Scared of Produce?

Articles
June 25, 2012

Scared of Produce?

Are we scared of fresh fruits and vegetables because of the potential presence of pesticides and other safety issues?

Are we being Scared Fat? Are consumers being scared out of buying produce because of fears around the safety of fruits and vegetables? That’s the title and idea behind a new report from SafeFruitsandVeggies.com, a website from The Alliance for Food and Farming - a non-profit organization that represents organic and conventional farmers and farms of all sizes. 

Stories about our everyday foods are becoming increasingly common in both traditional and social media channels. SafeFruitandVeggies.com wonders if the internet’s growing appetite for content over substance might at times be causing the public to overreact and make unhealthy food choices.

Sixty percent of consumers express a high concern about pesticide residues, much of which is based on misleading information, according to The Alliance for Food and Farming. Consumers were asked to rate which was the most important factor in purchasing fruits and vegetables - not unexpectedly, ‘safety from contamination or food borne illness’ ranked first with 39 percent of the respondents listing this as either the first or second most important factor. The second highest rated factor was ‘the cost of the product’ at 38 percent. The third most important factor was ‘free from chemical pesticide residues’ at 36 percent.

The experts concluded that there may be a growing public health threat caused by misinformation about food issues presented by the media. The greatest concern is the survey finding that almost a third of shoppers are buying less produce because of the fear that these foods may have pesticide residues. Moreover it’s affecting our most vulnerable; after hearing about the "Dirty Dozen" list, almost 10 percent of low-income consumers stated that they would reduce their consumption of fruits and vegetables

What we need to remember is the multitude of studies conducted for decades that demonstrate a wide-range of health benefits from eating diets rich in fruits and vegetables regardless if the products are grown conventionally or organic. What is not controversial is that one of the best things consumers can do is to eat more fruits and vegetables.

Scared Fat: Are Consumers Being Scared Away from Healthy Foods?