The study – published in the Journal of Agricultural and Environmental Ethics – aimed to gain a better understanding of the cultural context of organic consumption by analysing long-term developments in Western culture to gain perspectives on contemporary organic consumers ‘practices, values, and beliefs’.
“We have identified some important themes relevant to organic consumers today, and we have shown how these are rooted in a typically Western cultural background,” said the researchers, who said that consumption of organic food is “interesting from the perspective of more sustainable food choices.”
“Despite controversies regarding the expansion of organic production, the organic movement as a whole can be seen as a valuable driving force that stimulates the continuous improvement of food quality and inspires consumers to adopt new values and ideals that can give direction to more sustainable food practices,” added the research team – led by Dr Hanna Schösler from the Institute for Environmental Studies at VU University, The Netherlands.
Schösler and her colleagues added that greater feeling of “connectedness with nature, awareness and purity” are values that can be strengthened culturally in relation to food.
“Strengthening these cultural values in the context of more sustainable food choices may help to expand the amount of organic consumers and hereby aid a transition towards more sustainable consumption,” said the researchers.