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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Now displaying: February, 2017
Feb 27, 2017

Today I have Raf Peeters who owns his own quality technology company. These guys basically solve problems on the quality control realm of things

Here’s a quick bio on their company

Qcify is a young and dynamic company built by an enthusiastic group of industry experts. For many years our founders have worked closely with food processing companies in the fields of automation and imaging technology. 

Our team has bridged the gap between the technological wonders of Silicon Valley and the much needed Quality Control improvements the majority of food processors in the Central Valley and other global food producing areas were waiting for.

Qcify strives to be the leading global innovator, developer and provider of quality inspection solutions that will transform the way our customers and their business partners gather, manage, distribute and communicate quality control information.

By providing digital fingerprints of the produced food, our patented technology (patent pending) and services can be used for quality control, processing line optimization and automation as well as inventory management, among other applications.

Raf’s a pretty awesome dude. We really get into a talk about how technology and food will keep on converging and we’ve only just scratch the surface


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 Raf Peeters

  Raf Peeters is currently Co-Founder and CEO of Qcify Inc, a Silicon Valley technology company that strives to be the leading global innovator, developer and provider of quality inspection solutions that will transform the way their customers and business partners gather, manage, distribute and communicate quality control information. By providing digital fingerprints of the produced food, Qcify's patented technology (patent pending) and services can be used for quality control, processing line optimization and automation as well as inventory management, among other applications. 
  Raf is also President and CEO of Innova Food Tech, a consulting firm that's active in the food industry and more specifically food processing equipment.  
  Prior to this he held the position of Area Sales Manager and Director US Operations at Visys from 2007 to 2013. After relocating for the company from Belgium to California he realized an annual sales of >$4M within 2 years. Due to this expansive sales Visys was able to merge with Key Technology, a Nasdaq listed company, in 2013. 
  Whenever Raf has time he likes to travel and experience other cultures. This year he'll be able to check one more thing of his bucket list: visit 40 countries before his 40th birthday. 

Key Takeaways

  • Why Raf’s technology makes quality more accurate
  • How minimum wage will sprout more technology
  • Why Raf goes all in in his ventures

Question Summary

Steps it took to get to where you are today: Graduated as a electronics engineer, service tech in the food optical industry, joined a young startup, then they got acquired, and they started their own
What makes Qcify unique?: 360 degree vision system (most use 2D). It takes the whole inconsistency out of the equation
What’s the best way to convince someone to use your product?: Take it on the road
Let the product do the talking
My Food Job Rocks: It feels like I’m not working. When you’re really passionate, you can overcome everything
Trends and Technology: There is so much data in the food industry and we’ve just scratched the surface in collecting it. There are a lot of people in the food/tech realm and it will take a while for the winners to show.
What’s one thing you’d like to know more about?: Spend more time traveling and closely follow up on trends on different continents
Who inspired you to get into food?: My parents. Also passionate about passionate people
Favorite Kitchen Item: An Oven
Any Advice on how to start a business?: You have to be passionate about it. Also know what your audience wants, Know the basics, do your homework, and go for it
What’s next?: Expand the company, we’re active in 3 countries. Long term: to keep coming up with new technologies.
Favorite Conferences: International Nut and Dried Fruit Congress, Almond conference in Sacramento, California League of Food Processors,

Other Links

Microbiological plate phone app
Vision system
Almonds and Pistachios
Series Imaging – using drones and images to track data
Hampton Creek – They are doing different things

Feb 22, 2017

I had the opportunity to talk to the amazing Mike Hewitt who runs his own chef recruiting agency. They are Hospitality Recruiters specializing in dining room, culinary and corporate salaried positions.

Mike’s background is kind of cool. He’s worked in the family restaurant, went to culinary school in Switzerland, then moved to the United States for a restaurant job. He then started his own restaurant and then went over to… Human Resources?

He does this for a very valid reason, to take care of his growing family, and that’s something I hope you take away from this episode. Mike still loves food, you can definitely tell. But now he is helping the food industry in a different way by connecting talented people to each other.

His company One Haus is unique as he recruits recruiters that have a strong operational restaurant background so his employees used to work in restaurants. This allows his works to find quality people because they just know what it takes.

Other than this, you’ll leanr a couple of really cool recruiting technologies and the best festivals to go to for … recruiting

I really enjoyed this episode, Mike is an awesome guy and I loved the straightforward advice he gives on how to get a job.

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 Mike Hewitt

Principal & Headhunter Mike Hewitt has over twenty years of experience in the hospitality industry, ranging from operations, brand development, human resources, consulting and recruiting . With this extensive insight ranging from fine dining to fast casual, large restaurant groups to single mom & pop operations, Mike brings a deep understanding of operator needs, having been there once himself. Mike’s approach to recruiting focuses on assessing company culture and honing in on a particular candidates’ specific skill set to make the match. He has a post graduate degree in Hotel & Restaurant Management from the Ecole Hoteliere de Lausanne.

Key Takeaways

  • How Mike went from a family restaurant to being CEO of a recruiting company
  • The key moment on why Mike switched to the recruiting industries
  • Why Linkedin Rocks

Question Summary

How do you get clients?: Network, referrals, returning back
Elevator Pitch: We are connectors, connectors for long term success
Describe the steps it took to get to where you are today: Parents had a restaurant in Spain, Culinary School at Ecole hoteiere de Lausanne in Switzerland, hired into the United States, Started his own restaurant, then HR Director, then started his own company.
Why did you target hospitality?: It’s what I know. We hire operators and turn them into recruiters.
(Operators: Chefs, managers, etc)
Moment Mike wanted to do recruiting: looking at his 4 month old baby and say “why haven’t I seen this baby in 4 months?”
My Food Job Rocks: It’s the variety. I get to work with so many different industries
Food Trends and Technologies:  Embrace technology. Use technology to connect the dots!
Spark hire - One-Way Video Technology
Linkedin – a more passive way for communication
Sometimes you have to track them for as long as 4 years to make a recruitment sale
What makes a good candidate?: An honest candidate, knows exactly what they want, and can do a good job
Listen first, then speak. It’ll be easier to find them a job
Biggest challenge the food industry needs to face?: Commitment level. They are in it just for the fun and games
Glamorization of Chefs: It’s good for my industry, But it’s all about how to do a job
What’s one thing in the food industry you’d like to know more about: What the new trends are. Best way is to go to educational sessions and talks
Recommended Festivals and Conferences: Choose depending on your goal: Awareness is key. Biggest exposure. For example: Miami Wine and Food Festival, Charleston Asten, Palm Beach, people who would hire us as a recruiting agency
Who inspired you to get into food?: My mother, culinary school.
Favorite Kitchen item: My vitamix
Favorite Food: Guacamole… Guamanian dish, ground lemon chicken dish
How would you start your own business?: If you love food, you don’t have to be a chef
What’s next?: Farm to Turn Table
How does your company like to be contacted?: linkedin;

Other Links

Labor Cost
Describe the steps to get to the restaurant business:
Guamanian Dish
Island Style – Poke
The one Poke restaurant in Arizona

Feb 20, 2017

Today we have Lisa Tse, CEO of the Chinese restaurant, Sweet Mandarin in Manchester, United Kingdom… well… she does a lot more than just that.

The Tse family has done the impossible: in 12 years, Sweet Mandarin has an award winning restaurant, their own factory making sauces for the Queen of England, and they write best selling cookbooks.

This is an interview you don’t want to miss as Lisa really gives you a run down on what makes her brand so successful. The stuff she does is not listening to customers, or being on TV shows like Gordon Ramsey and Dragon’s Den, but I try my best to dissect those secrets.

I’m serious, there is so much good advice in this episode, I couldn’t even categorize it. Every single sentence that Lisa says, is valuable advice whether you’re in the restaurant industry, products industry, or even want to write a cook book.

If you want to get into any of those things, this interview is for you.

Apologize for a bit of noise, we’re in a kitchen that’s how hard Lisa works!

Key Takeaways 

- How Lisa got into Dragon’s Den (Shark Tank) and how her experience was
- Believe in your product, know your target market, know your demand
- The Queen of England buys their sauces

Question Summary

Why did you make your own factory?: We wanted to control the Gluten-Free, MSG free, and nut-free process
The secret to amazing products: knowing your customer questions. Always answer customer demands.
How did you get to where you are today?: Have a clear idea on what you want to do.

General Advice:

Gap in the market for Chinese food in Britain
It’s good to forecast in the future
Do a price point and ask why (can they afford it?)
Her and 2 sisters sold their houses to start a restaurant in the middle of nowhere
Partner with corporate customers
Make customers return, collect their data through emails and facebook
Influence the bloggers
Partnering with public schools on how to learn how to cook Chinese food (lots of press)

Was it one big day that caused your popularity to explode?: Yes: TV spots, cookbooks, products, brand equity
Big Day, ITV British TV “Will the girls launch the restraurant in time?”
Gordon Ramsey’s F word – They won best local Chinese Restaurants
Cookbooks: New York Times Best Seller
Her sister even wrote a book that got adapted in a play in Hong Kong
Members of the British Empire for their sauces

My Food Job Rocks: It’s all about the customers and their experience, also an amazing team and the team can make an impact
How do you hire good employees?: They have to do the job description at the end of the day. No matter what.
What food trends and technologies are really interesting you right now?: Street Food, Sugar-Free Sauces,
Biggest challenge in the food industry we need to face?: Obesity
One Thing you’d like to know about: Shelf-Space in Retail
Who inspired you to get into food?: My Family, Ken Hom in Britian Cooking TV
Favorite Quote: The journey of a thousand miles begins with one step
Favorite Book: The Bible, I read it every day
Favorite Kitchen Item: Her Wok, also Sweet Mandarin Wok: Licensing the brand
Favorite Food: Sweet and Sour King Prawns
Most Popular dish in Sweet Mandarin: Sweet and Sour Chicken, Clay Pot Chicken, Chicken Curry, Chilli Aubergines
Any advice to start what Sweet Mandarin does: Write a business plan, find a mentor, working capital, focus on quality
What’s next and where can we find you: Youtube videos;;; Instagram; facebook, linkedin; twitter.

Dragon’s Den
Online shop sweet mandarin
Mable’s Clay Pot Chicken
Meal Kits
Artisan Food Shops

Feb 15, 2017

Today’s guest has been so supportive in our promotional efforts and I love her energy! Culinary Events Manager Rachelle Boucher, is probably one of the most passionate people I know. She really puts 110% percent into her job and you’ll learn throughout the interview all of the interesting experiences she’s been a part of.

Before being a wonderful Event Planner at Miele, she was actually a private chef for the one and only George Lucas. If you’re interested in being a private chef, she brings a lot of good pointers here including how she got found and what he likes to eat. Rochelle also tells you how to create wonderful events and how an amazing team can make your work feel like play.

I was actually lucky enough to visit Rachelle at Miele’s showroom in San Francisco. I enjoyed a steam pressed automated coffee and a cookie and Rochelle toured me around the showroom.

Amazing stuff. I’ve never seen such high class appliances. Imagine a microwave that acts as an oven, and then acts as a steam box! It’s crazy!

The beauty in forging relationships like this is that I can connect others. Rochelle was really interested in food science and I was able to connect them with the Northern California IFT Section! I raved about this awesome place to Erin Evers, Russ Nishikawa’s employee (episode 25) and they are now making a crazy awesome event at their showroom.

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 Rachelle is so excited about Miele appliances
  • Our discussion about San Francisco’s foodie scene
  • How to get a private chef job with George Lucas
  • What makes a good culinary event

Question Summary

When someone asks what you do for a living: Culinary Events Manager for the Miele Showroom in San Francisco; Cooking Teacher, Event Planner, Content Creator
How You Got to Where You Are Today: I started in Art school and worked in the restaurant industry
My Food Job Rocks: My company is amazing and my team is incredible
Favorite Food Technology: Home appliances using steam, sous vide, induction; INNIT – Internet of Things
Favorite Quote: Julia Child: Never ever apologize for your food
Favorite Book: The Recipe Writer’s Handbook, Harold McGee On Food and Cooking
Favorite Food: Vietnamese Food
Any Advice for anyone going into your field?: Get your degree. It can make you creative; Find mentors
Where can we find you?: Linkedin, Instagram, flavor agent: twitter: flavor agent

Other Links

Experience Centers
Push-button Coffee
Steam technology
Cooking Classes
Induction Cooking
Intro to Steam Cooking
Masterchef Program
Working as a  waitress at a cocktail bar 
Private Chef
George Lucas
Villroy and Boch – Isabelle Von Boch
Nick Ord

Feb 13, 2017

oday Crystal McKay, CEO of Farm Food Care pleasantly converses with us the importance of stories. She’s a farm girl and has worked with food all her life.

Her job at Farm Food Care is to really inform the Canadian people about their food system. Kind of what this podcast and foodgrads are doing. I loved talking to Crystal because she really emphasizes how stories are the best way to convey information.

Within this episode, you’ll learn a lot of facts such as the “new definition of local” and why it’s hard for the whole world to become completely vegetarian

If you enjoyed this episode, please, sign up on our email list, 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 Crystal McKay

Crystal is the CEO for Farm & Food Care Canada with a vision for building public trust in food and farming in Canada.  Farm & Food Care represents a coalition of farmers and associated food and agri-businesses proactively working together with a commitment to provide credible information on food and farming. 

Crystal is a dynamic presenter who has delivered hundreds of presentations to a broad range of audiences from farmers to university students to CEOs across North America. 

Crystal was raised on a farm in the Ottawa Valley, where her family still farms today.  She is a graduate of the University of Guelph and several executive leadership programs.  She is a past President of the University of Guelph OAC Alumni Association, and a former director of both the Ontario 4-H Foundation and the Poultry Industry Council. 

She enjoys spending time with her young family and playing hockey whenever she gets the chance!

Key Takeaways

  • Crystal and I’s passion about sharing stories
  • How Crystal progressed from intern to CEO
  • The amazing trend about Canadian Agriculture
  • In a global sense, 2/3s of land can only raise meats

Question Summary

Uber Drive Question: I talkn to people about food and farming and where it comes from
Job Title: CEO of Farm and Food Care. A Charity to inform people about food.
Typical Day: Management and presentations
Favorite Topic to talk about: Talking about the people, especially with people with heart
Most important skill in your industry: people skills. The ability to collaborate
My Food Job Rocks: I get to talk to people about food and farming every single day
Food Trends and Technology: The transformation from “local” to
Opinion on GMO: GMos will produce more food with less
Opinion on Fake Meat: Choice is great. There is some data that alters things
Opinions on Crickets: It’s a good idea but I’d be a bit desparate to eat that
What’s the biggest challenge the food industry has to face?: Feeding more people with less resources
One thing in the Food Industry you’d like to know more about?: I’d ask this question to more people
What do you consider a food expert?: Everyone is a food expert
Who inspired you to get into food?: My family are farmers
Favorite Quote:; Do your best until you know better, then when you know better, then you do better – Maya Angelou
One meal to eat for a month: Dill Pickles, but also pizza. Briny foods
Advice in the food industry: Find out what you love and then go for it. You gotta start somewhere
What’s Next?: Building the team

Other Links

4H Club – Do by doing
Univeristy of Guelph – Animal Science; Rural Extension – Communications
Ontario Pork
Canadian Center of Food integrity
Leclerc Foods
Support local when you can
In 1900, 1 farmer= 10 people, 1 farmer = 140 people
Precision farming
Impossible food or Beyond Meat
2/3s of all farmland can only be used to make meat. Think globally
Salty fish- Cate lin briny fish chips

Feb 8, 2017

In this episode, I introduce Alan Marson, Managing Director of New Food Innovation a sort of… Illuminati? Of the British food system. He and a few other people are really trying to shake up the European food system.

Here’s a quick summary from linkedin:

"New Food Innovation is consultancy group with over 200 years of industrial experience and skills across all areas of the food industry, having careers in Large Multinationals food producers, Major UK food groups, Major food Ingredients suppliers, supermarkets, and Food entrepreneurs
Formed by Managing Director, Alan Marson, was one of the early adopters of open innovation practice and has an established track record of bringing new technology to market, an extensive network of connections within food business and the product and technology innovation communities.

The Team focuses on high-level working within strategic innovation activities, technology landscaping, scouting, technology translation, and external networking development for many UK's major brands.
We are currently working with and supporting a group of food industry and academic experts with a wide range of science and industry technical expertise. This know-how has been gained during careers working for both international food companies (major branded and private label) and leading highly renowned center’s of learning for food Science including Unilever, GlaxoSmithKline, University of Nottingham, Associated foods Premier Foods, Northern Foods.

During these Careers we have been able develop over 45 patents, launch over 42 first to market technologies, Sponsor end and supervised over 60 PhD’s, In the past 5 years we have been involved in collaborative research and development projects with funding of over 5 million pounds, the associates group, have an extensive network across all sectors of the food Industry which includes over 4000 direct and 500,000 digital food professional contacts."

Impressive, huh? Well, within this episode, he shares his wisdom and passes it on to you.

The meat and potatoes of this episode is near the end, where Alan really opens up about the future of food. We talk a huge amount about alternative meats, how to find innovative companies, and the future of going digital

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

Stay  hungry folks.

Key Takeaways

  • The important soft skills you need to be successful
  • The amazing world of alternative meats
  • If a big company bought out a small company, would you leave?

Question Summary

Would you ever Retire?: Not if you enjoy work
How did you get to where you are today?: Supported over 40 food technology companies
Most Important Soft Skills: How to collaborate, network, empathy, listening, and inspiring people
My Food Job Rocks: There’s always something new to do
Food Trends and Technologies: Finding more alternative protein sources because meat is affecting climate change
Biggest challenge the food industry has to face: The current food system needs to focus more on health
Solution: Focus Subsidizing on other things – a $5 dollar burger would actually cost $13 burgers
What would you like to know more about?: Behavioral economics and how things work
Who inspired you to get into food?: My sister was in the food industry, I also worked in a bakery
Your favorite Kitchen item: a good bread knife
If you had one meal to eat: Pasta (I thought he said Pastor)
Do you have any advice for people who want to get into your industry: Find out what makes you tick by having the opportunity to work in different roles
How to Find Progressive Companies: The are usually Privately owned companies
What’s next for you?: Digital space like Gamefication
Contact info: We don’t have a website. Innovation Distillery. (Alan is very responsive on Twitter) 

Other Links

European Food Apprenticeships
Chinese Campaign to Reduce meat consumption
Fungal protein
Algae Derived Protein
Cricket Protein
Beyond Meat

Feb 6, 2017

"How much ugly and excess vegetables and fruit can 7 local farms and 27 chefs save in 3 months? Over 5000 pounds!"

We have another startup for you today. Naz Athina Kallel started Eu Herd, San Diego's first marketplace for ugly food. Naz shares with us an amazing story, she decided to start this company after recovering from cancer treatment and getting a second chance at life, wanted to make an impact on the world.

In this podcast, I am a huge believer of sharing stories and I love people’s perspective. Naz is different from what we’re used to, but I want to really ask to take her approach with an open mind and have her story inspire you, to well.. maybe start something on your own. As long as you recognize passion, which she clearly has, I ask you to respect where she is coming from.

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

  • San Diego county has the most number of small farms in the country
  • How Naz is saving the world in everything she does
  • An amazing story of how Naz started the company
  • How being terminally ill changed Naz’ perception of food

Question Summary

What is Eu Herd?: Eu means Good in Greek and Herd means community. San Diego’s first virtual farmer’s market
Food Trends and Technology: How farmers can embrace technology
Entrepreneur Advice: Don’t wait for things to happen, offer to do it. You will learn so much
What would you like to learn more about?: Why is the industry wasting 40% in our food?
Who inspired you to go into food?: Africa (Kenya), mother
Favorite Kitchen Item: Electric Wine Bottle Opener
Favorite Food: Freshly picked lettuce and foods in a skillet
Advice on Starting Your Own Business: Find a painpoint, also study the regulatory peice

Other Links

SEO – Search Engine Organization
Landing Page
Ugly Food
Kashi Foods
Blessing Bags
Head and Neck Cancer
Start-up Leadership Program
San Luis Obispo
Curly Kale
Food Waste
Food Deserts
Eric Ries –Lean Startup (MVP)
Hera Hub (woman’s coworkering space)
Felina Handson (Founder)
Email Naz for any advice at

Feb 1, 2017

In this episode, we have Amit Sinha, Process Innovation Engineer at Watson, an ingredient company. This company is particularly fun because they products are so innovative. Most of their ingredient capabilities are based off of a specific need in the market. If you go to any food science based expos like IFT or Supply Side West, you gotta check out their booth. A giant, white, two story booth and they al;so have great notebooks.

This is a fun episode because you get to learn the magic of food engineering.

I actually saw Amit Sinha in action during a small lecture in Supply Side West, what he presented was pure magic. He has found a way to make vitamins… disappear.

About Amit Sinha

Process Innovation Engineer, Amit Sinha, from Watson has been in the dietary supplement and food and beverage industry for the last 10 years. With an MBA in Marketing and MS in Chemical Engineer, he finds that this is the right combination for his career path. By being able to utilize market research and through ingredient discovery, he’s able to successfully use his processing knowledge to innovate. Innovation is very important to him in both his personal and professional life as stagnation can set in if you one is not challenged every day.

Aside from being a foodie and trying new things, Amit has a passion for Crossfit and movies. He tries to use his work knowledge in implementing a healthy and fit lifestyle. Currently, he finds the plant-based diet an intriguing area with great potential and great products. Amit definitely believes, you have to love what you do so you can fully invest in it!

Key Takeaways

  • Best definition on What a food engineer does
  • Where to find innovation. Walmart vs Whole Foods
  • How to promote innovation internally and externally in a company
  • As a fortification expert and a crossfitter, what is Amit’s diet?

Question Summary

What do you say in a sentence or less?: I’m a food engineer (so you’re the ones making us unhealthy)
What do you actually do?: Process Innovation Engineer – Look for new ingredients and new technology to fit what the customer wants to do
How do you find ideas?: Grocery shopping. The isles that have the new ingredients
Amit’s Career Timeline: Pharmaceuticals à Food and Beverage à Premix (Fortification) à Watson
Most important skill to have in your job: You have to learn how to research. Be hands on and learn from operators.
Watson is an ingredient supplier
Food Trends and Technologies: Clean Label concept and transparency: who can do this the best?
Clean Label: Where you can pronounce what’s on the label, nothing is harmful
Biggest challenge the food industry has to face?: How to convince people a research article is true/false
Best solution: Educate the law makers
One thing you’d like to know more about: 3D Printing
Who inspired you to get into food: Crossfit (what?)
Quote: [1 road diverged into 2] and I took the one less traveled by
Favorite Food: Chipotle!
Any Advice getting into your field?: Get an entry level job in the field you’re broadly interested. Get the experience and build on it
Inspiring Advice: Try something outside of your comfort zone

Important Links

Prescott Arizona
Lentil Protein
Cricket Protein
Whole Food Supplements
Lysterine strips
Edible Glitter
Custom-made ingredients
False Claims
Watson’s amazing booth in Expos
Natural Strawberry vs Synthetic Strawberry
Cockroach milk
Sports Nutrition
One bar that names the ingredients
R+D Prepared Food Seminars (already passed)