Community supported agriculture membership in Arizona. An exploratory study of food and sustainability behaviours.Appetite 2012; 59(2):431-6A
Community supported agriculture (CSA) programs have become a viable source of locally produced foods and represent a new way to increase fruit and vegetable consumption among individuals. Because CSAs represent a way for consumers to acquire healthy foods while providing financial support to local farmers, CSA involvement could reflect, and be related to, greater concern with both health and environmental impact of food choice. As such, the aim of this study was to examine whether ecological attitudes of CSA members could predict food- and sustainability-related behaviours. Using an online survey, respondents answered questions about attitudes towards the environment, as well behaviours related to food purchases, family food preparation, composting, recycling and minimising food-packaging waste. A total of 115 CSA member responses were collected. Ordinary least squares (OLS) multivariate regression analysis was used to investigate the predictive validity of environmental attitudes on measures of behaviours. A large portion of participants reported the amount and variety of fruits and vegetables their households ate increased as a result of joining a CSA program. Ecological sensitivity was a significant predictor of sustainability-related behaviours as well as money spent eating out and times eaten away from home per week. However, it was not predictive of family involvement in home food preparation.