What's local? Access to fresh food for older people

Della Madgwick, Neil Ravenscroft

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


This article seeks to engage with two key debates: how we understand ‘local’ with respect to the ways in which people move around local economies to buy food; and what this tells us about food planning and policies to reduce the length of the food supply chain. Using a focus group of older people in Brighton and Hove, England, the article suggests that the social experience of food shopping is informed by individuals’ cultural capital, allied to the ways in which they travel around the city. In contrast, food planning is dominated by imperatives to localize the points of both production and sale, apparently with scant regard for the rather different connections between production and sale made by the shoppers themselves. The article concludes that, for the older people in the study at least, ‘local’ is little more than a spatial referent along a continuum of shopping experiences.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)122-133
Number of pages12
JournalLocal Economy
Publication statusPublished - 2011


  • food choices
  • food shopping
  • food supply chains
  • local food
  • older people


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