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I wanted to begin by thanking you for your book, On Food and Cooking, and acknowledging the inspiration that it's been for my career. Looking back, reading your book was the defining moment that lead me to a career in Food Science. Lost for a career path, not unlike most college students, I stumbled upon your book on Amazon.com, read it quickly with much fascination, and realized how to meld my interests in culinary arts and science. This led me to a new university with a food science program, some training in culinary arts, working for some time in product development for industry, and now back to college for graduate studies in food chemistry/nutraceuticals.

I've found your book to be a great reference and a great loaner (to young aspiring scientists looking for a field to settle into).

I find the fields of science, human nutrition, food politics, and culinary arts to be in a battle of sorts with each other. ie... nutritionists blame my field for creating the sodium/trans-fat/high fructose corn syrup (HFCS)/preservative laden foods of the world... food scientists blame nutritionists for creating confusing/ever changing nutrition advice for consumers and industry.... the slowfoodies / culinary artists blame scientists for destroying the cultural aspects of food with modern agricultural practices and mass produced food consumed on the go... all these fields blame food politicians for succumbing to industry lobbying groups for skewed nutritional messages and subsidizing crops like corn to make cheap HFCS.. and on and on...

With all the advances we've made in all of these fields, we still find ourselves in a predicament with the Obesity epidemic. As a food scientist I get a lot of heat on these types of issues. And this is, of course, is what makes my job interesting and brings passion to my work.

From your perspective, has science played a more positive or negative role in the evolution of food in our society in the last few decades??


Jeff, aka "Creaton"

Edited by creaton (log)
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Thanks, Jeff, I’m glad that my book could help you find your path. Your question is a good and big one. I’ll weasel a little again, but only a little, and say that knowledge is a good thing. It’s better to know how things work, and what it’s possible to do with them, than it is to be unaware or mistaken. However, that knowledge can be put to use to all kinds of ends, some admirable and some venal. I think that the average quality of food in the supermarket and in restaurants is better now than it was when I was a kid. Part of that improvement is due to advances in food science.

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