What Wine and Organic Food Have in Common

Posted: January 6, 2015 at 12:51 am


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What stood out in this Fast Company magazine article (http://tiny.cc/) were the survey statistics:

-- 70% of those surveyed said they buy some organic food but only 20% thought they knew what organic means.

-- 59% expressed concern about GMOs but only 32% could define GMO.

Now, granted, the sample size was small. BFG, the agency that conducted the study, interviewed 300 shoppers, most of them younger than 35.

But does anyone really doubt the survey? Maybe not the precise numbers, but the direction, seems right. Other studies have sounded a similar note: Everyone eats but few know much about food (http://tiny.cc/).

That's hardly a shocking notion. There's a lot to know about a lot of things in this bewildering world; no one can master more than the smallest part of it all. If we're honest with ourselves, most of us would admit that we've bought a product or voted for a candidate or judged an acquaintance based on sketchy information -- even no information.

Which raises a question: When we lack the necessary information, what substitutes for facts? Opinions, for one thing. People may not know what organic food is but they "know" it's good for them. They may not know what a GMO is but they "know" GMOs are bad.

Which raises another question, one that preoccupies marketers, politicians, public-relations people and psychologists: Where do our opinions come from? What makes us embrace one view and reject another?

Whole books have been written on this, but a simple way to think about it is to imagine yourself in a wine store. Even if you're an oenophile, chances are you won't know much about many of the bottles. How do you decide what to buy?

One way is to trust the wine merchant. He spends his whole day dealing in wine; if he recommends a particular Cabernet, he must know something about it. He's an authority.

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What Wine and Organic Food Have in Common

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Written by simmons |

January 6th, 2015 at 12:51 am

Posted in Organic Food