Where’s the meat? An evaluation of diet and partisanship identification


Purpose: The purpose of this paper is to comprehensively evaluate the connection between dietary choice and partisanship affiliation among the US population. Food has the potential to be a powerful factor connected to identity and political behaviour.

Design/methodology/approach: This study analyses survey data (including frequency distributions, cross-tabulations and Tobit regression models) from the Natural Marketing Institute’s 2016 LOHAS database with a total sample population of 4,134.

Findings: The results provide a platform for further exploring the interaction and effect of diet and partisan affiliation as it applies to political outcomes and market activities. This study confirms that individuals identify as either a Democrat or unaffiliated are more likely to report a vegan or vegetarian-based diet compared to Republicans. However, unaffiliated respondents are also just as likely as Republicans to report a red meat-intensive diet. Gender, race and education level are consistent explanatory factors across the entire population for influencing self-reported dietary behaviour, but location lifestyle factors, such as marital and employment status, influence partisan groups differently.

Research limitations/implications: The reliance of self-reported diet and partisan affiliation of respondents among US respondents.

Originality/value: Most research examining diet and political activities mostly stem from vegan and vegetarian identity research. This study provides a comprehensive evaluation on the relationship between diet and partisan affiliation in the broader public.


Agribusiness, Education, and Communication

Document Type





Diet politics, Dietary preference, Food policy, Food politics, Republican vegan

Publication Date


Journal Title

British Food Journal