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, 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 other 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 recordkeeping 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 will join forces with the training program for environmental health and interdisciplinary program in toxicology at the graduate and undergraduate level with research in human exposure to toxins in food and water and environmental impacts of food production. These programs will provide outside the classroom high-impact-learning modules for existing courses and research activities for graduate and undergraduate students exploring complexities of diverse food systems, environmental and food toxicology, food safety, and food authentication/adulteration/fraud while engaging in hands-on, life-long learning, and critical thinking activities that increase our students’ ability to thrive and excel in diverse work-environments.