Food Frames for Climate Change Awareness and Action

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Anthony Leiserowitz
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The interconnected nature of the food system and climate change can most simply be described as a two-­‐‑way relationship: 1) agriculture and individual food choices contribute to climate change and 2) agricultural systems and the food supply are vulnerable to climate change’s effects. Although agriculture and land use changes contribute up to 30% of global greenhouse gas emissions, awareness of this two-­‐‑way relationship is relatively low(i). This research explores how communication strategies, or frames, that utilize people’s values and interests can help to raise awareness about the existence of this two-­‐‑way relationship. Through a case study of staff and volunteers at Cooking Matters Colorado, a cooking and nutrition education non-­‐‑profit, this research identifies a set of common themes (henceforth known as “food values”) among people who see food as a path to achieving social change. These food values are then used to create and explain a set of food frames that are likely to increase awareness of the food-­‐‑climate relationship and motivate a transition to a more sustainable diet. The resulting food frames include the economic development, social progress, and health frames. i. Garnett, Tara. “Food Sustainability: Problems, Perspectives and Solutions.” Proceedings of the Nutrition Society 72, no. 1 (February 2013): 29–39. doi:10.1017/S0029665112002947.