The W.K. Kellogg Foundation recently conducted a survey of 800 American adults, asking about their food buying patterns and preferences, and their thoughts on the nation’s farming system. And some of the results came as a major surprise.
Perhaps most notable was an apparent shift towards more local consumption patterns. For example:
- 70 percent of respondents said they have purchased fresh produce from a farmers market or stand in the past year.
- 89 percent said their source of fresh fruits and vegetables is within walking distance or is a short drive away.
- 45 percent said they harvested fresh fruits and/or vegetables from their own garden within the past year.
- 83 percent strongly or partly agreed that Washington, D.C. should shift its support more toward smaller, local fruit and vegetable farmers and away from large farm businesses.
Other notable trends included a push for more environmentally-friendly farming practices and the need to ensure ubiquitous access to fresh fruit and vegetables. Highlights include:
- 93 percent of respondents said it’s “very important” or “somewhat important” to make sure all Americans have equal access to fresh fruits and vegetables.
- 64 percent said it’s “very important” that produce be grown in an environmentally friendly way.
- 64 percent said it’s “very important” or “somewhat important” that produce be organic.
And a surprising 68 percent of survey respondents said they eat more whole grains, fruit and vegetables than they did 5 years ago.
Respondents also supported a number of equality initiatives, such as ensuring a fair wage for farmers, and instituting a national program that would double food stamp benefits at farmers markets.
Are these positive changes the product of initiatives such as Michelle Obama’s Let’s Move campaign, Jamie Oliver’s Food Revolution, the slow/local/organic food movements, and the work of countless grassroots organizations? Do these results suggest that the good news about plant foods is finally sinking in? Tell us what you think!
Full poll results are available from the W.K. Kellogg Foundation.
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