Thursday, August 10, 2006

My past life 2

I cant really give a confident yes that I like my major. Ive always stumbled when people asked me why I chose to study Food Science and Technology...and then a Masters Degree? Then the regular question, is that about nutrition and diet, what food is good and bad for you, etc? I rolled my eyes. NO.

These are the aspects of food science (at least at UNL)....

Molecular pathogenesis, chemical & physical stress responses
Mycology, Mycotoxins, Microbial food safety
Lipid and Natural Antioxidant Chemistry
Food allergies and Immunochemical methods
Food Biotechnology, Microbiology, Processing, Engineering, Physical Properties
Studies of food commodities: Dairy, Egg Products, Cereals, Fruits & Veg, Fermented foods, Fresh and Processed Meats.
Food Law (FDA, USDA)
Enzymology, Protein chemistry
Analytical Methods Development, Nutraceuticals
Sensors for Food Quality & Safety

Most of the research especially the areas of food microbiology, mycology and allergy are so heavily medical oriented that it wont even cross your mind that this is what food scientists do.

Food is very cultural. As a Asian, I actually struggled a lot liking some of the courses. I took Dairy Products one semester and almost flunked. Almost dropped Animal Science too. I was told that the class was easy...so I took it. I realised I had to make some background adjustments. The people that said AnSci was easy were those cowboys growing up in Ne farms. Ive never seen a cow in my life! Imagine my horror of looking at different meat cuts and then name the muscles on those cuts for my exam!! Despite all these difficulties, I managed to gain some appreciation for fine cheeses.

Looking at those, seemingly Food Science was not the best course choice for me, but God redeemed it in many other ways. God's presence was with me the whole time. I met so many outstanding individuals in this department and received favors from them. Professors that did research in similar areas collaborated with each other, shared their findings, lab equipments and encouraged interactions among their students. No immaturity. We treated each other like family. There was no slander, no gossips about anyone, any professors. That was very uncommon in science departments where professors were often in competition and suspicious of each other, afraid and jealous that the others would get more grants for their projects that they disallowed their students to talk to any of their rivals' students.

We were also very international. About 99% of post graduate students were international students. Even then we get along well with our very culturally sensitive American hosts. Because of that, the department threw potlucks every now and then and invited students from each nation to prepare their food to share with everyone. The fun thing was we all prepared the food in our own food grade lab in the department.

That was an amazing community with more godly things going on than some churches that I know. I really miss it like home. And actually it WAS home. As a graduate student, I was given a key that unlocks every entrance to the building that I could access the building any hour I want.

Like I said a lot of times...God is good to me. NE was a gift. Food science department was a divine gift! What did I learn from this experience?
Sometimes, the impersonal things may not seem fitting, but great personal beings make the experience worth living.

How do you like your department in college?

4 comments:

Anonymous said...

Hahaha, I've always wondered why u did Food Science - or why CK did it, or Alice... hehe but I guess like you said, there were many redeeming qualities.

Hrmm... didn't do postgrad so didn't really get to know my dept very well but they were all nice to me... I will miss Andrews Hall and the Teacher's College too. I guess for me, they sort of set the benchmark in terms of what a good/great teacher should be like.

Zoe said...

are you interested to work in my company chemical & food department?

Zoe said...

Don't know if they are nice but at least, that will be a stepping stone for you to be the head of marketing or research =)I will contact my KL contacts and see if they are hiring.

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