Tufts Food Lab : Gathering Grain Research in the Field
This crowdfunding project has ended, but you can still support the Tufts Food Lab here. Thank you for your continued support!
What is the Tufts Food Lab?
The Tufts Food Lab was recently established by Friedman graduate students and faculty as a place to advance nutrition research and education by tapping into the expertise of diverse food system developers and stakeholders. Starting with the seed, we follow and learn about the complex chain of processes that generate delicious and nutritious food. The goal is to prepare students for future careers through research opportunities and hands-on field experience. Our approach is unique as we seek to cultivate intention within the agricultural system – intention to improve nutrition, sustainability, diversity, and regional economies.
Our first project is focused on grains. We have already jumped into the lab with our HNRCA (Human Nutrition Research Center on Aging) colleagues where we have begun evaluating and understanding the nutrient composition of different milled grains. We have also partnered on research with the Washington State University Bread Lab where plant breeders, growers, and bakers have been pioneering new wheat and barley lines while simultaneously growing a robust local grain economy. To gain culinary insight, we have connected with master bakers at the Johnson & Wales Culinary Arts Program.
Tufts graduate students, Claire Loudis, Tetyana Pecherska, and Nayla Bezares, at a JWU master baking class
Now that we have gained some momentum, it’s time for us to get our hands dirty. As Friedman is located in downtown Boston, we seldom find ourselves out on a farm or in a kitchen. We are raising funds to support our time in the field where we hope to actively dig into our grain research directly alongside our partners.
Our scheduled explorations to date include:
- Travel to the Washington State University Bread Lab to learn about plant breeding and field trials that identify which varieties of wheat and other small grains produce the greatest nutrition and flavor while preserving healthy soils and giving back to the grower and the rest of the local grain economy.
- Attend classes at Johnson & Wales Culinary Arts Program to become familiar with the craft and science of bread baking.
- Host graduate students from the WSU Plant Breeding Program at Friedman who will collaborate with Tufts students and faculty on grain research projects that will be developed into future work for publication.
These educational opportunities will center the study of nutrition within the larger context of the relationships that provide our communities with access to healthy grains and affordable nourishing local foods. Your donation to Tufts Food Lab will be used to make these exchanges a reality.
Thank you for your support!