This week I featured an article on different careers available to those interested in earning a Food Science degree. And while this may be helpful to those specifically interested in food, I wanted to share a timely article that explains why we should all care about the science of food. It highlights different career paths, challenges facing the industry, and the rising health issues related to diet.
In today’s age of always-on, convenience first values, many have lost touch with food and where it comes from or how it’s produced. In fact, you’ll see in the article that our relationship with food preparation has largely deteriorated.
Ian Noble, PhD. Biochemical Engineering & Colloids in The Scientists who Feed Us
“Also, we may be looking at the first or second generation of people in developed countries who don’t know how to cook. Food technology is not on the UK school curriculum. In the United Kingdom, I think, we’ve broken our relationship with food,”
Many view food processing as inherently bad, something to be avoided at all costs. And while a diet composed primarily of fresh foods is essential for good health (food scientists also play an important role in fresh food production, too!), keep in mind the scientific advances in technology we have made to get here. We no longer spend the majority of our time hunting and gathering, we can use this time for other things. We don’t have to work on the farm or in the garden each day. On busy nights, we don’t have to kill a chicken before we can eat. With the new research we have available to us today, we can continue to change and adapt our food supply to be as safe, healthy, and delicious as it can be.
Did you know? One of the most famous first advances in food technology was canned food.
Napoleon Bonaparte saw that his soldiers needed healthy food available to be successful and make it through the winter. He started a contest to see who could solve the challenge. Nicolas Appert won the challenge with his invention of preserving food using heat sealing to cook food in jars.
Food processing is actually essential for transforming a raw product into something safe and digestible. In fact, you process food in your own kitchen. Processing includes anything from dicing to baking. Your body can’t break down molecules such as complex carbohydrates without a little help from heat.
If you’re interested in food and the current issues surrounding the industry, such as nutrition and ingredients, now is the perfect time to join!
Payne, David. 2018. The scientists who feed us. Nature 564, 293-294 (accessed 19 December 2018). doi: 10.1038/d41586-018-07672-8 https://www.nature.com/articles/d41586-018-07672-8