Year of Publication

2015

Degree Name

Master of Science (MS)

Document Type

Master's Thesis

College

Agriculture, Food and Environment

Department

Dietetics and Human Nutrition

First Advisor

Dr. Sandra Bastin

Abstract

The organic industry is full of opinions and perceptions, which influence consumer purchasing decisions. A convenience sample of 69 college students between the ages of 19-23 registered in a basic food preparation class participated in this study. A sensory analysis of organic and conventional fruits, vegetables, meat and poultry, eggs and dairy measuring categorical taste differences between the two types of food. Student perceptions of organic foods in relation to health, environment and pricing and the likelihood of purchase were also studied. The influence of Diet and Well-being on organic purchases predominantly mattered somewhat to students, while price mattered completely. Overall, it can be concluded from this study, that there is no significant difference in taste between organic and conventional foods and that student perceptions match those examined in previous studies, but perceptions are not as heightened as the typical consumer exhibits.

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