Customers Purchasing Organic Food – Do They Live Healthier? Results of the German National Nutrition Survey II
Aims: Using national food consumption data this paper addresses issues whether buyers of organic food make healthier food choices and pursue a healthy lifestyle concerning smoking, physical exercise and body weight compared to non-buyers.
Study Design: The German National Nutrition Survey II (NVS II) is a nationwide food consumption study providing additional information on social demographics, health, and lifestyle aspects as well as anthropo¬metric measurements. Using data of several assessment tools, a comparison was conducted between buyers and non-buyers of organic food.
Place and Duration of the Study: From November 2005 to November 2006, data collection took place in about 500 randomly chosen sample points across Germany.
Methodology: 13,074 participants aged 18-80 years were divided into groups of buyers (44.9%) and non-buyers (55.1%) of organic food. According to their purchase frequency, the organic food buyers were further differentiated into intensive, occasional or infrequent purchase groups. A diet history method was applied to assess food consumption, trained staff measured BMI while questionnaires were used for social demographic description and healthy lifestyle factors.
Results: Buyers of organic food consumed 17% more fruit and 23% more vegetables as well as less meat/sausages (25%) and soft drinks (58%) than non-buyers did (P< .001, resp.). These results are more pronounced for women and for intensive buyers. Additionally, buyers of organic food exhibit healthier lifestyle characteristics in respect to smoking behaviour, physical activity, and body weight compared to non-buyers.
Conclusion: German buyers of organic food demonstrate health behaviours complying better with the recommendations for a healthy lifestyle compared with non-buyers. Independent of the discussion whether organically produced food exerts additional health effects, buyers of organic food make healthier food choices than non-buyers, thereby benefiting for their overall health.
Consumers’ Perception and Willingness to Pay for Organic Leafy Vegetables in Urban Oyo State, Nigeria
Recent development of widely reported incidents of dangerous levels of pesticides in food, fertilizer contamination of ground water and the occurrence of livestock diseases attributable to the production methods of large scale agriculture have stimulated the demand for organic food. Food safety is also gaining prominence in developing countries as more and more people desire to consume chemical free foods. This study therefore assessed consumer’s perception of food safety standards and willingness to pay (WTP) for organic vegetables in Oyo state, Nigeria. Data were obtained from two hundred respondents through a multistage sampling procedure using the contingent valuation method and were analysed using descriptive statistics, principal component analysis and the logit model. Results showed that majority (87%) were in their economic active age (≤ 50 years) and 73% of the respondents had prior knowledge of organic vegetables. Furthermore, about 58% of the consumers preferred organic fluted pumpkin (Ugwu) to other organic vegetable probably owing to their awareness of the health advantages and nutritional constituent of the vegetable. The results of the principal component analysis showed that 49 percent of the respondents had information (awareness) about organic leafy vegetables. The logistic model showed that employment status, price, health benefit and label had positive relationship with WTP for organic vegetables while gender and household size had a negative relationship with WTP.
Take Home Messages on Sustainable Food: Surveying Parent Perceptions of the Effects of a Primary School Programme
Aims: Parents are important stakeholders in school-based health promotion programmes. This study aimed to understand the perceptions of parents of a primary school-based healthy and sustainable food programme. It specifically sought to examine the perceived effects of the programme on the home environment and on parental engagement with schools.
Study Design: A cross-sectional parent survey and a before-and-after school activity survey.
Place and Duration of Study: Primary schools in England taking part in the Food for Life Partnership programme, between January 2008 and January 2011.
Methodology: In 35 schools a pre-programme enrolment survey on parental involvement was completed and repeated at 18-24 months. In the same schools 740 parents responded to a cross-sectional survey on perceptions and effects of sustainable food education.
Results: Parental involvement increased across a number of areas of food-related school activities. Parental respondents were active in school harvest celebrations (42%), cooking events (37%) and homemade food events (33%). Parents reported raised interest of their child in food origins, fair trade foods, organic foods, animal welfare, food packaging and food miles. 40% reported their children talked more about new fruit and vegetables in family discussions. 43% reported changes in buying patterns and 45% reported they were eating more vegetables. Reported changes in home food consumption included: more seasonal food (33%), more locally sourced food (26%), more fair trade food (25%), more free range eggs (25%), and more organic food (11%). Under 5% of parents raised reservations connected to the affordability of sustainable foods and the relevance of the programme to educational goals.
Conclusion: Parents perceived programme-related effects on their family including discussion and purchases of healthier sustainably sourced foods. Health promotion programmes can enhance their impact and sustainability through reinforcing the processes by which parents become engaged and can adopt programme messages in the home environment.
EFFECT OF INORGANIC AND ORGANIC AMENDMENTS ON THE PROXIMATE COMPOSITION OF OKRA [Abelmoschus esculentus (L) Moench]
The effect of inorganic fertilizer and organic amendments on nutritional composition of the Okra (Abelmoschus esculentus) was investigated under laboratory conditions (pot experiment with 3 replicates). Totally seven treatments were prepared and used in this study. Okra seeds were planted into 24 pots (10L capacity), filled with 9 Kg of farm soil and 100 g of different treatments were added at the time of planting the seedlings, after three and five weeks of planting. All the nutritional estimation was done as per standard methods. Significant differences (P≤0.05) were found in the proximate composition, compared with different treatments. The highest composition in carbohydrate (8.3 %), ash (2.5 %) and fiber (3.1 %) were recorded in T5 (biochar). The maximum value for protein (1.9 %) was in T4 (farmyard manure), fat (1.44 %), and moisture (86.9 %) in T8 (food waste compost). The results of nutritional composition revealed that the Organic manure treated pods exhibited highest composition of proximate elements-especially biochar (T5) treated pods, while compared with the inorganic fertilizer and control pods.