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Meanings Attached to Food and Sustainable Food Consumption: A case study examining how personal relationships between food producers and their consumers in Uppsala, Sweden influence how consumers experience their own food consumption
Uppsala University, Disciplinary Domain of Science and Technology, Earth Sciences, Department of Earth Sciences.
2014 (English)Independent thesis Advanced level (degree of Master (Two Years)), 20 credits / 30 HE creditsStudent thesis
Abstract [en]

This study explores the relation between meanings attached to food and sustainable food consumption. Specifically, this study examines how personal relationships between food producers and their consumers have an influence on how those consumers experience their own food consumption. Using a phenomenological approach, a number of consumers in Uppsala with various types of relationships to the producers of the food they consume were interviewed regarding their food habits and food related activities. Two groups of consumers with different kinds of relationships were chosen, and are as described: involvement in consumer-initiated alternative food networks (Group A), and no relationship at all to the producers (Group B). The observations and answers were analysed in order to detect meaning behind the interviewees' experiences of their food consumption. The meaning detected in the research material relates to giving and receiving food as a gift, how food products are valued and trust between consumer and food producer. Respondents with a connection to the producers of their food products connected meaningfulness with food related activities and with the people behind the food production. The more meaning people find in their food, the larger the increase of the potential benefits of socialisation, preservation of food techniques and food related culture. This findings result in a strong argument for creating greater consumer engagement in food networks to increase sustainability in the food system.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2014. , 46 p.
Examensarbete vid Institutionen för geovetenskaper, ISSN 1650-6553 ; 216
Keyword [en]
Consumer Producer Relationship, Consumption, Local Food, Phenomenology, Social Constructionism, Sustainable Development
National Category
Earth and Related Environmental Sciences
URN: urn:nbn:se:uu:diva-233314OAI: diva2:751744
Educational program
Master Programme in Sustainable Development
2014-08-26, Hambergsalen, Geocentrum, Villavägen 16, Uppsala, 11:30 (English)
Available from: 2014-10-02 Created: 2014-10-01 Last updated: 2014-10-21Bibliographically approved

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