Knowledge, Attitudes, Beliefs and Behaviors regarding Fruits and Vegetables among Cost-offset Community-Supported Agriculture (CSA) Applicants, Purchasers, and a Comparison Sample.Nutrients. 2019 Jun 12; 11(6)N
Community-supported agriculture (CSA) participation has been associated with high fruit and vegetable (FV) consumption, which may be due to better access to FV for CSA purchasers, or to positive knowledge, attitudes, and beliefs (KAB) regarding healthy eating among CSA applicants. The objective of this study was to examine KAB and consumption, in association with application to a cost-offset CSA (CO-CSA) program, and with CO-CSA purchase among applicants. We conducted a cross-sectional survey of CO-CSA applicants and a comparison sample in August 2017. All respondents were English-reading adults with a child 2-12 years old and household income of <185% of the federal poverty level. Among CO-CSA applicants, some were CO-CSA purchasers (n = 46) and some were not (n = 18). An online comparison sample met equivalent eligibility criteria, but had not participated in CSA for three years (n = 105). We compared CO-CSA applicants to the comparison sample, and compared purchasers and non-purchaser sub-groups, using Mann-Whitney U tests and chi-square analysis. CO-CSA applicants reported better knowledge, self-efficacy, home habits, and diet than the comparison sample. Among applicants, CO-CSA purchasers and non-purchasers had equivalent KAB, but children in purchaser households had higher FV consumption than in non-purchaser households (4.14 vs. 1.83 cups, P = 0.001). Future research should explore associations between CO-CSA participation and diet using experimental methods.