11 Seiten, Note: B
Key words : organic food, health, local food, organic farming, slow food
In recent decades, rapid changes in the health status of children and adults have occurred in most developed countries. An increase in prevalence of several chronic diseases, such as obesity and degenerative pathologies affects all age groups. These diseases are strongly associated with food intake and food choices. (Bellisle 2003)
According to Magkos et al. (2006) consumer are concerned about the safety and quality of conventional food in recent years. He argues further that the preference for organic food is associated with multiple factors. Nowadays people are more interested in animal welfare, environmental protection and personal health. Harper (2002) claims that people know too little about the additives of conventional food, such as hormones, pesticides, herbicides and antibiotics. The fact that consumers purchase organic food mainly for health reasons is supported by many other researchers. (Klonsky 2000, Makatouni 2002, Fillion and Arazi 2002)
Organic food is the fastest growing sector of the food market in Australia, Northern America, Japan and Europe. Nonetheless the sales of organic food still account only 1 % of the total food market. The growth in many countries is between 20 and 30 per cent annually (Makatouni 2002). More and more people try to be ethical. A number of surveys have identified that a key factor of purchasing organic food is because of ethical reasons. Being ethical and being an ethical consumer means purchasing products which do not harm the society or the environment. This could be as complex as boycotting goods produced by child labour or as simple as buying free-range eggs.
Organic food is produced according to a set of principles and standards concerning such issues as pesticides, additives, animal welfare and sustainability. (BBC UK) Sales of organic food in the UK have increased dramatically in recent years. According to the latest Soil Association Organic Market Report, sales were up by 30 per cent in the UK on the previous year. (Soil Association UK, 2006)
Klonsky (2000) stated:
“The principal guidelines for organic production are to use materials and practices that enhance the ecological balance of natural systems and that integrate the parts of the farming system into an ecological whole” (p.239).
Organic agriculture can not 100% ensure that the products are free of residues, but methods are used to minimize pollution to soil, water and air. The aim of organic agriculture is to optimize the productivity and health of interdependent communities of soil life, animals, plants, and people. According to Makatouni (2002) organic food is perceived as food without “chemicals” and “growth hormones” and the goods are “not intensively” produced and are grown “naturally.”
Several studies and surveys (Stolze et al. 2000, Magnusson et al. 2001, Gil and Soler 2006) compared organic and conventional systems of farming. The general findings of these surveys pointed out that organic farming is less damaging for the environment because:
· Organic farms are better than conventional farms at sustaining diverse ecosystems. (Animals as well as populations of insects and plants)
· Organic farms do not use synthetic pesticides; therefore they do not release them into the environment. Some of these pesticides could harm water, soil and local terrestrial and aquatic wildlife.
· Organic farming is producing less waste and they are using less energy
Magkos et al. (2006) claim that properly processed and organic grown foods are not necessarily free from synthetic chemicals and other pesticides of conventional farming. Consumers are willing to pay significant price premiums to obtain the goods because there is a widespread belief that organic food is safer and healthier than conventional food. A recent study for example reported that a number of organochlorine pesticide (OCP) residues were present in the soil environment and tomatoes cultivated in line with the organic standards, and despite that such chemicals have never been applied on the farm (Gonzalez et al., 2003 quoted in Magkos et al. 2006). Volatilization, surface runoff, wind dispersion, and subsequent redeposition by precipitation of pesticides applied in the surrounding areas have been suggested to contribute to pollution of “non-target” areas such as organic farms.
Fillion (2002) argues that disputes have arisen if organic goods are nutritious safer and better for society and environment since the demand for organic foods has grown globally. Many consumers think that organic food taste different and better, especially because they usually pay a price premium for the goods. There is no doubt that organic production is better for the environment and the animal welfare. But so far there is no evidence that “organic food” tastes better. For instance, in a leaflet entitled “organic – as natural as nature intended”, Tesco’s Supermarkets claimed, “as they are naturally grown, you will notice a difference in taste and texture”. Advertising Standards Authority (ASA) investigated the claim, and found that “there was no convincing evidence supporting it”. Tesco’s leaflet had therefore to be changed (Fillon 2002). Magkos et al. (2006) stated:
“At present there is no scientifically tenable evidence that any differences observed between organic and conventional food would lead to any objectively measurable effects on human health. In fact, health benefits resulting from the consumption of a specific food or food ingredient are not unanimous, but most probably depend on the genetic background, dietary habits, and overall lifestyle of an individual” (p.42)
Organic food sales only accounts for 1-2%. Of course not everybody buys or wants to buy organic grown products. The major obstacle to buy organic foods is the higher price. However many writers point out that most consumers seem to be willing to pay only a little of 5-10 per cent more for organic foods. Another barrier which is often cited is the limited availability of organic grown products. (Magnusson et al. 2001)
Today, organic producers are still only occupying a niche, but may have a much larger potential (Wier 2002). It is important that the organic goods are distributed through conventional channels. The expanding of the range and availability of organic products in supermarkets made it possible to reach all the consumers who are potentially interested in organic grown food.
There are quite a few studies about consumer behaviour and organic food. (Marshall et al. 2007, Hansen et al. 2005, Johns and Pine 2002) Wier and Smed (2000 quoted in Wier and Calverley 2002) find that families with young children have the highest propensity to buy organic foods. It is widely acknowledged that consumers’ decisions are multisided and complex. Many environmental and personal factors can contribute the choices. Consumer knowledge, attitudes and beliefs are important for the decision making process. Thomson et al. (2007) argue that children have been acknowledged as important influencers and decision makers in family purchases, they have largely been neglected as research participants. Parents want to be good role models for their children; therefore families with children tend to buy more and are willing to pay more for organic food. However feeding children is also an emotional matter; parents may for example feel torn between providing a healthy diet and giving them what they think they want, in a culture where food treats are used regularly as rewards for good behaviour.
Projektarbeit, 10 Seiten
Examensarbeit, 65 Seiten
Bachelorarbeit, 61 Seiten
Hausarbeit (Hauptseminar), 26 Seiten
Hausarbeit, 16 Seiten
Wissenschaftliche Studie, 21 Seiten
Hausarbeit, 43 Seiten
Projektarbeit, 10 Seiten
Wissenschaftliche Studie, 21 Seiten
Hausarbeit, 43 Seiten
Der GRIN Verlag hat sich seit 1998 auf die Veröffentlichung akademischer eBooks und Bücher spezialisiert. Der GRIN Verlag steht damit als erstes Unternehmen für User Generated Quality Content. Die Verlagsseiten GRIN.com, Hausarbeiten.de und Diplomarbeiten24 bieten für Hochschullehrer, Absolventen und Studenten die ideale Plattform, wissenschaftliche Texte wie Hausarbeiten, Referate, Bachelorarbeiten, Masterarbeiten, Diplomarbeiten, Dissertationen und wissenschaftliche Aufsätze einem breiten Publikum zu präsentieren.
Kostenfreie Veröffentlichung: Hausarbeit, Bachelorarbeit, Diplomarbeit, Dissertation, Masterarbeit, Interpretation oder Referat jetzt veröffentlichen!