The North Carollina Research Campus
Researchers, contributors, and other professionals at the North Carolina Research Campus (NCRC) are working to transform the landscape of nutrition and human health beyond laboratories and clinics. Aubrey Mast, Nutrition Associate for NCRC’s NC State University Plants for Human Health Institute, understands that nutrition education and outreach are critical components of this mission. By providing free resources, offering cooking demonstrations, and facilitating classroom engagement, these professionals are creating the tools necessary to implement findings from laboratory research in everyday life through meaningful real-world lessons.
TRANSCRIPT OF “planting where we bloom”
Aubrey Mast: Research – in general, right? – it’s an ivory tower situation. If it’s not impacting people, what is the point of it? That is why, I think, it is so important for me to share it and to get kids involved so they can see, like, research is not just this thing that is isolated in a lab that nobody can understand. There’s, like, parts of research that can be applied into everyday living. And the reality of our society today is that there’s not a single child that is not impacted by cancer or heart disease or diabetes.
And so, when we are with kids and then we’re in the garden and they are getting their hands in the dirt and they’re growing something and then they’re getting to harvest it and then we follow up with like, ‘Oh, did you know this could help with preventing those diseases that your family member is struggling with?’ I’ve had that happen over and over again where a kid’s been like, ‘My grandmother has diabetes. Do you mean that her eating carrots could help or that her eating blueberries could help? I know how to grow that. I can contribute to her health now.’ That, to me, is like the most empowering thing that I can do is help give people back the power to control of their own health.
What is happening on this research campus is not found anywhere else in the world. You don’t find eight universities working together all focused on advancing human health understanding. So, what’s happening in this campus is profound.
Extension Associate, Nutrition, NC State Plants for Human Health Institute