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The Impact of The Flying Carrot, Food Literacy Project on Food Knowledge, Skills, and Attitude at The Colorado Farm and Art Market

Nuwanee Kirihennedige, Rebecca Viner, Alba Reguant-Closa, Vanessa Risoul, Sean Svette, Margaret Harris, Nanna L. Meyer
University of Colorado Colorado Springs, CO

INTRODUCTION: The Flying Carrot (FC), a community outreach food literacy project, has brought nutrition education to the Pikes Peak region based on a duality framework emerging when sustainability and health are addressed in concert and using Diffusion of Innovation Theory. The purpose of this project was to 1) develop a valid and reliable survey assessing food and sustainability knowledge 2) test the efficacy of the FC at the Colorado Farm and Art Market (CFAM). It was hypothesized that the more frequently market patrons visit the FC, the greater their food literacy. METHODS: 40 volunteers (>18 y; male n=7, female n=33) were recruited at CFAM. Subjects were asked to complete a baseline survey with follow-up at visit 4 and 8. They were also asked to be interviewed upon follow-up. This study had three phases: 1) development and validation of a sustainable food literacy survey, 2) data collection of subjects' food literacy, and 3) conducting interviews. The survey was developed and tested for content and criterion validity and test-retest reliability. RESULTS: The mean criterion food literacy survey score, as assessed by experts in sustainable food literacy (n=10), was 28.8±2.2. Comparatively, FC program participants scored 24.9±3.6 (n=40), 26.9±2.2 (n=18), and 27.9±3.0 (n=7), at baseline, 4th and 8th visit, respectively. Repeated measures ANOVA revealed no significant difference (p=0.934, n=7) in food literacy scores over time. Higher ratings on importance of healthy food (p=0.000), skill (p=0.001) and enjoyment (p=0.004) with cooking showed positive associations with food literacy scores. Interviews (n=3) were analyzed qualitatively and themes (knowledge, senses, attitude and emotions, and actions and behaviors) were identified. Average ICC (0.926). Criterion validity implies that there is significant difference between average program patrons to "trained persons" (p=0.002), and the criterion benchmark is 29 points out of 33 points (87% correction). CONCLUSION: Despite a small sample size of recurring customers and interviewees, the program participants expressed being inspired to eat healthy, sustainable food when visiting FC more often. It is possible that subjects were already knowledgeable at baseline, with little room for improvement in knowledge. Food and Sustainability Literacy survey is a valid and reliable tool. Future research is needed to evaluate a demographic with low baseline food literacy and skill level.

*This poster was presented at the 2015 University of Colorado Colorado Springs Health Science Graduate Reseach Presentation Session and the Sports, Cardiovascular, and Wellness Nutrition (SCAN) 32nd Annual Symposium in April 2016 in Portland, OR

Click here to access the full poster for this research study
(Flying Carrot_UCCS_Poster.pdf)

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