Re: Profile of Pesticide Free Consumers

>A graduate student called me this morning requesting information on studies
>that profile consumers who choose to buy pesticide-free food.  This would
>include not only the reasons for their choice, but are there any
>distinguishing characteristics (age,education, experiences,
>phobias/concerns, etc., etc., that identifies/characterizes these persons).
>I would appreciate any references you might be able to share.  Thanks.
>Myron Shenk, Extension

   Eileen VanRavensway and Jeff Blend have a substantive paper that is
relevant for your grad student's interest.

It can be accessed on the web (full text) at:


Recent evidence suggest the organic consumer is not nearly as concerned
about pesticide residues as is popularly assumed in conventional ag circles:
        A national study done by The Packer in 1995 is instructive.  When
asked why they bought organic produce, respondents (n=228) gave  appearance
as the most frequent reason, freshness/ripness as the second most frequent
reason, flavor as the third/fourth most frequent reason, with concern about
pesticides as the fourth/third most frequent reason (3rd 4th depends on
region).  Bottom line--consumers of organic produce were much more satisfied
with their purchases than were consumers of produce in general!  Source:
Fresh Trend, 1996, published by The Packer.
Ed Sparling
Dept of Ag and Resource Econ
B-311 Clark Blg
Colorado State University
Ft Collins, CO   80523

Phone 970-491-6946
Fax   970-491-2067