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Image by Kate Trysh


This project examines implications for food and ingredient markets that have arisen given the continual growth of the organic market over the past decade. Four dimensions of organic food markets are considered through this initiative: 1) the volume, value and diversity of organic international trade; 2) the role of organic certifying agents; 3) the supply of organic ingredients, and 4) consumer understanding and substitution between organic and other "sustainable" product claims such as natural  and GM-free food.

This project is primarily funded by USDA/NIFA/AFRI; PI: N. Hooker (Ohio State).

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Fruit and vegetables that never reach the consumer represent losses of water, chemical inputs, labor, and land, in addition to the loss of nutrient dense, recoverable food.  This project, “Whole Crop Harvest”, t seeks to increase the economic and environmental sustainability of produce growers by developing and disseminating approaches to utilize produce that typically goes unharvested.  Economic components of this initiative include: 1) analysis of the impact on farmer profitability of harvesting/selling product typically left in the field; 2) understanding of the motivations and preferences of consumers who opt to purchase cosmetically imperfect (“ugly”) produce

This project is primarily funded by the Southern Sustainable Agriculture Research and Education program (S-SARE); PI: R. Dunning (NC State).

Food poisoning related terms, salmonella


Our group has several ongoing studies focused on food safety economics.  This portfolio include projects exploring: (1) product liability and product contamination insurance as a mechanism to improve food safety and ensure market access for specialty crops producers†; (2) the impact of media and legal attention on food safety in meat and poultry industries‡; (3) outcomes of jury trials for cases of foodborne illness‡; (4) market responses to food safety recall events; and (5) the impact of food safety policy on cooperate strategic behavior.

Funded though: †USDA/AFRI/NIFA (PI: K. Boys); ‡USDA Cooperative Agreement (PI: K. Boys).

Doctor holding fresh fruit and vegetable


Our team is contributing to a number of studies examining issues at the intersection of food systems and human health.  Projects in this area include studies examining the potential of fruit and vegetable prescription programs to support healthier diets and support local farmers†, and examining North Carolina’s health food small retailer policy on diet-related outcomes in rural food deserts.‡

Funded though: †UNC Inter-Institutional Planning Grant (PI: Neutze, Ammerman; UNC Chapel Hill); ‡Robert Wood Johnson Foundation (PI: S. Jilcott Pitts; Eastern Carolina University).

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