Kate Bauer receives Fulbright Canada Research Chair in Food Security Award
Kate Bauer, associate professor of Nutritional Sciences at the University of Michigan School of Public Health, has been named the Fulbright Canada Research Chair in Food Security for the 2022-2023 academic year. Fulbright awards are considered one of the United States government’s most prestigious awards, supporting interdisciplinary academic research and work.
Bauer’s research focuses on social and behavioral determinants of children’s eating and growth, with particular attention on supporting effective parenting and healthy food environments in the home. Understanding the causes and impacts of food insecurity has been a consistent thread running through her work given the physical, mental, and emotional strain that food security places on parents and children. Currently, she is partnering with the W. K. Kellogg Foundation and Michigan Farm Bureau to elevate parents’ experiences of food access and food assistance during the pandemic to build more responsive and equitable nutrition assistance programs.
As the Fulbright Canada Research Chair in Food Security, she will collaborate with colleagues at the University of Guelph, Ontario, to study whether reducing household food waste is a viable strategy to improve families' food security. US and Canadian households produce a combined 22 million tons of food waste each year, Bauer said.
“Both the US and Canadian governments encourage families to reduce food waste to stretch food budgets and improve food security. However, we don’t have a good understanding of how much and what kinds of foods low-income households are wasting, or whether methods to decrease food waste are feasible or acceptable to low-income families,” said Bauer. “Many parents experiencing food insecurity are already extremely savvy about food shopping and preparation. We need to know how much wiggle room there is to reduce their food waste and if reducing food waste can make a meaningful difference for their families.”
The University of Michigan is one of the top Fulbright-producing institutions in the country.