Organic products consumption

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Organic products consumption

Lifestyles and Consumption
January 2011


Introduction 3
Historic of organic product consumption in the context of consumer society 3
The patterns of organics products consumers: importance of social and cultural meaning 4
The sovereignty of organic food consumer 6
Evolution from traditional society tomodern society: consequences on organic products consumption 7
Organic food consumption: a respond to globalization 8
Organic products and social relationships 9
Food commodities and gift 10
The ecological modernization: a respond to the sustainable consumption paradox 12
The organic products consumption within the process of ecological modernization 12
The organic products consumptionand consumer society’s behavior 13
Conclusion 14
References 16


“The term “organic product” refers to “organically grown foods”, meaning that plants grown without the use of synthetic pesticides, fungicides, or inorganic fertilizers, and prepared without the use of preservatives”. (Oxford dictionary)
There is a great deal of consumer interest in organic product and organicfood market continues to grow in order to respond to this increased demand. Indeed large food growers, processors, manufacturers and retailers have increased their offering of organic products.
The organic food industry is evolving in two markets (Knudson,2007):
* The “the health market”: a market where low cost production practices and economic scale are important aspects. Organic food isseen as a commodity.
* The “traditional market”: a market where the consumers are interested in the social aspects of organic production. The respect of the environment and the locally produced food are important market markers.
This paper focuses more on “the traditional market” because of individual interest in discovering more about it. Through the paper, answers will be given to thefollowing questions:
* How organic products consumption has emerged?
* What are the influences of consumerism on organic products consumption?
* What is the role of the consumer within organic products consumption?
* How could be seen the sustainable consumption in the context of organic products consumption?
Historic of organic product consumption in the context of consumer societyEating and drinking are the first needs to satisfy because they are necessary parts of people’s lives. As Marx and Engels said” Life involves before everything else eating and drinking […] the first historical act is thus the production of the means to satisfy these needs”. Because it is a necessity and it presents itself throughout all human history we probably think that food consumption couldnot evolve toward consumerism.
Consumerism, which was developed during the 19th century, provides a meaning to social existence. Consumer activity is not only driven by satisfying essential needs, but it also gives a sense of life. By increasing the consumption of goods, life looks wealthier than ever and the most people can afford to satisfy their desires, the most they have to, to feel happyand gain in prestige. The phenomenon is exactly the same concerning food consumption. From a consumption which satisfies the needs people now purchase food without thinking of the original necessity to consume it. Tools used by consumer culture, like advertisements, create desire and it has not become rare to buy goods that we never bought before just to try or because it looks tasty or attractive.A supermarket is a good tool as well to incite people to buy more than they need, since goods are nicely displayed and an incredible range of goods are supplied at the same place. But consumerism involves other consequences which are no longer accepted by people. The shift between the production and the consumption induced both by distance between producer and customer and the mass production...
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