About Us

Food plays a critical role in fostering healthy individuals, families, and communities. Yet, our food practices are located within broader social contexts and bound up in an array of competing desires, priorities, and constraints that affect food’s relationship to health in complex ways.

In the FED lab, we’re interested in how social contexts, and with them inequalities, affect people’s food consumption and the household practices supporting it, such as meal planning, preparing, cooking, and grocery shopping. We then aim to identify the implications of intersecting social inequalities for health, wellbeing, and social justice.

We study household food practices using multiple research methods, including qualitative interviews, observations, photo voice exercises, food recall conversations, quantitative surveys, and media analyses. Our research takes a trans-disciplinary approach spanning the fields of family science, sociology, information and consumer sciences, public health, and nutrition. We aim for our research to inform academic, community, and policy efforts to support food equity and dignity for vulnerable individuals and families and identify possibilities for more inclusive nutrition promotion and social change.

Our Mission:

In the FED Lab, we believe that food is an incredibly powerful connector; however, it can also be used to differentiate, exclude, and disparage, often those who are socially marginalized. While it’s true that there are few better ways to unite people than by breaking bread together, there is still lots of work to be done to ensure that our tables are welcome and accessible to all. We hope that our work can contribute to this end and, in doing so, help people in diverse circumstances cook and eat in ways that nourish their bodies and souls and connect them to their communities.