What Do Farmers Eat Today? The Appalachian Small Farming Diet

ASU Author/Contributor (non-ASU co-authors, if there are any, appear on document)
Jordan Miller (Creator)
Appalachian State University (ASU )
Web Site: https://library.appstate.edu/
Lanae Ball

Abstract: Though the Standard American Diet (SAD), the dietary habits of farmers, and recently the Traditional Southern Appalachian Diet have been described and documented in the literature, the dietary habits of small farmers, and particularly southern Appalachian farmers remain undocumented despite speculations of poor seasonal dietary habits. This qualitative study documented 9 questionnaire-guided interviews with self-identified farmers recruited from local farmer’s markets. Topics ranged from seasonal crop rotations to food ethics in order to identify dietary patterns related to seasonal fruit, vegetable, and processed food intake. Interviews were recorded at participants’ homes and lasted about 1.5 hours on average. Transcripts were reviewed for consistency in choice of themes. Two primary themes related to the objectives were: 1) Seasonal Food and 2) Ethical Food. Most farmers consumed 4-8 servings of fruit and vegetables in the summer and 3-5 servings in the winter. Processed food intake was limited to cooking ingredients during mealtimes, but was heavily present during snacking. Restaurant dining was more frequent during the summer. Fat, meat, and dessert consumption increased during the winter. Most farmers expressed health, locality, and cost were primary factors affecting their food choices. Participants and other farmers in the region were not found to be at nutritional risk; however, concerns for the economic viability of farming arose as a theme outside the parameters of the objectives of this study.

Additional Information

Honors Project
Miller, J. (2016). What Do Farmers Eat Today? The Appalachian Small Farming Diet. Unpublished Honors Thesis. Appalachian State University, Boone, NC.
Language: English
Date: 2016
Appalachian, Farming, Diet, Nutrition, Dietary Habits

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