Answering Consumer Food Questions: Part One of Two

Telling Your Story

What are the most common questions people have about food production?

Published on: November 20, 2013

Clearly, people are asking more questions about how their food is produced and what processes are used to produce food.  There are several common themes among the questions people ask. Have you noticed? 

According to the CommonGround website these are some of the most frequent questions people have about food:  antibiotics, food prices, animal welfare, hormones, local and organic production, food safety, GMO foods, and corporate farms. 

Some people are concerned about antibiotic use in livestock.  They question if traces of antibiotics can be passed through the meat and what impact there might be to humans.  I get the sense that many people understand that if an animal is sick, the animal might need a shot; the concern really seems to be around feeding antibiotics in feed.  If that is a practice on your farm, it would be helpful to share in what situations that you might use this type of treatment. 

Read these past blogs for more details about antibiotic use in livestock.  Read more about the questions around antibiotics here and here.    

Soaring food prices is a concern for many families with tight budgets.  Farmers receive around 12 cents of each dollar spent at the grocery store.  People in the United States spend, on average, about 10% of their budget on food compared to 18 to 25% around the world.  Read more about food prices.

Unless you've seen modern livestock facilities, it's difficult to understand how animals are cared for in enclosed barns.  Modern farms don't look like grandma's red barn farmstead with chickens running around - the image that is popular in story books.  Help others to understand how modern barns offer safety from predators and a consistent temperature that helps them grow more efficiently.

People question whether hormones in milk and meat are safe and how they are digested in our bodies.  There are also a lot of concerns about earlier puberty in our kids; some folks speculate that early puberty has to do with today's milk, but children today consume less milk than they did five years ago  Some scientists believe that childhood obesity might be a more likely candidate.  Read here to put the hormones found in beef and milk in perspective. 

Next week we'll focus on the questions around local and organic production, food safety, GMO foods, and corporate farms.