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New LEAN Lab kitchen opens in Money Center

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The Laboratory for Experiential Activities in Nutrition (LEAN Lab) gives nutrition majors an authentic industrial kitchen setting.
The Laboratory for Experiential Activities in Nutrition (LEAN Lab) gives nutrition majors an authentic industrial kitchen setting in which to learn.

Photo by Scott Delony

Nutrition majors in the Department of Kinesiology and Nutrition have new space and equipment to help them learn to prepare, cook and teach about food.

The Laboratory for Experiential Activities in Nutrition (LEAN Lab) opened in Fall 2020 in the Royce and Pam Money Student Recreation and Wellness Center, and includes industrial equipment similar to what’s used in a food service setting.

Grants from the Shelton Foundation and
H-E-B provided funding for equipment including an industrial hood, two convection ovens, a microwave with a steamer, and induction hot plates.

“Some of our students will be food service managers in large operations, so they need to be familiar with this type of industrial equipment,” said Dr. Sheila Jones, associate professor and chair of the department.

The space opens to the lobby of the Money Center, allowing students to demonstrate food preparation and tell about its benefits to onlookers. In Fall 2020, students in the Biochemistry of Nutrition course offered a cooking-show-like demonstration of the bread-making process for a small crowd.

“The experience was a bit daunting, but overall, the ease of the presentation and accessibility to new equipment made it fun,” said Meda Bow, a senior nutrition major. “Having access to the lab and all of the new equipment will provide great hands-on experience for nutrition students and better prepare us for what we will be using in our careers.”

 
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