The Consumer is Always Right and That’s Why Farmers Use Pesticides

More than 90% of US fresh produce (fruits and vegetables) is sprayed with insecticides and fungicides to prevent rots and yield loss. This spraying also assures that there are no scabs or insect-feeding marks on the produce. Although some consumers would prefer no pesticide residues, many are unwilling to accept any cosmetic damage. You can’t have it both ways—picture-perfect produce requires pesticide use.

“Over 300 shoppers entering supermarkets completed a questionnaire about purchasing certified pesticide residue-free (CPRF) fresh produce. One-half expressed concern about pesticide use on fresh produce. Two-thirds were willing to pay 5 to 10% higher prices to obtain CPRF fresh produce, but were unwilling to accept any cosmetic defects or insect damage.” 

Author: S.L. Ott
Affiliation: USDA Economics Research Service
Title: Supermarket shoppers’ pesticide concerns and willingness to purchase certified pesticide residue-free fresh produce.
Publication: Agribusiness. 1990. 6(6):593-602.

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