I was excited to stumble across the “Seed to Kitchen” initiative at the University of Wisconsin-Madison, which teams up agricultural scientists with local chefs and food-lovers to create and study healthy, tasty vegetables.
For me, this is a great example of applied research in which the researchers are not only educating the chefs on vegetable varieties, but the chefs are providing feedback to the researchers on what they are looking for in the vegetable. This is a great communication loop that I think truly helps bring the benefits of research directly to the community.
High school biology teachers working introducing their students to the scientific work of Gregor Mendel, Augustinian monk and leader of scientific approaches to genetics; and Punnett Squares might find this a helpful video to enrich the curriculum. Culinary Arts instructors, Food/Cooking teachers will enjoy seeing the presentation of the food and the emphasis the chefs place on high quality, healthy ingredients. Marketing/business teachers might find it useful to enrich the idea of how university research labs are instrumental in developing new product concepts.
Questions for Discussion
- What is the “Seed to Kitchen” initiative and why was it developed?
- What are the characteristics the growers are researching?
- What characteristics are the chefs interested in?
- How might the researchers change their research focus based on feedback from the chefs/consumers?
- How do the chefs use this research information in their work?
- What are the variables most likely examined in the researcher’s data?
- What else does this video inspire you to “dream, learn, do?”