WASHINGTON — When it comes to regenerative agriculture, companies such as General Mills, Inc. are investing in it and consumers are curious about the farming systems that increase biodiversity and improve ecosystems.
The International Food Information Council Foundation’s 2019 Food & Health Survey, which was released May 22, found 22% said they had heard of regenerative agriculture and 55% said they had not heard of it but were interested in learning more. Among people age 18 to 24, 34% said they had heard the term regenerative agriculture. Among people age 65 and over, 13% had heard the term. Among people age 50 and over, about half said they had not heard of regenerative agriculture but were interested in learning know more about it.
Minneapolis-based General Mills plans to partner with organic and conventional farmers, suppliers and farm advisers to advance regenerative agriculture practices on one million acres of farmland by 2030. General Mills is supporting research on Kernza, a grain that has roots that grow twice as deep, or close to 10 feet, and are greater in density than wheat roots. Farmers do not need to till and replant Kernza every year, which minimizes disruption to the soil. Cascadian Farm, a subsidiary of General Mills, launched Honey Toasted Kernza cereal this year.
Greenwald & Associates conducted the IFIC Foundation survey by using Dynata’s consumer panel to reach 1,012 Americans of the ages 18 to 80 from March 22 to April 9. Dynata formerly was known as ResearchNow. More on the survey may be found here.
Good news for grain-based foods companies came in consumer interest in fiber and whole grains. When asked about perceived healthfulness, over 85% of respondents said they considered fiber as healthy, which was the top answer. Whole grains was second at over 80%.