Agricultural and Food Scientists

Last updated December 31, 2014

In the old days, you sprinkled a lot of salt on your meat, hung it in your attic, and hoped for the best.

Today, thanks to agricultural and food scientists, we find an incredible range of choices on supermarket shelves. Even during the coldest months, we enjoy fruits and vegetables kept fresh by food preservation techniques, such as special plastic bags. And when we eat ice cream, we know exactly how much fat we’re digesting.

Agricultural scientists study farm crops and animals to improve their quality and yield. Food scientists research foods and develop new ways to preserve and package them.

Did You Know?

Agricultural scientists may spend part of their time outdoors on farms.

Are You Ready To...?

  • Determine the nutritional profile of a box of macaroni and cheese
  • Look for the source of an outbreak of E. coli
  • Study whether irradiation affects bacteria levels in beef
  • Analyze the vitamin levels in an organic tomato
  • Create a substitute for nitrates

It Helps To Be...

Interested in using science to improve people’s lives and good at seeing the big picture as well as paying close attention to detail.

Make High School Count

  • Take advanced science courses.
  • Intern with a farm or food-processing plant.
  • Sign up for classes in family and consumer sciences.
  • Experiment in the kitchen.
  • Follow current events. Food science topics, such as the controversy over genetically modified food, are often in the news.

Did You Know?

An especially strong strain of E. coli in the United States was traced back to unpasteurized apple juice made from fallen apples that had come in contact with cow feces.