MSU Food Literacy and Engagement Poll: Wave III

The third wave of the MSU Food Literacy and Engagement Poll looks at food labels and shopping habits.

The third wave of the MSU Food Literacy and Engagement Poll looks at food labels and shopping habits.

October 11, 2018

Numbers listed in tables are percentages unless indicated otherwise.

When shopping for food, how often do you search the label for information regarding each of the following ingredients?

  • Non-GMO/GMO-free

       
    Always  22 
    Sometimes  27 
    Rarely 20 
    Never 31 

 

  • Gluten-free

       
    Always 14 
    Sometimes  22 
    Rarely 21 
    Never 43

 

  • Natural 

       
    Always 27 
    Sometimes  38 
    Rarely 16 
    Never 19 

 

  • Bioengineered 

       
    Always 13 
    Sometimes  20
    Rarely 22 
    Never 45 

 

  • Low sodium

       
    Always  23 
    Sometimes  36 
    Rarely 20 
    Never 21 

 

  • Location of production

       
    Always 17
    Sometimes  33 
    Rarely 22 
    Never 28 

 

  • Clean

       
    Always 32 
    Sometimes  26
    Rarely 16
    Never 26

 

  • Smart

       
    Always 17 
    Sometimes  23
    Rarely 22
    Never 38

 

  • Organic

       
    Always 21 
    Sometimes  32
    Rarely 22
    Never 25

 

How often do you purchase organic foods? 

   
Always 13 
Sometimes  46
Rarely 25
Never 16

 

Why do you buy organic foods?

*Numbers listed reflect total number of responses for each answer. Individuals surveyed were allowed to choose more than one response for this question.

   
To avoid pesticides 624 
To avoid GMOs 459
Organic food is healthier 699
Organic food is safer 566
Organic food is more natural  678
Better for the environment 453
Animal welfare                      229 
My doctor suggests it 155
Family/friends eat organic 253
Support local farmers 470
Not sure 182
Other 81



Why do you not buy organic foods?

*Numbers listed reflect total number of responses for each answer. Individuals surveyed were allowed to choose more than one response for this question.

   
Too expensive 190 
Not any healthier than other foods 87
Not any safer than other foods 73
Never considered it/don’t pay attention   88
Better for the environment 2
Animal welfare 1
Not sure 54
Other 8

 

Do you take steps to reduce the amount of food wasted in your home?

   
Yes  86 
No 14

  

Using a 1-5 scale, please indicate how much you agree or disagree with the following statement: All food with deoxyribonucleic acid should be labeled.

   
Agree completely or agree somewhat (4-5) 49 
Neither agree nor disagree (3) 43
Disagree completely or disagree somewhat (1-2)  8

 

Using a 1 to 5 scale, where 1 is not at all influential and 5 is very influential, how influential are food labels in your food buying decisions?

   
Influential or very influential (4-5)  60 
Some influence (3) 27
Minimal influence or not at all influential (1-2)  13

 

Using a 1 to 5 scale, where 1 is much lower than an average person and 5 is much higher than an average person, how would you rank your understanding of the global food system?

   
Higher or much higher than average (4-5)  37 
Average (3) 42
Lower or much lower than average (4-5) 21

 

How often do you seek information about where your food was grown and how it was produced?

   
Every day 10 
At least once a week 20
At least once a month 19
Less than once a month  28
Never 23

 

Using a 1 to 5 scale, where 1 is do not trust at all and 5 is completely trust, how much do you trust the following individuals or groups when it comes to the health and safety of food?

  • Scientists employed by government agencies, such as the Food and Drug Administration (FDA)

       
    Trust or completely trust (4-5)  45
    Neither trust nor distrust (3) 31 
    Distrust or completely distrust (1-2)  24

 

  • Scientists employed by private corporations

       
    Trust or completely trust (4-5)  30 
    Neither trust nor distrust (3) 36
    Distrust or completely distrust (1-2)  24

 

  • Scientists employed by academic institutions  

       
    Trust or completely trust (4-5)  52
    Neither trust nor distrust (3) 16 
    Distrust or completely distrust (1-2)  32

 

When it comes to nutrition and health, where do you turn most frequently for information?

   
Friends/family 17 
My doctor 32
Books 6
Magazines (i.e. "Dr. Oz," "Oprah") 4
Blogs 5
Television (i.e. "The Doctors," "The Chew")  6
Social media 12
Scientific journals/academic research  18

 

 

Methodology

The Michigan State University Food Literacy and Engagement Poll was conducted online between August 6 and 9, 2018, among 2,048 U.S. residents aged 18 and over. Figures for age, sex, race/ethnicity, education, region and household income were weighted where necessary to bring them into line with their actual proportions in the population. The poll is administered by Toluna, NA, a leader in online research that manages one of the world’s largest internet-based research panels with more than 4.5 million registered and active users.

All surveys are subject to multiple sources of error. Most of these errors are often impossible to quantify. In addition to sampling error, these errors include coverage error, non-response error, interviewer bias when appropriate, and the error associated with how a question is asked or the response options given. The overall margin of error would be 3 percentage points at the widest interval.

© 2018 Michigan State University

 

For more on the Michigan State University Food Literacy and Engagement Poll, click here.

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