From the Mouths of Babes

Everyday as producers, we hear (we do, I promise) customer’s concerns about the products that they are buying. But how much does the average person think about the food they’re buying. We know, through modern research, that these concerns increase when people start having families or are providing for others, and also when finances are a strong concern. But when does this thinking start?

In my eighth grade class, we read excerpts of Upton Sinclair’s The Jungle and Eric Schlosser’s Fast Food Nation. To start the class, I wrote a question on the board. “Do you think our food system is safe?” Now, I have to admit, my timing was bad- I put this lesson in at the end of the quarter, and their desire to write was less than average. But I thought their responses wer interesting to read, so I thought I would share them:

“No, I don’t think about my food. I just eat it” – Cody

“No, it does not bother me, I just think it’s safe” – Zach

“I don’t think about whether my food is safe or not as much as I should. I don’t care what I eat anyway.” – Trent

“I don’t think it is safe because you don’t know where it comes from. It might have chemicals or pesticides. Or you could go to the store and get robbed and murdered! Dun dun dun” – Jasmine

“Yes, I think it’s safe because I’m pretty sure it gets cleaned and fertilized. If not I’m screwed.” -Alvaro

“Yes, I think the food is safe because it gets well-packaged” – Luc

“No, because we do not know what or who has touched the food before us. It could be poisoned.” – Olivia

“No, it’s not safe. People could spit in the food. When food travels, it gets older and when most food doesn’t get eaten it gets bad.” – Kayla

“Yes I do think the food is safe. Unless it looks nasty. I think it’s safe. We have the government to make the food SAFE” -Travis

“Yes, because all foods are inspected by the FDA. It’s one of, if not the, best federal food inspections in the World” – Keaton

“No, it could be contaminated. But you know what, we have to eat it. But it is yummy.” -Lane

“Yes, there are particles and germs on the produce. People are getting too many fattening things from stores and end up being unhealthy” -Sammy

“I don’t think our food system is safe. I don’t really think (or care) about it though. I just want less hunger for the children.” – Anna

“I don’t think it is safe because the food goes through many hands before it gets to us. Farmers also use a lot of chemicals on crops. I don’t think about it much, but when I do, I don’t like it. It is convenient, but I don’t think it is truly safe.” – Malena

“I do think our food system is safe because it has been going on a while and no one is getting sick. We also have correct expiration dates.” – Kelsey

“No I don’t think our food system is safe because we don’t know where it was made and what they put in it to preserve it.” – Nora

“I think our food system is safe because I don’t really care. I don’t really care because if it’s food, I will eat it because I like food. I want world peace. I wish I could bake a cake of happiness and we could all share” – Kyndall

“I don’t think it is because I don’t know where it comes from. It may have a chemical in it. It could have been washed with a toxic waste that may make me sick” – Sydney

This is extremely interesting- many of them have concerns about being poisoned with chemicals and pesticides. Where have they been getting their information thusfar, and how will it impact their decisions in nutrition in the future?

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