2022 journal article
Investigating Predictors of Public- and Private-Sphere Sustainable Behaviors in the Context of Agritourism
Encouraging sustainable behaviors regarding food choices among the public is crucial to ensure food systems’ sustainability. We expand the understanding of sustainable behavioral change by assessing engagement in local food systems (LFSs) in the context of agritourism experiences. Using theory of planned behavior (TPB) and personal norms, we conducted pre–post-surveys at agritourism farms to measure the impact of changes in the TPB behavioral antecedents as predictors of the following behavioral intentions regarding LFS engagement: (1) purchasing local food (private-sphere behavior), (2) increasing monthly budget to purchase local food (private-sphere behavior) and (3) advocating for local food (public-sphere behavior). Our findings indicate that strategies to encourage LFS engagement should seek to activate moral considerations that can motivate action across private and public behaviors, which applies to various demographic groups. To stimulate collective action, strategies should target subjective norms specifically (e.g., encouraging social interaction around local food), while strategies encouraging private behaviors should focus on easing perceived barriers to buying local food (e.g., promoting local food outlets). As agritourism experiences effectively modify the three above-mentioned behavioral antecedents, we advocate for holistic experiences that provide opportunities for deeper engagement with local food, stimulate the senses, and facilitate social interaction around LFSs.