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UBC Undergraduate Research

Increasing Plant Based Food Literacy and Skills - Graduate Student Society (GSS) Sidhu, Arshi; Dalman, Sarah; Walker, Sarah; Wong, Marcus; Wang, Hailey; Zhang, An


With a greater emphasis being placed on promoting both health and environmental wellbeing, governmental agencies and stakeholders alike are increasing emphasis on plant-forward eating. The University of British Columbia’s Food and Nutrition Committee is acting by forming a working group known as the Plant Forward Food Initiative. This group looks to promote plant-based foods and food literacy amongst multiple target groups within the campus. In working with the University of British Columbia (UBC) Graduate Student Society (GSS) and the UBC Social Ecological Economic Developmental Studies (SEEDS) team, this initiative identifies current and prospective graduate students as a potential target group for a plant-based meal initiative. The mission of the GSS to promote a healthy, positive, sustainable, and affordable lifestyle for their students falls directly in line with the intentional benefits of a plant-forward diet approach. The objective of the GSS is to remove financial, and physical access barriers to graduate education at UBC, which aligns with the mission to promote plant-forward foods. Our team is tasked with the development of informative media, in the mode of a generalized infographic pertaining to plant-based food literacy. This infographic is intending to be distributed to the diverse graduate student population, and incoming graduate students to UBC. Our infographic is to be easily modifiable, accessible, and distributable for many years to come. To test the efficacy of the infographic we plan to present the first draft to a small population of GSS students, and request feedback on the content. Due to the nature of UBC’s winter term, we are only able to generate, and evaluate short-term objectives for this project. Through means of Google Forms, we will formulate multiple pre-/post-surveys, to determine the efficacy of our interventions. Objectives that are longer in term, are made based on the assumption of the continued success of our initial stimulus. Unfortunately, we will be unable to evaluate these objectives. We hope that our initial intervention initiates a diffusion of innovation that ultimately leads to a greater majority of graduate students adopting more plant-based meals. Along with this objective, we eventually aim to have a full plant-based initiative for all of UBC’s food services. Disclaimer: “UBC SEEDS provides students with the opportunity to share the findings of their studies, as well as their opinions, conclusions and recommendations with the UBC community. The reader should bear in mind that this is a student project/report and is not an official document of UBC. Furthermore readers should bear in mind that these reports may not reflect the current status of activities at UBC. We urge you to contact the research persons mentioned in a report or the SEEDS Coordinator about the current status of the subject matter of a project/report.”

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