To get a cosmopolitan view on the food crisis, we have decided to conduct a survey. This survey is mainly aimed to see how people in different countries view the food crisis. In total, a hundred surveys were handed out in two countries. A portion of this survey was distributed to a student sample comprising of Americans, Koreans, Japanese, Chinese, Australians, and Philippinos within an international school in Shanghai. Another portion of the survey was distributed to the general public in Singapore.
The results of the survey were collated and they are now expressed in graphs below. Below, you will also see why we asked each question and what each survey result tells us about the views of people towards the food crisis.
Why did we ask these questions in our survey?
The survey consists of 8 questions that address specific issues pertaining to the global food crisis. If you were one of the people taking the surveys, you would no doubt ask the question “Why is this question even on the survey?” Here, we clarify those doubts and provide reasons for the questions that we came up with.
How much have you heard about the global food crisis?
Why?: This question is mainly aimed to examine how much people have heard about the global food crisis. Through this question, we are better able to examine the extent of coverage from the media on the food crisis and whether people are getting sufficient information on the food crisis.
From where do you receive information about the global food crisis?
Why?: This question mainly acts as a follow up to the first question about how much people have heard about the food crisis. Through this question we will know how people get their information and the extent of the information they obtain. We will also know which type of media is the most far reaching within the small sample we surveyed and realize how much the food crisis is actually being publicized.
For which foods do you see the prices rising most significantly?
Why?: The food crisis has resulted in the drastic rise of food prices on all fronts, but the increase in price of which food item actually affects people most? This question seeks to examine which food stuffs the public think are rising most significantly in prices. This question also shows which food the public purchases more of in some cases as sometimes, minor changes in prices of a certain food can be more noticeable if purchased in a more frequent scale.
In your opinion, how does the global food crisis compare to the economic crisis in importance?
Why?: With the economic crisis and the global food crisis hitting us hard at the same time, it is obvious that everyone is affected by either one of these two crises. The real question is, which one is more important to them? The global food crisis affects those on the lower end of the income scale while the economic crisis affects those on the higher end of the income scale. Thus, we wanted to see how people react to the impacts of both crises and which they think is more important.
Which continent do you think is the most affected by the global food crisis?
Why?: The global food crisis is affecting people all across the globe and the suffering just doesn’t seem to end. However, which continent is suffering the most? On paper it seems to be Africa and stereotypically in people’s mind, Africa is always the country that seems to be the poorest and most affected by external shocks. Thus we wanted to see, through this question, whether this stereotype is true and whether most people, even if they know nothing about the food crisis, would opt for Africa as the country most affected.
What do you think might be the main cause of the global food crisis?
Why?: This question tests the actual knowledge of the public and sees if they truly know the affects of the different causes. It will also be interesting to note which option is the most significant cause in the viewpoint of the public. This question also exhibits the power of the media, as most people would probably pick the cause that they picked up from their source of information.
Would you purchase and consume genetically modified food and support its production?
Why?: With many in the world opposing GE foods, it seems that the ordinary public will never accept GE foods. But is that really the case? This question seeks to examine the percentile of a small sample of the public and their view towards GE food. Offspring of the devil or gift from the gods?
From what you know, do you think the ascent of food prices will end anytime soon?
Why?: The food crisis is affecting everyone and it looks set to stay that way for a certain period. However, we do not know whether that period will be for the short term or the long term. In fact, will the food crisis end? This question aims to see how the public views the impact of the food crisis and whether they are optimistic towards a future without prices rising everyday.
Below is the presentation and analysis of the data we have collated from the survey and we have provided analysis for the results we have collected. You may match the options by downloading a copy of our survey to find the response that corresponds to each letter.
In question one, the results were considerably balanced. Some claimed they knew a lot about the food crisis, while many others have not heard about the global food crisis.
Most of the people got their information from the television and internet. This shows that not only do most people gain more access to information from the television and internet, but also that the internet and television does better job publicizing the matter. Other sources of information include Geography class, other people, friends, radio, and parents.
The majority of the people believed that the prices of poultry had raised the most since the food crisis. A substantial number of people also though that the prices of vegetables and dairy products increased by the most. It is very possible that the more an individual purchases a specific product, a small increase in price might seem rather significant over time. Thus, the results might show that such foods are important parts of their diets. Other answers include rice, seafood, nuts, and canteen food.
The majority of the people believed that the economic crisis is of the same importance as the food crisis. Overall, though, more people thought that the food crisis is more important than the economic crisis. Such results show the majority of the people are equally concerned with the food crisis and the economic crisis. The rest of the people are overall more concerned with the food crisis than the economic crisis. The results might also show that more people are being affected by the food crisis rather than the economic crisis. This imbalance might be due to the larger number of middle income families we gave this survey to. Had more families been living on a high income, our results could have shown that the economic crisis had a larger impact.
The vast majority of the people believe that Africa is most affected by the food crisis. This is most probably due to the fact that overall, Africa is the poorest continent. A lot of media coverage is also on the food crisis in Africa too. The least number of people selected Australia, possibly because of the fact that there is less media coverage over the crisis in Australia.
Most of the people chose overpopulation as the main cause of the global food crisis. This shows that most of the information they received indicate that overpopulation is the major factor. Other factors stated include natural disasters, urbanization, bad habits, and global warming.
The results are considerably even. Roughly half of the people who took the survey were ready to accept genetically modified crops, while the other half are still uncertain about the safety and practicality of them. This shows that there is still is a long way to go before the public can completely accept genetically modified foods as a potential solution to the global food crisis.
The vast majority of the people believe that the food crisis will not end soon. They believe that this is a long-term crisis humans must deal with. This shows that the general population is still not very optimistic and do not expect the prices to stop rising in the near future.
Overall, the results of the survey showed that the food crisis was still relatively known among the public. Some results were rather comforting while others contained a sense of insecurity. Questions pertaining to the knowledge people hold on the topic of food crisis revealed that people often stick to stereotypes and what they are familiar with. For the question where they were told to choose which country is most affected in their opinion, most chose Africa, which is a stereotypically an embodiment of pain and suffering. Also, for the question asking which food they thought had the largest increase in price possibly revealed which foods the public bought more and was more used to consuming. The opposition towards genetically modified food has affected every corner of society, and this could be seen from young students refusing to consume them. This shows that the children are affected by their source of information, which in most cases, are their parents. This survey might show to a certain extent the power that parents and guardians often have over their children. To effectively provide solutions to the food crisis and execute such plans effectively, we have to be able convince the older generation first. Only when we manage to turn the views of the old and sagacious to our side will the people TRULY know the truths about the food crisis bare and exposed.