat consumption at all, but have been eating meat on a daily basis as many families do. The project seems to caused them to think of their consumption pattern and to have strengthened their knowledge on what is good for the environment. They have also been strengthened in their skills in how to cook vegetarian food since the table shows that they actually cook different food than they used to. Table no. 3: Vegetarian meals per week after the project 32

33 Table no. 4: Vegetarian meals per week before project The largest change can be seen in the group from table no. 4 where eight families that never eat vegetarian meals changed to eating meat 1-2 or 3-4 times a week as shown in table no. 3. This confirms the findings from the question on meatbased meals per week. It is clear that the participants have answered that they have made a change after the project. 6.2 Food preference and reasoning The first questions in the semi-structured interview guide from the ten selected families regarding the families food-preferences in meat and vegetables do not deal with any changes of behaviour. They will not be analysed through the theoretical framework further down in the qualitative section. These questions connect more with the quantitative results on meat-based meals and will thus be dealt with in this section. On the questions What kind of meat do you prefer and why? eight interviewees answered chicken. Seven interviewees further answered that the reason for this preference was taste. Price and convenience were cited as factors by the remaining three interviewees. None of the participants claimed to have changed their meat preferences after the project. However it is also important to note that if most of the participants are eating chicken as their main 33

34 meat source. It is an assumption that the project has likely served to strengthen that pattern with the knowledge that this is a suitable choice from a climatefriendly point of view. If the main meat preference would have been beef instead, it might be that the participants would have been affected by the knowledge of the heavy pressure beef production lays on the environment. It is therefore possible that their preference for chicken is a contributing part that none have considered to change meat preference when participating in the project. On the question What kind of vegetables do you prefer and why, six interviewees answered seasonal vegetables. The reasons for preferences regarding vegetables were more diverse and will be dealt with in section Analysis of qualitative collected data The interpretation of data has been an ongoing process from when the semistructured interviews were carried out until the analysis was written. The factors have been analysed through the two models in the theoretical framework. In order to answer the research question in chapter 8, categories and concepts from the theoretical framework form the basis for the factors of the analysis. The proenvironmental model and the different concepts from Social Cognitive Theory have been used for the interpretation to categorise the different answers in order to interpret them within the frame of the specific category or concept found. Some of the answers can be interpreted within different categories since they interrelate with each other and can be seen from different angles. The Swedish transcription is found in appendix 7. Interviewee no. 1 can be found in appendix 7.1, interviewee no. 2 in 7.2 etc. In the analysis chapter it is translated from Swedish to English by the author. 6.4 Demographic factors: Gender: Two women commented on their husband's need for meat due to saturation and hence the lack of this feeling when eating vegetarian food. 34

35 Interviewee no. 1 states Well we try to eat more vegetarian, but it is difficult having a man that is working physically a lot. A lot of protein is demanded, and I am not that good at making him eat lentils. Interviewee no. 6 says I would like to eat more vegetarian food. Now I'm sitting in another room blaming my husband who does not like that. Then I fall back because it is complicated to cook. It is mostly me who cooks. If I really really wanted it I would cook it of course. No one decides for me. But that is the reason for not doing it. Social factors: Both these women state the compromises they make on their own wishes for the husband's needs. The need for saturation from meat and the disliking of vegetarian food is inhibiting these women from taking action on their own wishes. Even if these statements can show tendencies of these women to be affected by their husbands, it is not necessarily a gender issue that is the only cause for their limited behaviour. These two women could be affected in compromising their own wishes in the same way, if it were their children who did not like vegetarian food. Self-efficacy: Interviewee no. 6 does not believe in her skills to cook vegetarian food. The project has stressed sharing of recipes and cooking together at group work, but this has not strengthened her behaviour. Interviewee no. 1 does not believe in her own ability to make her husband eat lentils. She seems to think it is her responsibility if she fails or succeeds to make him feel satiated. It does not seem that she wants to be in charge of whether they will eat lentils or not. Years of education: Interviewee no. 10 is the only person possessing a leading position with her work at the Social Services. She is not at all inhibited by economical factors. She buys organic meat and vegetable as much as she can and wants to. When asked if she thinks it will be difficult to maintain their change to more vegetarian dishes, she answers the opposite from the two other women: It is all about trying something new. It is not difficult. Self-efficacy: She expresses confidence when talking about the abilities to change. She seems to be a person that is not afraid of trying and it is not hard for her. 35

36 There is also a probability that she would not see it as a failure or responsibility if it did not work. 6.5 External factors The categories below state the different factors that affect us from the world outside External factors Interviewees no. 3, 5 and 8 specifically mention price as a barrier to choosing organic vegetables. Interviewee no 5 says..but the price can affect sometimes, when it's doubled the price, you choose something else. Interviewee no. 3 says that the only thing to do is lower the price on organic and locally grown food. She also understands families who choose cheaper, less climate-friendly food Political, social, and cultural factors: All participants except interviewee no. 1 were satisfied with what locally grown products their store could offer. However interviewee no. 1 was also the most devoted spokesman for locally grown products. When questioned further on how they would like to rearrange the store so that the climate-friendly food was accessible, there were a lot of creative ideas presented. Interviewee no. 9 says: The organic section should have light and mirrors like the other vegetables. Then people would buy more. Interviewee no. 3 thinks: I think they should make clear on the posters above where they come from, so that there is no need to search for it. Then I think they should highlight what is Swedish grown, organic and so on. Sometimes I have to look for it. Interviewee no. 2 states: Maybe they could gather all organic food on one place. It might also trick the consumer a bit not to compare with the non-organic tomatoes. Instead one would have chosen it from another perspective... to be environmentally friendly. Reinforcements: It seems as if appearances in the store are important for these 36

37 consumers, and that they have after the project have made a lot of thoughts on how the store place the foods and why they choose as they do. They seem to be aware that they themselves as well as others need to see that the vegetables are fresh and lying exposed to a lot of light etc. Interviewee no. 2 thinks that it actually might reinforce our willingness to be environmentally friendly if everything was in the same place. This could mean that there is a segment of people that actually would like not to compare prices, but have the environment as their first priority when shopping. To be able to choose several vegetables from the same shelf could make the person feel more confident in his/her ability to choose something that is good for nature and themselves. Expectations: All participants have high expectations on society, the industry, and their municipality. While interviewee no. 1 believes that the industry has become aware that locally grown food is attractive to people, interviewee no. 6 thinks that the industry does not want people to be aware. Interviewee nos. 6, 8 and 10 believe in education, while interviewee nos. 2, 3, 8 and 9 also emphasize economical incentives and change towards sustainable food choices in public institutions. 6.5 Internal factors The following sections are presenting findings on categories that we deal with within our own behaviour and knowledge Motivation All participants except one are reading labels. Price and origin is the most common thing to look for. After being part of the project, interviewee nos. 2, 3, 4, 5, 6 and 8 have been strengthened in their motivation to read the labels more thoroughly. Behavioural capability: Interviewee no. 8 mentions: Well we had these competitions in our groups reading on the packages what comes from Sweden 37

38 and is produced here (.. ) It has become a habit, like a competition, to look for what comes from Sweden, but it can take a while to shop sometimes. This person has been strengthened through training of skills. She experiences that she can use these skills in her every-day life. Interviewee nos. 2, 4, 6, 8, 9 and 10 were certain that they were motivated to maintain their new behaviour. Self-control: Interviewee no. 8 believes..i think I will eat it (beef) more and more seldom [...] maybe I will eat it sometimes [...] but it will be difficult if it is meant to be produced in Sweden and so on. Maybe I will buy pork instead then. This interviewee has not eaten beef during the last year. She is supported in the behaviour by her daughter, who is a vegetarian. She has set a goal that the beef needs to live up to certain standards if should she eat it Environmental knowledge Interviewee nos. 1 and 8 chose locally grown vegetables before the project started due to environmental concern. Interviewee no. 1 remarks We feel.. it is suitable to eat food that has been grown and harvested here and now, instead of trying to get something that is not meant to be here. Interviewee no. 3 adds: Now I have more knowledge (after the project), and I have become aware of the long transports and how much pesticide is used Values The participants were asked how their surroundings consisting of family, friends and colleagues have reacted upon their changes after the project. Interviewee nos. 2, 6, 8, 9 and 10 had positive feedback, interviewee no 2 believes it is a common trend in her social network to move towards more vegetarian diet. Interviewee no. 6 has taught others about her experiences from the project. Interviewee nos. 3 and 4 were questioned by their social network on what difference it makes. However interviewee nos. 3 and 4 state almost identical: Just the small changes I have made in my home. If everybody had done that it would 38

39 be a lot. These two participants were thus strengthened in their motivation and have learned from the project that small changes also count. Therefore they were not further affected by the feedback. Observational learning: Interviewee no. 3 and 4 watched other families in their groups do changes and have seen the positive outcome of small changes. This has inspired them to maintain their own changes Environmental awareness The interview guide did not specifically go into questions regarding environmental awareness. However it is obvious that all participants have gained knowledge from the project since they during the interviews have expressed different environmental statements. Two participants expressed their concerns regarding greenhouses. Interviewee no. 1 comments:...and then I wish that you were able to see if it had grown in a greenhouse. Interviewee no. 5 believes:...transports should be minimized [ ] for instance Dutch tomatoes that have been grown on land compared with greenhouse-grown Swedish.. maybe the carbon dioxide emission is bigger from the Swedish tomatoes. Interviewee no. 2 also questions what is climate-friendly and not. The participants have expressed new gained the knowledge that it is more complicated than just right and wrong Emotional involvement None of the participants have expressed any specific involvement, but interviewee no. 1 is frustrated over the lack of locally produced food in her store. She is not able to make as great of an environmental-friendly contribution as she is motivated to do. Interviewee no. 1 generally seems to have the strongest emotional involvement regarding locally produced food, thus she is inhibited by living in a remote area where the store does not live up to her criteria. 39

40 6.5.6 Locus of control Interviewee nos. 2, 8 and 10 have the strongest locus of control. It is thought that interviewee no. 2 has a very planned life due to a large family size of nine members. She says, We expand our (organic) assortment slowly. We adjust the wallet slowly to more expensive products. Self-control: They have changed their weekly shopping list towards more sustainable choices. By making those changes in their shopping list, interviewee no. 2 believes it is rather easy to make changes. They family shows willingness to perform a behaviour that will be more expensive for them. The fact that a slow adjustment is taking place means that they will not experience the change as negative. Interviewee no. 8 does not buy a product if she and her daughter do not have the sustainable choice. Interviewee no. 10 has the economical advantage to choose whatever she wants, and does so in a sustainable way as much as she can. Though neither of these three have stated if they believe that their contribution makes a difference for the environment. Interviewee nos. 5 and 7 have weak locus of control. They have neither changed anything after the project nor have any no desire to do so. These are the two oldest participants, over 70 years old. Interviewee no. 5 thinks...we already live according to the projects ideas. This may very well be true, however they have not changed any food habits. They still eat meat every day and have not started to buy more locally-grown. They have been participating in meetings and felt that what they did was enough. It seems they might not have understood the purpose or aims of the project. Expectancies: Interviewee no. 7 does not think it works to alter the dishes in order to accommodate the more climate-friendly ingredients. She says, It's difficult to make the different ingredients fit together. She believes that she has tried to make a change but she does not enjoy the outcome of the new dish. From her point of view it is not worth sacrificing the dishes that she is used to cooking. 40

41 Her experience of the altered meal does not live up to her criteria on how the dish should taste. Reinforcements: Interviewee no. 7 further states, It's boring to think of all that you should not eat. You only live once. It is obvious in many answers from interviewee no 7 that the project has not had any effect on her. She is negatively reinforced by the project ideas that the food should be as she calls it, altered. It is also possible that her older age has an influence on how she reacts to new information. She has probably been cooking food in a certain way for more than fifty years. It might be more complicated to develop skills in something new and unknown. She is also the only one who does not seem to have been interested in the project. All the others have spoken very highly of what they have learned and how inspiring it was. Interviewee no. 7 answers very shortly on every question and often replies, I don't think I am qualified to answer that. Self-control: Interviewee no. 4 says several times that the everyday must work so if she needs to buy semi-prepared food she will do it without a bad conscience. This behaviour has a functional meaning for her. So even if she knows that a ready-made chicken is not the best food she can buy, she is not affected by it. These statements are decreasing the likelihood that her new behaviour will be an integrated part of her life. She is reinforcing herself in believing that it is acceptable to maintain her old lifestyle Responsibility and priorities The strongest factor taken into consideration is the wellbeing of the family. All the participants with children living at home (Interviewee nos. 1, 2, 4, 8 and 10) were expressing themes related to this. Nutrition and satiation for their children were the two most common answers, when asked why they chose a certain vegetable. 41

42 Self-efficacy and reinforcement: Interviewee no. 8 is strongly affected by her vegetarian daughter when considering alternatives to organic or locally-produced vegetables if it is not available in the store. Either we buy [vegetables] from another country or we don't buy at all. If my daughter is with me, we resist to buying it. If I am alone I buy it. This interviewee does not have confidence in herself to resist the very consequent rule that she and her daughter have decided upon. She is reinforced in her new behaviour by her daughter but chooses to overlook the rule when she is alone Behavioural factors Following categories do not consist of any categorisation from the proenvironmental model but only Social Cognitive Theory. Reinforcements: Interviewees nos. 6 and 8 have been expressing their thoughts on what psychological factors might influence their choices and purchases. Interviewee no [locally grown produce] tastes better because we know there is a difference [...] many of the producers of climate-friendly and organically grown food has thought a bit more about impression the packaging makes. Reinforcement: This interviewee seems well aware of the effect psychology can have on her when she is buying food. She doubts that there is that much of a difference in taste between locally grown and conventionally grown tomatoes. But she points out that we tend to have a better conscience however about eating something we know is good for the environment, and that can have an effect on our taste buds Personal factors Self-efficacy: Interviewee nos. 2, 4, 6 and 10 have made adjustments in their behaviour. This made them experience that their adjustments are actually implementable in their lifestyle. Interviewee no. 2 talks about slowly adjusting 42

43 the family economy to a more expensive food budget. Interviewee no. 4 is thinking in terms of ingredients to a salad that have been transported a long way, i.e. twig-tomatoes or green beans, saying, Maybe we don't need them. Interviewee no 6 made a list of certain food items that ere no longer to be bought anymore after the project started and adjusted her lifestyle to the new selection. Interviewee no. 10 is positively surprised over the ease changes towards more vegetarian food. She comments, Since we are not vegetarians, I thought it would be much more complicated than it was [...] but it is possible to be satiated from this as well. It is possible to eat much more than before, compared to when limiting yourself while eating only meat and potatoes. These interviewees have done different kinds of adjustments. Behavioural capability: Interviewee no. 6 has a depth of knowledge and is skilled in in her new behaviour. She has been able to limit herself maintain the selection of climate-friendly foods she made when they were in the project. It seems that her self-control is high. Expectancies: Interviewee no 10 is the only one in the project that speaks very positively of her experience with a behaviour that is totally new for her. She experienced that her preconceptions of not being satiated were wrong and that she actually enjoys the changes. She even sees the new behaviour as freeing her from old habits Reinforcements Evaluation of the project can be seen in appendix X. What is relevant for the analysis, however, is what the interviewees thought of the project. All interviewees except one were very positively influenced by the project. Everybody has expressed that it has been interesting and that they have gained new knowledge. Interviewee no. 2 is talking positively about the exchange of personal experiences in their groups. Interviewee no. 3 responds, The homework has been fun. Interviewee no. 4 replies, We were not forced to do anything. 43

44 Interviewee no. 8 states that the participants in this project are people who already are involved in different associations in their spare time. She claimed that they were all busy engaged people who are interested in the environment and thus want to use their evenings and weekends on protecting it. The interviewees are expressing the positive reinforcement it is to discuss and learn about a shared interest. Interviewee no. 2 points out what effect it has on her to be able to discuss in the group meetings what experiences she has been having when trying to live as the project teaches. To receive homework that is experienced as fun makes interviewee no. 3 wanting to do what the teacher has said. Interviewee no. 4 is generally negatively reinforced when she feels forced to make changes. She wants to be strengthened in her awareness and then be able to choose for herself what she wants to change. However she is the only one expressing these concerns. 7 Discussion The following chapter will discuss the different categories that motivates or inhibit the participants to change 7.1 Knowledge and attitude Consumers nowadays are choosing between factors such as nutrition, environment, desires, preferences, anxieties and beliefs. This complicates the selection of products even further (Lockie et al., 2002). This makes the processes around food slightly more complex than in other areas of sustainability. There is no doubt that the ten interviewees of this study have gained a lot of new knowledge about which foods are more climate-friendly. Most of the interviewees can answer questions on how they know their eating should be in order to be sustainable. They know that beef has the highest emission of carbon dioxide and that chicken and pork have the lowest. They also know that it is best to buy seasonal produce and fruits and that Swedish vegetables are preferable almost all 44

45 year around. They have also been strengthened in knowledge that the vegetables we eat in Sweden (roots and kale) are of high nutritional value, thus also having a positive effect not only the environment but their bodies. They know what to read on the labels so that they can choose to buy locally produced food if it is available. It is suggested that education regarding sustainable behaviour from a governmental or municipality level is crucial. Existing literature indicates that increased knowledge in the area of food engineering from farm to fork would increase the willingness to reject conventional methods (Lockie et al., 2002). Six persons have answered in the questionnaire that they have reduced the amount of meat-based meals from 5 or more times to 3-4 times per week. Eight persons in the questionnaire have gone from never eating vegetarian meals to eating them 1-2 times per week. Due to the small amount of participants answering the questionnaire, this is not possible to generalise. However, these small changes within the group of interviewees are also seen within a larger group of project participants. 7.2 Project-effect Some of the interviewees were interested in the subject of sustainable living before the project and were eager to join the project for that reason. All interviewees except one have strongly expressed the inspirational effect the project has had on them. It is an important point to to note that learning about and discussing a subject of mutual interest together in a group is the basic foundation for many associations that people engage themselves in on their spare time. Being engaged and inspired together creates a good basis for a successful outcome of a project. Participation in an association generates social capital for the persons involved. They learn to cooperate towards a common goal and confront their experiences and values (Statistiska centralbyrån, 2003). However, it is also possible that the fellowship experienced during workshops and group 45

46 meetings is not enough to make a permanent change. The interviewees have expressed that the lectures have awoke a lot of thoughts but it is probably still easy to go back into old food patterns when coming home or when the project is over. 7.3 Family patterns This category comprehends findings from the category of 'responsibility and priorities' from pro-environmental model. The invitations for participating in this interview were addressed to both the husband and the wife of the household. Both have been attending the project since it is a family-oriented project. Many children have also participated. When contacted by the author the women were the ones that answered back. In the end the interviewees comprised of nine women and one man that was interviewed. It is thought that the answers are influenced by the gender bias. Despite that men and women are increasingly sharing duties and chores in the household, some of the women have stated that they are the ones cooking the most. The women might be more involved in what they buy and what they experience in the store if they are the ones in charge of the kitchen. They also seem to be affected from the expressed needs of their children. It is assumed that the answers would have turned out differently if more men had answered the interview. DeVault (1990) writes that it has been shown that the woman takes all preferences from family members into account. Different preferences can contradict each other and the woman can feel the need to satisfy both husband and children, hence compromising her own preferences (Mennell et al., 1992). These findings complement statements from women in this empirical study who would like to eat more vegetarian food but feel inhibited by their husbands. The interviewees with children who live at home are strongly influenced by the needs and wishes from their children. Though the parents decide what kind of food that will be on the table, the women of this study also express that it strongly affects them when the children wish for a certain meat or 46

47 vegetable source. Some of them express the difficulties making the children eat heavier vegetables such as carrots. However, one interviewee points out that since her sons are growing she buys them the heavier vegetables that they need. It is a complex series of factors that affect the decisions of the parents. Though it became quite clear in statements from two of the women with strong locus of control that they were sharing most of the cooking and shopping with their husbands. It is possible that a more equal division of duties enhances the feeling of being in this together. Further recommendations can be found in the conclusion chapter Locus of control Having a high consumer confidence has been shown to be a determinant for behavioural action on choosing sustainable products (Vermeir and Verbeke, 2008 ). The interviewees that are thought to have the strongest locus of control, which is related to the definition from literature of having high consumer confidence, are the ones that have done the most comprehensive changes. It seems however to be different parts of their personal behaviours that affect their locus of control. Interviewee no. 10 is independent due to economical reasons. She also has a very easy-going attitude towards changes and maintaining them. It can certainly be because of her personality, but the fact that she is not restrained economically in any way is probably having an impact on her locus of control. Interviewee no. 8 is strongly affected by her daughter's determination to live environmentally friendly. She seems to be very inspired by the daughter's idealistic lifestyle and wants to share it with her. She probably feels a greater fellowship with her daughter if they have these values in common. Her locus of control is strengthened by this. Interviewee nos. 2 and 6 have made changes after the project which they have maintained by their locus of control with planning and skills. These two women show that their locus of control is founded in their determination. 47

48 7.5 Availability The interviewee that was the most emotionally involved in buying locally produced food did not have the same availability of sustainable products as the others. Though it might also be that since she showed the highest willingness, she was also the one with highest expectations on availability and was thus frustrated by the lack of offer. Organic consumers have shown to be compliant in expanding their organic consumption when it is available in the store (Lockie et al., 2002). Even if many of the participants have stated that they are satisfied overall with what their store has to offer, there were many suggestions on how the store could rearrange the vegetables so that it was easier to access locally grown and organic vegetables. Even if there are products to buy, they state that the store could enhance the availability by rearranging. They claim that it would help them to increase their purchase of climate-friendly food. These findings further contribute to earlier studies in the sense that availability in itself might not be the key to a more sustainable consumption. For further recommendations, see the next chapter. 7.6 Sustainable eating Consumers are more likely to buy organic and locally produced food if they perceive that they make a difference on the environment, or that they in their purchasing selection are making a statement that the policy-makers will take into consideration (Gilg, Barr and Ford, 2005). The segment of consumers that the participants in this project come from show much willingness to make active sustainable choices in general. It shows from the previous section that they know what would enhance their environmentally friendly behaviour. Other factors that would enhance their desire to exercise sustainable behaviour are if municipalities and governmental institutions were addressing the issue on their agenda. This could be in terms of lowering taxes on climate-friendly foods or of increasing the sustainable offers at public institutions. 48

49 7.8 Meat-culture The participants of this project are all working in the public sector at different municipality levels, and are hence probably in the lower range of middle-class citizens. Some of them have said that they would like to buy more locally produced or organic vegetables if it was cheaper, though it does not seem that they have the same concerns regarding meat. The fact that meat is expensive does not change their meat consumption. However, expensive climate-friendly vegetables are thought to inhibit that the participants buy them. A food budget based on more vegetables and pulses is cheaper than a meat-based budget ( This thesis could have investigated further on what would motivate them to change towards a more vegetable based diet on the grounds of economical advantages. Almost all participants stated that the main reason for their meat preference was taste. Taste-oriented consumers have been proven to be less concerned about safety, such as transport and animal welfare (de Boer et al., 2007). It might very well be that taste-oriented consumers also are less concerned with changing their meat consumptions for sustainable reasons. However, it has also been suggested that for instance free-range meat for instance (see explanation in section 5.1), could attract taste-oriented consumers with the argument that the special features of the meat contributes to an increase of the taste experience (de Boer et al., 2007). As stated in the introduction chapter, earlier literature has proved texture to be an important reason for high meat intake. The texture of vegetarian food indeed contrasts from meat. Suggestion on research and project design within this field is elaborated upon in the next chapter. 7.9 Other areas within the project The project also deals with transport, energy and recycling. Many of the 49

50 participants of this study have stated that they have done quite a lot of changes in their households within the other areas of sustainable living. The participants have been able to choose which area to focus on, and it is thought to be much easier to change energy-saving methods such as alternate heating solutions, lightbulbs etc. This has also an economical incentive in the sense that people save money when they change to energy-saving methods. Recycling does not cost the person anything more than time and a bit of effort depending on how far away the recycling central is. Some of the participants have also stated that they are biking to a larger extent than they did before. These data is not verifiable and possible to test within the scope of this study. However, it seems clear in the way that some of the participants express themselves it seems clear that these other areas are much more easy to change permanently Validity and reliability The forms of validity that is relevant in this thesis are internal validity and external validity. Internal validity deals with whether it is possible to conclude that the inter-relationship between different categories found through the theoretical frameworks are linked to each other as suggested. External validity deals with if there is a possibility to generalise the answers from the empirical study (Bryman, 2004). Regarding internal validity it is certainly possible that the personal, environmental and behavioural suggestions that have been found to affect the answers of the interviewees are influenced by other factors not stated in this thesis. Therefore it is possible that there are other factors producing a relationship than those suggested. The author is not a skilled researcher, and certain amounts of interpretation of the answers, despite tools from the theoretical framework and the hermeneutical tradition, have been made from the life-world of the author. The author was equipped with a fair amount of 50

51 objectivity in the sense of being interested and open-minded towards all kinds of answers. It was also important not to search for a particular answer which would be able to present a certain finding. However, there is probably an amount of prejudice from the life-world of the author that can affect some of the interpretation. The experience was also that the more interviews that were made, the more clear it became that the interview guide lacked in-depth questions. The questions regarding meat consumption and why the interviewees would or would not want to cut down on the amounts of meat-based meals were superficial. The interview guide also lacked more direct formulated questions on what would enhance their sustainable choices of the interviewees. The author was too attached to the questions and experienced late in the process that it was possible to ask further into why they pursued a certain behaviour. It was decided not to change the questions excessively, lest it provide several sets of answers that were less comparable. However, that also limited the ability to interpret deeply into what the interviewees actually were saying. Test interviews before the actual interviews could easily have revealed some of the missing components of the interview guide. In terms of external validity, it is still thought that some of the concepts found could be generalized beyond this group of interviewees. The concepts are found in existing literature, and are not contributing to new theoretical knowledge within the area. An important factor, however, is that there are cultural differences between the different regions in Sweden. Skåne, the south region of Sweden, is a mainly agricultural landscape. Several of the interviewees have mentioned the possibility of being able to buy locally produced food directly from farmers. The influenced of roots from old farming culture and the heavy founded working-class in some of the cities can be seen in Skåne. It is not known whether 51

52 a project of this kind would affect people differently in another region of Sweden. However, being able to buy food from local farmers is certainly increasing the possibility and willingness to live sustainably. With regards to family patterns, there are different segments of the Swedish society that are more or less equal due to dividing household chores. Family patterns can often be generalized. But another segment of the society in Sweden could have answered differently on how they are affected by the preferences of their family. It is also indicated in this study that the families are dealing differently with this issue. Some of them are inhibited by the different preferences and needs of the family. Others do not take notice of these preferences and instead prioritise trying out the new behaviour taught. In terms of reliability it is thought that it is possible to repeat the study and get the roughly the same results. The author has not had any personal contact, nor known the interviewees beforehand. Telephone interviewing makes the conversations more objective but lacks the possibility of interpreting body language. This might contribute further to the study if repeated. Skills, objectivity, subjectivity, professionalism, prejudice, educational level and experience have affected the execution of the interviews. Another author would have contributed with his/her own set of personal interpretation on these categories. With regards to the quantitative tables as stated earlier in the discussion chapter it is reliable but difficult to generalise from, due to the small amount of participants answering. It is therefore not representative of the whole group. The questionnaire could also have increased the accuracy of measurements by letting the participants answer how many meals are vegetablebased or meat-based for each day of the week. 8 Conclusions and recommendations This study shows that it is possible for a project on sustainable consumption to 52

53 motivate people to decrease their weekly amount of meat-based meals. Since meat is deeply established in our culture, increasing knowledge, attitude and skills in the subject of what we can do to reduce the pressure on the environment is crucial as a first step when creating projects of this kind. 'Responsibilities and priorities' and 'locus of control' have shown to be the two categories that are motivating the interviewees most whether the family should make a change or not. Five interviewees were expressed that they were positively affected by their responsibilities and priorities within their families. Three of these interviewees were also the ones that had the strongest locus of control. This also shows that these categories interrelate with each other in the sense that the interviewees that possess self-efficacy in both categories are most likely to change. When the family shares a common goal of what they want to eat and a common value for making a change, it is more likely that the change will appear. This shows first of all that when designing a project on sustainability, the emphasis needs to be directed towards motivating the entire family. It is suggested by the author that a project of this kind needs to take into consideration addressing family situations in order to motivate change. The project ought to strengthen new behaviour in the family members who are less receptive to change. Willingness to struggle towards a common goal and standing strong together as parents place parents in a strong position for deciding what is best for the family. Having strong locus of control and self-efficacy are deeply intertwined with the family patterns. Locus of control can be seen as something a project might not be able to address that easily since it lies more within the scope of personality. However strengthening self-efficacy by enhancing confidence in the participant is possible. To increase the level of self-efficacy, inspiration and laying out small 53

54 steps towards change are recommended approaches. This will encourage the participant that he/she is capable of changing. The analysis show that these same categories are the main barriers to motivation. Four interviewees have shown to decide not to make changes because of weak locus of control and being influenced by their family patterns. This also establishes the fact that these two categories are crucial to address. Meat-culture is seen to be the second greatest barrier, and also the reason for why it is so difficult to replace meat based meals with vegetables. Meat culture comprehends areas such as taste, texture, main protein-source, convenience and traditionally the main part of the meal, however further research in this area is needed in order to verify these statements. It would be recommended to do more research on why consumers do not want to replace meat with vegetables even if it is more expensive and put heavy burdens on the environment. Projects on motivating a lower meat consumption should emphasize to enhance skills in cooking vegetarian food. The experience of being able to cook new dishes, appreciate the taste, being satiated should be contributing factors to incorporate the new dishes in the households. Availability has not been shown to be the greatest motivation or barrier within this group since they are trained in how to read labels and what to look for. However the concept of availability needs to be further developed so that the products are more easily accessible in the store even if already available. Sustainable working groups in municipalities are suggested to work together with the retail business on meeting the needs of the consumers on this matter. Finally it is suggested that more projects within the field of sustainable consumption are needed. A project such as KlimatVardag provides a feeling of 54

55 connectedness between participants. This supplies the encouragement needed to motivate families towards a more sustainable lifestyle. 9 References Bandura, A., Social foundations of thought and action: A social cognitive theory. Englewood Cliffs: Prentice-Hall. de Boer, J., Hoogland, C.T., and Boersema, J.J., Towards more sustainable food choices: Value priorities and motivational orientations. Food Quality and Preference, 18 (7) pp Bryman, A., Social Research Methods. Oxford: Oxford University Press Carlsson-Kanyama, A., and González, A. D., Potential contributions of food cnsumption patterns to climate change. American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, 89(suppl), pp Carlsson, S. C., and Wolke, A., Red and processed meat consumption and risk of pancreatic cancer: meta-analysis of prospective studies. British Journal of Cancer, 106, pp Denscombe, M., The good research guide; for small-scale social research projects. 3 rd ed. Buckinghamn: Open University Press in assoc. with McGraw Hill DeVault, M. L., Feeding the family. The Social Organisation of Caring as Gendered work. Chicago: University Chicago Press. Gilg, A., Barr, S., and Ford, N., Green consumption or sustainable lifestyles? Identifying the sustainable consumer. Futures, 37, (6), pp Glanz, K., Rimer, B.K. and Lewis, F.M Health Behavior and Health Education. Theory, Research and Practice. San Fransisco: Wiley & Sons. Holm, L. and Møhl, M., The role of meat in everyday food culture: an analysis of an interview study in Copenhagen. Appetite, 34 (3), pp Johansson, L-G., Introduktion till vetenskapsteorin. Stockholm: Thales Kollmuss, A., and Agyeman, J., Mind the Gap: why do people act 55

56 environmentally and what are the barriers to pro-environmental behavior? Environmental Education Research, 8 (3), pp Kvale, S; 1996; Interviews: An introduction to Qualitative Research Interviewing. Thousand Oaks, California: SAGE publications Lockie, S., Lyons, K., Lawrence, G., and Mummery, K., Eating 'Green': Motivations behind organic food consumption in Australia. Sociologia Ruralis, 42 (1), pp Marlow, H. et al., Diet and the environment: Does what you eat matter? American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, 89 (suppl) pp Mennell, S., Murcott, A., and van Otterloo, A H The Sociology of Food. Eating, Diet and Culture. Newbury Park: Sage Publications. Saxe, H., Jensen, R. S. and Petersen, M. L., Fødevarers miljøeffekt Det politiske ansvar og det personlige valg; Institut for Miljøvurdering. Copenhagen Trost, J.,2005. Kvalitativa intervjuer. Lund: Studentlitteratur Vermeir, I., and Verbeke, W., Sustainable food consumption among young adults in Belgium: Theory of planned behaviour and the role of confidence and values. Ecological Economics, 64 (3),pp World Wide Web HSCB Holdings plc., [pdf] Climate Confidence monitor. London. Available at: [Accessed 8 March 2012] Jordbruksverket, [pdf] Svenska matvanor och matpriser- Matkonsumtionens senaste utveckling: Köttkonsumtionen stiger igen. Jönköping. Available at: a11_18.pdf [Accessed 8 March 2012]. Jordbruksverket, [pdf] Statistik från jordbruksverket. Livsmedelskonsumtion och näringsinnehåll. Jönköping. Available at: %20fakta/Livsmedel/Statistikrapport2012_1/Statistikrapport2012_1/ pd 56

57 f [Accessed 8 March 2012] Karlstad Kommun, [pdf] Miljövardag : Om hur familjer i Karlstad lärde sig leva lite mer miljövänligt i vardagen. Karlstad. Available at: lutrapport%20miljövardag% pdf/$file/slutrapport%20miljövardag % pdf [Accessed 8 March 2012] Livsmedelsverket, [pdf] Livsmedelsverkets miljösmarta matval. Förslag anmält till EU. Stockholm Available at: %20miljosmarta_matval_till_eu.pdf [Accessed 8 March 2012] Norwegian Ministry of the Environment, 1994 [online] Oslo Roundtable on Sustainable Production and Consumption. Oslo. Available at: [Accessed 8 March 2012] Statistiska centralbyrån, [pdf] Sverige, välfärd, Socialt kapital, demokratiskola. Stockholm. Available at: 9.pdf [Accessed 8 March 2012] World wide web: aspx [All were accessed for the last time 8 March 2012] 10 Appendices 57

58 Appendix 1 Climate concern 58

59 Appendix 2: Grounded Theory Theoretical sampling has been used in the modification of an interviewguide. It is an ongoing process that in this case started out with interviews and a questionnaire. Before, during and after literature has been searched to support these findings. Coding is breaking down the data into smaller components. Transcripts (see appendix X) will be organised into concepts (see appendix X). Coding is also thought as being able to be revised in any moment in the progress. The concepts stated below are further dealt with in section X: Theoretical saturation aims at ending data collection when no new categories are to be found. Unfortunately this thesis has not been able to live fully up to this criteria since it was impossible to reach the last two chosen interviewees. Twelve interviews and its data were the most that could be dealt with during the time-period given at the work-place. On the other hand some concepts were clear in the already conducted interviews. Constant comparison between data and concepts have been used in the sense that the concepts were somewhat created together with the interview-guide and constantly cross-checked during the period of datacollection. It is also important that the connection between concepts and categories maintain the same through the whole process. Therefore the categories have been in constant process of possible changes. The products of grounded theory will be that concepts are the classification of different incidents found in the empirically collected data. Together they build the theory of the findings. The categories found through the theoretical frameworks in section X are the elaboration on the concepts. The different categories can be more or less important. The categories stated in section X will take the concepts to a higher level of understanding. At last theory is the compilation of the categories defined that systematically build a framework for 59

60 the findings. However new theory is not build in this thesis, hence the tools from grounded theory has been used, but not the expected outcome. Appendix 3: Mail to 12 interviewees from the director of HUT Skåne Forwarded message From: Helena Thelander Date: 2010/9/24 Subject: Vill du få en halvårsprenumeration på Camino utan kostnad? To: Helena Thelander Cc: Susannah Carlsson Hej! Här på Hållbar Utveckling Skåne har vi just nu en tjej som heter Susannah Carlsson. Hon läser Näringslära och Livsmedelspolitik i Köpenhamn och ska skriva en uppsats om klimatvänliga matvanor, särskilt rörande kött och grönsaker. Metoden kommer att vara dels ett frågeformulär, dels en telefonintervju om matvanor samt om hur projektet KlimatVardag upplevts. Vi har till uppsatsen slumpmässigt valt ut 12 hushåll ur projektet KlimatVardag och ni är ett av dessa hushåll! Arbetsgången är följande: 1. Susannah kommer att kontakta er på telefon tidigast måndagen den 27 september 2 Susannah skickar ett e-formulär med frågor som tar högst fem minuter att besvara. 3. Mejla tillbaka formuläret till Susannah och mejla med tre förslag på tider när ni kan avsätta cirka 30 minuter för en telefonintervju, dag- eller kvällstid. Glöm inte att mejla med telefonnummer. 4. Susannah bekräftar tid och datum för telefonintervjun via mejl. 5. Intervjun genomförs. Jag hoppas verkligen att en i ert hushåll kan ta er tid att göra detta. Det är mycket spännande och värdefull kunskap både för Susannah i hennes utbildning, samt för projektet KlimatVardag. Om ni ställer upp på enkät och intervju så får ni en halvårsprenumeration på Camino Magasin som belöning! Ring om ni har frågor! Hälsar Helena

61 Appendix 4: Mail to all participants selected for questionnaire Vidarebefordrat meddelande Från: Helena Thelander Datum: 6 oktober :09 Ämne: Till i KlimatVardag-hushåll som varit med på mat- och konsumtionsföreläsningen Till: Helena Thelander Kopia: Susannah Carlsson Hej! Här på Hållbar Utveckling Skåne har vi just nu en tjej som heter Susannah Carlsson. Hon läser Näringslära och Livsmedelspolitik i Köpenhamn och ska skriva en uppsats om klimatvänliga matvanor, särskilt rörande kött och grönsaker. Uppsatsen blir också en utvärdering av matdelen i projektet KlimatVardag. Vi skulle verkligen uppskatta om ni tog er tid att svara på de 10 frågorna i enkäten. Det tar inte mer än 5-7 minuter. Du kommer till enkäten genom att klicka på länken nedan. (Fungerar inte länken kan du kopiera in den i din web-läsares adressrad.) Dina svar i denna enkät är mycket värdefulla! De kan hjälpa oss att få en bredare bild av en eventuell förändring i matvanor det senaste året. Svaren är helt anonyma. Har du några frågor om formuläret eller vad det ska användas till är du välkommen att kontakta Susannah på , eller Tack för din hjälp! formkey=denrwgpbq0pxmg9kmwftsvi0vnrdbgc6mq 61

62 /Helena Appendix 4: Questionnaire to 39 participants 62

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