Polling consumer knowledge, opinions on food

The Michigan State University Food Literacy and Engagement Poll measures consumer knowledge and opinions on food-related issues.

October 1, 2018

Food@MSU

The Michigan State University Food Literacy and Engagement Poll measures consumer knowledge and opinions on food-related issues. The poll provides an impartial and authoritative source of public perspectives to inform and guide priorities for Food@MSU, an initiative within MSU’s College of Agriculture and Natural Resources that aims to give consumers tools to navigate information and misinformation about food. 

The first wave of the poll was conducted in July 2017. A second wave was conducted in February 2018. Both waves asked about consumer purchasing decisions, trust and understanding. Each version was administered to U.S. residents aged 18 and older, with figures for age, sex, race and ethnicity, education, religion and household income weighted where necessary to align with actual proportions in the population. Two waves of the poll will continue to be administered each year: one in spring, one in fall. 

Key findings:

  • 35% of respondents rarely seek information about their food and where it is produced.
  • Respondents have a strong level of trust in academic scientists (59% trust vs. 13% do not trust) and government scientists (49% vs. 18%), but not in industry scientists (33% vs. 30%).
  • 49% of households earning at least $50,000 annually believe they know more than the average person about global food systems. 28% of those earning less are as confident.

Tags: food, human health: food & nutrition

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