Food has become a central focus for the achievement of sustainability objectives. One of the current challenges is that promoting food sustainability requires much more attention to cultural and social contexts and the food philosophies of specific groups of consumers. The present paper focuses on those consumers in the Netherlands who intrinsically appreciate the taste and the quality of food (hereafter “gourmets”). Our expectation was that, due to their respect for the origin of food and their distance from mainstream food culture, the gourmets may be able to reveal practices and cultural assumptions that help to find entry points for promoting more sustainable food choices among the general population. Drawing on literature about gastronomy, Slow Food and craft consumption, fifteen in-depth interviews were held to examine the food philosophies of individual gourmets from a health and sustainability perspective. The results demonstrated how the values of pleasure of taste, food competences and social relatedness may contribute to the extent of complementarity between culinary and ethical principles. Entry points for promoting change in a more sustainable direction include a shift from quantity to quality, such as meals with less but better meat, a shift towards making meals less focused on meat and a general open-mindedness towards other eating styles (a new look at vegetables), a shift to planning for a competent use of leftovers and a shift in willingness to accept limitations on food choices, such as the seasonal unavailability of food.
Appetite – Elsevier
Published: Aug 1, 2018
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