Westernization of Asian diets and the transformation of food systems: Implications for research and policy

Westernization of Asian diets and the transformation of food systems: Implications for research... Rapid economic and income growth, urbanization, and globalization are leading to a dramatic shift of Asian diets away from staples and increasingly towards livestock and dairy products, vegetables and fruit, and fats and oils. While the diversification of diets away from the traditional dominance of rice with rising incomes is expected and observed, current food consumption patterns are showing signs of convergence towards a Western diet. The diet transition is characterized by increased consumption of: wheat; temperate fruit and vegetables and high protein and energy dense food. Globalization and the consequent global interconnectedness of the urban middle class, is the driving force behind the convergence of diets. The rapid spread of global supermarket chains and fast food restaurants is reinforcing the above trends. The growing demand for diet diversity cannot be met solely by the traditional food supply chain. It requires the modernisation of the food retail sector, and the vertical integration of the food supply chain, in effect linking the consumers’ plate to the farmers’ plow. As a consequence, Asian agriculture is on an irreversible path leading away from its traditional pre-occupation with cereal crop production, especially rice, towards a production system that is becoming increasingly commercialized and diversified. This paper describes the determinants and trends in the diversification and Westernization of Asian diets. Implications of the evolving demand trends for food supply and retail systems are presented. The paper discusses the prospects for small farmer participation in the emerging food supply system, with a particular emphasis on Asian rice production systems. Finally, the paper considers emerging challenges for food policy, small holder welfare, and agricultural research and development priorities. http://www.deepdyve.com/assets/images/DeepDyve-Logo-lg.png Food Policy Elsevier

Westernization of Asian diets and the transformation of food systems: Implications for research and policy

Food Policy, Volume 32 (3) – Jun 1, 2007

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Publisher
Elsevier
Copyright
Copyright © 2006 Elsevier Ltd
ISSN
0306-9192
eISSN
1873-5657
D.O.I.
10.1016/j.foodpol.2006.08.001
Publisher site
See Article on Publisher Site

Abstract

Rapid economic and income growth, urbanization, and globalization are leading to a dramatic shift of Asian diets away from staples and increasingly towards livestock and dairy products, vegetables and fruit, and fats and oils. While the diversification of diets away from the traditional dominance of rice with rising incomes is expected and observed, current food consumption patterns are showing signs of convergence towards a Western diet. The diet transition is characterized by increased consumption of: wheat; temperate fruit and vegetables and high protein and energy dense food. Globalization and the consequent global interconnectedness of the urban middle class, is the driving force behind the convergence of diets. The rapid spread of global supermarket chains and fast food restaurants is reinforcing the above trends. The growing demand for diet diversity cannot be met solely by the traditional food supply chain. It requires the modernisation of the food retail sector, and the vertical integration of the food supply chain, in effect linking the consumers’ plate to the farmers’ plow. As a consequence, Asian agriculture is on an irreversible path leading away from its traditional pre-occupation with cereal crop production, especially rice, towards a production system that is becoming increasingly commercialized and diversified. This paper describes the determinants and trends in the diversification and Westernization of Asian diets. Implications of the evolving demand trends for food supply and retail systems are presented. The paper discusses the prospects for small farmer participation in the emerging food supply system, with a particular emphasis on Asian rice production systems. Finally, the paper considers emerging challenges for food policy, small holder welfare, and agricultural research and development priorities.

Journal

Food PolicyElsevier

Published: Jun 1, 2007

References

  • A comparison of household food availability in 11 countries
    Byrd-Bredbenner, C.; Lagiou, P.; Trichopoulou, A.
  • The world food economy in the twenty-first century: challenges for international co-operation
    De Haen, H.; Stamoulis, S.; Shetty, P.; Pingali, P.
  • Farm size
    Eastwood, R.; Lipton, M.; Newell, A.
  • Structural changes in the demand for food in Asia
    Huang, J.; Bouis, H.
  • Chinese animal product consumption in the 1990s
    Ma, H.; Rae, A.; Huang, J.; Rozelle, S.
  • Agricultural commercialization and diversification: processes and policies
    Pingali, P.; Rosegrant, M.
  • Urbanization, lifestyle changes and the nutrition transition
    Popkin, B.

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