Do Consumers Care Where Their Food is From?

Contributed by Martha Lowry

I did not grow up on a farm, but my family has recently moved to a farm and started farming. I personally have always kept a vegetable garden and loved seeing my seeds grow into the food we eat. I also used to love sit in the middle of our raspberry patch and eat them by the fistful. But I digress.
I do believe consumers care where their food comes from. That is one of the main reasons I have come back to school and am pursuing a horticulture degree. I love making my own food. I love selling it in my community and making a connection to those whom I produce for.

But not all consumers do pay attention to where their food comes from. I do not think the majority of people while drinking their coca-cola or eating their hamburger really have any idea, or care as to where or what it is made of (It is made of corn). I can see this changing with the fringe of the population, but definitely not the majority.

Yet in the UK, there has been a huge push towards labeling that tells you where your food comes from. The consumer can then choose to read this information or ignore it. But the information is available. I hope we adopt a similar system in Canada. Let us not make our decisions blind.

The majority of people who I have asked at a farmers market don’t know how a brussels sprout grows, but they buy them every week. As the generalized, possibly biased, view believes these shoppers have a greater connection to their food; it doesn’t give me a positive outlook for whether consumers shopping at a large grocery store  have any connection to their source of food.

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One thought on “Do Consumers Care Where Their Food is From?

  1. Nikki Hellyer says:

    So how do we (as an industry: agriculture) make the consumer more aware/conscious of where there food comes from? More fundamentally, do they really care? These are questions I’ve been asking myself for awhile and don’t really have an answer to. I think the public NEED to understand to help stop any misunderstandings or ‘dissing’ of our farmers. Comments??

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