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Nutrients. 2017 Jul 8;9(7). pii: E726. doi: 10.3390/nu9070726.

Adults and Children in Low-Income Households that Participate in Cost-Offset Community Supported Agriculture Have High Fruit and Vegetable Consumption.

Author information

1
Division of Nutritional Sciences, Cornell University, Ithaca, NY 14853, USA. kh289@cornell.edu.
2
Department of Community Development and Applied Economics, University of Vermont, Burlington, VT 05405, USA. ehm72@cornell.edu.
3
Department of Community Development and Applied Economics, University of Vermont, Burlington, VT 05405, USA. rs946@cornell.edu.
4
Division of Nutritional Sciences, Cornell University, Ithaca, NY 14853, USA. jane.kolodinsky@uvm.edu.
5
Department of Public Health, Brody School of Medicine, East Carolina University, Greenville, NC 27834, USA. weiwei.wang@uvm.edu.
6
Gillings School of Global Public Health and School of Medicine, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, Chapel Hill, NC 27599, USA. jilcotts@ecu.edu.
7
The Evergreen State College, Ecological Agriculture and Food System, Olympia, WA 98505, USA. alice_ammerman@unc.edu.
8
Division of Nutritional Sciences, Cornell University, Ithaca, NY 14853, USA. msitaker@gmail.com.

Abstract

This paper examines fruit and vegetable intake (FVI) in low-income households that participated in a cost-offset (CO), or 50% subsidized, community-supported agriculture (CSA) program. CSA customers paid farms upfront for a share of the harvest, and received produce weekly throughout the growing season. A cohort of adults and children 2-12 y in a summer CO-CSA were surveyed online twice: August 2015 (n = 41) and February 2016 (n = 23). FVI was measured by the National Cancer Institute's (NCI) Fruit and Vegetable Screener (FVS) and an inventory of locally grown fruits and vegetables. FVI relative to United States (US) recommendations and averages, and across seasons, were tested with non-parametric tests and paired t-tests (p < 0.05). Both adults and children in the CO-CSA had higher FVI than the US averages, and more often met recommendations for vegetables. Some summer fruits and vegetables were more often eaten when locally in-season. The CO-CSA model warrants further examination as an avenue for improving vegetable consumption among adults and children in low-income households. However, causality between CO-CSA participation and FVI cannot be inferred, as CO-CSA participants may be positive deviants with respect to FVI. A multi-state randomized controlled trial is currently underway to evaluate impacts of CO-CSAs on FVI and related outcomes.

KEYWORDS:

community supported agriculture; dietary quality; food access; food insecurity; local foods

PMID:
28698460
PMCID:
PMC5537840
DOI:
10.3390/nu9070726
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article

Conflict of interest statement

The authors declare no conflict of interest. The funding sponsors had no role in the design of the study; in the collection, analyses, or interpretation of data; in the writing of the manuscript, nor in the decision to publish the results.

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