Fork in the Road: A new UC Merced docuseries focuses on food supply research featuring UC Merced Prof. Colleen Naughton who received a CITRIS COVID-19 Seed Fund to solve the disruption in the food supply chain.
The pandemic changed the way Americans consume food—and for many, exposed them to hunger and food insecurity. UC Merced Professor Colleen Naughton received a CITRIS COVID-19 Seed Fund to solve the disruption in the food supply chain. The project aims to create more resilient and equitable systems within the food supply chain by leveraging technology to improve the transfer of information, data, and informatics.
In an effort to slow the spread of the pandemic, many businesses and restaurants closed which led to a decrease in demand for food of certain volumes and types. This disruption was what Naughton calls “supply chain pinch points.” She is using life cycle assessments and other systems analysis to identify areas of improvement along the supply chain. Without being able to adapt to consumer markets, food insecurity increased. Naughton and her team collaborated with agriculture and community leaders to bridge the gap between farmers, food, restaurants, retailers, and the Merced County Food Bank. Long after the pandemic is over, this research will help to bring together the community, farmers, and overall sustainability.
Watch the latest episode of the Building the Future Docuseries: Fork in the Road to learn about the impact of the coronavirus on the food supply chain and UC Merced Professor Colleen Naughton’s work.
Prof. Naughton is also co-planning the “Converging COVID-19, environment, health, and equity” Conference, beginning on October 16 and running for six Fridays. For more information, visit aeespconvergingcovid19.org.