Research suggests that a diet with plant protein has health benefits. Recently, participants with low income who completed a pilot meal kit study ranked the vegetarian recipes as least desirable. Research is needed to better determine plant protein preferences in populations with low income, which may highlight the need for programs that encourage the consumption of plant-based proteins.
To compare utilization and mean satisfaction of meat, seafood, and vegetarian recipes in rural and suburban communities with low income.
Study Design, Setting, Participants
Rural (n = 42) and suburban (n = 28) main preparers of food in a household with at least one child participated in a six-week meal kit intervention. Each kit contained three recipes (meat, seafood, and vegetarian). Demographic data were collected at baseline, and recipe usage and satisfaction data were collected weekly.
Demographic data were analyzed using descriptive statistics. Utilization frequency and average satisfaction of recipe types were determined for each community.
Participants were on average age 45.8 ± 12.5, Black (37.1%) or White (34.3%), and primarily female (88.6%) and non-Hispanic (98.6%). Most (87.1%) fell below 200% of the 2021 federal poverty line and prepared at least four of each recipe type (meat = 85.9%, seafood = 81.7%, and vegetarian = 76.1%). The least prepared recipes in both communities were vegetarian (rural = 81.0%, suburban = 71.4%) while the most prepared were meat (92.9%). In the suburban community, 70.4%, 85.7%, and 96.3% of participants who prepared the vegetarian (n = 27), meat (n = 28), and seafood (n = 27) recipes, respectively, liked the recipes somewhat or a great deal. Whereas 80.0%, 95.2%, and 97.6% of participants in the rural community who prepared the vegetarian (n = 40), meat (n = 42), and seafood (n = 41) recipes, respectively, liked the recipes somewhat or a great deal.
Vegetarian recipes were the least prepared and liked recipes in both communities. It's unclear whether this is due to taste preferences, familiarity with or perceived value of ingredients. More exposure to and education about vegetarian recipes may be needed to increase acceptance in communities with low income.
Supplementary data related to this article can be found at https://doi.org/10.1016/j.jneb.2022.04.189.
Appendix. SUPPLEMENTARY DATA
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