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22-06-2018 | ORIGINAL PAPER | Uitgave 3/2019

Mindfulness 3/2019

Mindfulness, Construction of Meaning, and Sustainable Food Consumption

Mindfulness > Uitgave 3/2019
Marcel Hunecke, Nadine Richter
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Electronic supplementary material

The online version of this article (https://​doi.​org/​10.​1007/​s12671-018-0986-0) contains supplementary material, which is available to authorized users.


The ecological crisis and the related consequences for societies and nature calls for a change in individual consumption behavior. Empirical evidence has shown correlations between mindfulness and ecological behavior, pointing out the potential of mindfulness to support changes in behavior toward greater sustainability. Due to its ecological impact, the field of individual food consumption constitutes a central domain in environmentally relevant behavior. However, what is presently lacking is a differentiated view on various dimensions of mindfulness and their relation to sustainable food consumption and other important predictors of ecological behavior. The present study tests hypothesized relationships between five dimensions of mindfulness, the construction of meaning in life, sustainability-related meaning, personal ecological norm, and sustainable food consumption. A cross-sectional study was conducted, which included participants with and without the experience of meditation (N = 310). Structural equation modeling shows that only the mindfulness dimension acting with awareness has a direct and weak positive relation to sustainable food consumption (β = .11, p = .04) when construction of meaning, sustainability-related contents of meaning, and personal norms are included. Further, it was seen that observing (β = .45, p < .001) and describing (β = .21, p = .004) are positively related to construction of meaning, while non-judging against expectations has a negative relationship to construction of meaning (β = −.21, p = .004). Also, a serial mediation, with construction of meaning, sustainability-related meaning, and personal norm as mediators between observing and sustainable food consumption, was tested and confirmed. The results demonstrate the value of a differentiated view on the aspects of mindfulness with regard to sustainable food consumption.

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