For New Yorkers, food knowledge means social status. According to a new survey of New York area consumers released by the U.S. Farmers & Ranchers Alliance (USFRA), 54 percent of New Yorkers believe that being knowledgeable about food is a social status symbol. The survey, released in conjunction with The Food Dialogues: New York, found that New Yorkers in general were less informed about how food is grown and raised. However, they indicated that if they could prioritize it, they would be more passionate about learning more about food than consumers elsewhere in the country.
"New Yorkers especially have an interest in gaining more knowledge about how their food is grown and raised, so we've brought the Food Dialogues to the Big Apple," said Bob Stallman, chairman of USFRA and president of the American Farm Bureau Federation. "We feel that it is critical to hold this valuable discussion, bringing New Yorkers together with America's farmers and ranchers to talk about tough issues and about improving how food is grown and raised."
New Yorkers Less Informed about Food Production but Strive to Learn More
In a city known for its serious eats, it's no surprise that New Yorkers care about their food. But the USFRA survey results reveal that New Yorkers in particular are less informed about how food is grown and raised than Americans overall – with just half reporting they feel at least somewhat knowledgeable about food production (53 percent), compared to 62 percent of Americans overall. Yet, New Yorkers have a serious desire to learn more about how their food is grown and raised. In fact, 68 percent of New Yorkers would like to know more about how food is grown and raised, but they just don't have the time or money to prioritize it, compared to 59 percent of Americans overall who share that sentiment. When asked what type of information they want to learn more about, New Yorkers said the use of inputs for crops such as pesticides, herbicides and fertilizers (37 percent) and the use of antibiotics in farm animals (31 percent).
New Yorkers More Skeptical about Their Food
The survey found that New Yorkers are less likely than Americans overall to say that food production heading in the right direction (44 percent versus 53 percent). They were also less likely than Americans overall to believe farmers and ranchers are committed to improving how food is grown and raised. Further, more than half of New Yorkers do not believe that 95 percent of all farms are in fact family owned1.