Seed Libraries and Food Insecurity: An Emerging Solution to an Enduring Problem
This is an Honors thesis by Emily Roberson.
Food insecurity in the United States is a multidimensional problem that affects over 14% of households. Community seed libraries are one solution that may be able to address food insecurity in terms of access, affordability, and health. Research into seed libraries and low income food security will help determine seed library managers’ perceptions of food insecurity in their communities as well as if or how they plan to use the seed library to address food insecurity. Additionally, to address a lack of formal research involving seed libraries, this research provides descriptive statistics about seed library structure and function. The results will help current and future seed library managers and food justice advocates understand low-income food security and the role that seed libraries and home and community gardening can play in addressing community food needs. A 41-question online survey was sent to over 350 seed library managers in the U.S., and 160 responses were received. Roughly half of seed library managers felt that the seed library contributed to helping low-income families gain access to healthy foods. Although seed libraries are a fairly new phenomenon, they have the potential to help many low-income U.S. families enjoy the benefits of growing their own nutritious food.
Consumer Product Knowledge
Understanding of Hand Sanitizers, Parabens and Azo Dyes: A Survey of Students’ Knowledge Based in Scientific Research
This is an Honors thesis by Elena Tsakaksis.
The ability to instantly share and modify information has defined the college experience. Scientists have recently evolved into a role as communicators in order to spread information reflecting the current knowledge in the scientific community. In an effort to understand the influence of college students’ major on their awareness regarding hand sanitizers, parabens and azo dyes, a survey was conducted asking the students about their overall knowledge of the compounds and awareness about human health and environmental effects of the compounds. I found that there were relationships between students’ majors and their understandings of these compounds. Overall, students studying biology and sustainability were more aware of the effects of hand sanitizer on human health and the environment as opposed to students in other fields. There was a consistent lack of knowledge across all majors regarding parabens and azo dyes, due to a variety of possible factors. In order to reduce misconceptions, a unified effort needs to be made by both students and educators to teach students how to become scientifically literate.