science shopping

Report
Science in Your Shopping Cart
Debra Spielmaker, Director
Utah State University – Agriculture in the Classroom
debra.spielmaker@usu.edu
Science in Your Shopping Cart
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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…
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Carrots
Broccoflower
Hot Peppers
Potatoes
Nectarines
Tangelos
Cheese/Milk
Grapes
Watermelon
Berries
Beans
Chocolate
Apples
Corn
Wheat
How has science changed agriculture?
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Plant & Animal Science (plant breeding,
genetic manipulation) for numerous
characteristics
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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
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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…
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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…
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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:
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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
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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?

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