Wednesday, May 23, 2012

The results are in

I'm looking at a couple of recent surveys today.

One, by the International Food Information Council,, surveyed 1000 Americans (not so international) on their shopping, eating and exercise habits.  Many are trying to lose weight, many find gathering and understanding nutritional information difficult.

What did surprise me was the percentage (about 2/3) who had considered sustainability in their food choices in the past year.   Turns out, though, that sustainability loses to other factors when push comes to shove.
Taste and price drive actual choices.
(% Rating 4 to 5 on 5-point scale, from “No impact” to “A great impact”)

Taste  87%
Price  73%
Healthfulness  61%
Convenience  53%
Sustainability  35%
Healthfulness and sustainability increase in importance for older folks (65 and up).

Another interesting factoid is that most people wrongly estimate the number of calories they need, with almost half under estimating.   Then why are we all so fat?   Is it because we also underestimate portion sizes?   The survey didn't give any clues to this, but maybe there are some in the full report, which I will read soon.

The recent Kellogg foundation survey
says just what the link above indicates.  Three quarters of us agree with the idea of doubling SNAP or CalFresh value at farmers' markets.  93% of us think it's important that all have equal access to fresh produce.

And consider this from the press release:

Nearly 90 percent of those surveyed said they would pay $1.50 more each month for produce to guarantee fair wages for the people picking fruits and vegetables. According to a recent study by the Economic Policy Institute, such a raise would increase the pay of a farmworker making $10,000 a year to $14,000, which would be above the poverty line.
Americans also support their local growers. More than 80 percent strongly or partly agreed that Washington, D.C., should shift its support toward smaller, local fruit and vegetable farmers and away from large farm businesses. Nearly 90 percent strongly or partly agreed they would pay more for produce if that money stayed in the community.
Who did they survey, I wonder?   And where are all these people who are so interested in food system justice?

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