When you work for a large food company like I do, you tend hear random facts about what’s going on in the food world. Did you know that Orange Chicken accounts for 40% of Panda Express’s sales? Someone told me this at work today and I totally believe it. I mean, I ALWAYS get the orange chicken. Sometimes I have to wait a long time for it too since everyone else in line is looking for their own orange chicken fix.

But anyways, work and food. So why do I work as a food scientist when I studied long and hard to be a handy dandy chemical engineer? People always ask “What does chemistry have to do with food?” or “Why the heck are you in the food industry?” To me working as a food scientist made perfect sense. My options after graduation were working with petroleum, pharmaceuticals, chemicals, etc. All things completely dry and boring to me. But the one constant in my life is my love of good food. I love to cook, try all different things, even shop for it. Coupled with my nerdy instinct to break things down to how and why things work together and voila! A pretty nifty job!

Every day is different when you work with food formulation and it’s the best feeling when you see something you worked with on the grocery store shelves for all the world to buy. Don’t get me wrong, it’s not all playing in a kitchen. It’s a very serious thing too…a lot is on the line when a new product is launched. And along with all the good food you sample, you also eat a fair share of AWFUL food. I will NEVER forget the taste of rancid mayonnaise. Ugh. But yes, when you go grocery shopping, just remember there was a ton of work that went behind that box of cereal, pizza, or can of soup you just threw into your cart. :P

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