Background (Background, Rationale, Prior Research, and/or Theory): The Plate It Up! Kentucky Proud (PIUKP) recipe development project, now in its 10th year, continues to promote purchase of fresh and seasonal locally grown fruits and vegetables. Recipes are developed by upper-level dietetics and nutrition students and tested by a trained panel and community volunteers. Recipe cards, educational materials, and samples are distributed by FCS Extension agents through community programming, farmers' markets, and other related community activities.
Objective: The purpose of this study was to determine the effects of recipe sampling and distribution of recipe cards on purchasing habits of consumers at diverse farmers' markets throughout Kentucky.
Study Design, Setting, Participants, Intervention: Surveys were conducted at farmers' markets across seven Kentucky counties (n = 223) in collaboration with local FCS Extension agents, who provided PIUKP recipe samples and professional cards.
Outcome Measures and Analysis: Twenty-two percent of the survey participants (n = 223) reported having tasted a PIUKP sample prior to this sampling experience. Participants reported consuming 2.39 ± 1.24 servings of fruits and 2.85 ± 1.24 servings of vegetables daily. The overall quality of the sampled recipe was rated as 8.63 ± 1.71 on a 10-point Liker-scale with 10 being the “best” flavor. Recipe sampling influenced consumers' intent to purchase produce at the farmers' market that day (r = 0.38; P < .0001) and in the future (r = 0.413; P < .001). A positive correlation was also found between sampling (r = 0.552; P < .0001) and recipe card distribution (r = 0.25, P < .0002) and intent to prepare the PIUKP recipe at home.
Conclusions and Implications: Recipe sampling at farmers' markets provides consumers with an opportunity to learn about the health benefits of consuming fruits and vegetables, how to select and prepare produce, and suggested “healthy” recipes. As well, recipe sampling at the farmers' market was positively associated with intent to purchase fruits and vegetables. Nutrition educators have the unique opportunity to share health-promoting recipes with those in their community.
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