How do South Australian consumers negotiate and respond to information in the media about food and nutrition? The importance of risk, trust and uncertainty

Paul Ward, Julie Henderson, John Coveney, Samantha Meyer

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

28 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

The amount of information in the media about food and nutrition is increasing. As part of the risk society, consumers have a moral imperative to synthesize this information in order to manage their diet. This article explores how media information about food affects how consumers place trust in the food system and strategies adopted to manage conflicting nutritional information. Qualitative interviews were undertaken with 47 shoppers drawn from higher and lower socio-economic metropolitan and rural locations. There was an overriding trust in the Australian food system; however, participants talked about the impact of the large amounts of complex, confusing and often contradictory information. For some, this led to an active search for 'truth'. For others it created uncertainty and anxiety, and for others a sense of paralysis or stasis. The findings are explored in relation to the production and consumption of risks in late modernity and the interrelationship between trust and risk.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)23-41
Number of pages19
JournalJournal of Sociology
Volume48
Issue number1
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2012

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