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Adults’ food skills and use of gardens are not associated with household food insecurity in Canada

Dr.Valerie Tarasuk, “I know, again, it seems counter-intuitive — you think well if you’re growing your own food you don’t need to buy it, you should have more food,” she said. But small urban gardens don’t produce enough, she said, and fill needs mostly temporarily because they are seasonal.

Objectives: To determine the extent to which Canadian adults’ food preparation and cooking skills and use of home or community gardens relate to their household food insecurity status; and to compare the food shopping and cooking behaviours of adults in food-secure and food-insecure households.

By Anne Huisken, Sarah K. Orr, Valerie Tarasuk
Can J Public Health 2016;107(6):e526–e532
(Must see. Mike)


Only 29.4% of adults in food-insecure households reported using a home or community garden for food, compared with 43.5% of those in food-secure households (chi-square test, p < 0.05). The odds of food insecurity was not significantly associated with the use of gardens for food when this variable was included in a logistic regression model along with individual- and household-level socio-demographic characteristics (Table 2, column 4).

Given that most people in food-insecure households in Canada reside in urban areas and in rental accommodations,it is not surprising that they were less likely to engage in gardening for food. Our failure to find any indication that gardening was protective against household food insecurity is consistent with studies documenting the relatively low yield of home and community gardens in Canada.26 It is important to acknowledge, however, that the measure of gardening included in this survey did not include an assessment of the scale of the activity or differentiate between home gardening and participation in community gardening projects.

Read the complete paper here.

Adults’ food skills and use of gardens are not associated with household food insecurity in Canada(1)

Also see: Busting myths about food insecurity: Community gardens, subsidized housing not answersCBC March 14, 2017

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