Thursday, November 13, 2008

Food processors dismayed by public distrust

Surprise! Americans don't trust big food processors.

Late last month, industry journal Meat and Poultry published a commentary expressing surprise and disappointment that public faith in the country's large meat processors was at a critical low.

"We're losing significant ground on food safety," Charlie Arnot, CEO of [Center for Food Integrity], which is supported by several universities as well as major industry trade associations including the National Pork Producers Council and American Farm Bureau Federation. "Ten years ago, consumers saw an outbreak or recall as a food-safety aberration, but now they believe these problems are the norm. Our survey shows that Americans are more concerned about food safety than they are about the war in Iraq." (Meat & Poultry, Oct. 24, 2008)

The Center for Food Integrity, based in Kansas City, Mo., conducted a survey last July of 2,000 American adults. The findings? After being asked to rate the statement "I am confident in the safety of the food I eat" people responded with a mean score of 5.70 out of a possible 10, with 0 being the lowest rating on the scale. Even worse, although hardly surprising given the disasters in food safety over the past couple of years, the mean score dropped even lower - to 4.68 - with the statement "Government food safety agencies are doing a good job ensuring the safety of the food we eat."

According to the survey, Americans are far more trusting of individuals - hence the rising popularity of the locavore movement and CSA farms - than they are of corporate entities.

For the complete article, and more telling statistics, click here (You'll need to register to read it, but registration is free).

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