Everyday food consumption practices and the complementing forms of food production cause major sustainability problems, but are nevertheless widely accepted. According to public sustainability discourses a combination of “green growth” and responsible consumers is supposed to be the best solution. This article focuses on the individual appropriation of these discourses. Based on which interpretive patterns, values and spatial relationships do food identities, attributions of responsibilities and daily practices get normalized and hence stabilized or, on the contrary, politicized and challenged? Our analysis of qualitative interviews with consumers reveals a complex and ambivalent appropriation of public sustainability discourses. On the one hand dominant patterns of the public sustainability discourses are (re-)produced. On the other hand the optimism regarding the transformative potential of responsible consumers is rejected. Furthermore, the interviewees complain about adverse circumstances that are opposed to felicitous consumption practices. The handling of daily shortcomings in meeting one’s own demands is quite diverse. It ranges from attempts to stimulate other consumers to compensations by extraordinary events (in which an ideal concept of “good food” can be implemented) and fatalistic concessions to the constraining dominant conditions. Moreover, counter-hegemonic narratives recall the contingency of powerful structures that constantly encounter resistance and therefore always remain open for negotiations, transformations and change.