Bringing Local Foods into Schools: A Food Innovation Center Partnership

School lunch quality has been getting a lot of attention on the web lately. Whether it’s images of tantalizing school lunches from around the world juxtaposed with a bland U.S. school lunch, or students’ snapshots of globs of unidentifiable food on school lunch trays, people are taking notice. The Rutgers Food Innovation Center is working to make school lunch products not only healthy and tasty, but also made from local Jersey Fresh products.

Video: Rutgers Food Innovation Center converts local harvests into student-approved cafeteria foods

Restoring the Manalapan Brook Watershed: An Introduction

This video is the first in a series describing the restoration efforts within the Manalapan Brook watershed. The Manalapan Brook is part of the Raritan River Basin in central New Jersey. This introduction begins with a description of urban watershed problems throughout New Jersey such as polluted stormwater runoff, urbanization, and flooding. It provides examples of how local partners are trying to overcome these problems within Manalapan Brook watershed. Solutions such as naturalizing detention basins, shoreline restoration and floating wetland islands are presented.

Developed for New Jersey municipalities, residents and schools, the video was funded by the New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection and project partners are Freehold Soil Conservation District, Monroe Township, Township of Manalapan, Rutgers Cooperative Extension of Middlesex County, Princeton Hydro, Middlesex County Parks and Recreation and Middlesex County Office of Planning.

Executive Dean’s Distinguished Lecture Celebrates 150 Years as Land-Grant by Saluting George Hammell Cook

George H. Cook, the star of the Distinguished Lecture celebrating the 150th anniversary of the school, is flanked, from the left, by Executive Dean Bob Goodman, University Archivist Thomas Frusciano, and Thomas Farris, dean of the School of Engineering.

George H. Cook, the star of the Distinguished Lecture celebrating the 150th anniversary of the school, is flanked, from the left, by Executive Dean Bob Goodman, University Archivist Thomas Frusciano, and Thomas Farris, dean of the School of Engineering.

“In the early 1860s Rutgers College was in the doldrums,” writes biographer Jean Wilson Sidar. “An ailing and aging president, apathetic alumni, and a lack of support … made the college an unlikely place for a dynamic change of direction and growth.” Due to the Civil War, the entire institution was reduced in size from 164 students in 1861 to 64 in 1864. For George Cook, perhaps the college’s most prominent and industrious faculty member, “the situation was one of great concern,” Sidar writes with great understatement.

However, the scene was set for a remarkable reinvigoration of Rutgers, led by George Hammell Cook and colleague David Murray as they secured for Rutgers the designation of New Jersey’s land-grant institution. The story of how this came about and the indefatigable commitment of Cook was the subject of a 150th anniversary celebration at the Executive Dean’s Distinguished Lecture last month presented with scores of historic illustrations by Thomas Frusciano, University archivist. The video of the lecture is available for viewing below. See how Cook “brought new vitality and a new commitment to the college.”

Video: Executive Dean's Distinguished Lecture: Rutgers Hero, George Hammell Cook

Better Process Control School at Rutgers: A Tip for Making Processed Foods Safer

Rutgers Office of Continuing Professional Education (OCPE) offers a series of courses for food manufacturing and R&D professionals in food science, product development and food safety. In this video, Professor Don Schaffner offers a tip on preventing microbial contamination that is offered in the Better Process Control School. See a listing of OCPE’s upcoming food safety courses.

Video: Better Process Control School at Rutgers: A Tip for Making Processed Foods Safer

Rutgers scientists aren’t NJ’s only experts on cranberries: Meet the young “Cranbassadors”

What happens when you have an engaged scientist and an agriculturally-minded teacher and you put them together in a parent-teacher conference? The Cranbassadors program is the brainchild of NJAES Extension Specialist in Plant Pathology Peter Oudemans and Mullica Township teacher Barbara Rheault who wanted to connect students to the local agriculture of the Pinelands. Student Cranbassadors are well versed in the science behind growing cranberries, as can be seen in this NJEA Classroom Close-up, NJ video.