Kathleen Arcaro, a UMass Amherst environmental toxicologist, thinks that fruits and vegetables can help reduce the risk of breast cancer. A recent pilot project engaged a community of highly motived, breast-feeding women to help test the concept by providing samples of their breast milk. When it was found that the levels of a helpful, normally-occurring hormone did go up as consumption of fresh fruits and vegetables increased, a long-term research study was begun.
UMass Amherst supports research on practical topics through its Center for Agriculture, Food and the Environment, whose Mass. Agricultural Experiment Station (MAES) unit is devoted to funding faculty research in topics related to food, agriculture, nutrition, water, energy, and the environment. The Mass. Agricultural Experiment Station was founded in 1878. MAES is the Massachusetts partner in a national network of Experiment Stations, linked through its federal partner, the National Institute of Food and Agriculture at the U.S. Department of Agriculture.