To preface, this assignment really helpedme understand the difference between food science and nutrition, which I nowrealize is a vastly important distinction to make. I am currently a biologymajor in my junior year of college and I am pursuing a career path in orthopedicmedicine. Broadly described, food science is an applied science devoted tostudying the physical, microbiological, and chemical makeup of food. This is notto be confused with the study of nutrition, which is the science thatinterprets the effects of nutrients in food in relation to heath, maintenance, anddisease of an organism. Food science is seen in a wide variety of fields and isa key component in advancing food technology. For example, in 1864 Louis Pasteur was successfullyable to kill harmful bacteria in dairy products and can be credited with savingmillions of lives to date for the invention of pasteurization (Wallentine).
However,you don’t need to make a ground-breaking discovery like Pasteur to make a difference.Anyone with a biology degree could work in a lab helping food scientistsanalyze and develop new strategies in the genetic modification of foods. Inorthopedic medicine, one of the main concerns and causes of injury in theelderly is osteoporosis. This bone disease occurs when the body loses too muchbone density and the bones then become brittle and porous. In my desired fieldof orthopedics, I could work with food scientists in seeking additional avenuesto fortify foods with essential nutrients for bone health such as calcium and vitaminD. This way, nutrient storages in the American population can be built up andmaintained without having to completely change someone’s diet.
Moreover, food science today is breakingnew ground in creating viable sources of food to feed the rapidly increasing population.Last March, the UN published new estimates of the global population ranging atabout 9.8 billion people by 2050. It is becoming abundantly clear that we need tofind effective ways to make sure people in developing countries can survive thetrials facing us all in the near future. An article by the European MolecularBiology Organization stated that over the next 50 years, human kind’s greatestchallenge will be to ensure sufficient food production on a global scale. Thisarticle made a very clear connection that “in terms of global food production,it will be necessary to ensure that GM technology is made available todeveloping countries where researchers can create or vary crops adapted tolocal conditions,” and this makes a lot of sense (Herrera-Estrella,et al.). Evidence of GM crops being used in Argentina,China, and Mexico has proven that making GM technology more readily availableto small farms would help facilitate their survival without majorly affectingtheir cultural traditions in these countries (Herrera-Estrella,et al.
). It is devastating to me that in today’s world so many peoplestarve to death and “nearly 800 million are malnourished,” when global foodproduction could make it possible to feed every member of society (Herrera-Estrella,et al.). No matter your major, we all can play a role in helping to end worldhunger. Biologists and food scientists especially can work together to developaffordable GM crop solutions that work with the foods and materials people usemost in underdeveloped countries.