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NEXT: Climate Warnings on Food Packaging and Menus

People want these things say scientists.

Researchers at John Hopkins University are pushing for labelling to be added to food packaging and fast food menus warning people of the supposed impact on climate change of the product they're buying.

A study on the subject released last week suggests that fast-food menus that feature labels urging diners not to order red meat off the menus due to the "climate impact" of those items can 'help convince customers to swap out red meat for what the researchers argue are more climate-friendly foods'—from fruits and vegetables to poultry and seafood.

The study, published in Jama Network Open and led by researchers from Johns Hopkins University, concludes that "climate impact menu labels may be an effective strategy to promote more sustainable restaurant food choices and that labels highlighting high-climate impact items may be most effective."

The study's data comes from more than 5,000 Americans who took part in a nationwide online survey last year. Study participants were instructed to "imagine they were in a restaurant and about to order dinner" from an accurately priced sample menu containing a variety of choices, including hamburgers, chicken sandwiches, plant-based burgers, and salads.

The study asked participants to "order" different foods after viewing one of three types of sample menus online. Outside of a control group, the study presented web users with choices that either disparaged the sustainability of red-meat dishes or touted the sustainability of dishes not containing red meat. Based on the results, which showed people who were more likely to avoid red meat if it had a red warning label and more likely to order other menu items if they featured a green health halo, the authors conclude that "climate impact menu labels [a]re effective" and "that labeling red meat items with negatively framed, red high-climate impact labels was more effective at increasing sustainable selections than labeling non-red meat items with positively framed, green low-climate impact labels."

The study has spurred some news outlets to suggest governments around the world may—or should—operationalise the findings.

"Policymakers have been debating how to get people to make less carbon-heavy food choices," the Guardian recounted in a recent report on the study, "In April, the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) report urged world leaders, especially those in developed countries, to support a transition to sustainable, healthy, low-emissions diets."

"Unfortunately, consumers have been resistant to change and many wish to continue eating meat," a report on the study laments. Worse still, though the study itself does not suggest that it should be used to form the basis of any government policies, its lead author, Prof. Julia Wolfson of the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health, told CNN last week that "legislation or regulation may be necessary" to force restaurants to add climate warnings to their menus.

So should we be at all worried by any of this? After all, it's 'just a label'. In isolation it is just a label, we can choose to ignore it if we want, but this is not being done in isolation. Far from it. This is part of a much larger campaign of social manipulation.

By 2025, your 'carbon footprint' will be on everything, from your gas bill to the chocolate bar you sneaked in at lunchtime. Retailers are being forced to publish the carbon footprint of all their products, banks have begun listing customers climate impact on their statements; local governments are limiting your car use to force you into reducing your carbon footprint, and the EU are introducing a direct carbon tax on energy bills.

Whilst these labels will be introduced as voluntary, the direction of travel for all of this is to eventually make the 'choices' mandatory with them linked to a social credit system. You will still be able to eat meat, but it will be 'rationed'. Once you have consumed your government-decreed weekly amount you will not be allowed to purchase any more. The CBDC see to that. You will be forced to make the 'right' choice. It's for the greater good you understand.


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