Living La Vida Local: Exploring the Possibilities of Living on a Local Diet in Edinburgh
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The global system of food production is currently facing a confluence of pressures, and without change, our ability to achieve environmental sustainability and ensure future food security for all will be severely undermined. One option that has been endorsed in recent years is local food, which is seen as a fairer, healthier and more efficient alternative that can bring benefits to society, the economy and the environment. Influencing consumer demand and encouraging sustainable consumption is no easy task, and this dissertation aims to explore the difficulties in and opportunities for dietary change. In the summer of 2012 a study was conducted involving a sample of 12 Edinburgh residents who attempted to live on a diet based exclusively on locally produced food for two weeks. The participants were asked to record details of the food they purchased, what they cooked and ate, while keeping a diary to reflect upon the experience. The findings that emerged suggested a fundamental change in environmental attitudes and perceptions of local food. Participants also revealed insightful evidence of common external variables which prevented behavioural intentions being converted into action.