Nutrition Tops List of Consumer Concerns
As the baby boom generation turns 60 and beyond, health and wellness concerns are spiking.
According to a recent survey, four in five consumers are more concerned about health, nutrition and fitness than they were a year ago, but nutrition beat out fitness as the top priority for the first time.
The survey of approximately 3,000 consumers was conducted by Phil Lempert, a nationally renowned food industry expert who spots trends in the industry.
"Shoppers care more than ever about the kinds of foods they buy and a growing number of consumers want to know where their foods came from and how they were grown," said Lempert, who reports on consumer trends and food safety for NBC's "Today Show."
According to the survey, 95 percent of consumers are concerned about nutrition.
As a result, Lempert suggests there is a growing trend toward fresh, minimally processed foods, which points toward a greater interest in fruits and vegetables.
"Fresh fruits and vegetables offer the good nutrient sources consumers are looking for," Lempert said. "However, we have also seen a few reports recently that produce doesn't have the same level of nutrition it did 50 years ago. The consumers surveyed easily recognized soil nutrients as the leading way to improve the nutrient content of foods."
In the survey, the majority of consumers recognize that the nutrient content of produce can vary based on production practices. Additionally, 70 percent noted soil nutrients as their preferred method for improving nutrient content.
Plants need to be "fed" just like people, and healthy soil produces healthy, nutritious fruits and vegetables.
To ensure the healthiest, most nutrient-dense produce, it is important that soils are replenished with key nutrients, especially nitrogen, phosphorus and potassium - naturally occurring elements that come from either organic or commercial sources.
In the survey, 55 percent of consumers believed organic foods contained the best nutrient levels.
However, some experts say conventional fruits and vegetables actually offer the same and sometimes enhanced nutrient profiles because it's easier to balance soil nutrition in conventional crops.
For more information, visit nutrientsforlife.org.
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