September 29, 2016

Study Finds Fear-based Marketing Negatively Impacts Produce Consumption

A new peer-reviewed study published in Nutrition Today shows that safety fears related to pesticide residues may be a barrier to fruit and vegetable consumption among low income consumers.

Researchers at the Illinois Institute of Technology’s Center for Nutrition Research found that scientifically inaccurate messages characterizing certain non-organic produce items as having higher pesticide residues actually deter low income consumers from purchasing any fruits or vegetables, whether organic or non-organic, in clear contrast with the nutrition recommendations of the health community.

“The impact of the fear-based messaging [used by groups like the Environmental Working Group] on low income consumers is especially troubling since many don’t have access or can’t afford non-organic produce,” said Elizabeth Pivonka, Ph.D, R.D. and President, Produce for Better Health Foundation.

Read the Alliance for Food and Farming Release