Navigation Links
Alternative food networks connect ethical producers and consumers and can lead to healthier eating
Date:10/10/2007

In the light of growing concerns about the separation of producers and consumers in our food system and the power of big supermarkets, new research funded by Economic and Social Research Council (ESRC) provides valuable insights into the motivations and practices of consumers and producers involved in alternative food networks, which include schemes as varied as organic vegetable boxes, community gardens and farm animal adoption.

Through participation, consumers tended to increase their consumption of fruit and vegetables, and improve their cooking skills and knowledge about food. The research also found some evidence of a graduation effect, whereby involvement in an alternative food scheme encouraged consumers to change their consumption behaviours in relation to other goods, such as household products and clothes.

Although the majority of consumers use alternative food sources alongside supermarkets, they often did not trust them and felt that the quality of supermarket food was inferior. Many reported that they only shopped there out of necessity. Alternative food projects also challenge supermarket-led notions of food choice. Although they may provide less choice in terms of types of product, consumers in our research associated these projects with a greater variety of foods, many of which are unavailable on supermarket shelves.

People take part in alternative food networks for a range of economic, ethical and personal reasons and these vary over time and in relation to life events such as moving house or the birth of a baby. For many, a key motivation was a desire to care for people and places, both close and distant. This involved reducing food miles, sourcing Fairtrade whenever possible, or looking for products with reduced environmental impacts and high animal welfare standards.

Dr. Moya Kneafsey from Coventry University, who led the research, commented, Consumers enjoyed being able to ask the producers about their products and felt reassured about the quality and safety of the food. Alternative food schemes enable consumers to make a direct connection with food producers, and can result in relationships of trust and loyalty.

The researchers also identified challenges for alternative food networks. There were concerns amongst producers as to how to maintain their connection with consumers in the face of possible future growth. Many alternative food projects do not necessarily want to get bigger, as they might lose the sense of connection which has been established between producers and consumers.

On the other hand, small schemes are under threat from two directions. First, large retailers are trying to create a sense of connection with producers through the use of marketing strategies such as providing names and pictures of growers and farmers on packaging. Second, rapidly expanding semi-national box delivery schemes such as Abel & Cole and Riverford Organics are also tapping into the interest in sourcing organic foods.


'/>"/>
Contact: Danielle Moore
danielle.moore@esrc.ac.uk
01-793-413-122
Economic & Social Research Council
Source:Eurekalert

Related biology news :

1. New Insights Into HIV Immunity Suggest Alternative Approach to Vaccines
2. Products containing specific probes for detecting alternative splice forms protected
3. Discovery of New Dopamine Action May Yield Alternative Psychiatric Drugs
4. Drug Offers Alternative to Surgical Treatment After Miscarriage
5. Plant pathologists evaluate eco-friendly alternatives to methyl bromide
6. Common alternative treatment for liver disease is found to be ineffective
7. Alternatives to the use of nitrate as a fertiliser
8. Rhesus monkeys in Nepal may provide new alternative for HIV/AIDS research
9. Jumping gene could provide non-viral alternative for gene therapy
10. Protect patients from exploitation by alternative medicines industry
11. Stem cells found in adult hair follicles may provide alternative to embryonic stem cells
Post Your Comments:
*Name:
*Comment:
*Email:
(Date:4/24/2017)... , April 24, 2017 ... and partner with  Identity Strategy Partners, LLP (IdSP) ... "With or without President Trump,s March 6, 2017 ... Terrorist Entry , refugee vetting can be instilled with ... resettlement. (Right now, all refugee applications are suspended ...
(Date:4/13/2017)... According to a new market research report "Consumer IAM Market ... Authorization), Service, Authentication Type, Deployment Mode, Vertical, and Region - Global Forecast ... from USD 14.30 Billion in 2017 to USD 31.75 Billion by 2022, ... ... MarketsandMarkets Logo ...
(Date:4/6/2017)... 6, 2017 Forecasts by Product ... Readers, by End-Use (Transportation & Logistics, Government & Public ... & Fossil Generation Facility, Nuclear Power), Industrial, Retail, Business ... Are you looking for a definitive report on ... ...
Breaking Biology News(10 mins):
(Date:7/18/2017)... ... , ... Sourcing custom glass or quartz parts can be a daunting task. ... execute your job can take many hours of emails, phone calls and on-line research. ... showcase the company’s capabilities and core custom categories, and enables you to start the ...
(Date:7/18/2017)... ... July 18, 2017 , ... G-CON today announced ... Trademark Office for its Patent Applications 14/858,857 and 13/669,785 both entitled Modular, Self-Contained, ... applications further expand the protection of G-CON’s R&D investments and validate the G-CON ...
(Date:7/18/2017)... ... July 18, 2017 , ... Allotrope Foundation won the 2017 ... of the Allotrope Framework for commercial use. , The Bio-IT World Best Practices ... elevate the critical role of information technology in modern biomedical research, but also ...
(Date:7/17/2017)... ... July 17, 2017 , ... Whitehouse ... testing capabilities to encompass the full series of ISO 80369 standard test procedures. ... for medical device and drug delivery systems. With this recent expansion, Whitehouse Labs ...
Breaking Biology Technology: