Consumers in the US are concerned about the quality of food they are eating, but not going out of their way to look into production practices of agribusinesses — not that it was ever easy to discover the truth about food safety, of course.
Gluten-free? You tell me
Opinion was split about half and half over whether consumer food guidelines were useful and practical, or confusing and not having much relevance to the average investigative eater. Most consumers reported putting at least some small effort into trying to figure out more about food safety, but a full third did very little to no research at all.
Second opinions valued
The classic approach of consulting informed non-stakeholders into what insight they have on the matter was valued by around 80% of consumers, who were much more likely to trust key third-party certifying bodies or governmental agencies than the producers of food products themselves. Just under half of respondents threw caution to the wind and bought and consumed a product they felt they had doubts about in regards to safety, health or nutrition. Only a third of respondents thought much about the validity of claims made by celebrities or influencers.
You are what you eat
Compounding the issue was that even though most consumers reported general trust in the safety of what they were eating, it can be challenging to truly know what you are eating, since the potential of big data has done little so far to help trace the multiple origins, production histories and assemblage of the various components going into the foods we eat.
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