We have a steak in it: Eliciting interventions to reduce beef consumption and its impact on biodiversity

Date: 28, Apr, 2020
Author(s):   Selinske M.J., Fidler F., Gordon A., Garrard G.E., Kusmanoff A.M., Bekessy S.A.
Publisher: Conservation Letters

Beef production is a major driver of biodiversity loss and greenhouse gas emissions globally, and multiple studies recommend reducing beef production and consumption. Although there have been significant efforts from the biodiversity conservation sector toward reducing beef‐production impacts, there has been comparatively much less engagement in reducing beef consumption. As a first step to address this gap and identify leverage points, we conducted a policy Delphi expert elicitation. We asked 16 multidisciplinary experts from research and practitioner backgrounds to propose interventions for reducing beef consumption in the United States. Experts generated and critiqued 20 interventions, creating a qualitative dataset that was thematically analyzed to allow the interventions to be prioritized. Effective, feasible interventions included changing perceived social norms, targeting food providers, and increasing the availability and quality of beef alternatives. This work introduces a conservation research agenda for reducing beef consumption and explores a structured process for prioritizing behavioral interventions.