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Where the food science and nutrition communities have come and may be going in defining sustainable food systems with examples from research in the NC State Food, Bioprocessing and Nutrition Department.
Achieving sustainable food systems has been a growing agenda item among scientists, food and nutrition associations, and the food industry. Examples of goals and actions for some of these groups can be contrasted with the projects that individual scientists try to wedge into the sustainability umbrella. Similar examples from past NC State food and nutrition research will show that trends in research funding for specific projects to meet industry needs can now be rewritten to show progress toward a sustainable food system, even when that might not have been the original intent of the research. The research interests of international and domestic students and the groups that provide their funding also create an interesting contrast in this field. Additional progress can be made as we address the teaching and research of our current students to create the future scientists who will evolve the understanding of a sustainable food system.
Additionally, Ms. Brown will be reporting briefly on the National Sweetpotato Collaborators Group meeting as it pertains to her research and food science study. The National Sweetpotato Collaborators Group is comprised of stakeholders across industry, academia, and government which meets annually to discuss emerging research. The fields of study present at the meetings include, but are not limited to plant physiology, plant breeding, molecular biology, pathology, entomology, cultural practices, food science, and marketing. The objective of the meeting is the rapid dissemination of information to improve the growth of sweetpotatoes and sweetpotato products in the United States for the benefit of the multiple stakeholders. Ms. Brown’s research involved a preliminary consumer survey of health, purchasing habits and acceptance/awareness of biotech in the sweetpotato sector.
Dr. Jonathan Allen is a professor in the Department of Food, Bioprocessing and Nutrition Science at North Carolina State University and Director of the Food Science Graduate Program. He teaches undergraduate and graduate courses in milk and dairy products, lactation, exercise nutrition, and energy metabolism. His research projects cover glycemic control as impacted by food processing and bioactive components in foods such as sweet potato, peanuts and milk, nutrient fortification of flour, and processing strategies. Allen has gained an international reputation for the understanding and potential amelioration of such chronic diseases as infant growth retardation, metabolic bone disease, diabetes, and hypertension. He has trained students who hold food industry, government, academic, and NGO positions in more than a dozen countries. A Fellow of the American College of Nutrition, and the Institute of Food Technologists, Dr. Allen has been active in the IFT Dairy Foods Division and new Sustainability Division with technical research paper reviews and graduate student competitions, and was on the IFT Dietary Guidelines for Americans Task Force. He is a member of the Climate/environment, Health, Agriculture and Improved Nutrition (CHAIN) Research Interest Group of the American Society for Nutrition.
Rebekah Brown is a Cohort 3 AgBioFEWS fellow and PhD candidate in the Food, Bioprocessing, and Nutrition Sciences Department at North Carolina State University. Some of her research involves stakeholder engagement regarding the use or acceptance of biotechnology in sweetpotatoes and sweetpotato products as well as the health and sustainability of different processing techniques.
GES Colloquium (GES 591-002) is jointly taught by Drs. Jen Baltzegar and Dawn Rodriguez-Ward, who you may contact with any class-specific questions. Colloquium will generally be live-streamed via Zoom, with monthly in-person meetings in 1911 Building, Room 129. Please subscribe to the GES newsletter and Twitter for updates .