Making Sense of Sustainability: A Practice Theories Approach to Buying Food

Anke Brons*, P.J.M. Oosterveer

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

11 Citations (Scopus)


In light of global climate change the relevance of sustainable food consumption is growing, yet access to it has not correspondingly developed. This paper addresses the issue of accessing sustainable food from a practice theories perspective. The case of students in Paris is examined by means of interviews and participant observation. Four indicators serve to structure the results, i.e., mode of recruitment, mode of engagement, degree of commitment, and bundles of practices. Based on this analysis, three types are constructed, each with distinct access issues. We conclude that access to sustainable food is not necessarily determined by financial means only, nor by individual attitudes, but should be analysed as embedded in the complex dynamics of multiple social practices. Building on these insights means that more attention for the actual practice of accessing sustainable food, the different elements, and bundles involved is needed when looking for ways to increase access to sustainable food.
Original languageEnglish
Article number467
Number of pages15
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 2017


  • sustainable consumption
  • food access
  • practice theories

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