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Listen, Food Industry and Government: Consumers Want Quality and Fairness

Listen, Food Industry and Government: Consumers Want Quality and Fairness

Although lawmakers are hesitant to butt heads with the food industry or to help poor Americans access fruits and vegetables, they should take courage from a new survey of 800 adults commissioned by the W.K. Kellogg Foundation.

Linda Jo Doctor, Program Officer in the foundation’s Food and Community Program said:

The poll data we released today at the [Food and Community] conference demonstrates that the American public believes firmly in the good food movement. In the survey they clearly assert beliefs that produce should be healthy, affordable, green (by which we mean grown in environmentally friendly ways) and fair (meaning no one has been exploited in growing and producing it).

Among the poll’s findings:

  • 93% think it is very or somewhat important to make sure all Americans have equal access to fresh fruits and vegetables
  • 88% would be willing to spend $1.50 more (than the average $35 per month) on fresh fruits and vegetables if paying more guaranteed a fair wage for those farm workers picking the produce
  • 83% feel the federal government should shift its support toward smaller, local fruit and vegetable farmers and away from large farm businesses
  • 81% strongly or partly support doubling the value of SNAP or food stamp benefits when they are used in farmer’s markets.

When asked about their own food habits and preferences, a significant majority felt it was very or somewhat important that the fresh produce they buy be healthy (99%), affordable (97%), grown in an environmentally friendly way (86%), organic (64%), harvested by someone paid a fair wage (88%), and grown in their region (89%).

The results are encouraging for farmers and activists working for a more just and sustainable food system. It also underscores the need for consumers and government to be more demanding of industrial agriculture and food manufacturing, where profits have trumped health and the environment for decades.

Ricardo Salvador, Director of the Food and Environment Program of the Union of Concerned Scientists, said:

What this poll shows us is that the public is ahead of where decision makers are. The public is actually demanding that the food system deliver health, that it deliver fairness, that it is good for the environment. We need to change our government policies so that we actually follow with what eaters are expecting of our food system.

The quality of our food is directly tied to the health of our bodies and the planet. The public is already stepping up to the plate. Now it is up to government and industry to catch up.

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Photo credit: Cathryn Wellner

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32 comments

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9:32AM PDT on Aug 26, 2012

The retarded evil GOP ultra right wing TParty's self-destruct agenda is leading the Republican Conservatives sharply to the right into insanity!!! The neo-con vultures and their hate fest goals full of hypocrisy and self-righteous falsehoods manage to deceive a significant body of voters, why else would they manage to get 48%of the vote?

11:07AM PDT on May 28, 2012

What we have in America today is genetically modified crops, Monsanto profits on GM corn, soy, beans, with lack of information provided to the consumer public. We have heavily chemical fertilized plants, antisecticide sprays, so much that the vegetables have little or no tast anymore. Profits is the goal and the aim of vulture Capitalism is to maximize the shareholders bottom line at the expense of the consumer's health. The GOP objective in Romney is to place a proven vampire CEO Corporate to be elected as President, where the Agriculture lobby can run amok with impunity.

8:37AM PDT on May 27, 2012

Thanks

5:56AM PDT on May 25, 2012

Linda J, if that's your gripe with government there is a simple answer, overturn the unconstitutional Citizen's United decision by a corrupt Supreme Court and never vote for a Republican again.

5:50AM PDT on May 25, 2012

It would be nice to buy local organic food, but we'd all starve in winter if we restricted ourselves to that. Around here we only get 3-4 months tops when local food, organic or not, is even available.

3:43AM PDT on May 24, 2012

Buy local organic food.

9:16PM PDT on May 23, 2012

Linda J., so you don't like the government well then YOU should do better because YOU are a part of the government. You see that is the problem, WE have forgotten that WE are the government and those people sitting in office only work for us.

If you don't vote then you have NO right to complain and If you vote against your own interest you get what you ask for. Either admit that YOU are the government or stop calling America a Republic and start calling it CORPORATE America.

8:48PM PDT on May 23, 2012

Linda, then build your own roads, make your own laws, pay for your own schools, and don't call the fire dept. And make lots of pointy sticks, you don't get to benefit from the army.

don't collect SS, or medicare, or unemployment.

You couldn't go one day without using what the government gives you.

Where do these people come from?

8:44PM PDT on May 23, 2012

sorry people, but the 'government' we have today is only for filling their pockets with as much cash as they can before they are caught - I prefer to 'take care of myself'

7:11PM PDT on May 23, 2012

The government doesnt want us to be healthy or educated or confident. We live in a domocracy. Citizens need to vote responsibly and educate theirselves on the issues. WE deserve better

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