Consumers’ Food Choices and the Role of Perceived Environmental Impact

Consumers’ Food Choices and the Role of Perceived Environmental Impact

S. Wunderlich K.A. Gatto 

Department of Health and Nutrition Sciences, Montclair State University, Montclair, NJ USA

01 November 2016
| Citation



As the world population grows to a predicted 9 billion people by 2050, food availability and security should be considered, and the relationship between food production and consumers’ selection of their food may influence the global agriculture system and perhaps the environment. In an altruistic sense, purchase of sustainable foods is strongly correlated with the measures of ethical self-identify, moral attitude, concern for environmental issues, and other measures of global concern. Additional analysis of values in relation to environmental purchasing and policy similarly found that intention to purchase environmentally friendly products is positively correlated with food and environmental concerns. While this ethical vision of making sustainable or organic food choices is often viewed as altruistic, it can also be viewed as an egoistic motivator, as it relates to personal identification as an ethical person. Food choice is driven by other egoistic values as well, including nutritious qualities, sensory qualities, and overall health effects of food purchases. Attitudes toward genetically modified foods, which are not organic and are viewed as non-environmentally friendly, has been correlated with decreased purchasing behavior, indicating that the tie between attitudes towards certain food production methods can predict actual purchasing. Current research examines the complex relationship between consumer knowledge and purchasing behavior relating to multiple food production methods, including organic, genetically modified, and conventional.


consumer, environment, ethical value, food choices, food production system, genetically modified organism, organic


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