Environment or Economy? Food Concerns and Sustainable Food Transitions in the UK

Mike Foden, Emma Head, Tally Katz-Gerro, Lydia Martens

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Recent years have seen the emergence of calls for the transformation of food systems to make these more responsive to environmental, access and health challenges. Addressing how the UK food system may best meet these challenges, this article develops understanding of the multiple food concerns that guide practices of food provisioning at the intersection between markets and domestic life. Combining insights from a survey questionnaire and qualitative fieldwork from research that was part of the EU Horizon2020 SafeConsume project, we depict how practices of food provisioning are guided by concerns driven by economic and environmental logics. The findings suggest economy is prevalent while environmental food ethics are marginalised. The conclusion discusses how the adopted practice theoretical approach, which combines an analysis of the socio-material arrangements of provisioning and the relationship between food concerns and higher order considerations, advances understanding of the nature of food concerns and the challenges of sustainable food transitioning.

Original languageEnglish
StatePublished - 2021

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
The authors disclosed receipt of the following financial support for the research, authorship and/or publication of this article: the data presented in this article are part of the EU Horizon2020 funded SafeConsume project, Grant number: H2020 – SFS – 2016 – 2017: Project no. 727580.

Publisher Copyright:
© The Author(s) 2021.


  • economy
  • environment
  • food concerns
  • food systems
  • provisioning
  • socio-material arrangements
  • sustainable food transitions
  • teleoaffectivities
  • theories of practice

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Sociology and Political Science


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