Shoppers may claim they are interested in how food is produced and its effect on the planet, but in the end it is looks and cost that matter most. Research from the University of Adelaide shows there are two standards to the way people shop.

The first is called their "public values", which is where they talk about things like being hormone free, carbon neutral, low food miles and ethically farmed.

The second are their "private values" – how much does something cost? Does it look good? How much fat is in it? Will my children be safe eating it?

Dr Wendy Umberger, from the University of Adelaide, told the ABARES Outlook Conference in Canberra that fewer than one in 20 shoppers back up their public values at the checkout.

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