Community Supported Agriculture

By Carola Strassner, Muenster University of Applied Sciences

Questions to guide discussions

  • How can we assess the health and environmental benefits of CSA versus regular diet?
  • What is the unique aspect of the CSA concept, in terms of changing the consumption-production dichotomy?
  • What are the wider aspects of CSA in terms of energy consumption? Food processing, transport to retail, transport from retail, etc.?
  • What could be some downsides to eating local?
  • What spices / products can not be managed locally and what would this mean in terms of solidarity with other regions?


CStrassnerCarola Strassner is Professor of Sustainable Food Systems and Nutrition Ecology at Münster University of Applied Sciences, specialising in food systems sustainability, especially alternative food networks and the out-of-home (horeca) context. She was founding member of the CSA Entrup 119 and is managing partner of the business company a’verdis – Sustainable FoodService Solutions. Carola is a Life Sciences graduate of the University of Cape Town (Biochemistry, Microbiology), with an M.Sc in Food Science from the University of Durban/Kwazulu-Natal and an MBA from Henley Management College (today: University of Reading, UK). She got her Ph.D. in Nutritional Sciences and Home Economics at the Justus-Liebig University in Germany. Carola gathered industry experience as Head of R&D at a medium-sized German health enterprise and as an entrepreneur in the field of food market consulting.

Recommended reading

Strassner, Carola 2016 Nachhaltige regionale Ernährungssysteme. pp 93-116 In: Regional, innovativ und gesund. Nachhaltige Ernährung als Teil der Großen Transformation. Eds: Steven Engler, Oliver Stengel and Wilfried Bommert, Vandenhoeck & Ruprecht GmbH & Co. KG, Göttingen, ISBN Print: 9783525300596 — ISBN E-Book: 9783647300597

James E. Allen, Jairus Rossia, Timothy A. Woods & Alison F. Davis. 2016: Do Community Supported Agriculture programmes encourage change to food lifestyle behaviours and health outcomes? New evidence from shareholders. International Journal of Agricultural Sustainability, published online: 16 May 2016, DOI:10.1080/14735903.2016.1177866

Strassner C, Cavoski I, Di Cagno R, Kahl J, Kesse-Guyot E, Lairon D, Lampkin N, Løes A-K, Matt D, Niggli U, Paoletti F, Pehme S, Rembiałkowska E, Schader C and Stolze M (2015) How the organic food system supports sustainable diets and translates these into practice. Front. Nutr. 2:19. doi: 10.3389/fnut.2015.00019

FAO (2015) Proceedings of the International Workshop – Assessing sustainable diets within the sustainability of food systems. Mediterranean diet, organic food: new challenges. Meybeck A, Redfern S, Paoletti F, Strassner C (eds), Rome, FAO. ISBN 978-92-5-108825-8

Other resources

Booklet by in German:  makeCSA-Booklet_Pfade_03-02-2014.pdf (186 downloads)

German website on a CSA research project:
The clips are also on youtube:

International CSA network (Urgenci) and the EU research group resource page

Short introduction and some CSAs around the world at IFOAM

Film: The real dirt on Farmer John, for more info see

Film: Die Strategie der krummen Gurken, available with subtitles in various languages, for more info see