A survey of organic produce purchases and related attitudes of food cooperative shoppers

Barbara J. Goldman, Kate Clancy

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

78 Scopus citations


We surveyed shoppers at a food cooperative in New York state to measure the relationship between organic produce purchases and attitudes related to pesticide use in agriculture, food costs, and other factors affecting produce buying. Two-fifths of the co-op shoppers surveyed usually or almost always purchased organically grown produce, and one-third were somewhat or very likely to pay 100 percent more than conventional produce for residue-free produce. Those who usually or almost always purchased organic produce were less concerned than other shoppers about price when they shop for produce, had higher levels of concern about food safety, and were less concerned about insects and surface blemishes on produce. There was no relationship between income and frequency of organic purchases. Most shoppers were concerned about pesticide residues in produce, but a high level of concern appeared necessary to affect the frequency of organic purchases. In their support of organic agriculture, respondents ranked environmental protection higher than consumer protection. Educators should emphasize both the environmental and food safety benefits of organic farming to consumers.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)89-96
Number of pages8
JournalAmerican Journal of Alternative Agriculture
Issue number2
StatePublished - 1991
Externally publishedYes


  • consumer research
  • food safety
  • organic farming
  • pesticide residues

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Agricultural and Biological Sciences (miscellaneous)


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