Prices of cereals, eggs and milk rose the most in the EU last year among agricultural commodities. Not just that, but all but fruit became more expensive. In Hungary, the increase in not only food but also raw material prices has far exceeded that of other EU countries. Nevertheless, although Hungarians are saving money on their utility bills, they are not willing to give up eating meat.
The Human-Environment Transaction of ELTE’s Faculty of Education and Psychology conducted a representative survey, Index reports. The results show that almost the whole of Hungarian society (94.8 percent) would like to become more environmentally aware in the next year. Energy saving stands out, while reducing animal food consumption scores the lowest. This also means that while people are trying to save money on utility bills, they are not willing to do so on meat consumption.
The richer, central-Hungarian region plans to reduce its energy consumption the most. Meanwhile, Northern Hungary plans to reduce it the least. While men find it harder to go green, women find it easier. On top of that, more of them want to do so in the near future. The study focused on seven types of pollution-reducing actions that are accessible for all, Index writes. People were asked in which of these areas they planned to change in the next year to live more environmentally consciously.
Only 5.2 percent of the Hungarian adult population did not plan to become more environmentally aware in any area within a year. That is, in 2022, when the representative survey was conducted. Virtually all adults in Hungary have the intention to live more environmentally and climate friendly lives. The results show that there is a consensus that individuals can contribute to reducing pollution through their own actions.
Despite trying to live greener and saving as much money as possible, people do not want to change their meat eating habits. This is especially interesting since the price of almost every foodstuff increased sharply in the near past. Inflation in most European countries hit decade highs last year. Food prices accounted for a significant share of the increase, napi.hu writes. Food inflation is largely due to higher prices for agricultural commodities and higher costs for farmers, Eurostat’s data shows.
According to the summary by the statistical office, there were three main reasons for the soaring prices. These were Russia’s war in Ukraine, the drought last summer and the brutal inflation. The Russian-Ukrainian conflict caused panic in global markets. The reason is that both countries are major exporters of cereals, maize, sunflower and fertilisers, and the world’s biggest producers, napi.hu reminds us.
Then, Europe was hit by an unprecedented drought and heatwave in the summer of 2022. It damaged arable crops and had a significant impact on livestock farmers, particularly dairy production. Last but not least, inflation has led to an unprecedented rise in farmers’ out-of-pocket costs. To a lesser extent, the rise in costs was also driven by two other factors. These are higher labour costs and the after-effects of the Covid-19 pandemic.
Source: napi.hu, index.hu