A Foodie Survey

May 22, 2014

This post is sponsored

The survey is now closed for analyzing!

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A pro-natural foods company who wishes to remain anonymous (I don’t even know who the company is!) is doing a field research survey to understand what people (particularly moms) think is important when shopping for food.

Knowing many of you are foodies, moms or both, they wanted to reach out to you guys to participate.  They are interested in food shopping behaviors and your opinions on natural food derivatives as food dyes as opposed to using synthetic ingredients to color food. (Think of using purple beet juice to color a food product instead of Blue #2.) Since KERF is all about real food, I thought this would be a good fit. I certainly avoid synthetic food dyes myself.

The survey only took me about 6 minutes to complete and asks questions like:

  • How passionate are you about the ingredients found in the foods you eat?
  • When shopping for food, what factors do you consider before making a purchase decision?
  • How often do you read food labels before purchasing a product at the grocery store?
  • Compared to 10 years ago, how have your food purchases changed with regard to artificial colors?

I’m curious to know what you all think. Please take the survey if you have 5 minutes. I’m going to share the results of KERF readers compared to the larger audience as a whole, which I think will be interesting in this age of increasing nutrition awareness. I have a feeling you guys are pretty ingredient list savvy : )

Survey

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{ 55 comments… read them below or add one }

1 Chrissy May 22, 2014 at 7:20 am

I can’t put my finger on it, but this survey makes me a little uncomfortable. Maybe the fact that the company is anonymous and wants to benefit from my information?

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2 KathEats May 22, 2014 at 8:09 am

There isn’t anything fishy about it I just don’t think they want the bias of their name included

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3 Catherine @ Chocolate & Vegetables May 22, 2014 at 9:42 am

Yes, this weirds me out a bit too.

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4 Annie May 22, 2014 at 8:09 am

Cool! I took it and am curious to see the results. Thanks for sharing!

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5 Jess May 22, 2014 at 8:14 am

I took it too! I love the idea of foods as colors just like they were once used as paint!

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6 Mallory May 22, 2014 at 8:21 am

Speaking as a former researcher, it’s not an ethical practice to keep vital information, such as the company doing the research, from participants!

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7 KathEats May 22, 2014 at 10:45 am

Well I’m not a researcher, but it’s not so much a research study as a collection of data.

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8 jen May 22, 2014 at 1:00 pm

As another former researcher I can say this doesn’t strike me as problematic. Keeping bias from impacting you results is a good thing. Of course, no one has to participate in any survey. It’s all voluntary, which, of course, presents a whole separate problem based on who self selects to take your survey and whether they are representative of the population in question. Nothing here strikes me as unethical. People are not being asked to trial a new Rx here, just a little market research.

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9 Amy May 24, 2014 at 9:58 am

It’s only unethical if the data is being used for other purposes than what it is stated. It Kath states that the results from the survey are only being used for a sponsored blog post, then the results can only be used for the blog post. If the results are going to be shared and used by the “pro-natural” foods company, than that also needs to be disclosed.

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10 Katie @ Peace Love & Oats May 22, 2014 at 8:42 am

I actually never really think about artificial colors, but I definitely don’t buy things with them anymore just because I try to buy unprocessed food!

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11 Karen May 22, 2014 at 10:14 am

Agreed! Although it is probably next to impossible to find processed foods without coloring additives, I still buy some (my kids like some sweets, and I still like popsicles!) but if you stick to MOSTLY unprocessed foods you don’t have to worry as much about it.

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12 julia May 22, 2014 at 8:51 am

Very bizarre, according to what is written, you are sponsored by an unknown company? I do not get this post at all.

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13 KathEats May 22, 2014 at 10:46 am

I’m sponsored by the company hired to perform the research on their behalf. It’s a topic I found interesting and people like surveys. I though it would be fun to see the results.

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14 Karen May 22, 2014 at 3:25 pm

I can understand why the client might want to remain anonymous. But can you tell us the name of the company that sponsored you? If I had that information I would probably feel more comfortable taking the survey.

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15 Marjie May 22, 2014 at 9:07 am

Ok that salad looks amazing! I hope your going to share the recipe.

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16 Jennifer May 22, 2014 at 10:56 am

Not a research study yet you are “sponsored by the company hired to perform the RESEARCH on their behalf”. What?? Sorry, I like your blog but I’m not big on sharing information with a company who wants to be anonymous but somehow you (and they) still benefit yet that benefit nor the sponsor is disclosed.

With all the weirdness out there re GMO’s, giant companies pushing calling the shots for farmers, and a lot of non disclosure about what goes into our food, this just feels really weird.

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17 KathEats May 22, 2014 at 11:00 am

Jennifer, I’m not trying to do anything fishy. You don’t have to take the survey if you feel uncomfortable.

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18 Christy May 22, 2014 at 11:02 am

I agree, this is a little shifty. I’m going to pass. Also, didn’t you recap your weekend on Monday? Looks like you had a great time!

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19 KathEats May 22, 2014 at 11:03 am

You’re right – I changed the publish date!

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20 kate May 22, 2014 at 11:22 am

I just took the survey – it was pretty quick. I do agree it’s a little weird though. Does the company pay your for each person who takes the survey? or do they just use your blog as a platform to get the most participants and pay you a flat fee? (just curious)

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21 KathEats May 22, 2014 at 11:50 am

Nope they are only paying a flat fee for the exposure

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22 kate May 22, 2014 at 12:34 pm

Thanks for answering!

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23 Jessie May 22, 2014 at 11:54 am

I will have to pass too. Aside from any of the other issues brought up, I have no comfort level in clicking on a link to some anonymous sponsor. I just spent too many hours cleaning up a virus.

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24 KathEats May 22, 2014 at 12:36 pm

I can assure you this is no virus! But fine if you pass!

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25 KathEats May 22, 2014 at 12:01 pm

Hi guys, im sorry about your concerns toward this survey! The purpose of the post is to bubble up conversation on natural foods – nothing more.

I spoke with my contact and he altered the survey so that all of the demographic questions are optional. Feel free to skip anything you don’t feel comfortable answering.

He also noted that this survey is being conducted on KERF exclusively to provide interesting information for a follow up post where I will be able to compare all of your opinions about natural food options against a nationwide study that is being conducted. The only place your responses will be shared is on this blog.

I don’t have an incentive for you to take the survey or not so please feel free to take it or leave it. But do consider leaving a comment with your opinions and thoughts on natural food dyes. With all the debate in the nutrition world I’d like to know what you think.

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26 Sarah May 22, 2014 at 12:21 pm

On a lighter note, is that an orzo-strawberry-arugula salad? My mouth is watering, do you have a recipe posted anywhere? Thanks!

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27 KathEats May 22, 2014 at 12:57 pm

I just searched for it but can’t seem to find it : ( I believe it was strawberries and slivered almonds, but it sure does look like orzo! It’s from our old house, so almost 3 years ago : (

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28 Julia May 22, 2014 at 12:33 pm

I’m confused. I took the survey (thought it would be fun!!) but at the end it told me that I don’t fit the demographics that they’re looking for in surveying. I thought my responses were just for you to use, and not this other company? That was definitely a bit upsetting/confusing. Still thought it was cool, but left me with a bad taste

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29 KathEats May 22, 2014 at 12:35 pm

Hmm that should not be the case. Let me circle back with my contact. He said demos were optional

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30 KathEats May 22, 2014 at 1:27 pm

This is a KERF version of the national survey, so it shouldn’t be screening you out. My contact just double checked the configuration and all should be good. Sorry for any weirdness.

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31 Lori May 22, 2014 at 1:09 pm

I skipped all demographic questions and I didn’t get anything saying I didn’t fit what they were looking for. It said thanks for participating, yada yada.

It’s just a survey about your food choices, people. Settle down. If you don’t want to participate you don’t have to. But if someone walked up to you in Whole Foods and said “I work with a national health food chain. Would you answer a few questions regarding your opinions on food dyes?”, I bet you’d be eager to do it! Say they’re getting paid just to be out there surveying, not paid per person that participates. Same thing Kath is doing. She’s already been paid. You don’t have to participate.

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32 KathEats May 22, 2014 at 1:26 pm

*Like* : )

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33 Livi May 22, 2014 at 1:10 pm

Cool! Ill definitely take this!

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34 Megan May 22, 2014 at 1:35 pm

So glad I took the survey. My son (3) has a very strong behavioral reaction to artificial food dyes! Specifically red 40. He used to eat Welch’s fruit snacks almost daily and would have these terrible tantrums and meltdowns. And it was always SO hard to get him to calm down. I did a little research and decided to remove all food dyes from his diet (Flinstone vitamins, and his Motrin and Claritin had dyes too). We eat healthy foods but you would be surprised how many packed foods have food dyes! Life Cereal, which has no color, even has food dyes. Anyway, once I removed the food dyes, his behavior completely changed! Barely any tantrums or meltdowns and he is overall so much more calm, pleasant and listens/follows directions better. My friends and family has even noticed a difference. While I don’t think every kid has negative reactions to artificial food dyes, mine sure does. And I’m so happy we figured out what it was!

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35 KathEats May 22, 2014 at 1:44 pm

Wow that’s amazing that you figured it out. You have made me want to go re-check everything we use : )

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36 Megan May 22, 2014 at 1:54 pm

You would be surprised how many things, especially things without any color (white cake mix, and white icing) have Red 40. And a lot of kids medicines have Red 40. Although most offer dye free now too.

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37 Kelly May 24, 2014 at 10:46 am

We’re a dye-free family too – going on 5 years now! It’s become second nature to my children to check labels. It’s amazing the difference I see in both of my children – less tantrums, excitability, etc. My son’s asthma flares up when he has yellow dye and it impacts my daughter’s ability to stay asleep at night. I wish there was more information about this out there – I think it would help a lot of families!

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38 CaitlinHTP May 22, 2014 at 1:51 pm

I’m off to take the survey now! This is definitely an issue that I have become more aware of… I will not purchase certain foods because of colorings. Sometimes I still do though :)

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39 Heather May 22, 2014 at 1:54 pm

WOW! its a simple survey, cant believe you got so much grief about it lol! i took it, it was simple and they dont ask for any super personal info and its all personal preference. Btw that salad looks amazeballs! :)

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40 Rachel May 22, 2014 at 2:48 pm

I know a little girl who is deathly allergic to Red 40. Anytime she eats it, she winds up in the hospital. Her mother has to watch her extremely carefully to make sure she’s not grabbing and stuffing just anything in her mouth. It’s very sad.

And yes, in response to everyone freaking out, let’s all take a breath. They aren’t asking for your credit history or SSN. They are asking what food you eat. It’s not that big of a deal.

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41 natasha May 22, 2014 at 6:04 pm

My teen daughter cannot have Red 40 either! and it is in SO MANY things.

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42 Shana May 22, 2014 at 3:24 pm

I know the company is anonymous, but I am hopeful that this means that the industry is starting to consider removing artificial colors and additives from foods (as is already the practice Europe). I hope people will reconsider taking this survey as an opportunity to let companies know that you want real, whole ingredients in your food and not processed chemicals. It is these kinds of surveys that can make that kind of change happen.

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43 KathEats May 22, 2014 at 3:46 pm

Thanks for this positive attitude! I agree – the more they hear us the more things will change.

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44 Nicole May 22, 2014 at 3:45 pm

I had the same problem as Julia. Just thought I’d let you know–hopefully it can be fixed!

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45 KathEats May 22, 2014 at 3:45 pm

Thanks

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46 gina (fitnessista) May 22, 2014 at 5:01 pm

off to take the survey now! interested to see the results.
i try to be flexible about what my kiddo eats, but the only thing i avoid giving her: food dyes. it’s concerning to me that they’re banned all over the world, but not in the US.

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47 Estella May 22, 2014 at 9:06 pm

I took the survey, but the questions seemed badly worded. Are you concerned about XYZ for your child? If you ask a parent if they’re concerned about something re: their child, the answer will be yes, whether you thought about it before or not! I have not put that much thought into dyes in food – my daughter likes sugary breakfast cereal and when she eats it at her grandparents house, I don’t stress out – but I answered YES, just because of the wording! Of course I’m concerned about anything related to my daughter. The questions about whether I would pay 1% more to 15% more for naturally derived ingredients made me wonder if this was a company currently using food dyes trying to figure out if it was worth the cost to upgrade. It just leaves me with a bad taste (ha!). Real food for the win. Who IS this company??

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48 Kimberly May 23, 2014 at 8:48 am

I agree that the questions were very leading. I know you (Kath) didn’t write them so not faulting you for that. But yes, if someone asks you “aren’t you concerned about food dyes in your food causing problems for your children?”, I think a lot of people are going to answer “yes” even if they have never given it a thought before because now it is being presented as something that could be a problem. People don’t want to seem like uncaring parents, even in an anonymous survey!

FYI, I just took the survey and it did not let me opt out of the demographics questions. Not a problem, just thought you might want to know. I would be interested to know who is sponsoring this survey. Are you going to find out and be able to reveal that when the results are posted?

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49 Kori May 23, 2014 at 6:54 am

I think this survey is great to start a conversation on additives! I accidentally chose “0-1 children in the household” before I realized there was the choice of no children. So sorry! Have a great Memorial Day weekend!

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50 Niko's Mama May 23, 2014 at 10:07 am

I’ve tried to take the survey a couple times and it keeps freezing on the age range question & I can’t get any further :( I’d love to take it if I could! Really enjoy reading your blog! :)

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51 KathEats May 23, 2014 at 10:09 am

D’oh! So sorry. Wish I knew what was wrong.

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52 Abby May 24, 2014 at 9:35 am

Fun survey! I’m interested to see the results! Thanks, Kath! :)

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53 Kelly May 24, 2014 at 10:51 am

I appreciate you giving us readers the chance to take the survey and start the conversation on food dyes and additives. If people have a problem with the questions or the company being anonymous, then don’t complete the survey – it’s that easy!
Both of my children react to food dye and while there are a lot more natural options for food/medicine than there were 5 years ago when we started this journey there needs to be more consumer push-back to companies that we want healthier food. If they can do natural food dye in Europe in their products, then they can do it here!

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54 Andrew G. May 24, 2014 at 3:00 pm

Thanks for the survey, Kath. I personally love to take surveys and voice my opinions. I’m looking forward to seeing the results.
Apparently they’re looking for moms, but I hope they also care about what male college students like me think.

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55 Juniper May 25, 2014 at 5:37 am

I really had fun with the survey! :) Goodness gracious people, It’s volunteer only. Calm down! :)

I am very tuned into food dyes and synthetic colors since I have an allergy to them and so do all my nephews and niece as well. We avoid it as much as possible. Red dye #3, I am looking at you!

The natural color of foods is just as lovely, It may be a bit paler, but I really find no need for chemicals to be added to spark our interests. I hope to see more and more natural colored cheeses and other products on the shelves in the coming years! :)

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