Pragmatic Prosumption: Searching for Food Prosumers in the Netherlands

Veen, E.J.; Dagevos, H.; Jansma, J.E.


This paper explores the concept of prosumption in the world of food. Prosumption is a combination of production and consumption: food prosumers are people who actively produce food for self‐consumption. Besides reflecting on sociological conceptualisations of prosumption, this exploratory study uses an online survey (N = 835) and semi‐structured interviews (N = 12) to examine prosumption empirically. Respondents, living in Almere, the Netherlands, have mostly personal and pragmatic reasons, such as the enjoyment of gardening and the pleasure of producing food, to engage in some form of prosumption. Respondents are hardly motivated by profound concerns about sustainability or a wish to create a ‘radical’ alternative food system. We argue, therefore, that a more pragmatic approach to the concept of prosumption in the field of food is more appropriate than sociological interpretations linking prosumption to such grand themes as power, capitalism and activism.