The food management practices used by people with limited resources to ensure food sufficiency have not been fully characterized. Semistructured interviews were conducted with 51 nutrition educators from the New Jersey Expanded Food and Nutrition Education Program and Food Stamp Nutrition Education Program, regarding the food management practices of program participants. Practices were grouped into two categories using the constant comparative method: manage food supply (n=14) and regulate eating patterns (n=15). Well-documented stratagems, such as overeating when food is available and cycling monthly eating patterns, were confirmed. Novel practices were identified. Practices causing food safety or nutritional risks included removing spoiled sections, slime, mold, and insects from food; eating other people's leftovers; and, eating meat found as road kill. A foundation was formed for a grounded theory concerning food management practices by people with limited resources. Verification of these results with audiences with limited resources and determination of prevalence and relative risk of these practices is necessary. This research is important for nutrition professionals who work with people with limited resources because it elucidated a spectrum of safe and risky food management practices, proposed methods to ameliorate monthly eating pattern cycles, and exposed the possibility of food insecurity in unsuspected cases.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Food Science
- Nutrition and Dietetics