Impact of information on demand for safe food
Problems caused by eating unsafe food are a major health issue in many countries. Contamination by bacteria or toxins can cause these health risks, particularly for young children whose bodies are still developing. It can be difficult to know which foods are risky because you usually cannot tell by looking if food is contaminated.
The goal of this research was to see whether giving consumers in Kenya information about one of these contamination risks would make them choose to purchase different products.
The study focused on aflatoxin, a common food safety hazard in Kenya. Consuming foods very high in aflatoxin can cause liver disease and even death. Over time, lower levels of exposure to aflatoxin increase the risk of liver cancer and may have negative effects on children’s immune system function and growth.
Hoffmann, V., Kariuki, S., Murphy, M., Ndisio, B. Ochenje, I. and Okoth, S. 2023. Impact of information on demand for safe food. IFPRI Project Note. Washington, DC, USA: IFPRI.
Photo credit: Market place in Kenya (World Bank/Sambrian Mbaabu)