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Accounting shadow benefits of non-market food through food-sharing networks on Hachijo Island, Japan
- Tatebayashi, Kana, Kamiyama, Chiho, Matsui, Takanori, Saito, Osamu, Machimura, Takashi
- Sustainability science 2019 v.14 no.2 pp. 469-486
- accounting, financial economics, fruits, home gardens, household expenditure, interviews, nutrients, nutritive value, potatoes, questionnaires, rural areas, seafoods, surveys, sustainability science and engineering, Japan
- People in rural areas often grow foods in their home gardens and share them through food-sharing networks. Besides the obvious economic benefits, such shared food via non-market transactions enriches the inhabitants’ lives by strengthening their social relationships and nutritional quality. These shadow benefits of non-market food are qualitatively recognized, but have not been fully integrated into formal accounting systems. Thus, the present study quantifies the shadow benefits of food-sharing networks by considering the non-market food distribution on Hachijo Island, Japan. Based on interviews and questionnaire surveys, we graphically visualized the structure of the food-sharing networks and the seasonality of the shared-food species. The study revealed the proportions of foods acquired through self-production, sharing networks and purchases by systematic food category, and quantified the monetary and nutritional values of the non-market foods. The island residents shared various seasonal foods within and beyond the island, and the non-market food was beneficial to their health. More than 20% of the islanders’ annual consumption of potatoes, vegetables, seafood, and fruits were obtained through the food-sharing networks. Non-market food largely saved the household expenditure and provided a wide variety of nutrients. As future perspectives of food-sharing networks, we suggest balancing market-based and non-market food provisions, promoting local production for local consumption, and designing local food resilience in disaster events.