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Survey shows Iowans read food labels when shopping

The latest Iowa Farm Bureau Food & Farm Index® shows Iowans read food labels when they shop.

Online Community Manager Zach Bader says four out of five (83%) read labels, underscoring their desire for more information about their food.

“What is interesting is that they are looking for labels like “raised in the U.S.” or “GMO free” but it is also interesting when they learn more about the facts behind those labels and how there are benefits with GMO technology.” Bader said.

Bader says the survey provided a series of facts about GMOs.

“Eighty-six percent said at least one of the benefits we mentioned (in the survey) made them very or somewhat more likely to purchase GMO food,” Bader said.

Roughly a third are looking for labels that show food is “raised/grown/made by Iowa family farmers” (37%), “hormone-free” (33%), or “raised/grown/made in the U.S.” (33%).

While these Iowans are also concerned about pesticides and insecticides (55%) and have questions about GMOs (38%), a large majority of shoppers (72%) are very or somewhat likely to purchase GMO foods after learning that the World Health Organization and other scientific organizations note that GMO foods require less herbicides and other pesticides to grow. Additional information that influenced them to buy GMO foods include:

Producing foods with better nutritional value (77%)

Helps feed people around the world (70%)

Producing foods that are scientifically proven over 20 years to be as safe as conventional and organic crops (70%)

Produces foods with better texture or flavor (65%)

The survey was conducted online by Harris Poll. It reached 507 Iowa residents aged 20-60 who have primary or shared responsibility for grocery shopping.

It is the sixth installment of the index, which is designed to gauge the factors driving Iowa grocery shoppers’ food purchases.