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Sustainability 2017, 9(9), 1543; doi:10.3390/su9091543

Impacts of a Community Supported Agriculture (CSA) Voucher Program on Food Lifestyle Behaviors: Evidence from an Employer-Sponsored Pilot Program

1
Community and Economic Development Initiative of Kentucky, University of Kentucky, Lexington, KY 40546, USA
2
Department of Agricultural Economics, University of Kentucky, Lexington, KY 40546, USA
3
Department of Economics, University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, MI 48109, USA
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Received: 30 June 2017 / Revised: 14 August 2017 / Accepted: 26 August 2017 / Published: 30 August 2017
(This article belongs to the Section Economic, Business and Management Aspects of Sustainability)
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Abstract

Community supported agriculture (CSA) programs have recently received attention for their potential to influence food lifestyle behaviors and health outcomes. We build on and expand inquiries into the relationship between CSA participation and behavior change by presenting the results from a controlled pilot study of first-time CSA shareholders. We offered 95 first-time shareholders a $200 voucher to participate in a CSA. Prior to and immediately following CSA participation, these shareholders completed a survey on food lifestyle behaviors. Using econometric analyses, we measured shareholder behavior changes against an 82 person control group. All participants were drawn from a pool of individuals involved in a university wellness program. From these analyses, we identified potential benefits and changes to shareholders in four unique categories: (1) fresh versus processed food consumption; (2) food prepared at home versus away from home; (3) food purchasing behavior and interest in nutrition; and (4) self-reported health outcomes. Changes within these categories and differences between test and control were more strongly realized in shareholders who reported lower than average health prior to the CSA. We conclude with a discussion about the potential of incentivized CSAs to serve as a novel preventative health intervention. View Full-Text
Keywords: CSA; community supported agriculture; behavior change; food lifestyle behaviors; wellness CSA; community supported agriculture; behavior change; food lifestyle behaviors; wellness
This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited. (CC BY 4.0).

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MDPI and ACS Style

Rossi, J.J.; Woods, T.A.; Allen, J.E., IV. Impacts of a Community Supported Agriculture (CSA) Voucher Program on Food Lifestyle Behaviors: Evidence from an Employer-Sponsored Pilot Program. Sustainability 2017, 9, 1543.

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