Food Technology: I’m not becoming a chef

Good evening dear ones. I sincerely apologise for my absence, this post is  a week late but I will make up for it, I swear. Being a food technology student has its own demands; great, great demands. Demands like continuously studying for tests and assignments that just keep rolling on top of each other making it impossible for one to find time to attend to her blog. Yes, I am making excuses, valid excuses. One response I may get to this is:

“But you’re studying food technology, isn’t it supposed to be easy?”

I present to you: A Day in the Life of a Food Technology Student, where we right the misconceptions and answer some questions. I have full qualifications to do so being a food techie myself, so you may move forward with the assurance that the following information is 100% accurate.

Misconception Number One: We are going to cook for a career.

You have no idea how many times I have told someone I’m studying food tech, and I’m met with the response:

Oh! You’re going to be a great cook!”

Yeah, nah. The extent of my culinary expertise is managing to boil an egg, albeit to the perfect consistency. I’m just going to say it: Food Technologists are not chefs.

If you don’t cook, then what do you do?” 

Food technologists study the chemistry of how foods react with certain substances, such as potential preservatives and flavourings. We’re also responsible for stuff like designing machines that would make mass production of food products more efficient, finding ways to maximise the amount of beef from a cow without harming the animal, and hopefully, one day, discovering a way to make celery taste good without dipping it in buckets of sour cream.

Misconception Number Two: It’s easy.

Massey Auckland campus

Where the magic happens (sometimes. i just really like the clouds here. i have classes in other places too).

Well, this really depends on your level of intelligence. For me, it’s not easy. At all. There are tests upon tests and assignments after assignments. On top of that, there’s a practical project we need to keep in mind. If you’re somebody who is able to keep it together and organised, you’re still going to have a tough time (but probably not as much as me).

Sometimes, it feels as though it won’t be humanly possible to do all these things and still get good grades for everything. The papers we take include physics, engineering mathematics, chemistry and global perspectives. I know, great fun. No really, I know I constantly complain about this unbearable workload, but at the end of the day when I take away the stress of deadlines and getting good marks, I actually realise that learning all of these things is pretty exciting. Not to mention the rush you get when you solve that one maths question.

My advice: if you’re considering taking food technology because it sounds like an easy, breezy degree, think again because you’re in for a hell of a surprise.

Misconception Number Three: You get straight into food in the first year.

I must admit, this is a misconception that I fell for. Starting this course, I was super duper excited to learn how foods are preserved, how they managed to make a coca-cola with no sugar, how they turned fruits into caffeine, but nope. In the first year, us food techs are lumped into the same classes as the Spectacular Engineers. We get to learn things like how bridges stay up and how current flows in an RC circuit. Because, you know, bridges are important for a career in food. Like anything else in life, we just have to stick it out to get to the good parts. I hear that in third year we get to taste test ice creams. I’m keeping my fingers and toes crossed.

I’m sorry guys, but this is going to be a short post. But don’t worry, I’ve got a surprise in store for next time. For now, I’ve got a physics test to study for and project work to do before tomorrow. And a workshop to complete. And an online assignment. Help.

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About Tania

Well, hello there. Let me introduce myself. My name is Tania Thamrin, I would ask you yours but I’ve been told this is a blurb about me, so, sorry. I am a first year student at Massey University studying the Bachelor of Food Technology and have moved out of home to reside in the Halls of Residence on the Albany campus (Weka, woo!). I have a dog called Bruno, the cutest thing ever, a BichonxShihtzu and I miss him dearly. Oh, and a mom and a dad and a brother, I miss them too. I’m from Indonesia (but why do you look Chinese?) but my great-great grandparents were from China. My go-to stress food is Reese’s Peanut Butter cups – semester started yesterday and I’ve already had two. I’ve reached my word limit, so if you see me around, say hi! I promise not to run away.

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