Sustainable Diets and State Policy


Dr Alasdair Cochrane, Department of Politics


Dr Christopher Bennett, Philosophy

Grantham Scholar

George Coiley

There is growing consensus that the increasing adoption of the ‘Western’ diet across the world is causing serious environmental problems, as well as raising other significant ethical concerns relating to: animal welfare, human health, food security, cultural integrity and individual livelihoods.

While these problems are well-established, this project is devoted to the more neglected political question of what ought to be done about them. Can the spread of the Western diet be legitimately slowed and reversed, both at the domestic and international level?  Put another way, if ‘sustainable diets’ need to be promoted, how should this promotion be balanced against individual and group freedoms? Fundamentally then, the project is concerned with marrying debates about sustainable diets with debates relating to the legitimate scope of political action.