grow cook nourish

Introduction to The Tufts Food Lab

The Tufts Food Lab serves as a research lab, temporary kitchen, classroom, traveling kitchen and mill, and gathering place for Bake Togethers and Cook Togethers. Our goal is to reduce the barriers that prevent people from optimal health. Our approach to solutions brings together nutrition science, regenerative agriculture, social history, and the culinary arts. Recent projects include the Whole Grain Guide, GameDay Nutrition – a collaboration with Harlem Lacrosse to introduce young athletes to the positive impact of wholesome foods on academic and athletic performance, and the Traveling Kitchen & Mill – a project to increase consumption of whole-grain products.

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 and food systems are constantly evolving; to help set the course we look for bold 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.

Why Include Baking and Cooking?
For many people, what we eat and how we prepare it is handed down through generations around a shared table. The table is a time-honored crossroad where nature, nutrition, agriculture, pleasure, family, community, and culture come together, and where we ask the difficult question: who is missing, and why? We’re working to foster trusted collaborations that champion 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 generous grant from the Allen Foundation, the Tufts Food Lab compiled a Whole Grain Guide, free and available online summer of 2022. We interviewed professional bakers and chefs, researched grain nutrition, and listened as diverse spokespersons described the challenges that resourcing, processing, and eating whole grains and whole-grain flour products present to them.

Tufts Food Lab Mission
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.