The Ontario Federation of Agriculture (OFA) recently released the final report of its Food Literacy Attitude and Awareness Research Project, with support from the Government of Ontario in partnership with the Greenbelt Fund.
OHEA is proud to have been a part of the advisory committee along with the Nutrition Resource Centre, AgScape & Farm and Food Care Ontario.
The goal of this research project was to gain a better understanding of the current state of food literacy among consumers in Ontario, in order to develop programs, resources and information that will effectively reach Ontario consumers.
Two focus group sessions were completed as part of the qualitative research and this information was then used to develop an online survey targeted towards parents, early millennials and teenagers. This included 1,003 survey participants from across Ontario.
Some of the study highlights include:
• Less than 50% of teens surveyed regularly prepare their own lunches for school
• More than 70% of millennials surveyed, read nutrition information on food products before making a purchasing decision – nutritional labels were identified as significantly more important than the ingredient list for millennials
• All consumer respondents are more comfortable cooking or baking with pre- mixed packages than cooking or baking from scratch
• Less than 50% of parents surveyed know the safe cooking temperatures for a variety of meat/poultry items
• Only 28% of teenagers surveyed know how to plan and prepare a quick healthy meal using only the food that is already available in the household
• Over 50% of millennials surveyed use YouTube videos as a source for learning new information and cooking skills
• Nearly 25% of all respondents knew NONE of the food groups
• Millennials were most likely to name all four food groups
• Millennials seek health and nutrition information from a wider variety of sources in comparison to the other groups
• Registered dietitians that are currently targeting parents should revise their messaging and focus on targeting teens themselves – data shows the current way of reaching teenagers is neither effective nor impactful
To read the full report, click HERE to download it directly, or find it online at ofa.on.ca
For more on food literacy, visit OHEA's food literacy website: www.food-literacy.ca/