19. Eve Turow-Paul, Food for Climate League

Eve Turow-Paul is an author, globally-recognized thought leader, and the founder and Executive Director of Food for Climate League (FCL). FCL is a nonprofit that is on a mission to democratize sustainable eating and empower action towards climate-smart eating through campaigns, toolkits and behavioral design interventions. By facilitating a deeper understanding of how people think and make decisions, FCL creates narratives and implementation strategies that reframe climate-smart eating as enticing, accessible, and culturally-relevant. On this episode of Food Lab Talk, Michiel speaks with Eve about the complex nature of behavior change, the hidden drivers influencing food choices, and the importance of listening to and learning from the community to drive lasting change. 

Eve Turow-Paul: “[There’s] this myth that most people don't care about the climate crisis. No, the vast majority of people care. That doesn't mean that it's driving their everyday decisions because we have record high rates of loneliness, stress, depression, anxiety. There are so many other immediate things that are shaping our decisions. Sometimes it's cost, sometimes it's availability, sometimes it's just comfort. You have to be able to paint people a picture of the eventual benefits. Most of the work we [at FCL] do is focusing on the ‘here and now’ including how we make [shifting behavior] something that is related to someone's own personal identity and their immediate needs and values. It's kind of like an added benefit of, oh, and by the way, it's also good for the environment.”

00:16 Intro to Eve
00:49 Understanding how stress, anxiety, & depression influence food behaviors
03:04 The impact of the market research intention-action gap
04:14 Why research is essential to bending food culture in a more sustainable direction
05:28 Co-developing narratives to build trust
07:20 Untangling the complexities of food- and environment-related narratives
09:01 Linking narratives to Self-Determination Theory and Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs 
13:10 Myths and false stories hinder consumer choice and business decisions 
14:23 Freedom of choice and unifying truths in a world of polarization
18:59 How human experience influences motivation to change
20:35 The tension between instant gratification and long term ramifications 
23:06 Case study: Embracing plant-forward foods in workplace cafeterias 
27:44 Creating change by peeling layers of the “onion”
29:48 Perception and behavior: Why narrative isn’t the only tool
33:18 Takeaways for changemakers 


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*The views expressed by the guests in this podcast don't necessarily represent the host’s views, nor those of his employer.

19. Eve Turow-Paul, Food for Climate League
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