Participatory food costing and its impacts on local and/or sustainable food purchases
LE3 .A278 2014
Bachelor of Arts
Envirironmental & Sustainability Studies
Environmental & Sustainability Studies
This qualitative research explores the potential of individual participatory food costing to affect people’s perceptions and attitudes toward purchasing local and sustainable food, and building food citizenship. Food citizenship is the belief that citizens have the right to safe food and truthful product information, which includes actions to support community-based food systems. Participatory food costing involves volunteer consumers surveying the relative costs of different sorts of food items using a standardized tool in a systematic way. It has previously been used to assess the affordability of healthy food for families and seniors on income assistance, as well as for those on minimum wage. It has been found to have significant effects on peoples’ perceptions of food and of grocery shopping in that context. In this study, participants were first interviewed about their perceptions of local and sustainable food and their current purchasing habits. They then took part in a workshop to teach participatory food costing processes and were given food costing surveys to do on their own time. A month after returning their food costing surveys, participants were re-interviewed to reassess their perceptions and purchasing habits. Changes were found in both participants perceptions and in their purchasing habits. Participants reported having an increased awareness and knowledge of local and sustainable food and food systems and also were making more local and organic food purchases. Participatory food costing appears to be a possible tool for building food citizenship.
The author retains copyright in this thesis. Any substantial copying or any other actions that exceed fair dealing or other exceptions in the Copyright Act require the permission of the author.