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Eisenberg Group - Environmental Determinants of Infectious Diseases
Food Sharing Networks in Rural Coastal Ecuador: A Sociometric Study
National Institutes of Health
About this Project
Are food-sharing networks also clustered so that a relatively few number of individualsâ€” comprising a core groupâ€”account for a majority of such connections? To assess this question, we collected data on social network structures in 21 villages in rural Ecuador, where a paved road has been constructed in an area where there had previously been no roads. This road has opened the region to new forms of production (especially logging and plantation agriculture), greatly increased population movement and migration rates, and increased household reliance on purchased foods rather than subsistence farming and hunting. However, the road does not yet reach all villages, so its effects are differentially felt in the region. We examine the relationship between remoteness of villages from a population center and the extent of clustering in food-sharing social networks, and the effects that these different network structures might have on transmissibility of food-borne pathogens.