We can be sure that if researchers ask customers at a supermarket "Do they prefer buying goods that have been supplied locally because it helps save the planet?" they are likely to be as honest as the male news watchers.
The other reason to be suspicious is that how many people refuse to buy Scandinavian food products even though Scandinavia has the highest ambient levels of dioxin after Japan? Very few we can be sure – if only because the Scandinavians do not make a point of advertising the fact to the rest of the world.
However, I am genuinely surprised that the reported research finding is that only 5% of shoppers are concerned about the "country of origin."
Because I am certainly concerned about the country of origin – although I could not care less about the food miles if only because we do not know how to make the meaningful calculations about such things.
However, when I am shopping in the supermarket, or other produce stores, I am concerned about the country of origin for the following products:
- Parmesan Cheese – If it claims to be Parmigiano Reggiano, it had better come from Italy.
- Coffee – I am unlikely to buy coffee grown in Stewart island or the Chathams.
- Malbec wine – I always look for Malbec from Argentina, for the same reason I would hardly ever buy Sauvignon Blanc from anywhere but New Zealand.
- Stilton Cheese – had better be from England.
- Champagne – had certainly better be true to label.
- Yamasa – my favourite Soy Sauce – comes from Japan.
- Sardines – I buy the Norwegian King Oscar sardines whenever they are on the shelf.
- Canned Tuna – does anyone even think about how far the tuna fish was from New Zealand when it was caught?
- Tea – Does anyone expect Mr Dilmah to start growing tea in the Waikato?
- Single Malts – need one say more?