1. Modelling the Food System

How future trends and policies around meat and dairy impact health, the environment and economics


Quantitative approaches are essential to understanding the dynamics of something as complex as the food system. This work package builds on innovative food system modelling carried out by an Oxford-IFPRI collaboration to develop a multidisciplinary framework to explore the health, environmental and economic consequences of future trends in, and policy interventions affecting, the consumption and production of meat and dairy products.


Lead: Dr Peter Scarborough, Nuffield Department of Population Health

Co-I: Dr Keith Wiebe, IFPRI

Co-I: Prof Mike Rayner, Nuffield Department of Population Health

2. Enabling Change

Analysing the social and political economy context in which food system decisions are made 


This work package will analyse the social and political economy context in which food system decisions concerning meat and dairy are made. It will identify patterns, drivers and power relations, and explore obstacles to change and how they might be overcome. Activities will include: (i) a systematic analysis of the political economy drivers and dynamics of meat and dairy production and consumption, as well as existing and emerging alternatives; (ii) mapping stakeholder discourses, scenarios and changing attitudes towards meat and dairy production and consumption; (iii) ethnographic and observational analysis of food practices; (iv) policy-oriented digests of evidence in contentious areas related to meat and dairy.


Lead: Dr Jamie Lorimer, School of Geography and the Environment

Co-I: Dr Tara Garnett, FCRN 

3. Diet, Health and Behaviour

Assessing the health effects of  meat and dairy consumption and testing behavioural interventions to promote healthy and sustainable diets


Meat and dairy products are important sources of protein and micronutrients, such as iron and calcium, but are also a major source of saturated fatty acids while some types of meat and meat products contain compounds which increase the risk of certain cancers. This work package assesses the health effects of consuming meat and dairy products, as well as meat substitutes, and will develop and test behavioural interventions to promote plant-based diets. We will analyse data from large scale prospective cohort studies and conduct research to understand the extent to which specific interventions might change eating behaviour and the public acceptability of these actions.


Lead: Professor Susan Jebb, Nuffield Department of Primary Care Health Sciences

Co-I: Professor Paul Aveyard, Nuffield Department of Primary Care Health Sciences

Co-I: Professor Tim Key, Nuffield Department of Population Health

4. Environment

New quantitative methods for assessing the environmental effects of meat and dairy


In collaboration with The Nature Conservancy (TNC), this work package will develop quantitative methods to assess how meat and dairy production and consumption affects the environment, and identify interventions to reduce negative effects. Key activities include: (i) investigating the relationship between meat and dairy production and land use; (ii) exploring the interplay between water resources, agriculture, food and health; (iii) understanding better the global warming implications of different future scenarios of meat and dairy production that vary in the spectrum of greenhouse gas emissions.


Lead: Professor Jim Hall, Environmental Change Institute

Co-I: Professor Ray Pierrehumbert, Department of Physics

Co-I: Dr Joseph Kiesecker, Global Conservation Lands Program, The Nature Conservancy

5. Public Engagement with Research

Stimulating debate and informing public attitudes


Throughout the life of the project we will endeavour to exchange ideas and information with the public to inform the research programme. The aim is to stimulate public debate and participation to help design and conduct the research, and later to disseminate and discuss our findings to inspire action. 


Lead: Professor Susan Jebb, Nuffield Department of Primary Care Health Sciences

Senior Advisor: Dr Lesley Paterson, Research Services (Public Engagement with Research)

Public engagement facilitator: Helen Adams (GLAM, University of Oxford)