Today,Farmers Feed Cities released the results of its Informed Food Philosophy Study, revealing that while 97 per cent of Canadians agree that food choices are important to them, the data indicates that there are several misconceptions consumers have when it comes to certain food choices.
Farmers Feed Cities, an agriculture awareness organization, recently set out to learn about the food purchase decisions Canadians are making and what leads them to make these decisions – particularly surrounding hot food issues and farm related misconceptions.
“No matter the means of production, all food in Canada passes through the same rigorous testing by the Canadian Food Inspection Agency (CFIA), ensuring all food meets the same high safety standards,” says Jenny Van Rooy, Campaign Coordinator, Farmers Feed Cities. “Farmers Feed Cities wants to ensure Canadians are basing the food choices we value on facts to create an informed food philosophy.”
When it comes to egg purchases consumers have several choices, three of which are: conventional, free range and free run. These classifications are defined by how the animals are housed, and not nutritional value. According to the study, 81 per cent of Canadians that typically buy free run eggs believe the chickens producing them have access to the outdoors. However, in reality, eggs classified as ‘free run’ means that the chickens can run freely within an enclosed space, not outside. People are likely confusing this with the term ‘free range’ – meaning chickens have access to the outdoors.
The study also reveals Canadians are more interested in buying local (86%) than organic (29%). While the majority of Canadians (78%) realize that less than two per cent of Canadian farms are organic, only 44 per cent are aware that the majority of organic food sold in Canada is actually imported. Due to the lack of organic farms, Ontario Ministry of Agriculture Food and Rural Affairs (OMAFRA) estimates that imported products make up over 70 per cent of the organic food consumed in Canada, making it hard to go both local and organic at once.