Reducing environmental impacts through sustainable food choice

Grantham Scholar Dr Fiona Graham is now a Postdoctoral Research Associate at Newcastle University. At the Grantham Centre she explored how university staff and students could be encouraged to embrace sustainable food choices within a cafeteria setting.   


Watch: Grantham Centre Scholar Interview: Fiona Graham. Fiona speaks about her project at the Grantham Centre and her hopes for sustainability.

In 2019, Fiona was interviewed by The London Economic about her work calling for more nutritious food in cafes. If you want to read the full interview, then you can look here.

Healthy diets and sustainability by Fiona Graham. In this blog, Fiona introduces the complexities of healthy diets and sustainability, including the difficulty of good data and unforeseen impacts.

Social media

If you want to keep up to date with Fiona, then you can follow her on Twitter.

The project

There is a clear consensus that UK food consumption patterns are environmentally unsustainable. In order to change this, we urgently need policies to instil greener patterns of consumption. For example, a greater use of plant foods and fish from sustainable sources, combined with moderation in use of animal foods and processed food.

As a result, this project explores how university staff and students might be encouraged to embrace sustainable food choices within a cafeteria setting.

Initially, the research focus will be to develop a sustainability index. This index will be based on water and carbon use of foods and beverages as sold in university cafeterias.

And the study will also gather information on students’ knowledge, beliefs and attitudes towards dietary change for the environment. These data will be used to inform policy development around sustainable food choice.

Finally, the last part of the work will specifically test the efficacy of interventions that extend university food sustainability policy on food choice.

Fiona Graham’s publications

Fiona Graham, Margo Barker, Manoj Menon, Michelle Holdsworth, Acceptability and feasibility of a café-based sustainable food intervention in the UK, Health Promotion International, Volume 35, Issue 6, December 2020, Pages 1507–1518,

Graham, F.; Russell, J.; Holdsworth, M.; Menon, M.; Barker, M. Exploring the Relationship between Environmental Impact and Nutrient Content of Sandwiches and Beverages Available in Cafés in a UK UniversitySustainability 201911, 3190.


Professor Michelle Holdsworth

School of Health and Related Research


Dr Manoj Menon

Department of Geography

Dr Margo Marker

Sheffield Hallum University