How Is Environmental Awareness Expressed in Our Eating Habits?

By Sophie-Anne Sauvegrain and Fatiha Fort.

Published by Food Studies: An Interdisciplinary Journal

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Objectives: The concept of food sustainability is still new and quite ambiguous. The aim of this paper is to explore the perceptions of consumers concerning sustainability criteria and to describe some of their practices and daily habits regarding food. Method: A sample of thirty people, living in the South of France, originally from Turkey, Morocco and France, participated in our qualitative anthropological study concerning their relationship to the environment, their perception of sustainable food and their food habits. Results: From a consumer point of view, sustainability of food products includes three main aspects: the origin of the product, the respect of the production season and the organic production label. These three dimensions are gradually integrated into people’s mentality. The majority of respondents have a positive attitude towards “sustainable” products and are aware of the environmental impact of the dominant agro-food system production. Concerning consumption, the adoption of more environmentally friendly practices requires better communication and transparency of information about the challenges of the sustainable food.

Keywords: Food Habits, Perception of Sustainability, Respect of Environment

Food Studies: An Interdisciplinary Journal, Volume 2, Issue 3, pp.33-41. Article: Print (Spiral Bound). Article: Electronic (PDF File; 301.975KB).

Dr Sophie-Anne Sauvegrain

Post Doctoral Fellow, UMR MOISA, Supagro–INRA, Montpellier, France

Sophie-Anne Sauvegrain is a Doctor in Anthropology (with a specialization in the anthropology of food). Her PhD focused on traditional cooking in Syria and the change in dietary habits of young people, correlated to the emergence of new forms of consumption in the public space. Her post-doctoral work focuses on the sustainability of food consumption and the concern for the environment through eating habits.

Dr. Fatiha Fort

Senior Researcher, INRA UMR MOISA (Marchés, Organisations, Institutions et Stratégies d’Acteurs), Supagro–INRA, France

Fatiha Fort is an associate professor in Montpellier SupAgro (France) and belongs to the MOISA Research Unit. In the marketing field, she focuses on consumer behaviour toward sustainable food and new product development. She is currently working on an information processing theory to understand the role of food product information (technological, nutritional, sensory), but also the effect of the interaction between brand and other quality labels in consumer choice.