An interesting study announcement was made by LEAF, a British charity focused on connecting the environment and farming recenly. It surveyed 2,000 consumers, asking them to match pictures of food with the animal or crop that produced it. The result, about 40 percent of young people, ages 16 to 23, did not know that cows made milk. The results did not stop there; one-third did not know that eggs came from chickens, 36 percent did not realize that bacon came from pigs and one in 10 believed that potatoes took less than a month to grow.
This study might have been conducted in Great Britain, but it does cause pause – how would American young people fare? Would they have better food knowledge than their British peers?
One of the results of the increased efficiencies of agriculture is that it takes fewer Americans to work the land and care for animals. In turn, fewer Americans have agricultural experiences to lean on. With less personal connection to food, ignorance about food and farming continues to grow.
-- Charlene M. Shupp Espenshade, Special Sections Editor