Americans are usually labeled as obese, fast-food loving over eaters. While there may be some truth to the stereotype, a poll administered by the WK Kellogg Foundation reports that American citizens want access to fresh, healthy, equitable, and sustainable food choices.
VegNews reports that 800 individuals were polled, and that many believed that having the means to acquire such foods (i.e. increasing the value of SNAP benefits (food stamps) at farmers markets). Not only did many individuals express the desire for fresh, locally grown products, but they also demonstrated concern for the welfare of farmers and those who are providing such goods.
According to the poll,
Nearly 90 percent of those surveyed said they would pay $1.50 more each month for produce to guarantee fair wages for the people picking fruits and vegetables. According to a recent study by the Economic Policy Institute, such a raise would increase the pay of a farm worker making $10,000 a year to $14,000, which would be above the poverty line.
Americans also support their local growers. More than 80 percent strongly or partly agreed that Washington, D.C., should shift its support toward smaller, local fruit and vegetable farmers and away from large farm businesses. Nearly 90 percent strongly or partly agreed they would pay more for produce if that money stayed in the community.
This study reflects a positive trend in how Americans think about food consumption. Individuals are being conscious about their food consumption as well as such choices can affect the people who are making it their life’s work to make such choices available. It also demonstrates that food consumption is not simply based on personal choices; it is also a matter of politics.
“It’s a wonderful sign of the increasing level of empathy,” says Gail Christopher, the vice president for program strategy at the WK Kellogg Foundation.