A Middle Way? Probing Sufficiency through Meat and Milk in China (MidWay)

The primary objective of the MidWay-project is to probe the concept of sufficiency as a useful organising principle to achieve reduced consumption based on the empirical inputs from meat and milk practices in China.


The fundamental challenge addressed in MidWay is to probe a position wherein consumption is decreased, but overall welfare is ensured.

In order to get at this challenge, the project sets out to better understand the ways in which supply and demand of both meat and cow’s milk have become co-constituted with and embedded in Chinese food practices.

Research questions


How have meat and milk become constructed as essential foods in China?


What places do meat and milk have in contemporary urban food-practices? How and why has this changed along with changes in materials, meanings and competences?


To what extent and how have changes in systems of provision affected the consumption of meat and milk?


What are viable avenues to promote sufficiency in current Chinese food practices, as seen through the examples of meat and milk? How can sufficiency be conceptualised, more generally?

Scientific Advisory Board

ZHAO Yandong

Department of Sociology
Renmin University of China

Elizabeth Shove

Department of Sociology
Lancaster University


Center of Science
Technology and Society
Tsinghua University

Mindi Schneider

Institute at Brown for Environment and Society
Brown University

LIU Chen

School of Geography and Planning
Sun Yat-sen University

Thomas David DuBois

Beijing Normal University

Adrian Ely

SPRU – Science Policy Research Unit, University of Sussex


    Funded by the European Union (ERC, MidWay, project 101041995). Views and opinions expressed are however those of the author(s) only and do not necessarily reflect those of the European Union or the European Research Council Executive Agency. Neither the European Union nor the granting authority can be held responsible for them.