Environmental Implications of Shifting Food Consumption Patterns

Short Overview:

Transitions in people’s dietary choices can influence a wide range of environmental issues including climate change, biodiversity loss, and marine and freshwater eutrophication. In this workshop we will examine the environmental impacts of shifting dietary patterns. Adopting a systems approach, sessions will focus on 1) the potential implications of urbanization, 2) shifts between animal based vs. non-animal based diets, and 3) development of novel food packaging, could have on climate change and demand for natural resources.


This workshop is supported by the Learning Community of the Specialization in Industrial Ecology and Green Chemistry which hosts in depth examinations of contemporary issues. It is intended for graduate students, researchers, and faculty interested in gaining a better understanding of interactions driven by dietary changes with other external factors. Open to the Yale community Thursday. Maximum 30 participants for Friday. Preference will be given to affiliates of the specialization in Industrial Ecology and Green Chemistry. For further information, please contact judy.crocker@yale.edu

Workshop Schedule:


Opening session- Diets and behavior

Key speaker- Prof. Hedy Kober, Yale Department of Psychiatry & Psychology.

Discussants - Dr. Alon Shepon, Mark Bomford

Friday, November 16 (Marsh Hall)




Session I- Diets and urbanization

Key speaker-Dr. Christopher Bren d’Amour, Yale School of Forestry and Environmental Studies.

Discussants - Prof. Kristin Reynolds, Dr. Dana Boyer




Session II – Shifting to plant based diets

Key speaker- Dr. Alon Shepon, Department of Nutrition, Harvard T. H. Chan School of Public Health.

Discussants - Prof. Marian Chertow, Dr. Mahlet Garedew




Session III – Biopolymers in conventional and smart packaging

Key speaker-  Prof. Anastasia Elias Department of Chemical and Materials Engineering,   

University of Alberta.

Discussants - Dr. Hanno Erythropel, Reid Lifset


Closing session- Summary, comments and future directions

Moderator- Tamar Makov, Yale School of Forestry and Environmental Studies.