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How Sustainable Is the Millennials' Diet? Reflections on a Qualitative Study.

EasyChair Preprint no. 5414

10 pagesDate: April 28, 2021


The world population is growing at a rapid pace. Economic development is increasing the global demand for food and diversified diets. Practices of intensive farming contribute to the pollution of the environment and natural resources' exhaustion. Given the limitation of water and land resources, a dietary change is necessary that contributes for food security while ensuring the care of the planet. Sustainable and healthy eating, among which the Mediterranean diet is included, could be the answer. Literature shows that leaving the parental home to live independently during young adulthood is likely to influence food choice behavior towards the development of (un)healthy and (un)sustainable food choice patterns. This paper draws on a small scale, mixed-methods qualitative study aiming to interrogate eating practices and perceptions. Data were collected in 2019 through individual food diaries and semi-structured interviews applied to both Portuguese and Spanish young millennials. Results show that when describing their current food practices, millennials often refer to “the Mediterranean diet”. Accordingly, the participants continue to prepare many of the “homemade” and “traditional dishes” they ate before becoming independent. Reasons for that include being accustomed to the flavors, because traditional food is generally associated with a healthy and balanced diet, and the affective memories, that unite them with families of origin. Broadly, criteria include the choice for satisfying, fresh, little seasoned foods, easy and quick to prepare, well presented, and in good value for money. Finally, millennials’ food practices transversally claim for a water-energy-food nexus.

Keyphrases: Millennials, socialization, sustainable food

BibTeX entry
BibTeX does not have the right entry for preprints. This is a hack for producing the correct reference:
  author = {María Suárez-Gómez and Rosalina Pisco Costa},
  title = {How Sustainable Is the Millennials' Diet? Reflections on a Qualitative Study.},
  howpublished = {EasyChair Preprint no. 5414},

  year = {EasyChair, 2021}}
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