How Gardening and a Gardener Support Program in Detroit Influence Participants’ Diet, Food Security, and Food Values
Country: United States
State / Locale: Detroit, MI
Population: Equal number of male and female participants, with the majority over 50 years old
Community Engagement (IAP2 Spectrum): Consult
Equity: People Place Power
This study aimed to understand how gardening affects the diets of people who participate in a gardening support program in Detroit, Michigan. Wanting to know how growing their own food influenced what they ate and how they thought about their diet. Keep Growing Detroit is an organization that helps people in Detroit with gardening. They provide resources, education, and support through their Garden Resource Program. This program offers a variety of seeds and plants for a small fee, along with technical assistance for gardening. Keep Growing Detroit also has a program called Grown in Detroit, where gardeners can sell their produce and keep all the profits. For this study, Keep Growing Detroit asked 28 people who had been part of the Garden Resource Program for at least two years to participate. Study results showed an increase in vegetable intake and decrease in processed foods and red meat. This study is unique in that it takes place in an urban U.S. city and primarily with African American gardeners, which has not been studied a lot in the past. This study shows how a gardening support program can provide a space and opportunity to try new vegetables, talk about food, nutrition, and health, which could positively impact gardener’s diet and create spaces for social and community building.
Alyssa W. Beavers, Ashley Atkinson & Katherine Alaimo (2020) How Gardening and a Gardener Support Program in Detroit Influence Participants’ Diet, Food Security, and Food Values, Journal of Hunger & Environmental Nutrition, 15:2, 149-169