On top of calories and animal welfare, consumers are adding climate impact to the list of things to worry about when deciding what to have for dinner.
Driving the news: As consumers become aware of the impacts of mass food production on climate change, they’re shifting their decisions around the food they buy—and companies are trailing closely behind to get a slice of the organic, locally sourced, non-GMO pie.
- The idea of becoming a “climatarian” (if you can stand the word) is pretty new, and considers the carbon footprint and emission level of the food you consume.
- Supermarket chain Fresh Market lists climatarian-ism as a top trend for 2023, while outlets like The New York Times and Axios have dedicated coverage to its rise.
Yes, but: While a climate-friendly shift is a welcome one, greenwashing can leave a sour taste. Canada has a relatively strong framework for organic labelling, for instance, but places like the US—where much of our food comes from—face issues around scammy claims.
- The EU is also planning to crack down on misleading food labelling, which could require a company to disclose its negative environmental impacts.
What’s next: Canadians are flocking to the organic aisle, and those who can afford it will likely continue to ramp up their demand for food that’s better for the planet. As climatarians pick up speed, ‘regenivores’, who demand foods that help heal the planet, are also on the rise.