Thousands of immigrants come to the United States on a yearly basis, with Michigan typically taking in about 5,000 a year. Immigrants and refugees new to the Lansing area receive assistance from a variety of organizations, with help from people like Vanessa Garcia Polanco. Garcia Polanco works in food security in the form of farming and gardening. Through the use of community gardens, immigrants and refugees have the ability to grow food they might otherwise not have access to and feed themselves as they seek employment.
Yuko Frazier spearheads the Ypsilanti-based Project Mow, which uses sheep to tend to large plots of lands overgrown with unwanted vegetation. Project Mow’s concerns lie in reducing the use of fossil fuels for tasks like plant removal, but also in a sustainable way of keeping the sheep fed. Many of the efforts made involve re-using materials that would otherwise be thrown out but can make a healthy snack for sheep.
Dr. Emmanuel Kaunda, professor at the Lilongwe University of Agriculture & Natural Resources in Malawi, and Dr. Steven Cooke, professor in the department of Biology at Carleton University in Canada discuss their research in inland fisheries.
They recently visited Michigan State University as part of the Robin Welcomme Fellowship Program, an initiative that recognizes scientists who have been working to promote responsible Inland Fisheries.
A team of researchers in the department of Plant, Soil and Microbial Sciences at Michigan State University work to improve the quality of beans. In this episode of the Food Fix, they discuss a variety of healthy ways through which beans can be consumed. Their experimental research include coming up with different flavors of beans, and milling methods to create bean flour that can used to make products such as pasta, bread etc.
Dr. Helen Veit, an Associate Professor in the department of history at Michigan State University discusses a project focusing on the history of what Americans ate during the Great Depression. Going across the country, Dr. Veit with her colleagues collected historical documents containing food recipes from the 1930s and digitized them.
The project revealed that American food was as diverse back then as it is today.
You can find food recipes and more about the ‘What America Ate’ project by visiting the website whatamericaate.org.