I spent the better part of two hours on the phone yesterday with a consultant who’s been retained by the Pennsylvania Association for Sustainable Agriculture (PASA) to research methods for increasing the organization’s consumer reach and membership. A PASA committee member asked me to call the consultant, not because of my interests in wine and food or because of my involvement with local farmers markets but rather for one overridingly simple reason: I am male. Apparently, research indicates that men don’t tend to care or think much about the food they put down their gullets. In the consultant’s own words:
"The list of PASA consumer members that I have is very female dominant, and all of the names that I have been provided by others have been female. In addition, men are simply harder-to-reach in research than are women. While I recognize that women are the biggest drivers in this area (75% of food buying decisions and more apt to be like-minded with PASA, from the research), I still want to try to balance things a bit with the male perspective."
As much as I want to refute these statistics, I have to admit that they tend to ring true. A look around at yesterday’s session of the Oakmont Farmers Market registered a male to female ratio of around 1:10. It may be tempting to chalk this up to the old stereotypes of work/life schedules, stay-at-home moms and caretaking roles but I’d like to think we’ve moved beyond those narrow confines.
So guys, what’s the deal? Do you care about where your food comes from? Please, comment below. Make me a believer.