The researchers observed a significant increase over the summer in the number of different fruits and vegetables in the households of the intervention group compared with the control group. The intervention group also reported greater increases in fruit and vegetable consumption.
"Although the increases in fruit and vegetable consumption in the intervention group did not reach statistical significance, they did show a trend in the right direction," said Quandt. "In a larger group, we would expect that the CSA program would make a noticeable impact on quality of the families' diets."
Intervention participants reported a willingness to pay at least a portion of the CSA cost in the future. In an overall evaluation of the Farm Fresh Healthy Living program, the participants reported positively on the variety of the produce provided, the better flavor of the local produce compared with grocery store produce, the chance to expose children to new foods, as well as the chance to eat foods that were too expensive to purchase at the grocery store. Some indicated problems with work schedules and transportation in picking up their produce box every week.
"This study shows that food from a CSA program has positive effects on recipient households," said Quandt. "CSA is a feasible approach and more study is needed. Altering some of the financial and operational aspects of traditional CSA programs will be necessary to improve the participation impact."
|Contact: Bonnie Davis|
Wake Forest Baptist Medical Center