Food systems research at the University of Vermont spans a broad spectrum of topics, disciplines, and colleges. You'll be able to find innovative work on the working landscape, value-added foods, the health of our communities, and much more. Below you'll find a few examples of current food research at UVM, and if you want more information on projects not shown below, contact Alison Nihart.
Agricultural Resilience in a Changing Climate
Dr. V. Ernesto Méndez (Dept. of Plant and Soil Science) together with his team, the Agroecology and Rural Livelihoods group, is facilitating a transdisciplinary initiative to support farmers and rural communities to manage extreme weather events and adapt to a changing climate. Learn more about the Vermont Farm Resilience in a Changing Climate Initiative.
Agroecology and Conservation in Brazil
Dr. Joshua Farley (Dept. of Community Development and Applied Economics) is working with Brazilian colleagues to help small family farmers in Santa Catarina, Brazil, adopt agroecology practices that comply with Brazil’s forestry laws and reverse the imminent ecological collapse of Brazil’s Atlantic Forest ecosystem while improving farmer livelihoods.
Migrant Food Security in Vermont
Dr. Teresa Mares (Dept. of Anthropology) is conducting a multi-year ethnographic project on the food practices of Latino/a migrant workers in Vermont’s dairy industry to understand the incidence of food insecurity among these workers and better understand the practices and strategies that migrant households engage to access food. Since 2011, she has collaborated with Naomi Wolcott-MacCausland (UVM Extension) on the Huertas Project, which builds kitchen gardens with Latino/a migrant workers to increase access to fresh, culturally familiar foods.
Gender, Class, and Food
Dr. Amy Trubek (Dept. of Nutrition and Food Science), Dr. Felicia Kornbluh (Gender, Sexuality, and Women's Studies Program), and Dr. Teresa Mares (Dept. of Anthropology) are bringing together researchers who address social issues in the food system, including gender and social class. Learn more about their work.
A Penny an Ounce for Health
Dr. Rachel Johnson (Dept. of Nutrition and Food Science) and Dr. Jane Kolodinsky (Dept. of Community Development and Applied Economics) research the health and economic effects of sugar-sweetened beverage taxes. Watch a recording of their webinar from February, 2013.
A Bovine Question or Two
Dr. John Barlow (Dept. of Animal Science) studies host-pathogen interactions and the impact of infectious disease control interventions (e.g. vaccination and antimicrobial use) on cattle health. His work is motivated by practical concerns of the effects of dairy cattle health on food production systems.
Education in the Kitchen
Dr. Binta Colley (College of Education and Social Services) — among other subjects — examines the kitchenroom as a place where students can be conscientized to understand how the food in front of them is connected, not only to their taste buds, but also to the environment (globally), nourishment, health and all of the other disciplines. She examines when and how children can make that connection.
Do they eat their veggies?
Dr. Rachel Johnson and Dr. Bethany Yon (Dept. of Nutrition and Food Science) are using a systems approach to develop a state-of-the-art tool to measure how many fruits and vegetables children eat at school. They plan to use this tool to determine the effect of the new National School Nutrition Program regulations on children's consumption of these foods.
A Box of Chocolates
Dr. Rocki-Lee DeWitt (School of Business Administration) looks at how commercial enterprises within this system seek to distinguish their business from other businesses in a food context. For example, she studies the paper-based packaging industry (e.g. the variety of boxes used for cereals and specialty chocolates).
Syrupy Sweet Studies
As Director of the UVM Proctor Maple Research Center, Dr. Timothy Perkins (Dept. of Plant Biology) and his team work with maple syrup producers to help them get the most out of their maple operations, to offer the best quality for consumers, and to help ensure that their harvest is sustainable in the long term.
New Farms for New Americans Study
Dr. Pablo Bose (Dept. of Geography) — in collaboration with Alisha Laramee (New Farms for New Americans (NFNA) Program Coordinator) — is currently researching the NFNA program and what it suggests about resettlement, identity, acculturation and sustainable agricultural livelihoods in the context of evolving demographic shifts.
Last modified April 02 2014 01:04 PM