celebrates remodeled space for promoting nutrition knowledge and healthy living | University of Nevada, Reno

Modernized lab increases future nutrition professionals’ expertise, community impact

In the newly remodeled Nutritional Science Laboratory, students develop through experiential learning the food science expertise to make an impact in their fields. Photo from video by Damian Gordon.

In the newly remodeled Nutritional Science Laboratory, students develop through experiential learning the food science expertise to make an impact in their fields. Photo from video by Damian Gordon.

In the newly remodeled Nutritional Science Laboratory, students develop through experiential learning the food science expertise to make an impact in their fields. Photo from video by Damian Gordon.

The College of Agriculture, Biotechnology & Natural Resources unveiled its newly renovated Nutritional Science Laboratory this semester, a facility designed to develop future nutrition professionals’ knowledge of our food systems and how nutrition can be used to prevent and help manage preventable chronic diseases. This is important because low food literacy is associated with diet-related chronic diseases, and preventable chronic disease continues to be Nevada’s leading cause of death.

“At least half of the typical American food budget is spent on food that’s prepared away from home,” Nutrition Instructor Maureen Molini said. “The collateral damage is that we have less engagement with our food. We don’t prepare it, much less understand where it comes from. Being in the lab helps our students get that exposure and learn about our food systems and about our food, itself.”

In the lab, students explore topics such as the scientific method; nutrition’s role in health, chronic-disease prevention, and fitness and sports; and issues impacting the food industry and public safety.

“The lab experience enables students to explain what our food is, where it comes from, why we eat it, why it’s nutritionally significant,” Molini said.