It’s one of the age-old guidelines that you hear time and time again - “if you can’t pronounce it, it’s not good for you” and I simply hate it (putting money in the swear jar as I type this) when I hear this from family, friends and nutritionists alike. “Look for ingredients you actually know!” and “you wouldn’t give your kid a bowl full of chemicals”, they say. I mean seriously, are we not smarter than that?! Our bodies require a litany of nutrients, some you can pronounce, some that might take you a minute. Yet, we require them nonetheless. That’s what we call Food Science.
Science and Food are not only intertwined, they are one and the same. Everything you put into your body is nothing more than a chemical reaction waiting to happen. So, I’m making a request - can we please agree that “Food” and “Science” together is not a swear word? It does not equate to GMO’s, indestructible twinkies, and MonSanto. Without a doubt, Food and Science together CAN be a very bad thing, much like any combination can be. I will be the first to stand in line and say thatthe ethical and health implications of how this society is approaching food and food supply will haunt us and generations to come. This means that in this era of mass consumption and the centralization of food production (gross), food-passionate and ethical Food Scientists are more important than ever.
So, with that in mind, here are the places a Food Scientist touches your life every single day. Some might surprise you.
Product Development - IE: The food you see in stores.
Most (if not all) products that make it to store shelves have been formulated by a Food Scientist. Even those products that were developed in an entrepreneur’s kitchen typically go to a Food Scientist to create final batching recipes.
In modern days where food procurement is done at a grocery store rather than in your own kitchen, it has become essential to have many layers of safety checks to ensure food quality and safety. This is done by Food Scientists and Technologists. They ensure that production is done within safe guidelines for a specific product, that the plant is clean, that there is a detailed plan for every eventuality (including recalls), and on and on.
Quality Control and Quality Assurance:
This goes hand in hand with safety, but Quality Assurance is worth mentioning separately as well. Food companies typically have a Quality Assurance team dedicated to making sure that products produced are safe, compliant with laws where they’re sold, and meet specifications (our QA/QC team is Erica and Arran- you can read more about them here). This department also typically oversees proper labelling of products.
Food science is also the platform for both home cooks and food businesses to understand food quality and safety. This is a necessity; however like so many things, we can use our expertise to make things cheaper or to make things better. We choose to strive to make the best products possible, and to use solid nutritional science as a tool to accomplish that goal.
PS- If you want your kids to develop a love for science, let them cook! Formulas, tools, ingredients, methods…. The opportunities to succeed and fail and grow knowledge are endless.
Food Science is truly a real thing, and Food Scientists help bring your food to shelves, ensure production safety and manage quality control. At GnuSante, we were born out the bright mind of a Food Scientist (literally) and it’s exactly why we bring the healthy, nutritious and delicious to your children. To learn more about how we got our start, click here.