Charlotte L. Kildal & Karen L. Syse: Meat and masculinity in the Norwegian Armed Forces

Published in Appetite, 2017.

Abstract

In 2013, the Norwegian Armed Forces decided to introduce a meat reduction scheme in its military mess halls, for both health reasons and environmental concerns. This article explores Norwegian soldiers' reactions to the introduction of Meat free Monday, and their attitudes towards reducing meat consumption. As of yet, Meat free Monday has not been implemented due to both structural and contextual challenges. We explore both the process and potential of the Norwegian military’s Meat free Monday initiative to promote sustainable and climate friendly diets. We found significant barriers preventing the military from implementing Meat free Monday. The main reason behind the resistance to reduce meat consumption among Norwegian soldiers was meat's associations with protein, masculinity and comfort. Our results underline the importance of acknowledging the social and cultural role of food. The study is qualitative and uses focus group interviews as its main methodology.

Keywords

Military; Norwegian Armed Forces; Soldiers’ diets; Meat; Masculinity; Mentality; Sustainable diets

Published Jan. 30, 2017 11:35 AM - Last modified Dec. 11, 2017 2:35 PM