grow cook nourish


About the Tufts Food Lab

The Tufts Food Lab is a concept, research lab, temporary kitchen, classroom, traveling kitchen and mill, and gathering place for Bake Togethers and Cook Togethers. Our approach combines nutrition science, regenerative agriculture, social history, and the culinary arts to identify and address the barriers that prevent people from enjoying optimal health. Currently, we are exploring traditions of the shared table, compiling a guide to whole grains and fresh whole grain flours, developing a Traveling Kitchen & Mill to deliver whole-grain nutrition education where it is needed most, and collaborating on the Harlem Lacrosse Nutrition Project to educate young athletes about the delicious benefits of healthful eating.

How We Work

We focus on flavor. Knowing how to prepare delicious food provides powerful opportunities to translate cutting-edge nutrition and regenerative agriculture into real-world impact. We engage with people whose work advances the ways we research, grow, and cook our foods. Food is constantly evolving so we look for bold visions inside and outside academia and for fresh ways to translate appetites into nourishing eating habits. Our investigations take us into fields and kitchens, classrooms and food banks, local communities, and national partnerships.

By seeking diversity in our collaborations, Food Lab graduate students are prepared to invigorate food visions, impact food culture, and catalyze solutions to the world’s ever-shifting food issues.

Why Include Baking and Cooking?

For many people, what we eat and how we prepare it is passed down through the generations around a family table. Food is where Nature, nutrition, agriculture, pleasure, family, community, and culture can come together and where we ask the difficult question: who is missing from the proverbial table? We’re working to foster trusted collaborations that will support healthy eating as a choice accessible to all.

The Grain Revolution

Currently, the Food Lab is researching one of the world’s most nourishing staples, whole grains, and the fresh flours and products derived from them.

The Grain Guide

Sponsored by a two-year Allen Foundation grant, the Tufts Food Lab compiled a Whole Grain Guide, free and available online June 30, 2022. We interviewed professional bakers and chefs, researched grain nutrition, and listened as diverse spokespersons described the challenges that eating more whole grains and whole-grain flour products presents to them.

Topics span the viability of regional grain economies, the impact of history and culture on cultivation and consumption, the collaborative opportunities among regional, national, and global scales of grain-related enterprises, and the under-utilized diversity of delicious flavors embedded within the thousands of varieties of wheat and other grains grown in almost every soil and climate.

By exploring the intersection between regenerative agriculture, nutrition science, and gastronomy, the Tufts Food Lab educates creative and resourceful leaders, supports local and regional agriculture, and works collaboratively to improve human, animal, and ecological well-being.