Liberal and conservative Americans differ in their attitudes on food-related issues involving sustainability, trust in government and food safety, according to research from the International Food Information Council.
It found that liberals more readily cite the importance of environmental aspects of sustainability and conservatives are drawn to sustainability for economic reasons. Conservatives, for instance, believe that conserving farmland over multiple generations (41%) and ensuring affordability of food supply (47%) are the most important aspects of sustainability. While liberals cite reducing carbon footprint (22%) and conserving natural habitats (51%).
When it comes to trust in government, liberals are more likely than conservatives to cite the government as a top source of trust for information on the safety of food and ingredients (58% vs. 46%). Just 27% of conservatives highlighted the government as a top source of trusted information about foods you should eat.
The two groups also have differing opinions about the top food safety issues. “Foodborne illness from bacteria” was the top response among liberals (55%) and conservatives (58%). However, liberals are more likely to cite "pesticides" as a top food safety issue (38 % vs. 24%), while conservatives are twice as likely to cite "carcinogens or cancer-causing chemicals in food" (40% vs. 20%).