Urban organic community gardening to promote environmental sustainability practices and increase fruit, vegetables and organic food consumption

Paulo Nova*, Elisabete Pinto, Benedita Chaves, Margarida Silva

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

8 Citations (Scopus)
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Abstract

Objective: To describe the environmental practices of participants in an urban organic community garden at the beginning of their gardening experience and after a period of six months, and to discover their opinion about how this activity influenced the consumption of vegetables, fruits and organic food. Method: Interviews using structured questionnaires were conducted twice with 115 city dwellers: when they started in the vegetable garden and about 6 months later. The questionnaire included questions related to environmental practices. The second evaluation also included questions related to the consumption of organic food, vegetables and fruit. Results: This research showed significant behavioural transformation, including positive outcomes in environmental practices such as recycling and trying to persuade friends or family to recycle, compost leftovers or choose to walk/bike to save petrol. In the opinion of the participants, activities in the organic community garden helped to increase consumption of fruits, vegetables and organic food. Conclusion: The study results reinforce the hypothesis that an organic community vegetable garden can induce significant, positive behavioural changes among its users. In particular this research suggests horticulture is associated with positive improvements in personal environmental behaviours, awareness of the environment's high social priority and increased consumption of organic food, fruit and vegetables.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)4-9
Number of pages6
JournalGaceta Sanitaria
Volume34
Issue number1
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jan 2020

Keywords

  • Community health
  • Environment
  • Environmental health
  • Organic agriculture
  • Organic food
  • Preventive medicine & public health

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