Consumer panel shares food concerns

Consumer panel at CFI's animal ag conference

Consumer panel at CFI’s animal ag conference

Ask five urban consumers about their food concerns and you’re likely to hear a variety of answers.

At this week’s Strategy Conference on Animal Agriculture in suburban Chicago, a panel of Chicago-area residents talked about some of the concerns they have with the food that they buy and the way it is produced.

Vicky, who is a marine mammal trainer at the Shedd Aquarium in Chicago, said the humane treatment of animals is important to her.

“I’m not a vegetarian or a vegan or anything like that, but I am very concerned with some of the things I see on TV with the way that animals are treated before they’re actually used for our consumption,” she said. “It pulls at my heart.”

William, a small business owner, said he gets confused by terminology on food labels—for example, organic versus natural.

“Sometimes I don’t believe that the products are exactly what they say,” he said. “I would like to get some clarity with that and make sure I’m eating what it says it is. Like it if says ‘organic’, but it’s really something else.

Bianca, a training coordinator for a retail clothing chain, said she tries to stay away from processed foods.

“My biggest issue is all the processed food we’re eating and putting into our bodies,” she said. “I’m trying to get more natural and organic.”

Jennifer, an insurance underwriter, said she would like to see meat, milk and eggs produced without “all this stuff that makes them bigger and lay more eggs or whatever.”

Only one of the five panelists said they had ever been on a farm. That was Vicky, who said she once visited her cousin’s goat farm.

The animal ag conference was presented by the Center for Food Integrity.

AUDIO: Consumer panel at CFI animal ag conference

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