Top Seven Consumer Food Concerns: New Study

It is striking how educated and savvy U.S. consumers have become over the past decade and a half–especially when it comes to chemicals of concern such as synthetic growth hormones, pesticides in genetically modified animal feed, and unnecessary antibiotics in meat and dairy.  According to a recent scientific study, also of concern for U.S. consumers is the humane treatment of the animals that go on to be served at U.S. dinner tables.


Which attributes are most important to consumers when buying beef, chicken, eggs or milk?


A recent University of Illinois study ranks which of these production attributes are most important to buyers for four different products: beef, chicken, milk, and eggs.

The study determined the importance of seven specific on-farm practices in consumers’ purchasing decisions:

  • Animals were not administered growth hormones.
  • Genetically modified organisms were not used in the production of this product (non-GMO).
  • Animals were humanely raised.
  • Animals were not administered antibiotics.
  • Animals were raised in a free-range (or cage-free) environment.
  • Animals were grass-fed (or raised on a vegetarian diet).
  • The product is certified organic.


Journal reference: Brenna Ellison, Kathleen Brooks, Taro Mieno. Which livestock production claims matter most to consumers? Agriculture and Human Values, 2017; DOI: 10.1007/s10460-017-9777-9


ScienceDaily, 19 April 2017. <>