What’s Your Health Worth?

Wednesday, May 20, 2015
Fresh fruits and vegetables in a basket

By: Jodi Cohen, Communications Rep to the International Food Information Council Foundation (IFIC)


In honor of its 10th anniversary, the International Food Information Council Foundation (IFIC) conducted a food and health survey of over 1,000 Americans, with the theme, “What’s Your Health Worth?” The results offer a wealth of new insights into American’s health and nutrition, including perceptions of biotechnology and food safety.


Note: in this study biotechnology was defined as “the use of science and technologies such as genetic engineering to enhance certain attributes of foods.”


Here are some interesting results:
  • According to the study – the majority of Americans (66%) are more concerned with the healthfulness of food and drinks than whether or not biotechnology is used in the making of the food.  
  • When asked if biotechnology can be a tool to help ensure we have enough food for everyone as the world population grows - 50% agreed while only 17% disagree.
  • Perhaps most interesting is that only 46% of those surveyed knew the purpose of biotechnology in producing food and beverages.  36% were unsure of the purpose, and 18% answered that they “just don’t know”
  • One-third of Americans think promoting agricultural best-practices in places worldwide to grow food would be the most effective way to ensure there is enough food for everyone. This awareness trend is expected to grow.


Overall the Food and Health survey showed a solid socioeconomic divide on food-purchasing decisions, where health and nutrition rank among competing priorities, and ongoing confusion over dietary and health-related choices. These choices clearly impact how consumers see the production of food using biotechnology and how and where to effectively promote agricultural best practices to ensure enough food for everyone.


At Bayer CropScience, research and development of crop biotechnology is key to innovation, as well as the importance of transparency for consumers when making food choices. According to a 2014 Bayer CropScience Omnibus survey, 86% of consumers are concerned with agricultural practices, while 94% of consumers have no direct connection to agriculture.


A recent Bayer CropScience Google+ Hangout on Air with Zach Hunnicut, a fifth-generation family farmer, and Julie Borlaug, associate director for external relations at the Norman Borlaug Institute for International Agriculture was designed to educate consumers. Both experts expressed the importance of transparency to help consumers feel more comfortable about the use of technology for farming.


Share your thoughts with us on health, nutrition and biotechnology by leaving a comment below or sharing with us on Twitter @Bayer4CropsUS!





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