Interacting with Members of the Public to Discuss the Impact of Food Choices on Climate Change: Experiences from Two UK Public Engagement Events

Alana Kluczkovski*, Joanne Cook, Helen F. Downie, Alison Fletcher, Lauryn McLoughlin, Andrew Markwick, Sarah L. Bridle, Christian J. Reynolds, Ximena Schmidt Rivera, Wayne Martindale, Angelina Frankowska, Marcio M. Moraes, Ali J. Birkett, Sara Summerton, Rosemary Green, Joseph T. Fennell, Pete Smith, John Ingram, India Langley, Lucy YatesJade Ajagun-Brauns

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

1 Citation (Scopus)
6 Downloads (Pure)


Food systems contribute to up to 37% of global greenhouse gas emissions, and emissions are increasing. Since the emissions vary greatly between different foods, citizens’ choices can make a big difference to climate change. Public engagement events are opportunities to communicate these complex issues: to raise awareness about the impact of citizens’ own food choices on climate change and to generate support for changes in all food system activities, the food environment and food policy. This article summarises findings from our ‘Take a Bite Out of Climate Change’ stand at two UK outreach activities during July 2019. We collected engagement information in three main ways: (1) individuals were invited to complete a qualitative evaluation questionnaire comprising of four questions that gauged the person’s interests, perceptions of food choices and attitudes towards climate change; (2) an online multiple-choice questionnaire asking about eating habits and awareness/concerns; and (3) a token drop voting activity where visitors answered the question: ‘Do you consider greenhouse gases when choosing food?’ Our results indicate whether or not people learnt about the environmental impacts of food (effectiveness), how likely they are to move towards a more climate-friendly diet (behavioural change), and how to gather information more effectively at this type of event. View Full-Text
Original languageEnglish
Article number2323
Number of pages21
Issue number6
Publication statusPublished - 17 Mar 2020

Bibliographical note

Funding: This research and public engagement activity was funded through multiple research grants. N8 Agrifood funded projects “Greenhouse Gas and Dietary choices Open-source Toolkit (GGDOT) hacknights” and, with the University of Manchester, funded the development of the climate food flashcards. Additional funding was provided by the HEFCE Catalyst-funded N8 AgriFood Resilience Programme and matched funding from the N8 group of Universities, and the STFC Food Network+. Development of the “Take a Bite out of Climate Change” stand and the “Climate Food Challenge” video game, as well as attendance at the Royal Society Summer Science Exhibition and the Bluedot Festival in July of 2019, was supported by funding from STFC Food Network+ and the
HEFCE Catalyst-funded N8 AgriFood Resilience Programme, matched funding from the N8 group of Universities and additional funding from the University of Manchester. This project arose from the N8 AgriFood-funded project “Greenhouse Gas and Dietary choices Open-source Toolkit (GGDOT) hacknights.’ Part of this work was supported by the Wellcome Institutional Strategic Support Fund award [204796/Z/16/Z]. We are grateful for the funding from the Wellcome Trust Manchester Institutional Strategic Support Fund, the STFC Food Network+, N8 Agrifood and the University of Manchester. During the organisation of this research, the running of the events and the writing of this paper, Sarah Bridle and Christian Reynolds were supported in-part though the STFC GCRF funded project “Trends in greenhouse gas emissions from Brazilian foods using GGDOT” (ST/S003320/1). Christian Reynolds received additional funding from NERC to support an Innovation Placement at the Waste and Resources Action Programme (WRAP) (Grant Ref: NE/R007160/1). Alana Kluczkovski was supported through a University of Manchester GCRF Fellowship funded through the University of Manchester internal Research England GCRF QR Fund. Ximena Schmidt Rivera was supported through Brunel University internal Research England GCRF QR Fund.


  • Behaviour change
  • Diet
  • GHGE (greenhouse gas emissions)
  • Learning tools
  • Public engagement
  • Science outreach
  • learning tools
  • public engagement
  • behaviour change
  • science outreach
  • diet


Dive into the research topics of 'Interacting with Members of the Public to Discuss the Impact of Food Choices on Climate Change: Experiences from Two UK Public Engagement Events'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this