Effects of experiential food education on local food purchasing and eating behavior
Keywords:Behavior Change, Consumer Behavior, Experiential Learning, Local Food
Using self-reported health and economic behaviors, this study explores the extent to which experiential food activities such as cooking new foods and attending farmers markets impact local food consumption, purchasing, and eating behaviors. This longitudinal survey includes pre/post intervention surveys administered to a convenience sample of 55 community members, categorized as “young adults,” “adults,” and “older adults.” The 41-item baseline survey includes closed-ended questions regarding food preference, purchasing habits, and general awareness. The 54-item post survey, administered after participating in the study, includes the same closed-ended questions as the pre-survey, as well as open-ended questions regarding participants’ perceived impact of the intervention on their behaviors. Data was analyzed with paired t tests, one-way ANOVA, paired proportional analysis using McNemar’s Test, Bonferroni correction tests, and normality tests. Survey results show significant positive change (p<0.001) in overall eating, preparation, and purchasing behaviors from baseline to post-study. These findings appear to demonstrate that simple, low-cost interventions to engage adults in learning about and experiencing local food can lead to a change in shopping and pro-local eating behaviors.
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