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Nutrition

The free, online, self-paced, interactive program was created to help early childcare educators, foodservice staff, volunteers and parents understand the importance of reducing the risk of food safety related to fresh fruits and vegetables for young children.  The program includes five units: Farm to Preschool Benefits, Fresh Produce and Foodborne Illness Risks, Food Safety Basics for the Classroom and the Kitchen, Food Safety and Gardening Activities, and Food Safety on Field Trips to Farms and Farmers’ Market.  Printable resources such as Best Practices

"Since the 1980's, the cities of Lowell and Lynn, Massachusetts have become home to large numbers of former refugees from Cambodia. Lowell is home to the second largest population of Cambodians in the United States. More than half of all Cambodian Americans live below the poverty line and a significant number are at high risk for food insecurity and hunger. Food insecurity has been associated with depression, poor micronutrient intake, and obesity among women of reproductive age.

"Since the 1980's, the cities of Lowell and Lynn, Massachusetts have become home to large numbers of former refugees from Cambodia. Lowell is home to the second largest population of Cambodians in the United States. More than half of all Cambodian Americans live below the poverty line and a significant number are at high risk for food insecurity and hunger. Food insecurity has been associated with depression, poor micronutrient intake, and obesity among women of reproductive age.

1) Program Participants: food delivery through Senior Food Boxes, Surveys to assess food security, food access, healthy food consumption, and program perceptions and experiences; 2) Program Staff/Producers: Interviews with key
informants (i.e., program staff and producers/farmers) to assess program efficiencies, program challenges, and ideas for addressing those challenges.

Adequate nutrition is critical to human health and well-being. Consumption of fruit and vegetables is a major contributor to adequate nutrition for all age groups. Older adults are at increased risk for inadequate nutrition in part due to unique barriers to obtaining fruits and vegetables. For example, access to fruits and vegetables and inability to travel to grocery stores or other traditional food outlets can be particularly challenging for older adults who may have limited physical mobility and / or few transportation options, especially if they no longer drive.

Seafood is increasingly consumed in the United States. The ability of a particular foodborne pathogen to grow on raw seafood will be determined as will the process leading to the production of a toxin responsible for foodborne illness.

Improving human nutrition without artificial fortification of food or use of supplementary mineral nutrients is important in reducing malnutrition. Malnutrition from deficiencies of mineral elements is reported to be on the rise worldwide, even in the United State; it is estimated that half of the world population suffers from mineral nutrient deficiencies, limiting their physical, intellectual, and mental health activities. The deficiencies appear to derive from diminished contents of mineral nutrients in foods of plant (vegetables, fruits) or animal (meats, milk, cheese) origins.

 We will employ two well-characterized and widely used in vitro cell culture systems to address each of the objectives proposed. Namely, 3T3-L1 preadipocytes and RAW264.7 macrophages (available in both PI’s lab). Initial cell culture experiments will test the primary hypothesis that treatment of cranberry extract (CBE) promotes fatty acid oxidation and mitochondrial thermogenic biogenesis in 3T3-L1 adipocytes and anti-inflammatory effects in RAW264.7 macrophages.

In this project, we will work with other participating regional research project investigators to assess aging adults' perceptions and recommendations for community environmental supports for a food secure, culturally appropriate and healthy eating environment. The purpose of these studies is to identify the most important and modifiable enablers and behaviors of healthy eating among aging adults. To accomplish this, mixed methodology approaches will be used, including both qualitative and quantitative methods such as focus groups and consumer surveys.

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