Science in Your Shopping Cart Debra Spielmaker, Director Utah State University – Agriculture in the Classroom [email protected] Science in Your Shopping Cart How many years has agriculture been influenced by science? Take a look, can you see science in the products you see and use everyday? Check out the science in these… Carrots Broccoflower Hot Peppers Potatoes Nectarines Tangelos Cheese/Milk Grapes Watermelon Berries Beans Chocolate Apples Corn Wheat How has science changed agriculture? Plant & Animal Science (plant breeding, genetic manipulation) for numerous characteristics Seed ripening Mechanized harvesting Yield or weight gain Drought tolerance Disease resistance Taste Texture Storage Processing and finishing Color Seed removal New variety Low fat, high fat Nutrient change (fiber, vitamins, protein) Manufacturing Medicines Processing (Food Science) & Industrial uses for Ag Products Lactose-free dairy products Super Slurper (absorbent corn) Biodegradable plastic Testing methods for cheese (age) and milk Bread processing (gluten and yeasts) Storage technology: freezing, drying, sugaring, salting, canning, heating (pasteurization & UHT) What science do you think is in your agricultural product? Fill in the first column of the table in the Science in Your Shopping Cart lesson and then watch the Science in Your Shopping Cart movie to learn about all the Science in Your Shopping Cart. Check out the science in these… Apples (sweeter, crunchier, crisp, enzyme coating to deter browning) Carrots (yellow and white: bred for orange/red color, sweetness, length and increased beta carotene) Tomatoes (colors, more beta-carotene, longer shelf life for processing) Peaches (new cold tolerant varieties) Pears (pest resistance) Watermelon (seedless & disease resistance, harder rinds, sweeter taste) Berries (extend the growing season, thornless varieties, disease & insect resistance) Peanuts (lower the fat, but maintain flavor) Cayenne Peppers (increase heat by 20%) Bread & Wheat (changes in gluten, sour dough bacteria, insect resistant) Oranges (higher yielding trees, increased disease resistance, better color, longer shelf life, freezing technology (tangelos are a cross between grapefruit (pomelo) and tangerine)) Check out the science in these… Cheese/Milk (low fat cheese) Milk (chymosin/UHT, lactose-free) Grapes (seedless varieties, disease resistance, packaging technology) Potatoes (storage, chipping, low carb, disease resistance, low-fat frying potato) Rice (doubled the shelf life, rice flour to make bread and reduce oil absorption) Poultry (turkeys bred to have more meat, disease resistance) Beef (disease prevention, breeding programs for tender, low-fat, flavorful meat) Oats (reduce cholesterol research) Corn (enhance “corn flavor” in tortillas, increased corn starch, fat replacer, disease & insect resistance) Soybeans (used as a substitute product in lipstick, plastics, flooring, paints, ink, cleaners, etc.) Chocolate (disease resistance) Diapers (cornstarch-based moisture absorber, Super Slurper) Broccoflower (cross between broccoli and cauliflower, not in the booklet, but fun to know!) Concerns About Food Science There are several concerns raised about genetically modified foods. Transgenic plants have received much more attention than transgenic animals, partly because most transgenic animals are usually used for pharmaceutical or research purposes rather than for food (cloned animals may change this). Concerns about genetically modified foods fall into a few categories: Environmental Economic Human Health Concerns About Food Science Environmental Pest-resistant crop plants may kill beneficial insects as well as pests. Another concern is whether the introduced genes will spread from the crop plants into plants growing nearby. For instance, it is proposed that soybeans modified to be resistant to herbicide might cross-pollinate with weeds growing in the fields, thus creating “super weeds” that would be herbicide-resistant. Concerns About Food Science Economic Transgenic plants are expensive to produce because it takes expensive technology to create them. The companies that produce them (primarily in countries such as the United States) want to make a profit because they put a lot of resources into making them. It is suggested that poor countries that might benefit most from the technology would not be able to afford the seeds. rice Concerns About Food Science Human Health Despite the fact that package labeling for potential allergic reactions is required by law for genetically engineered foods, there is still a concern that allergenic compounds (such as peanuts or soy) may be present in a food eventually consumed by an unknowing allergic person. Questions for Discussion Are the food products safe to eat? Do the benefits outweigh the risks? What is on the horizon in food science? What is left to invent? What are some career opportunities in the area of food science and food technology? How many people have really made a loaf of bread or a gallon of milk? From farm to fork: how much science is in your shopping cart?