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Navigating the Grocery Store Aisle: Use Our Game In Your Extension Program


Navigating the grocery store aisle is challenging for many consumers—especially those who want to buy the most nutritious food and stay within their budget. Food manufacturers and distributors cover their boxed, canned, and bottled foods with labels like “whole grain” and “low-calorie” to suggest that their food has certain health benefits. Among the most misunderstood food marketing labels are “non-GMO,” “natural,” and “organic."
The UConn Extension New Technologies in Agricultural Extension (NTAE) team developed an interactive learning activity (or game), Unpeeled: The Case Studies of Maya McCluen. The purpose of this game is to increase audiences’ understanding of food marketing labels. The development of the game is made possible through support by the Learning Games Lab at New Mexico State University. The Extension Foundation supports this team through key informant expertise to help grow the overall project.
Join us for an interactive session where we introduce the game and related content and share how you can use it in your Extension program.

Recording Available Here


Stacey Stearns is a Program Specialist focused on communications for Extension, and formal and informal reporting. She works with Extension teams on farm to community, Bug Week, GMOs, and trails. Stacey earned a bachelor of science in Animal Science from the University of Connecticut and a master of science in Agricultural Education and Communication from the University of Florida.
Cristina Connolly is an assistant professor at the College of Agriculture, Health and Natural Resources at the University of Connecticut. She has a Ph.D. in Agricultural, Environmental and Development Economics from The Ohio State University, an master of arts in Economics, from The Ohio State University, and a bachelor of arts in Economics/Spanish, from Middlebury College. Her research areas are local food, consumer behavior, and spatial econometrics.
Sharon Gray is a Cooperative Extension Educator at the College of Agriculture, Health and Natural Resources at the University of Connecticut. She supervises the Expanded Food and Nutrition Education Program and does food and nutrition programming in the Hartford County Extension office. She oversees a number of Community Nutrition and 4-H Grants. She also handles food and nutrition questions from the public.
Xiuchun (Cindy) Tian is a professor of animal science at the College of Agriculture, Health and Natural Resources at the University of Connecticut. She has a master of science and a Ph.D. from Cornell University, where she conducted research in early pregnancy recognition and regulation of steroidogenesis in ovarian tissues. She received post-doctoral training as a recipient of a National Research Service Award from NIH in developmental genetics and molecular embryology at Cornell University and the University of Connecticut.

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The Extension Foundation was formed in 2006 by Extension Directors and Administrators. Today, the Foundation partners with Cooperative Extension through liaison roles and a formal plan of work with the Extension Committee on Organization and Policy (ECOP) to increase system capacity while providing programmatic services, and helping Extension programs scale and investigate new methods and models for implementing programs. The Foundation provides professional development to Cooperative Extension professionals and offers exclusive services to its members. In 2020 and 2021, the Extension Foundation has awarded 85% of its direct funding back to the Cooperative Extension System, 100% of funds are used to support Cooperative Extension initiatives. 

This technology is supported in part by New Technologies for Agriculture Extension grant no. 2020-41595-30123 from the USDA National Institute of Food and Agriculture and membership funding. Any opinions, findings, conclusions, or recommendations expressed in the content are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily reflect the view of the U.S. Department of Agriculture. For more information, please visit You can view the terms of useat

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