Tag: graduate

The Future of Food Science – The Bee’s Knees?

When you think of food science, you’re likely to picture an upscale restaurant serving a gastronomical feat – such as a balloon made of sugar – or the creation of a hybrid fruit. However, an assistant professor in Central’s Department of Human Environmental Sciences, Dr. Kanika Bhargava (Ph.D.), suggests that insects may be in food science’s future.

Insects? Like bugs?

You heard right.

“Insects as a food ingredient are gaining interest,” Dr. Bhargava said. That’s why Central’s Nutrition and Food Science Program, along with the Oklahoma section of the Institute of Food Technologists, hosted a lecture featuring Aaron T. Dossey, Ph.D., during UCO’s Food Science Symposium.

The lecture, a part of the Spring 2017 symposium, focused on the chemical and biological diversity of invertebrates (animals without backbones) to develop sustainable technologies and products in the areas of agriculture, food and medicine.

The symposium also featured the Cricket Powder Fortified Baked Good Tasting Event, which challenged UCO food and nutrition majors to bake muffins, brownies, cereal bars and sourdough bread with 15 to 20 percent cricket powder.

You read that correctly. Cricket powder – as in, powder made of crickets.

Dossey is editor of the new book “Insects as Sustainable Food Ingredients” and the founder of All Things Bugs, a company that develops sustainable eco-friendly technologies from insects to improve food security and health. Dossey earned a bachelor’s degree in biochemistry and molecular biology from Oklahoma State University and a doctorate in biochemistry and molecular biology from the University of Florida. He is collaborating with Central’s Dr. Bhargava to apply advanced processing and evaluation technologies to insect-based food ingredients.

This type of technology is gaining traction, as symposium guests included Oklahoma food industry professionals from SONIC, Clements Foods Company, AdvancePierre Foods, BlendTech, McDonald’s Corporation, Shawnee Milling Company and OSU.

The symposium is part of Central’s Nutrition and Food Science graduate program, which strives to connect its students with internationally recognized faculty of registered dieticians and certified food scientists.

Who knew the future of food could be so buggy?

A Letter to Central’s Recent Graduates

As UCO grads settle into life post-graduation, Nathan Box, a Central alumnus (Broadcast Communications, ’07) penned a letter* to these new alumni on his own blog, offering sage advice for the future:

According to social media, another 1,000+ graduates turned their tassels at the University of Central Oklahoma. 10 years ago, I sat where they sat. As I listened to the names of my fellow graduates being read and watched as each accepted their degree, my mind was elsewhere. As soon as I walked off that basketball court, everything would be different. What was expected of me would change. My contributions would need to change. Responsibilities would shift fully in my direction. This life would become fully mine for the taking. The direction I had to choose was mine and mine alone. Happiness, success, contentment, and joy would be up to me. It all felt overwhelming. It was enough to make me want to get up walk out and pretend it never happened. Unfortunately, that simple act wouldn’t change facts. Turning my tassel and walking away from UCO would change everything. 

As many of my fellow graduates can attest, life came fast and it was nothing like what I expected. Your university experience and the experience shared by college students all around the country is really good at cementing confidence within you. The world is really good at putting you in your place. For some, jobs will come easily. For others, the road may be tiresome and disappointing. You may discover your degree prepared you perfectly or you want nothing to do with your chosen field. A few of you will find your dream job straight out of college. Most of you will spend your remaining years searching for something that may never come. It is my simple hope that our choice of institution prepared us for the paradoxes of life. I know it did for me. 

10 years later, I am not where I thought I would be. Perhaps, I suffered from delusions of grandeur. Maybe, I haven’t planned adequately. Maybe, I have missed opportunities. Or, maybe I am right where I am supposed to be. Only the test of time can judge such things. I, like many of you who graduated, live a life filled with fear of unmet potential. I don’t want my life to be wasted or lived in vain. I am of the belief that I only get one shot at this thing, therefore I should make the most of it. I know wholeheartedly that my education prepared me to squash my fear. In my mind, that preparation was worth the price of admission. If UCO is worth anything, you will be saying the same thing 10 years from now. 

Be good to each other, 

-Nathan 

* This letter was edited for minor grammatical errors. View the original post by Nathan.