Political divide impacts American views on meals inflation

WEST LAFAYETTE, Ind. — Personal politics influences client perceptions of meals inflation, with liberals estimating the will increase at about three to 4 proportion factors under conservatives, based on the month-to-month Consumer Food Insights Report. 

The survey-based report out of Purdue University’s Center for Food Demand Analysis and Sustainability assesses meals spending, client satisfaction and values, help of agricultural and meals insurance policies, and belief in data sources.

“The divergent perceptions of meals inflation between liberals and conservatives is fascinating to watch,” stated Jayson Lusk, the top and Distinguished Professor of Agricultural Economics at Purdue, who leads the middle. “Not solely are liberals severely underestimating the rise in meals costs from final yr, however conservatives’ expectations for inflation are additionally possible overstating its price for the approaching yr — no less than in comparison with U.S. Department of Agriculture predictions.”


Purdue consultants performed and evaluated the survey, which included 1,200 customers throughout the United States.

Additional key outcomes embody:

Notably, each food plan well-being and meals happiness scales present little distinction amongst liberals, moderates and conservatives. The political settlement over the standard of meals that Americans eat highlights the success of the U.S. meals system, which additionally reveals in scores on the Sustainable Food Purchasing (SFP) Index.

“In a rustic as numerous because the U.S., we’ve been in a position to fulfill a large number of diets, tastes and wishes,” Lusk stated.

The SFP, a self-reported measure of meals buying, assesses how effectively client procuring habits mesh with wholesome diets from sustainable meals techniques. This month’s SFP index of 69 on a scale of 100 is unchanged from the July report. The ongoing stability of the SFP index reveals that client willingness to make sustainable meals selections adjustments little from month to month.


But even when majorities of every group agree on some facet of meals coverage, corresponding to growing conservation funding for farmers, liberals lead conservatives by no less than 15 to twenty factors in help for extra authorities intervention, the report stated.

There additionally stays an enormous disagreement over the assertion that “consuming much less meat is healthier for the setting.” This comes regardless of the completely different environmental impacts of vegetation versus animals now effectively established by scientific analysis, stated Sam Polzin, a meals and agricultural survey scientist for the middle and the report’s co-author.

“It emphasizes the purpose that merely messaging a vegetarian or decreased meat food plan is just not going to maneuver the needle on meals sustainability, particularly given the low adoption of plant-based diets throughout the political spectrum,” Polzin stated.

In different survey findings, meals ranked as the best budgetary stress for customers based mostly on a query asking respondents to choose their three bills of best and least concern.

“We don’t have earlier information to indicate whether or not this can be a current phenomenon given the excessive value setting,” Polzin stated. “But, at a time when customers proceed to make adjustments to their procuring to regulate to costs, this highlights that meals is without doubt one of the first necessities that will get squeezed beneath funds stress.”

The report additionally confirmed that the summer season warmth wave that elevated utility payments by 23 % in lots of households put a drag on client budgets and led Americans to be much less energetic exterior their properties. Between one-fourth and one-half of the customers reported spending much less time exercising, going procuring, consuming out and ingesting alcohol. The outcomes counsel that future warmth waves will put higher stress on budgets and cut back buying throughout a number of areas.

Lusk additional discusses the report in his weblog.

The Center for Food Demand Analysis and Sustainability is a part of Purdue’s Next Moves in agriculture and meals techniques and makes use of progressive information evaluation shared by way of user-friendly platforms to enhance the meals system. In addition to the Consumer Food Insights Report, the middle provides a portfolio of on-line dashboards.

Writer: Steve Koppes
Media contact: Maureen Manier, mmanier@purdue.edu
Sources: Jayson Lusk, jlusk@purdue.edu; Sam Polzin, spolzin@purdue.edu 

Agricultural Communications: 765-494-8415;

Maureen Manier, Department Head, mmanier@purdue.edu

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