My Food Job Rocks!

There is very little awareness of what the people in the food industry actually do. This stems back to the lack of knowledge and awareness of the range of degree courses and programs available that will equip them for a career in food. My FoodJobRocks! by Adam Yee is the first podcast of its kind that allows listeners to hear directly from people who are in the food industry and have a passion for what they do. They share how they became involved in food and describe what it is they do, plus a few more fun questions just to keep things entertaining. Listen to them here, and stay tuned for a new episode every Monday.
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Jan 30, 2017

We are back to our regular show where we interview amazing food jobs.

This next batch of episodes are some unique ones, and I think I’m getting better at asking questions maybe.

Today we have Haley Richardson from Dr. Pepper/ Snapple Gorup talking about well, being a soda scientist.

Have you ever wondered how Soda is made on a bench top? Or how new flavors get idealized? This episode explains all of that.

We also geek out about the perfect steak and the show Unwrapped.

Key Takeaways

- How food scientists make soda bench samples
- The crazy way on how Dr. Pepper runs their companies
- Haley’s most interesting interview question
- How Food Science made Unwrapped better

Question Summary

What is your official title?: Application Scientist for Dr. Pepper/Snapple
What’s a Typical Day?: No day is the same.
Describe the Steps it Took To Get To Where You Are Today: Originally Engineering to Food Science
Most important skill you need to succeed: Critical Thinking
My Food Job Rocks Because: I get to try the newest flavors
Where do you see yourself in 5 years?: Teach someone her job. Wants to go deeper in science.
What do you look for most in a job?: Working with Passionate people
Food Technologies: 3D Printing, Plant Beef, Lab Grown Beef
Who inspired you to get into food?: My Parents. Her dad cooks a perfect steak
Favorite Kitchen Item: Whisk
Advice going into the food industry: If you have that passion, you should do it
Inspirational quote: If you want to make Jelly Belly flavors, go for it.

Additional Links

University of Arkansas
“Throwing” a Soda term, see episode
Dr. Pepper Snapple Group
Mott’s Apple Juice
Nantuket Nectars
Mr and Mrs. T’s Mixers
All Natural – What is Natural?
It’s not the poison it’s the dose
Clostridium Botulinum
3D Printing
Future of Food- 2050
The perfect steak
Thai Red Curry
Coconut Macaroons

Jan 25, 2017

We wrap up all 8 episodes of the graduate school series with a jam packed episode of amazing takeaways and pratical advice about graduate school. 

Most of this episode is a recording from the scripts below:

10 Things I Learned From Interviewing Graduate Students (Part 1)

10 Things I Learned From Interviewing Graduate Students (Part 2) on Thursday


The Ultimate Graduate School Timeliine is posted here

Jan 23, 2017

Welcome to the My Food Job Rocks Podcast with me, Adam Yee, where we showcase amazing food schools and interview the passionate people who drive the industry forward and this is episode 39!

First I gotta say, welcome home

This is out final interview for the graduate series and I wanted to interview someone kind of different. Though most of our interviewees are Food Science related in some way, I wanted to get somone a bit different. Eleni Galata studies Agriculture Communications at the University of Missorui and I am so glad I did this interview.

Eleni talks about a lot of processes that are easy to follow. So easy to follow I mapped it out on the show notes.

We also talk a lot about media such as how GMOs are being perceived by the media and how the best social networks aren’t necessarily about how much money people shove up their accounts, but what matters is that people just have to show that they care.

So yea, this is the final interview, I will be distilling and summing up these interviews next episodes in kind of a recap form. Till then, enjoy this one, you are going to learn a lot

If you enjoyed this episode, please, sign up on our email list at, like us on facebook,  rate and review on itunes, and share with your friends. If you show interest in being interviewed, know someone who would be a great interviewer, or would like to join our team of volunteers, make sure to email us at

About Eleni Galata

My name is Eleni Galata, and I'm a phd student in Ag and Applied Economics in University of Missouri-Columbia.
My work has to do with how people search and share information about food technology,
and I study how food advocacy networks can reach important people more efficiently.
In my family we always spoke Greek and Russian and since I was a kid, I learned that context matters:
Just because one word exists in both languages, just the translation will not always represent identical meanings.
I'm a cat-mom and cannot hide my fascination for the Thanksgiving Holiday Tradition or the Mid-West.

Key Takeaways

- Why Eleni decided to go to the United States (money reasons) and why she wanted to focus her education
- How to find your ideal university: Find universities à Find professor’s publications -->  Contact them via email --> Contact via skype or such --> Establish a relationship and ask questions --> Research what other people did after graduation --> Talk to your personal network
- How Eleni’s contact at a conference got her into graduate school
- How the Media Reported the Impact of GMO foods. Even though there’s more data that GMOs are not bad, reporters did not change their perspective on GMOs
- How successful organizations in the food area win at social media. The most successful companies are not putting more resources in social media, but they are making it more caring and personal.
- Why you should work with your adviser to find funding

Question Summary

Favorite Thing About Your Univeristy: The university cares for its students such as health and wellness.
Difference about Greece Education: In Greece, you should be able to know what you want to be
Advice: Be proactive when networking, It’s a big yet small world, It’s hard not to be biased, We are the average of the 5 people we contact
Best Part of Being a Graduate Student: You have a lot of freedom
Worst Part of Being  Graduate Student: You have a lot of freedom…
What would you ask your past self?: It’s fine if you don’t know what you do, but don’t waste your time
Favorite Quote: Does the fish know that it’s wet? Probably not, but it’s wet.

What We Talk About

International Welcome Party
Spanakopita –Spinach Pie
Galaktoboureko– Milk, Sugar, Greek Pie
International Economics and Politics
Masters in Agriculture (in Greece)
University in Netherlands
Agricultural Economics
GMO foods
Fake News
Student Success Center
Fellow in other Universities (you can renew them)


Jan 18, 2017

Today’s guest is an old classmate back in the college days and I actually met her at a Chinese college club. Fiona Salim came from Indonesia, studied at San Luis Obispo, got an awesome job at Bakersfield, California, and now is in the Netherlands’ getting an advanced degree.

When I heard she was in another country, I had to ask her to be on the show.

And the information that you’ll get from this one is very valuable. Because Fiona applied to both United States and European schools, you’ll learn about the differences between a United States University Application versus a European one, and you’ll learn the very different atmosphere that revolves around this university.

Even if you’re not interested in applying to graduate school in another country, I highly recommend having an open mind and listening to what Fiona has to say. It’s well worth it.

Take your time in Europe you guys, next week, we’ll be flying back to the United States where we interview our final guest, who is from Greece.

If you enjoyed this episode, please, sign up on our email list at, like us on facebook,  rate and review on itunes, and share with your friends. If you show interest in being interviewed, know someone who would be a great interviewer, or would like to join our team of volunteers, make sure to email us at

Key Takeaways

- How Fiona got into the food industry without a food science degree and got a really fun job because of it
- Why Fiona chose Whennigen over Ohio State
- Our discussion about process innovation
- How work experience can “alter” your mindset in academia
- Why you might need to look outside of the United States

Summary of Questions

Why Did you Decide to Go To Graduate School?: I’m impatient. I wanted to learn more about food to progress into the industry
What aspects were important for researching graduate school?: Food and Health. Looking at the syllabus and curriculum
Kansas State
How is the application process?: Easier. You don’t need a GRE. But you need a VISA and you have to move. You don’t have to email your professors.
You decide on your thesis your second year
Best Advice about the application process: Emailing professors is still important, but you also have to be crystal clear about what you want.
Leverage your network – Fiona leveraged her network to get into Winnepeg
Funded: Unfortunately, Fiona is not funded. It costs $65,000 dollars for 2 years in the Netherlands but it’s $100,000 dollars in the United States if you’re out of state.
Work Experience: People with no experience blame machinery and instruments rather than process
Who Inspired you to get Into Food?: Food is more fun than healthcare
Favorite Kitchen Item: Silicon Tip Kitchen Tongs
Favorite Food: Tonkatsu Ramen Favorite is somewhere in San Francisco or Santa Clara
Advice for going into graduate school: Don’t be discouraged and look beyond the United States
If you were to tell your 18 year old self something: Don’t worry too much about grades. Live life. Make friends

What We Talk About

Wageningen Univeristy - Only focus: Healthy food
IFT Website
Cal Poly San Luis Obispo
Nestle Research
Bakersfield California
Dr. Jimenez – Ohio State
3D Printing
Netherlands made the lab grown meat burger
Make a puree out of a carrot into a carrot (find link)
Enzymes to create food
Korean Barbaque
Beyond Meat

Jan 16, 2017

Alright guys, I hope you enjoyed Ireland, now let’s go to India… and then back to the United States.

For our graduate student series, we have Deepak Kumar, who came from India to do graduate school. I really wanted to get an international student who came from a foreign country to the United States because, well, you see them a lot. Deepak is also just getting a masters degree which might interest some of you guys who don’t want to  go all in for a PhD.

In this episode, we really hone in on what makes a United States education valuable, and the really cool tips Deepak used to find information from across the oceans. I’ll give you a hint, it involves facebook.

On Wednesday, we pack our bags and head to the Neatherlands where my college friend Fiona decided to go. If you’re interested in actually going to a different country for graduate school, this is the episode for you.

If you enjoyed this episode, please, sign up on our email list at, like us on facebook,  rate and review on itunes, and share with your friends. If you show interest in being interviewed, know someone who would be a great interviewer, or would like to join our team of volunteers, make sure to email us at

Key Takeaways

- Why Deepak decided to get a Masters in the United States
- Our discussion about algae proteins and spirulina
- How to use Facebook groups to ask students about professors

Summary of Questions

Why did you want to go to Graduate School: Improve my knowledge and English and meet people from different background.
Why did you choose your university?: Prior connections through India.
What are you researching right now?: Algae protein and spirulina. Encapsulation.
Funniest research stories: Giving people green colored cookies
Best advice for the application process: Ask people like the student advisor
How did you find these people: facebook groups
Are you funded? : Yes, not the first year, but we have a research fund.
Food Trends and Technologies: 3D Food Printing
The biggest challenge food industry needs to face: Balance between nutrition and taste
Who Inspired You to Get Into Food?: From a lecture in undergraduate. Gum technology
Favorite Quote: There is no love more sincere than the love of food - George Brenard Shaw
Favorite Book: Food Chemistry by Etree Beliez
Favorite Food: Eggs. Hard boiled egg, scrambled, any
Indian Omelets: Green chilies and onions
Best part about being a graduate student: Getting funded, get free passes for conferences
Worst Part: The Pressure. A lot of deadlines
Anything inspiring you’d like to say?: It’s a great experience and this industry will go forever

What We Talk About

Brian Chau
Texas Tech
Urbana Champaign
Ionic gelation
Sodium Alginate
Calcium Chloride
Reverse Specification
3D Printing clubs
SQF Conference

Jan 11, 2017

Very jolly guest we have this time. John Gleeson lives and studies in Dublin, Ireland and has been all his life. What I found amazing about his accomplishments is his involvement in the IFTSA board.

I think it’s important to get a perspective on how other graduate schools work, especially out side of the United States and John explains the differences very well.

Throughout this interview, we have a great discussion about communicating what we do as food scientists and John does an amazing job discussing the difference between how European universities work.

Key Takeaways

- How John Gleeson got into the IFTSA board
- How Europe works differently from the US Graduate School
- How superheroes are related to superfoods (they save lives)
- How food safety and quality in Europe works
- Using the science to talk about flipping burgers on the grill

Question Summaries

Why did you decide to go to graduate school?: I got bored, I love science
What are you studying?: Food derived peptides
Strangest lab stories: I broke my finger and also all of the reagents
The application process: Know what you want
Interview Question: Do you like Failing? Get used to it
Funding: It’s tough competition in Europe
Food Trends and Technologies: Lab Grown Meat
The Challenge is the biggest thing people have to face: Consumer Regulations and the Consumer perception
How to solve Consumer Perception: Have the scientists talk (well)
Who inspired you to get into Food (nutraceuticals): The people I wanted to hang out with
Favorite Quote: Wish beyond measure is man’s greatest treasure – Harry Potter
Favorite Book: Harry Potter
Favorite Kitchen item: Kitchen Aid
Favorite Food: Soup, Tomato and Basil Soup
Anything Inspiring: Fail fast, Researchers like to talk to researchers

What We Talk About

Nicole’s New Food Magazine Article
Play with hamsters, Guinea pigs, cute animals
Dublin Institute of Technology
Communications Development
Operational Excellence Analysts
Fatty Acid
Royal Society of Chemistry
Green Tea Extract
EFSA – European Food Safety Authority
Beta Glucans
Find A PhD website
Lab grown collagen
Lab grown milk
Food is the ultimate emotive thing
Harry Potter: The Cursed Child

Jan 9, 2017

Another episode of our graduate student series and this week, we are featuring Audrey Girard, who is doing her PhD at Texas A and M.

Audrey does an amazing job talking about her prior experiences and she had three different internships before deciding to go to graduate school.

Also, she gives awesome book recommendations like Lab Girl and The Man Who Fed the World. These are definenelty on my ever growing book list.

Enjoy another graduate student’s perspective. Do you see a trend so far? Just let me know.

The next four episodes will take you around the world and back again. We are interviewing someone in Europe on Wednesday, someone who traveled from the US to the Netherlands and two people who left their home countries to come to the United States to study what they love. You don’t want to miss these.

If you enjoyed this episode, please, sign up on our email list at, like us on facebook,  rate and review on itunes, and share with your friends. If you show interest in being interviewed, know someone who would be a great interviewer, or would like to join our team of volunteers, make sure to email us at

About Audrey

Audrey is a 4th year PhD student in Food Science & Technology at Texas A&M University. Her research focuses on the chemistry of cereal grains; specifically, she is working to alter cereal proteins using tannins to enhance and increase the applications for said proteins. Audrey graduated from Kansas State University in 2013 with her BS in Bakery Science & Management. During her undergraduate, Audrey completed three internships in food science and worked part-time in research labs on campus, which helped inform her decision to pursue her PhD. Audrey is a member of AACCI (American Association of Cereal Chemists International) and IFT. Audrey can be found semi-regularly Instagramming (@abiteofscience) and infrequently blogging (

Key Takeaways

- How Audrey’s three internships influenced her graduate school studies
- Audrey’s unusual unofficial lab job
- Audrey’s and Mine’s discussion of Holistic Health

Summary of Questions

Best thing about Texas A and M: The tradition
Why did you want to go into graduate school: I liked research and I liked to go further in product development.
Why did you want to get your PhD?: I really liked teaching
Research: how Tannins interact with Gluten
In layman’s term: How we can use gluten in other applications using an antioxidant called tannins
Best hint about the application process: Make sure you have connections
Food Trends and Technology: Holistic Health Approach
Biggest Challenge the food industry has to face: Consumer trust
Favorite Book: The Man Who Fed the World - Norman Borlaug
Who inspired you to go into food?: My mom
Advice for Graduate School: Get experience any way you can
Something inspiring: Don’t just go to graduate school because you don’t have a plan: It’s a lot of work
Favorite Quote: Everyone you meet knows something you don’t –Bill Nye, If you can’t explain it simply, you don’t understand it enough - Albert Einstein
Favorite Food: Steak and Potatoes, Medium-Rare, Mashed potatoes, I like Steak Fries

What We Talk About

Slaughterhouse Story
Kellogg’s Internship
Dansico internship
Flowers Foods internship
Grain Science
Emailing professors
Texas A and M
Kansas State
Bakery Science
Edible films
Modified Starch
Tortilla Ovens
Wheat Mill
Lab Girl-Hope Jarren – Important book
Teaching Assistantships
Research Assistantships
Science Communication
Perceptions of fat
Cowboy beans and rice

Jan 4, 2017

This is our second interview for our Graduate Series and we bring you another great graduate student who is in her final year of graduate school. Caroline Campbell’s interview gives some great, actionable tips on how to start your graduate process and this can be found on our new writing project, the Weekly Stew. The title is “Actionable tips on researching graduate school”.

Caroline also does an amazing job talking about why she went to graduate school and this might resonate you in that if you are finding your job a bit boring, maybe it’s time for a change.

Key Takeaways

- How Graduate school can escape the boring, repetitive jobs
- How modified Starches are made
- The crazy method Caroline uses to measure and visualize how people chew
- How Caroline benefitted from graduate school

Question Summary


Why did you decide to go to Graduate School?: I didn’t want to get stuck with Quality Assurance
Favorite thing about North Carolina State: The Community and Family Feel
Advice for researching graduate school: Talk to your professors in your current school, and find what you love
PhD thesis: Looking at food texture on how we eat and how much we eat.
Funnest research subject: Gluing a magnet to people’s tongue
The biggest advice for the application process: Funding is harder to find than you think
Trends and Technologies: Fake Meat and Whey Protein functionality
Biggest Challenge the food industry has to face: Communication and Food Safety
Who Inspired You to get into food?: Alton Brown
Favorite Book: On Food and Cooking Harold McGee
Favorite Kitchen Utensil: Food Processor
Favorite Food: Eggs
Advice for going to graduate School: Be open minded. Also, graduate school is hard. It’s like a full time job

What We Talk About

Raleigh- great beer, great brew, microbrewries
Southern Barbeque
Year off study abroad/ couple of internships
Cargill – texturizing division
Modified Starches- All Natural Modified Starches
University of Idaho
Start emailing interesting professors
Software that monitors people chewing
Pickle fermentation
Plant Protein
Alton Brown’s Live Shows
Eggs on burgers
Chapter President
Chair of IFT Relations

Jan 2, 2017

Thank you for joining me for the first episode of the Graduate Student series and we’re kicking it off with a bang with a friend of mine that I kinda knew at my time in undergraduate.

About Amy DeJong

Amy DeJong is a PhD candidate in food science at the University of Wisconsin- Madison.  Her work focuses on understanding phase transitions of sugar –free sweeteners in confections. Amy earned a BS in Food Science from the University of Wisconsin in 2012 and has been an active member of IFTSA since 2009, where she has served in both chapter and institute leadership positions.  Currently, she is the Immediate Past President of IFTSA with roles on the IFT Board, IFTSA Board, and Feeding Tomorrow Board of Trustees. She has also been an intern with the Wm. Wrigley Jr. Company since 2010.

In addition to her work in food science, Amy loves to travel.  You may recognize her from the CBS reality show, The Amazing Race, where she and her lab mate, Maya, beat out 10 other teams in a race around the world to win its 25th season. 

Key Takeaways

- The most amazing reason how Amy and her lab partner got into the Amazing Race and the impact it had
- Figure out what you’re interested in, or have someone help you (like Amy’s company)
- How IFTSA enhanced Amy’s graduate school experience and career track

Question Summary

Why Amy Decided to Go to Graduate School: While working, Amy loved research rather than product development
Advice on Application Process: You HAVE to reach out to a professor and have them interested before applying
How to research: ask professors and ask students in the lab
Favorite Food Technology: 3D food printing
What the food industry should be focusing on: Transparency between consumer and producer
Inspired you to get Into Food:
Amy’s journey in choosing food science
Favorite Kitchen Item: Spiralizers
Advice getting into graduate school: Really think about it. Graduate School is completely different from Undergraduate School
Anything inspiring: If you can put your mind to it, you can do anything

What We Talk About

The Amazing Race
Doctorate in ice cream
PhD Student University of Wisconsin
Madison Wisconsin
Graduate School
Company Funded
Graduate students get funded by either grants or sponsored by industry
IFTSA Institute of Food Technologists Student Association
Sorbitol crystallization (this is actually Amy's publish paper. Congrats Amy!)
Structure-Function relationships
Sugar crystallization
GM Technology
President of IFTSA
You need to have something else as a graduate student