The Ability to Identify the Imported Foods among Housewives in Cheongju Area
The purpose of the study was to get some information about the educational program for consumers in the community. For this, the author investigated the ability to identify the imported foods and the educational contents to be taught. The subjects for this study were 183 housewives living in Cheongju city, and the research was conducted from March 1 to March 15, 2003. A survey questionnaire was distributed, asking general matters regarding the subject, attitude when purchasing foods, the ability to identify the imported foods, educational contents to be taught, and the identification ability between the domestic and the imported foods. The data was analyzed for percentage, mean, standard deviations using SAS program, and was also examined with Chi-square or ANOVA. $92.3\%$ of housewives checked the label to distinguish between the domestic food and the imported one, among which $99.5\%$ preferred to buy the domestic brand. For major reasons of this preference, $46.3\%$ of them reported that the imported foods had many harmful substances. $66.1\%$ of the subjects, however, replied that they did not have the ability to discern the differences between the two. The identification information was received from 'TV or radio program', which $61.7\%$ of the subjects reported as such. $61.5\%$ of the subjects were inclined to receive education about the imported foods. For the educational contents, $75.4\%$ wanted to learn 'the method to identify the imported foods'. According to the identification test on the imported foods, they got 13.6 points on the average out of 40 points, which was quite low. The highest correct answer was for pteridium aquilinum ( $63.7\%$ ), sesame ( $49.2\%$ ), and yellow croaker ( $45.6\%$ ), while the highest incorrect answer was for red pepper powder ( $40.4\%$ ), chestnut ( $40.6\%$ ), and dried pepper ( $32.2\%$ ). The results suggested that most of the respondents had negative attitudes towards the imported agricultural products, but their identification ability was quite poor. Therefore, it is necessary to provide education and publicity work in relation to the identification methods for the imported foods so that consumers may have less risk from the imported agricultural products.
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