Despite dollar sales in 2015, with the largest

Despite thisdiscouragement, the global organic market kept on growing, recording 81.6billion U.S. dollar sales in 2015, with the largest in the United Stated (39.72billion U.S.

dollars) as shown in figure 3. Further, the growth is projected tocontinue (Willer & Lernoud, 2017). A study on Appetite concluded thatperceived health benefits of organic food were stronger attributes thanperceived environmental benefits. This means that organic consumers are beingegoistic in their choice rather than altruistic (Magnussona, Arvolaa, Hurstia,Aberg & Sjoden, 2002).

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Nevertheless, few know the fact that “organic is aprocess claim, not a product claim”, it refers to the process by which theorganic product is being produced and handled rather than the properties of thefinished good itself (Kouba, 2002).                   Figure 3: Development of global organic market 2000-2015 With the increasedinterest in food safety, researchers questioned the reasons. The Department ofAgricultural Economics that conducts surveys over agriculture and nutrition,tested the perceptions of organic consumers in terms of purchase, food quality,food safety, and price. Using open-ended questions, consumers stated price,freshness, quality, appearance and ingredients are the followed criterion inorganic food choice. They proclaimed that there was an encouraging positivedevelopment in food safety, and was willing to pay premium for animal and plantorganic food; 30% and 22% more. They also avoided risks relative to lifestyle,and others seemed to be uncertain, not trusting food safety authorities (Rohret al, 2004). According to Lockie,Lyons, Lawrence & Mummery (2002), the growth in the organic food sector isdriven mostly by high income consumers attracted to health and food safety attributesand to the high status of niche-market organic foods. They tended to apply a2-path test to collect their data; by focus groups and by surveys.

There were13 focus groups whose interviews were taped, and the surveys were conducted by1,200 Australian consumers to have data on the organic food consumption andother health behaviors (motivation and attitudes). After the tests, the resultissued confirms that the limitations against organic food consumption werecost, convenience and availability. However, the motives were related mostly tohealth, environment, animal welfare, and mood; and slightly related to priceand religion. They found that the small number of organic consumers were thefactor behind having a dramatic increase in demand or organic food.  Religionand Food     Religion is a communalattribute defined by boundaries. That is, it takes the boundless and binds itinto the limitations of culture and language. In fact, it is originally takenfrom the word “religio” – to bind back or to tie.

It provides the setting tothe encounter with God, but it is not itself that encounter; spirituality is (Testerman, 1997). Religionis defined in terms of feeling, conduct and mainly belief; belief in God,immortality and spiritual beings. Actually, religion is a complex of beliefs.It is a “perception of man’s relation to the principles of the universe”. Andthe religious man must be, to some extent, guided by his religion (Howerth,2017), as it is an integral part for most individuals’ lives. The Journal ofConsumer Psychology reported an 80% affiliation to religion by people, and 70%of Americans’ religious beliefs affecting their behaviors (Mathras, 2016).In general, life is thegreat divide: sacred vs. secular; spiritual and matter to God vs.

physical anddon’t matter to God. Sacred issues are for sure that are set for holy andreligious use; while secular is everything rest, the world outside and thecurrent age with its concerns (Eliade, 1987). However, “secular” doesn’t meanbeing divorced from faith or religious beliefs; likewise, food “as secular” is,in some way, related to religion, controlled by religion, and chosen byreligion (Vasudev, 2016). To be more specific,the practice of religion or religious beliefs, usually, yields a variety offavorable health-related outcomes (Testerman, 1997). In terms of a relationshipbetween religion and food, findings presented that food choice and purchase areintensely affected by religious lifestyles, in addition to other social andeconomic factors (Heiman, Just, McWilliams & Zilberman, 2001).

Religionplus food equals ‘Halal’, mostly. Halal is the Muslim teaching to eat what Godprovided and avoid what He prohibited; that is carrion, spurting blood, pork,not ritually slaughtered meat, and alcoholic drinks (Fischer, 2008).In traditionalagricultural societies, so much attention was closely paid on how the food wasraised, harvested or slaughtered and then marketed. It has always been an attributeof religious rituals; and religious guidance has been historically affectingfood choice. As Schut (2006) said; “Food can be sacramental: simply hold in yourhand a piece of fruit, is it not a window through which you can sense yourconnection to soil, farmers, sunlight and rain?” Becauseorganic food promotes quality food that is a friend to environment, health,safety and naturalness, consumers may perceive that it, alike with conventionalfood, perfectly matches what is permitted by their religion. This is becausethey are leaving the responsibility on religious and governmental agencies tolook after this issue (Shaharudin, 2010). Honkanen, Verplanken and Olsen (2006)described what resulted from their study and concluded that religious motivesweren’t of that much important to 96% of the participants, in their organicfood choice.

This is also what was stated by Lindman and Sirelius (2001) whosaid that the participants in their studies regarded religion as not importantin their food choice. And regarding specific religions, Muslims for instance,Halal is the identifying certification in their food choice. They, asShaharudin (2010) said, don’t put attention on whether the food is organic ornot, as long as it is Halal.


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