The relevance of the study is explained by its design to constantly monitor the state and risks of food security in Russia, the importance of such monitoring ever increasing with the pandemic and a resulting decrease in household incomes. The objective of the study is to examine the degree to which the Russian society has achieved food security, not according to government programs and strategies of national development, but regarding the economic affordability of food for the population. The subject of the research is the Russians’ everyday food practices and their perception of personal and family risks in food consumption. By 2020, a sociological monitoring model was developed and successfully tested, which is a combination of two methods – a representative telephone survey (nationwide sampling) and ‘expert’ interviews (the longest conversations of interviewers with respondents are transcribed in order to identify explanations in respondents’ answers to the questions of the standardized formalized interview). The results of the study (sociological data) supplement the statistical and economic assessments of the possibilities and limitations of the stable functioning of the internal market given the global economy shocks. The study allows a more accurate assessment of the state of the domestic market under the rising prices and the government’s attempts to limit them. Thus, we can make the following conclusions: the Russians’ inconsistent self-assessments of food practices can be explained by two factors – Russians not only assess their past and present food-consumer practices, but also compare their life situation with those around them; before the pandemic, the food assortment began to expand, and in the difficult social-economic conditions, exacerbated by the pandemic restrictions, food became almost the only source of a sense of ‘normality’ and of bright exceptions in the routine. In recent years, Russians have developed a stable model of food consumption, primarily due to the objective factors – the expansion and strengthening of retail chains, the rise in food prices and the exhaustion of households’ self-supplying strategies. Financial constraints, i.e. economic access to food, are the main threat to the food security situation in Russia. The scientific novelty of the study is the proposed interdisciplinary nature at the theoretical level (a combination of economic and sociological approaches) and methodological triangulation (quantitative and qualitative survey methods) at the empirical level. The proposed approach and the results of its application allow to recommend that the country’s leadership abandon its calls and attempts to stop the rise in food prices, which is somewhat late and ineffective, especially under the pandemic, and focus on a differentiated approach to increasing the economic access to food, instead of punitive measures restricting price growth.
Are you one of the authors of this document?