Quigg, S (2011) ‘Food Miles’: who cares? A study of consumer understanding and attitude towards the term ‘food miles,’ and the perceived environmental benefits of locally produced food, with a focus on vegetables. [Dissertation]
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‘Food miles’ is widely understood to be the distance that food travels from farm gate to consumer, with the main emphasis of the concept largely focused upon the transportation of food and its associated greenhouse gas emissions. The concept was born as concerns were raised surrounding the sustainability of global agricultural and food systems and the inadvertent side-effects that can be imposed on the environment and human health. This in turn led to the promotion of local food, with consumers coming to associate ‘localness’ with both positive environmental and social benefits; however, understanding of what constitutes ‘localness’ can be put under scrutiny as the journey from farm to fork is rarely a simple connection between producer and consumer, but involves a range of different actors and agents, located in different places and at different socio-economic scales. Further to this, the validity of food miles as a concept has come under question as issues are raised over the carbon foot-printing of a product’s life cycle as a whole. The term ‘food miles’ is now, in academic terms, thought to be a title for a variety of issues including place, sourcing, greenhouse gases and cultural identity, as well as the actual distance food travels.
Due to issues of clarity surrounding the ‘food miles’ concept and ideas of locally produced food, empirical research was conducted in order to assess consumer understanding and attitudes surrounding the topic (with a focus on vegetables), and to establish whether understanding was related to the way consumers sought to engage with markets, through the collection of both quantitative and qualitative data. The study found that understanding and attitudes did indeed vary across market settings and were reflected in location choice; however, many other socio-economic issues came into play when making decisions surrounding food purchases, and perceived understanding of the issues did not reflect the development of the ‘food miles’ concept.
|Schools:||Faculty of Science and Technology > School of Forensic and Applied Sciences|
|Deposited By:||Sarah-louise Hembrow|
|Deposited On:||09 Sep 2011 17:04|
|Last Modified:||23 Dec 2015 02:16|
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