Title : People’s Perception on Contaminated Tofu: A Case Study from Tropodo Village, East Java Province, Indonesia
Aim of this research is to understand the relationship between people’s perception on contaminated tofu and decision to consume every day. Although tofu is a nutritious food, however, it has been contaminated for more than 20 years in Tropodo Village, East Java, Indonesia. Instead of wood, the tofu home industries in Tropodo Village burns imported plastic waste for fuel. Therefore, the Tropodo tofu has significant level of very hazardous chemicals including dioxins. There are 3 determinant factors for people to choose foods i.e. biology, psychology, and social factors. Based on biology factors, people choose certain food because of their perception through tongue and visual (eye) senses. Based on psychology factors, people choose certain food because of social learning. Parents always feed their children with tofu, and children have learned that tofu has been delicious. This satisfying effect becomes more likely to be reinforced. Based on social factors, people choose certain food because of the availability. Four people participated in this qualitative research. The first three people always consume tofu every day, whilst the rest is a tofu producer. This research was conducted in Tropodo Village, East Java Province. This research revealed that those people knew well about air pollution. The pollution comes from the tofu home industries which are using imported plastic waste for fuel. Community suffered respiratory infections. They also knew that Government has prohibited tofu home industries for using plastic waste as fuel. Ironically, village people prefer contaminated tofu to healthy tofu. It is because the contaminated tofu is perceived more delicious than healthy tofu. The healthy tofu, which is produced using wood as fuel, is perceived as distasteful, sour, mushy and crumbly. People do not like consume healthy tofu. Further research should be done to change people’s perception on contaminated tofu.
Lecturer on socical psychology, gender, and environmental psychology.