FooDS January 2014

We just posted the latest release of the monthly Food Demand Survey (FooDS).  

Demand for most meat products was up in January relative to December, as was awareness and concern for the 17 food issues we track.  The biggest jumps in awareness in the news occurred for swine flu and bird flu. 

As in the past, we added a few ad-hoc questions to the survey.  

The first ad-hoc question aimed to get at the perceived trustworthiness of different sources of information about meat and livestock (the idea for the question was suggested to me by Marco Costanigro at CSU).  

We asked, “How trustworthy is information about meat and livestock from the following sources?” Fifteen sources were listed (the order randomly varied across respondents), and respondents had to place five sources in the most trustworthy category and five sources in the least trustworthy category. A scale of importance was created by calculating the proportion of times a meat and livestock information source as ranked most trustworthy minus the proportion of times it was ranked least trustworthy.

I was a little surprised by some of the findings.


The USDA and FDA were reported as most trustworthy with 50% more people indicating the source as most trustworthy than least. A University professor from Harvard were seen as slightly more trustworthy than one from Texas A&M, but both were viewed as less trustworthy than interest groups like the Farm Bureau, the CSPI, or the HSUS.

News organizations, and particularly food companies, were viewed as least trustworthy. Chipotle was the seen as the least trust worthy organization studied – the restaurant chain was placed in the least trustworthy category 69% more often than in the most trustworthy category.

We also asked an open-ended question: “Do you have any food-related goals for the new year?”  You can find the categorization of responses here.  I give the award for the most honest answer to this response:

I hope to lose weight, but that's the goal every new year which is never met