The Consumption of Food between Risk of Individualism and Political Participation

Letizia Carrera


Nowadays, we all live in a globalised world, a scenery where the control on their own daily experience is getting more and more evanescent. In this variable and dangerous scenery, food is becoming a source of incertitude and danger, too. A lot of people, as consumers, perceive that their relationship of trust with food producers is cracked, so the watchword is now “to distrust”. But totally opposite sign processes live alongside these processes and these political fractures. Crisis of politics, meant in the traditional sense, in fact, if one side has alienated many people from political life, it has also changed the forms of participation. In fact, many people have started to vocalize their dissent through channels very different from the traditional ones. Consumption choices are included between them.

In this essay we focused our attention on food consumption choices, and specially on biological food consumption, which shows that the relationship between man and environment is complicated and full of deep implications.

In order to investigate this relationship, we have realized a qualitative survey by using semi-structured interviews addressed to a “sample”of 81 people who live in Apulia, selected in random way. They have been asked what kind of products they buy, the frequency of their purchases and, moreover, the motivations which encouraged them to make their choices.In checking the interviews, we find a composed classification. Different types start from the highest level of individualism arriving to the highest level of political interest. It shows as consumption of biological food, may actually be the result of very different, and even opposite, motivations.


Political consumerism; biological food; political participation

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