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Title: Education for sustainable development and meat consumption among inhabitants of two Maltese districts - a qualitative study
Authors: Mifsud, Mark C.
Spiteri, Loraine
Keywords: Environmental education -- Malta
Sustainable development -- Malta
Meat industry and trade -- Malta
Sustainable living -- Malta
Food -- Moral and ethical aspects
Issue Date: 2017
Publisher: Paper Publications
Citation: Mifsud, M. C., & Spiteri, L. (2017). Education for sustainable development and meat consumption among inhabitants of two Maltese districts – a qualitative study. International Journal of Recent Research in Interdisciplinary Sciences, 4(2), 14-25.
Abstract: Malta and Gozo, two small islands forming part of the Maltese archipelago, are so near yet so distinct. As the two islands possess differing geographical features, two districts were selected – the predominantly urban Northern Harbour District (NHD) in Malta and the fertile rural district of Gozo – the main aim being to determine whether there is a relation between the inhabitants’ geographical location, the extent of meat consumption and the possible links of education for sustainable development to a sustainable diet. In fact, global patterns of meat consumption differ between and within countries. In view of this, the role played by the geographical location together with other motivating factors affecting meat consumption were explored, as also the level of awareness related to the environmental impact of meat production. Awareness on how our dietary choices impact our health and the environment is vital and the key vehicle required for citizens to be informed is Education for Sustainable Development (ESD). The qualitative data was collected through four focus groups – two for each district – with the data collected being mainly analysed through thematic analysis. Based on the results emerging from the transcribed focus group texts, this study reveals that the absolute majority of participants in both districts are meat eaters although their meat consumption patterns differ. Gozitans are still more inclined to adhere to the traditional way of life, conforming to religious practices by including a variety of non-meat local produce in their menus. While taste and health are the two most determining factors for consuming meat, chicken is the preferred meat of both districts. The absolute majority are unaware of the negative environmental impact of meat production and consumption, although Gozitans are more knowledgeable about current farming systems. This study therefore reveals that geographical location does have an influential role in the dietary patterns of its inhabitants and that environmental attitudes are not a strong deciding factor. This study continues to uphold the vision that culture should be considered as one of the main pillars of ESD.
ISSN: 23501049
Appears in Collections:Scholarly Works - CenEER

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