Finding alternatives: Canadian attitudes towards novel foods in support of sustainable agriculture
Global agriculture and farming practices account for roughly a quarter of total atmospheric emissions. Protein agricultural is especially prone to green-house gas emissions. There is a need to find alternatives, both in the form of protein and sustainable practices in providing alternative protein sources. However, sustainable agricultural practices must consider consumer behaviour and attitude towards switching protein sources. In this study, we carried out a survey of 993 Canadians in order to better understand the likelihood of adoption of alternative proteins, cultured meat, insects and jellyfish; attitudes towards sustainable agriculture were also explored. Results show that novel foods that imitate traditional protein sources have a higher acceptance rate than those that are not part of the cultural food landscape. There is no evidence that consumers would switch from traditional protein sources when given more protein source options, calling into question the environmental efficacy of novel food offering. This suggests that investment in alternative proteins as sustainable agriculture requires consumer engagement in order to see widespread success.