Environmental and Community Awareness: A Local Foods Profile
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Consumption in a global industrial economy has been linked to both environmental damage and community erosion. The local food movement has been shown to provide a catalyst to community building as well as increased agricultural sustainability. Given the environmental and social damage linked to conventional consumption, this dissertation aimed to examine an alternative form of consumption, that of local food, and the ways in which participants in the local food network understand the environment and community and the possibilities for the development of an ethical relationship with the environmental community as a result of local food consumption. Using quantitative research methods including in-depth interviews, observations and short semi-structured interviews among local food participants to investigate how the local food experience contributes to the development of environmental community awareness, it was discovered that experience, education and environmental concern play important roles in shaping conceptions of environment and community among local food producers and consumers.