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Consumers Increasingly Interested in Basics of Food Production

14 December 2018
Manitoba Pork Council


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CANADA - The Coordinator of the Bruce D. Campbell Farm and Food Discovery Centre says consumers are increasingly interested in learning the basics of food production.

Public Outreach and Agricultural Education: Addressing Opinions, Questions and Concerns at the University of Manitoba's Farm & Food Discovery Centre was among the topics discussed Wednesday in Winnipeg as part of Prairie Livestock Expo.

Kristen Matwychuk, the Discovery Centre Coordinator with the Bruce D. Campbell Farm and Food Discovery Center, says people have a lot of questions and concerns about where their food comes from and how it's produced.

Ms Matwychuk says, "Food is something that affects us all.

"We feed it to our friends, our families, we need it to survive and we're so privileged with the amount of food that we have and the great choices that it can be overwhelming or confusing to someone who doesn't know much about agriculture.

"At Farm and Food Discovery Centre we get our fair share of tough questions but the majority of people just want to know the basics.

"Do farmers care about the animals they raise, does a dairy cow have to give to a calf before it produces milk, do the animals get to go outside, what is GMO, what gluten?

"These real basic things are what people are most interested in hearing about.

"They want to know about animal care, about food safety and how can we keep our food affordable.
The top places that we're seeing that Canadian consumers are going for information, the biggest one is word of mouth from family and friends.

"Some are going directly to web sites, about 15 percent, some are using on line search engines and some from traditional media and social media.

"It's hard to gauge how much of the information they're actually receiving is reliable or accurate.

"With smart phones we have access to as much information as we can possibly imagine and it's really hard to filter through that and find out what's reliable or not.

"Luckily many industry groups have seen this need and are starting to develop resources that make finding this accurate information about agriculture easy."

Ms Matwychuk says there has been an increase in the overall number of people interested in learning about where their food comes from and challenging some of the things they're hearing.

As reported by Bruce Cochrane for Farmscape.ca

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