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After the first three months of my EU MSCA project “CONSUMEHealth. Using consumer science to improve healthy eating habits”, I would like to share some of my activities.  

First, since the first week upon my arrival in July I have been involved in the activities of the Dyson School of Applied Economics and Management. For instance, I presented my project design and explain the opportunities given by the H2020 Marie Skłodowska-Curie Action to the students of the Summer Internship Program of the Food and Brand Lab.

In the last months, I and a colleague of mine, Catalina Velez Argumedo who is a PhD student of the EGADE Business School, started last month to carry out a qualitative study aims to elicit students and parents’ perceptions and attitudes towards social, environmental and other barriers to healthy eating. So far, we have been carried out several focus groups and deep interviews with students and parents here at Cornell. We are investigating how the concept of a healthy diet change over time with the age, what are the practices of controlling healthy diet and what social, environmental and other barriers to healthy eating do different target groups perceive.

In the next months, we are going to start the recruitment and collection of data also at the Department of Food and Drug of the University of Parma in Italy. 

 

In July, one of my blog posts about the project “CONSUMEHealth” participated at the #EUinmyRegion blogging competition. The aim of campaign “Europe in My Region” is to encourage citizens to discover European projects in their home country.

I am attending a course on “Introduction to applied science communication: digital platforms and public engagement” by Dr. Mark Sarvary, Dr. Kitty Gifford and Dr. Kelee Pacion which helping me to get the hang of social media, storytelling journalism, public engagement and other forms to communicate popular science. This is crucial in a world where many people don’t take facts and science for granted.
This is very important in today’s world where everyone talks about food and as experts, but many people are left wondering who are the most competent sources to listen to.

                                                                                               

 

I also had the opportunity to present my project and the first studies to carry out, such as interviews and focus groups to my fellow colleagues and other staff members. In this way, I received feedback and comments on how to improve my research and the opportunities given by the University to facilitate my work. I would like to thank all my colleagues who are helping me to become a better researcher.

And what’s next?

Next week I am going to the Michigan State University hosted by Institute for Food Laws & Regulations under the supervision of Professor Neal Fortin. I will give a talk on Market scenarios of traditional and novel food products in the European context, which will be followed by a tasting of real Parmigiano Reggiano DOP and Aceto Balsamico Tradizionale di Modena. Stay tuned!