AmericanFarm.com

How do Millennials figure in? (Editorial)

(March 29, 2016) The cultural climate in 21st century America has grown a bit stormy and much of the thunder and lightning is out on the food front.
What American farmers grow and what America eats are in noisy dispute and many farmers are hearing the racket and often speedily making adjustments.
We are in The Age of the Millennials.
There are 80 million of them out there representing one-third of the nation’s population and they are calling the cultural shots.
They were born between 1980 and the mid-2000s, the first generation to come of age in the new millennium.
Millennials, studies have shown, are taking their health into their own hands, turning away from traditional health systems and that includes what they eat.
The Cassandra Report, which studies emerging trends, generational insights, and youth behavior, recently found that young adults spend about a quarter of their disposable income on health and wellness — but not in a traditional health system.
Instead, they are focusing on technology, healthier food, wellness brands and going outside of traditional systems to ensure their own health.
The report also found that 57 percent of millennials don’t trust insurance companies, 72 percent worry that current health systems won’t help them when they’re seniors, 79 percent would feel guilty if they weren’t healthy enough to spend time with their children and 78 percent agree that their health is something they can take control of.
New research finds, too, that millennials spend nearly 25 percent of their disposable income on health and wellness, but because they often don’t trust the healthcare system, they are finding different other ways to ensure their own wellness.
Those ways include splurging on food that promotes wellness as part of its core mission.
Thus, there is the rush to “Buy Local.” Thus there is a passion for — and dedication to — organic food, and it doesn’t matter how much it costs.
And thus there is the issue of GMOs, genetically modified seed, which, of course, produces GMO crops, which, of course, find their way into the food system.
Millennials do not trust genetic modification even though it, too, is a product of their generation.
And the anti-GMO sentiment only serves to underline the general agricultural ignorance, which pervades the millennial population, at least three generations from life on the farm.