Current Research

The Impact of Economic Change on Food Habits and Nutritional Health in Monteverde, Costa Rica

This study entitled, “The Impact of Economic Change on Food Habits and Nutritional Health in Monteverde, Costa Rica: Mixing Food Production and Tourism” is now in its second year.  The research funded through a grant from the National Science Foundation is intended to expand our holistic understanding of the complexities involved in processes of economic transition.  Through various research methodologies, the project seeks to answer questions such as:

  1. What effects has the increasing reliance on eco-tourism as a means of income generation had on the way in which people acquire, prepare, and consume foods in the Monteverde region?
  2. What new needs are being created with the increasing reliance on eco-tourism?
  3. Is the existing infrastructure of Monteverde equipped to handle large scale tourism while still offering sustainable health and well-being solutions for the residents of this area?
  4. Are there differences in body composition and health status patterns among people involved in agriculture than in people involved in eco-tourism?
  5. Are the existing and developing economic strategies in the area offering achievable strategies for the fulfillment of the nutritional demands of local workers?

These and other questions will be submitted to rigorous analysis through the collection of anthropometric, sociodemographic, occupational, and informal qualitative data and observations.  It is anticipated that results from this study will be able to inform local and national policy formation as Costa Rica continues to explore tourism as a source of revenue. This project is a collaborative research initiative between the University of South Florida (USA) and the Monteverde Institute.

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