An explorative study on factors associated with sustainable food consumption among students


  • M.A.M. Lustermans



In order to maintain a liveable world, sustainable food consumption becomes of greater importance as the world population keeps growing and natural resources become depleted. This study aims to explore behaviors and factors associated with sustainable food consumption. The study is based on a qualitative study design, which is given sense to by means of 14 in-depth interviews among students. The questionnaire consisted of open questions focused on factors associated with organic food consumption, questions on background variables and a behavior checklist. Several types of behavior were identified, being the consumption of tap water, limiting waste, freezing food, storing products in optimal conditions, cooking for more people and/or days, and eating less meat. Factors associated with sustainable food consumption as identified in this study are positive and negative beliefs, barriers and abilities, the role of social pressure, emotions, moral considerations, parental consumption, past behavior, values, means, knowledge and perceived urgency. The results of this study indicate that the framework on factors associated with organic food consumption is not comprehensive enough, and needs some expansion in order to be of predictive value for sustainable food consumption as well.


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