Monday, December 12, 2011

Technology, food choices, opinions and spending habits

“About a billion people go hungry each day,” says Elanco Animal Health President Jeff Simmons, who narrates a newly released video shown above. That’s more people than the combined population of the United States, the European Union and Canada, he points out.
“Our population is growing. By the year 2050, the United Nations predicts the world population will grow to over nine billion people, and to feed that many people we’ll need to produce 100 percent more food than we did in the year 2000,” he says.
The current world population is slightly over 7 billion; by 2050, it is expected to exceed 9 billion. That is roughly a 30 percent increase, but the world’s appetite for food will actually double because of higher living standards in developing countries.
Simmons, shown narrating the video at Gleaners food bank in Indianapolis, says the way to meet this increased demand is through technology.
“But standing in the way is a myth you sometimes hear — a myth that says people don’t want safe, efficient technology used in food production,” he says.
“How do we know it’s a myth? Because we did some research” assembling data from 28 independent studies representing nearly 100,000 consumers in 26 countries, he says.
“It turns out that 95 percent of the consumers buy food based on taste, cost and nutrition,” he adds. Another 4 percent or so are lifestyle buyers. “These are luxury buyers, gourmet consumers, people who prefer to buy organic or local food, where money really isn’t as much of an issue to them.”
All consumers should have a choice, Simmons says. Lifestyle buyers have their choice, but so should the vast majority of consumers who want affordable food — and technology helps make that happen.

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