Check out my new book, The Non-Toxic Avenger: What You Don't Know Can Hurt You, available from Amazon.

2012 Silver winner in the Health/Medicine/Nutrition Category of the Independent Publishers Book Awards

Sunday, March 9, 2008

Food priorities poll

Oh, bountiful foodsI went to a talk last week about making environmentally friendly food choices and came away with quite a few ideas that I'll be sharing with you over the next few weeks. One thing the speaker mentioned that I found to be very interesting was a poll regarding what people valued when making food choices.

I thought it would be interesting to run a food priorities poll of my own. Please make only 3 choices (the polling software allows you to choose all of the options, but I would like you to limit it to 3).

18 comments:

Kim said...

I think supporting local/having contact with local would be a bigger priority for me (I did not indicate it as one of my three) if it were just more possible.

However, living in Alaska...reducing the carbon footprint and buying local are pretty difficult and lofty goals to attain. Especially in the winter.

June-Aug/Mid September I buy all the local produce I can though. The rest of the winter it's just Alaskan carrots and potatoes. Especially since our "local" dairy has bitten the dust...

LimeSarah said...

The options are so interconnected that it was difficult to pick just three, which I suppose it probably the point.

organicneedle said...

Awwww, Crunchy, no fair, only 3? I want them all. Or at least 5 Organic or as close to it is a biggie for me. I find that having kids makes me have to pick food safety and labeling. (9 out of 10 really bad pediatricians recommend discount sushi for toddlers.)

The packaging has def. entered the picture as important. Still have tons to learn and work out.

Local for NY is also seasonal. And we don't get quite the bounty of the south or CA. So...I could never go whole hog with it. (Avocados rank right next to air for me. Maybe a little above.)

hannah said...

One option that wasn't on there was price, and I know that affects a lot of people's decisions about food. While I think that buying organic, local and reducing food packaging is important, if those options make my food budget unattainable, then I have to compromise. Ugly but true.

Christy said...

I think you left off the most common answer which would be price. Maybe not so much for your readers but certainly for most people I know in real life. They don't care about any of the stuff you had in your poll except maybe freshness, their number 1 priority is price.

Christy said...

Kim - this summer I bought a lot of local produce and then canned or froze it. We are still eating corn and brocolli from August. And it is still delicious!

Jenn said...

I'd add one more choice...choosing food that you know you will consume so you don't create food waste...i.e.-not buying food you won't eat just because it's organic or local (like the gummy organic peanut butter still in my frig)

hedgeshappenings said...

I chose food safety, organic or sustainable, and local foodshed. Within these parameters I also have to evaluate food based on cost. If I have to choose between the local sustainable cheap apple and the local organic expensive apple unfortunately at this point the cheap one wins.

I have to say that food safety to me includes labeling. I am allergic to Red Dye 40 and nutrasweet. I rarely buy the types of food that they would be found in, but I do need to be careful.

Kim

suehaasmueller said...

@organicneedle - a lot of the local farms around here (in the fingerlakes) are starting up winter csa shares. It won't get you avocados, but might be able to supply all your staple winter veggies, and then you can get the other stuff at the store. Ours is going to have root crops, apples, squash, and greens next winter. yuuuummmm....

I chose local foodshed, organic or sustainable, and knowing the farmer. I buy a lot of my food from local producers, and have come to learn about the great variation in farming practices as well as general business practices. Who is honest to a fault, and who shorts all the bags by 3 ounces (on salad mix, even).

Though, really, I could have picked all of them...

Ashley said...

I can't wait for you to share what you learned! I feel like every time I want to get food, it become a label-checking marathon. Then I have to decide between local (Ohio) but in a plastic container or from California but in reduced packaging.

It's like a moral quandary EVERY. SINGLE. TIME.

(And don't get me started on the eco-guilt I feel when I want to buy something in a number 5 plastic. ACK!)

Hamster said...

Looking forward to you sharing your thoughts on the talk. Sounds right up my street!

I went for local foodshed, organic/sustainable and reducing packaging. The others are important to me, but I tend to find that if I go for those ones first, the others tend to follow on... So if I support my local foodshed, I tend to get more contact with the farmers who produce it anyway, and if I go for organic/sustainable food, I'm less worried about the safety and therefore the labelling.

LifeLessPlastic said...

Whoa! It was hard to choose just three! I went with reducing packaging, reducing carbon footprint, and supporting local food. I wanted to choose the organic/sustainable one, too, but since the best option for local food in Chicago is a CSA and most of the CSAs are organic, I figured I could kill two veggie burgers with one stone.

Kimberly said...

The most important thing I look for is if I can even eat the food in the first place. I'm allergic to soy and sulfites and thus buy very few things that are processed. After that, I get into the concerns you listed.

Robin Rivers said...

I think the biggest issue for our family is supporting the local food shed while still being able to eat a relatively diverse diet.

Since we live on the north coast of Vancouver Island, local food is always a smart choice that is often less expensive. Imported food takes so much to get here. Butter that isn't made on the island can run upwards of $7 a pound.

We have discovered that putting the extra effort into meeting the farmers and ranchers, as well as going out to their farms, has meant major additions to our local food options. There is much that a farmer will sell, it ends up, that never ends up in the market.

Beany said...

I didn't like having to choose only 3 options either. I picked "reducing packaging", "reducing carbon footprint" and "supporting local foodshed" which covers all bases. I am too shy to talk to the farmers...although I fantasize about having chit chats with farmers some day. And I think contamination isn't an issue with veggies if you wash them in a vinegar based solution.

Maggie said...

I'm with a couple of the other commenters....price. For many people this is the only decision they make when at the grocery store. yeah true, the organic tofu burgers might be healthier for me, but the 12 pack of hotdogs is cheaper. likewise with many other food choices.

I feel blessed to be a position where I can pay a bit extra for organic foods. But I am well aware of the struggles of others within my community.

steve paris said...

I'm with Jenn and Hannah. The top priority for me these days is making sure I only buy food I will eat, and make sure I eat all the food I buy. After that -- price.

Laura said...

Man, that was tough to choose just three. I was torn on whether or not to choose the 'Buying organic or sustainable foods' simply because big farm organic is sometimes just as bad as chemical laden agribusiness. I did choose that as one of my answers but I lean more toward the sustainable aspect of the answer because that seems to cover more enviro-needs than just organic.

I have also started thinking of food as an experience, something to be savored and shared with friends. Price considerations do not always keep me from buying the sometimes slightly more expensive item, even though I don't have a ton of money to burn. As I see it, I am buying better health, community and enjoyment with that little extra that I spend. It is well worth it.
Also with a bread maker and the knowledge to make my own yogurt, some things got a bit cheaper! :)

LinkWithin