June 8, 2015 8:11 am

Do you want to know what’s in your food? Canadians want more transparency

Do you know what’s in the food you’re eating and where it came from? Or would you rather not know?

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Do you know what’s in the food you’re eating and where it came from? Or would you rather not know?

Now more than ever before, Canadians want to know exactly what’s on their plate, a new poll shows. In the exclusive Ipsos poll for Global News, 90 per cent of respondents said it’s important to know what’s in the food they eat; 83 per cent said it’s important to know where the food comes from.

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In order to find out more about their food, Canadians are increasingly shopping at local farmers’ markets and butcher shops. Half of those polled said they usually or always buy food that is locally grown, up from 42 per cent in 2006.

“Canadians are going local to get a better understanding of what’s in the food they eat and where it comes from,” said Sean Simpson, vice president at Ipsos Reid Public Affairs.

READ MORE: Who do Canadians trust with their food? Local growers get top marks

“They’re going to their markets, to their fishmongers, and they’re talking with them, they’re developing a relationship with these people and they can ask questions,” said Simpson. “So when you go to the market and you buy beef, you know that it’s from a farm just outside your town, for example. And that brings comfort to Canadians.”

To find out more about their food, Canadians are increasingly shopping at local farmers’ markets and butcher shops.

AP Photo/Richard Vogel

READ MORE: What’s your favourite farmers’ market? Add it to our map

In addition to buying local, an increasing number of Canadians said they usually or always buy whole grain products, at 54 per cent, up from 51 per cent in 2006.

Forty-one per cent said they normally buy food that is low fat, and another third said they usually or always purchase food that is free of artificial ingredients.

Respondents were less likely to regularly buy food that is organic (18%), fair trade (18%), contains probiotics (17%), is artificially sweetened (13%), gluten-free (9%) or vegan (6%).

Simpson said that the poll indicates that it’s not so much about a specific ingredient that drives Canadians’ grocery shopping decisions – it’s about general knowledge of how our food gets from the farm to the table.

“I think the move Canadians want to see is an increase in transparency, so we’re very clear about what’s in the products that we’re eating and where it comes from,” he said.

Interestingly, a quarter of Canadians said “ignorance is bliss” and would rather not know all the details about the food they eat.

Exclusive Global News Ipsos polls are protected by copyright. The information and/or data may only be rebroadcast or republished with full and proper credit and attribution to “Global News Ipsos.”

The poll was conducted between May 22 and 27, 2015, using a sample of 1,005 Canadians. It is accurate to within +/ – 3.5 percentage points, 19 times out of 20, of what the results would be had all Canadian adults been polled.

© 2015 Shaw Media

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