How Has Food Science Changed in the Last 30 to 40 Years?

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If I think about from the industry perspective, food was produced locally by farmers and often consumed by the same person who grew it, that was, go back 200, 250 years, that was the norm. As we started to see urbanization, people living remote from where actually the food was grown, that necessitated an industry and that was people who could take the food ingredients of our food.

Nobody eats raw potatoes or raw grains. Take those commodities, take those ingredients and make them into food that is compatible with our diet, and then make it, distribute it and have it available. That was the dawn of the food industry. That was a phase of taking kitchen level cooking into a commercial exercise.

Then there's the second phase, and a lot of that actually started interestingly in the first half of the 20th century. Let me give you an interesting fact to give a perspective to this, during World War II, one of the commonest reasons why an American potential recruit to the US military for the war wasn't recruited was because they were underweight and malnourished, in America.

Now, this is not a long time, I'm talking about this within the last 60, 70 years. This was considered at that time a strategic threat to our security, and the US government pushed to learn how to process food at greater scale that was clean and safe, and make it consistently available to every American.

Prior to that, the level of trust of whether a food was safe or not and clean or not, wasn't there. And the food industry's done a remarkable thing, we take it for granted today, but that was what I look at as the second phase of this industry. Wherever you are in the developed world, and now increasing in the developing world, you can pick up a package, a box, a bottle and almost always assume it's safe, so much so that if it isn't it makes news.

Back in the 1800s, it would never have made news, it was commonplace, OK? That was phase two. I think we're about to enter another phase, and that is as the knowledge of nutrition, as the knowledge of the biology of our bodies has started to mature and has accelerated in the last 50 years.

This is now a great opportunity to bring that knowledge, marry it with the capabilities and knowledge of the food industry, and I think we'll see, we're right on the cusp of seeing this next evolution of this industry, and I'm confident this industry will step up to it.