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ie.talk 03.05. – Nora Faltmann: Organic Consumption in Urban Vietnam: A Matter of Food Anxiety and Consumer Agency

Mittwoch, 03. Mai 2017, 16.15-17.45 Uhr

Seminarraum IE, Institut für Afrikawissenschaften Spitalgasse 2, Hof 5, 1090 Wien

Moderation: Judith Ehlert (Institut für Internationale Entwicklung)

Explicitly advertised organic food is a rather new phenomenon in Vietnam. Unlike the early rise of organic consumption and lifestyle elsewhere, empirical research indicates that environmental concerns are not a rationale for organic consumption in urban Vietnam. Rather, the motivation for consuming organic has to be viewed in the context of widely debated food safety issues in present-day Vietnam. Accordingly, anxiety towards what people incorporate into their bodies states a major societal health concern, to which organic consumption becomes one reaction. Yet despite high demands for perceived safe food, organic is a high-priced niche market only accessible to a specific clientele. Based on empirical research in Ho Chi Minh City, the presentation analyses organic consumption in the context of food safety and uses it as a lens to understand questions of social access and exclusion in a country characterized by rapidly growing social disparities and the fierce modernization of the agriculture and food system.

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