The Initiative for Food and AgriCultural Transformation
Strategic Research Targets, August 2020
InFACT is taking a transdisciplinary convergence research approach to systematically addressing knowledge gaps in the role of diversity in food system function. Transformational change is needed all along the set of activities and outcomes that comprise the human food chain today. A food systems framework for research broadly lists the activities making up a modern human food chain as producing, processing and packaging, distributing and retailing, and consuming food. These activities have outcomes that have been grouped into three categories: availability (from producing), access (from processing, packaging, and distributing including selling), and utilization (from consuming and including resulting health outcomes). InFACT research and scholarly activity focuses on contributing new knowledge, and facilitating innovation and discovery, where research could facilitate and leverage transformation. The research contributing to each of these three categories of outcomes is summarized below.
InFACT Scholarship Agenda to Transform Food Availability: Pathways to More Diversified Agricultural Landscapes
• Discover diversified farming systems that can contribute to greater economic, social and environmental benefits in agricultural production.
• Discover and explore how agricultural economies of scope can be achieved to support diversification of agricultural landscapes.
• Discover landscape designs and policies that enhance the viability of diversified agricultural systems.
InFACT Scholarship Agenda to Transform Food Access: Access and Value in Reimagined Food Supply Chains
• Explore, create, and test balanced and integrated supply chains from local to global scales in ways that increase access, food safety and transparency.
• Discover the means of reducing food waste across the supply chain from production to consumption, and turning remaining waste into raw materials for value added processing.
• Measure and expose inequities in food access among populations, and exploring new ways of increasing equity.
InFACT Scholarship Agenda for Transformation of Food Utilization: Food as a Foundation for Community Health
• Explore how food landscapes impact geographic patterns of food consumption
• Translate the multiple values and transitions in food culture and use into transformation.
• Discover creative new dietary patterns that improve health and well-being in communities.
“Developing an Informational Infrastructure for Building Smart Regional Foodsheds,” stores diverse public data from multiple partners in information systems called “smart foodsheds.” Communities can then access the information to track where food is grown, processed and transported; learn about local food sources; and create partnerships to bring new food sources to communities in need.
This is a future clinic being planned for contributions from faculty and students in multiple colleges.