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Are We Losing Touch With Our Food?

Food Touch

In modern society, with convenience food available from supermarkets and fast food outlets, is there a risk that populations are losing touch with their food? By this, the suggestion is becoming increasingly unaware of where the food comes from and how it is manufactured.

The answer is yes, according to a study commissioned by the Food Standards Agency (a U.K. government body). The study showed many people were concerned about the breaking of the connection between the food on our table and its origins (for example, understanding the links between food production systems and climate change). Also highlighted was a decrease in the “social and cultural importance of sharing meals.”

Here the report states there was a “concern that if we value and connect with food less, we are more likely to waste it – with obvious detrimental impact on the environment and the sustainability of the food supply.”

Certainly food waste is high. Whether understanding the origins would lead to a change in behaviour is uncertain.

Other findings of note from the survey were:

  • Consumers want better clarity on food labels;
  • Consumers are concerned about the relative cost of healthy food options relative to cheaper, less healthy convenience foods;
  • Consumers expect more information from the government about healthy food options.

The survey is part of a new project by the Food Standards Agency called ‘Our Food Future’, which is designed to take a wider look at the food system with the aim of shaping government policy.

Discussing this, Steve Wearne, who is the Director of Policy at the Food Standards Agency, stated:

“The food supply chain is increasingly complex and already under pressure from a growing world population. It’s the FSA’s role to understand how this affects the interests of consumers and engage with people about how the food system should be shaped for the future.”

About the author

Tim Sandle

Dr. Tim Sandle is a chartered biologist and holds a first class honours degree in Applied Biology; a Masters degree in education; and has a doctorate from Keele University.