Community supported agriculture (CSA) programs are transforming the way Kentuckians relate to food, agriculture and health. The relationship between a farmer and community of supporters is providing a direct link between the people who grow food and the people who eat it. It’s no surprise that this link is reaping some pretty incredible health and wellness benefits for its supporters.  

Recently, we came across Agriculture and Human Values, Journal of the Agriculture, Food, and Human Values Society’s recent article on “CSA shareholder food lifestyle behaviors: a comparison across consumer groups”, as one of the University of Kentucky researchers, Tim Woods, is a friend of the farm.  

In an online survey, researchers compared food consumption behaviors of Kentucky CSA shareholders with the general Kentucky consumer, members of the University of Kentucky Health and Wellness program and retail food cooperative owners. The result: some very telling statistics that give you insights on how participating in a CSA program can improve health outcomes and promote positive food behaviors.

Check out the infographic and quick stats below for highlights from the report.

Here’s some additional stats from the study comparing Kentucky CSA shareholders with the general Kentucky consumer (KYC), members of the University of Kentucky Health and Wellness (H&W) program and retail food cooperative owners that you might find interesting.

  • Mean daily consumption of fruits and vegetables was the highest for the CSA shareholder group. Averaging around 6.2 servings per day, CSA shareholders’ intake was significantly more than H&W and KY group at the 95% level.  
  • Salad consumption also appears highly correlated to CSA participation. The CSA group averaged 9.3 salads per month—significantly more than all other groups.
  • In the two behaviors related to processed foods, CSA shareholders consumed fewer processed snacks and meals than KYC and H&W.
  • CSA shareholders generally eat breakfast away from home less than the general consumer and eat in the car less often than all other groups.

We’d love to hear from folks who have participated in a CSA. What health benefits did you experience? Leave a comment below. 

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Thank you #SouthernLiving! The holidays are crazy enough and with these easy one-skillet veggie dinners, you can get a homemade meal on the table in no time, and still have time to wrap gifts. A win-win!
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