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    Good Food For Grads: Mobile Recipes and Tips for Eating ‘Well’ on a Grad School Budget

    by  • May 15, 2016 • 2015-2016 Provost Digital Innovation Grant Winners

    Project Name: Good Food for Grads: Mobile Recipes and Tips for Eating ‘Well’ on a Grad School Budget
    Grantee: Rachel R. Bogan
    Discipline: Sociology
    Funding Cycle: 2015-2016
    Project Status: Cycle Complete

    Not all people living in New York City are eating ‘well’—and this is especially true of some lower-income residents, including graduate students. Lower-income folks living in urban areas are more likely to struggle with diet-related diseases such as diabetes, hypertension, and obesity. Like other New Yorkers, their food ‘choices’ are shaped not only by where they live and how they identify, but also by larger societal patterns of structural racism and gentrification. Research tells us that some lower-income folks want to change how they are eating— however, they often lack knowledge of how to do this. It also tells us that lower-income New Yorkers are likely to own smartphones and many rely on them to access the Internet. For this project, I will build a tool that helps address these gaps in food knowledge and everyday food practices. To do this, I will develop a mobile SMS/text messaging application that will deliver recipes and cooking tips to graduate students at the CUNY Graduate Center—and a website that will house these recipes, alongside instructional cooking videos and NYC-focused food information.

    The primary goal of this project is to create a piece of usable technology for folks who want to learn how to cook healthier meals. I imagine the tool will both provide new knowledge via the introduction of new ingredients and recipes AND complement other forms of learning that may take place at school or in social groups. The project’s secondary goals include: empowering folks to try new ingredients; positively impacting food shopping and eating behaviors; and encouraging cooking at home with fruits, vegetables, and minimally-processed foods.