Do you know the difference between local and organic, or how your food was grown. There is a huge disconnect between where food comes from, however; groups like CommonGround, a volunteer organization of farm women dedicated to creating conversations around farming and food, wants to help provide moms with facts around some of the biggest food myths that exist in America.
Recently, they commissioned the Gate-to-Plate Survey to gain insights into how U.S. moms feel and think about their food and the food choices they make for their families.
The survey revealed than 70 percent of moms have questions or concerns about how their food is grown or raised, a number that CommonGround volunteers hope to decrease through independent third-party data, firsthand experience and honest conversations.
Here are some interesting findings from the survey:
Guilt and Confusion Around Organic Foods:
According to the survey, confusion (and guilt) surrounds organic food, with some moms willing to pay more for organic foods even though they are unsure of what they are buying. More than 60 percent of moms overall, and nearly 80 percent of moms ages 18 to 24, said they would buy organic meat, produce and dairy products if they could afford it, but fewer than one out of 10 moms could accurately identify what qualifies food to be labeled organic.
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Nearly half of all moms surveyed mistakenly believe that organic foods have a greater nutritional value than similar nonorganic items. And not being able to afford organic meat, dairy and produce was the No. 1 source of food guilt among moms, edging out overall food affordability.
"We want moms to know that nonorganic foods have the same taste and nutritional value as their organic counterparts," said Divine.1 All foods, whether organic or nonorganic, must meet certain health and safety regulations before being sold to consumers. Organic food is only different in how it is grown, handled and processed.
Buying into "buying local":
Buying local proved to be another hot food trend, with more than 90 percent of moms responding that buying local is "somewhat" or "very" important when making food choices. Additionally, nearly three out of four moms surveyed (74 percent) believe that buying local is better for the environment.
Myths About Food Costs and the Modern Family Farmer:
Additional survey findings found that moms vastly underestimate the number of family-owned farms (98 percent of U.S. farms are family-owned) and overestimate what a typical family spends on food annually (American consumers spend only 10 percent of their income on food5). These, along with the other findings and information, are the types of food topics and information CommonGround volunteers want to engage American moms in to provide factual information.
"U.S. farmers work incredibly hard to ensure that we can produce food that is safe, affordable, accessible and nutritious," said Reese. "We apply that same work ethic to this initiative. With so many food options available, we want moms to feel good about their food choices and to know that we share many of the same values and priorities when it comes to feeding our own families."
For more information about how food is grown or raised or to ask a question, vist www.FindOurCommonGround.com or follow Common Ground on Twitter at @CommonGroundNow Hashtag: #CGConvo
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