Can Food Hubs Help Stop Climate Change?
Open Food Network are teaming up with researchers at the University of East Anglia as part of a nationwide study to explore how food hubs like ours contribute to a lower carbon food system.
The research will seek to understand the food shopping patterns of people who shop with food hubs, compared to the population as a whole. The study will explore the types of food purchases and some of the production methods used to build an understanding of ecological impact. It will under explore why people shop where they do and what are the key drivers in making their purchasing decisions to help build an understanding that can help food hubs to be scaled up.
Mark Wilson, a researcher at the University of the East of England says “I am interested in why online farmers’ markets appeal to people, how and to what extent they use them, and whether the innovation could be scaled up to become a more widespread way to buy food. I am also interested in whether using online farmers’ markets can reduce the greenhouse gas emissions associated with food, compared to buying food from supermarkets which has been produced using conventional farming methods.”
The study forms part of a much wider exploration seeking to understand low carbon initiatives within many everyday activities, from energy to transport, with an aim to understanding behaviour change at a time in which collective behaviour change has never been more critical.
The Open Food Network are very pleased to be supporting this study, with six food hubs across the country taking part. Lynne Davis, OFN CEO says “We’re very pleased to be supporting this study. The surveys have been designed to provide useful information to the food hubs themselves, as well as building a view that can help us understand how people are using food hubs across the country. We know that food hubs help build resilient communities. We also know that food hubs are a tiny part of our food system. This research will help us understand how we can change that.”