The effects of popular meat, poultry and dairy labels on consumers' perceptions of the ethical and environmental implications proposed by those labels

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Anderson, Amy Lee
Gruver, Joshua Brion
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Thesis (B.?)
Honors College
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Consumers are bombarded by buzzwords like 'natural', 'organic' and 'cage-free' or 'free-range' that plaster food packages in every supermarket to signify the product's superior quality. But, do they really mean anything? The relationship between certain manufacturer's and business's labeling strategies and consumer acceptance of the implied practices behind those labels was assessed via a survey generated in Qualtrics. The survey, which remained active for two weeks, was sent out via the Ball State University campus email system to students, faculty and staff as well as to willing participants of the Muncie Masterworks Chorale. Approximately 60% of participants understand the factors that contributed to the definitions of the following labels that pertain to beef, pork, poultry, dairy or egg products: 'natural', 'organic', 'cage-free', 'freerange', 'grass-fed', 'Certified-Humane' and 'non-GMO'. However, price and expiration date were found to have a higher influence on their purchasing habits than what labels were on the meat, poultry, dairy or egg product. These results could help promote discussions and debates surrounding the daily" What should I eat" dilemma so that we can make more informed, ethical decisions when the time comes.