Organic Food Videos on YouTube

Background: Local and organic foods have shown greater importance and market size in recent years. However, attitudes, feelings and habits related to such foods in the context of social media videos have not been thoroughly investigated. As these media have become some of the most important places for internet traffic, it is important to investigate how sustainable food is communicated through these social video networks.

Objective: This study aimed to explore the ways of spreading local and organic foods on YouTube, providing a review of the trends, coincidences and differences between video speeches.

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Methods: a combined methodology of webometric analysis, framing, semantics and sentiment was used.

Results: We report the results for the following two groups: local organic videos and organic videos. Although the content of 923 videos mainly included “Good Mother” (organic and local organic: 282/808, 34.9% and 311/866, 35.9%, respectively), “Natural Goodness” (220/808, 27 , 2% and 253/866, 29.2%) and “Undermining of the foundations” (153/808, 18.9% and 180/866, 20.7%), organic videos were more framed in terms of “Frankenstein” food (organic and local organic: 68/808, 8.4% and 27/866, 3.1%, respectively), with genetically modified organisms a frequent topic in the comments. Organic videos (N = 448) were better connected in terms of network metrics than local organic videos (N = 475), which were a bit more framed than “Responsibility” (organic and local organic: 42/808, 5.1% and 57/866, 6.5%, respectively) and expressed more positive sentiment (the M ranges for organic and local organic were 521.2 and 564.54, respectively, Z = 2.15, P = 0.03).

Conclusions: The findings suggest that viewers viewed sustainable food as part of a complex system and in a positive light, and that food framed as artificial and dangerous sometimes serves as a counterpoint to promoting organic food.
Sustainability has received global attention with the United Nations’ promotion of the Sustainable Development Goals. Objective 2 “Zero Hunger” concerns food security and agricultural development [1]. In this sense, organic and local foods have been proposed as alternatives to industrialized models of food production, consumption and distribution, with the potential to overcome the structural problems of conventional sustainable consumption practices [2]. However, sustainable food markets still face a lack of information on resource efficiency and eating habits [3].

The size of the global organic food market was estimated at $ 90 billion in 2016, with the United States, Germany and France the main consumers and India, Uganda and Mexico the main producers [4]. Lee and Yun [5] provided a model to explain the behavior of organic food consumers based on stimuli (nutrition, nature, ecological wellbeing, sensory attractiveness and price), organism (utilitarian and hedonic attitudes) and response (purchase intent) . In the European context, animal welfare, regional production and fair prices were important in purchasing decisions [6].

On the other hand, the commercialization of food products showed a change in the 2000s from industrialized to artisanal, small and local processes [7]. In 2007, the term “locavores” was used for those who eat food produced within a radius of 100 miles [8]. Darby et al [9] found that a consumer’s willingness to pay for local food is independent of values ‚Äč‚Äčassociated with product freshness and farm size. Furthermore, local food is linked to authenticity in tourist contexts [10]. These results suggest that “organic” and “local” are conceptually different enough for consumers to distinguish them, although the terms often overlap in food descriptions. However, it is important to understand consumer definitions, attitudes and behaviors related to sustainable food in the context of modern technologies, such as social media sites.

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