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Environmentally Responsible Food Choice

Stefano Boccaletti

OECD Journal: General Papers, 2008, vol. 2008, issue 2, 117-152

Abstract: The purpose of this paper is to review and assess the role of relevant explanatory variables that influence individual purchase decisions for “environmentally responsible” food consumption. In particular, we provide a detailed review of the key empirical studies in the area of consumer demand for those foods which can be broadly considered as environmentally responsible products (ERPs). We give this definition because the choice of ERPs is a consequence of individual concerns towards environmental and health issues and consumers are directly and indirectly responsible for the environmental and health effects of their food consumption choices. The decision to purchase ERPs should reduce negative environmental effects from intensive agricultural practices, helping to preserve a public good like the environment. Consumption of ERPs should also curb health risks from chemicals for all the household members eating the food purchased in the shops. Therefore, the choice of ERPs reflects both “public” and “private” demands.

Date: 2008
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