Community education for health and food safety

Our goals are to enhance research, teaching, and extension and outreach efforts to facilitate desirable health and food safety behaviors by developing knowledge and skills through our expertise in nutrition, wellness, health promotion, food quality, and food safety. Our target populations include youth, families, older adults, the health care industry, and food industries (retail, manufacturing, wine, and local foods).

Objectives

  • Promote healthy systems, communities and people.
  • Enhance awareness of food safety knowledge and best practices to reduce the foodborne illness burden in the United States.
  • Hallmark Iowa as the center for wine education.
  • Enhance communications with stakeholders.

Research projects

  • Determine how theory-based, unique, and innovative nutrition and health intervention strategies can increase awareness, knowledge, and adoption of health-promoting behaviors in youth, young adults, older adults, and those with limited resources using a balance of qualitative and quantitative methods. (Francis, Litchfield)
  • Drink Right Snack Smart Move More collaboration with Healthiest Ames to engage youth organizations in adopting policies promoting healthy behavior. (Hendrich)
  • Investigation of knowledge, attitudes, and perceptions of traditional foods by ethnic minorities and immigrants to tailor nutrition education messages and outreach. (Winham)
  • Collaboration with commodity groups to host educational hands-on workshops for youth and young adults as an introduction to food industry career options. (Beirman)
  • Develop an educational programming for local food producers (home-based foods and value added products), growers (fruit and vegetable) and FDA regulated food manufactures related to food safety, quality, and food regulations. (Coleman, Shaw, Wilson)

Faculty interests

Erica Beirman: Education, undergraduate majors, and internship development

Shannon M. Coleman, PhD: Farmers’ market, food security, value added products (food processing and regulations)

Sarah L. Francis, PhD, MHS, RD: Older adults, community nutrition, social marketing theory, under-served audiences, wellness

Suzanne Hendrich, PhD: Service learning, learning in community

Ruth Litchfield, PhD, RD, LD: Nutrition education, health promotion, technology

Ted MacDonald, PhD: Global agriculture, food laws

Somchai Rice, PhD: Toxicology, wine, aroma, education

Angela M. Shaw, PhD: Food safety, food regulations, extension, growers, food manufacturers

Lester Wilson, PhD: Food quality, food safety, food composition, shelf life

Donna M. Winham, PhD, RD, LD, MCHES: Dietary acculturation, traditional foods, legumes, food security, survey research