It Just Tastes Better When It's In Season
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Using focus group methodology, this research identifies the behavioural, normative and control beliefs associated with consuming a local diet. Using these findings as a platform, a questionnaire was developed to quantify attitudes, subjective norms, and perceived behavioural control, the theoretical constructs of the Theory of Planned Behaviour (TPB). In addition, moral obligations were measured for the first time in relation to local food consumption in an extended TPB model. The sample consisted of 114 individuals consuming various levels of local food in the Austin, TX area. Results indicate that perceived behavioural control and moral obligations had both a direct effect on intention to consume local food, as well as an indirect effect on intention, which is mediated via current behaviour. Dietary analysis was conducted using an online dietary assessment tool, the National Cancer Institute's Automated Self-Administered 24-hr recall. Between one and four recalls were collected from participants and a mean Healthy Eating Index (HEI) score was applied. Findings suggest that while controlling for age, sex, income and education, as the amount of local food in the diet increases, the total HEI score and the Dark Green and Orange Vegetables and Legumes (DOLs) component score also increases. In addition, the Saturated Fat component score increases, indicating lower intakes of saturated fat are associated with higher local food intake. This suggests that saturated fat in the diet is being displaced by local vegetable intake, particularly DOLs.
Theory of Planned Behaviour
Healthy Eating Index
Qualitative and Quantitative
Thomas, Laura (2012). It Just Tastes Better When It's In Season. Doctoral dissertation, Texas A&M University. Available electronically from