Acumen Insights

Generational Views on Organic & Genetically Modified Food

By March 20, 2017 No Comments

Research by Pew Research examined generational differences in attitudes relating to organic produce and genetically modified (GM) food. The results revealed that younger adults are more likely than older ones to believe that organic foods are better for their health. Approximately six in ten adults younger than 30 (61 percent) felt that organic food is better health-wise and 57 percent of those 30 to 49 agreed. However, when considering seniors (age 65 and older), just under half (45 percent) believed that organic produce is healthier than traditional.

Younger adults are also more likely to believe that GM foods are worse for health than non-genetically modified alternatives. When looking at the 18-29 age group, 48 percent of respondents felt that foods with GM ingredients are worse than foods without GM ingredients in terms of health. However, when considering adults 65 or older, only three in ten respondents (29 percent) felt this way.

Younger respondents also expected that GM foods will lead to harm for the population as well as problems for the environment. Twenty-one percent of younger individuals (18-29) believed that GM food would lead to problems for the population, while only 8 percent of those 65 and older felt this way. Similarly, 25 percent of individuals 18-29 believed GM foods will create problems for the environment. Only 9 percent of seniors (65+) believe this to be the case.

Lastly, there are generational differences in eating habits. Younger adults were more likely to follow a vegan diet—both those 18-29 (12 percent) and those 30-49 (12 percent). Only 5 percent of adults aged 50 and older reported being vegan or vegetarian.