Food Diversity - Certificate
Our food supply is internationally connected and highly dependent on additives and ingredients from around the world representing different cultures and processing regulations. As such, issues of food safety, food authentication, and food certifications are prevalent and issues of food diversity are a nexus between the food industries and consumers. The Food Diversity Innovation Program (FDIP) encompasses key principles of increasing importance to the global food industry including religious and ethnic foods and certified food systems, such as organic, non-GMO, gluten-free, allergen-free, and other personal/socially conscious certifications. Certified food systems require extensive employee training and record-keeping to verify authenticity, safety, processing adulterations, and fraud. Our endowed FDIP program was established in 2016 as a sustainable high-impact research and education model based on religious and ethnic foods and other certified foods to educate students through high-impact learning in concert with the food industry. The current research and education portfolio of FDIP also includes the training program for environmental health and the interdisciplinary program in toxicology at the graduate and undergraduate levels with research in human exposure to toxins in food and water and environmental impacts of food production. These programs provide high-impact-learning modules for existing courses and research activities for graduate and undergraduate students who are exploring complexities of diverse food systems, environmental and food toxicology, food safety, and food authentication/adulteration/fraud while engaging in experiential learning and critical-thinking activities that increase their ability to thrive and excel in diverse work-environments.