Being a food consultant can mean many things. It can mean partnering with food entrepreneurs to increase sales and brand awareness. It can mean understanding the research behind the shelf life of a product. It can also mean taking the time to educate young minds on the science behind food production. For Ali Manning, Founder of Umami Food Consulting & Food Science 4 Kids, it means all of the above.
“There’s a Food Science and Technology program at Alabama A&M University, and my life was changed the day a presenter told our class “You’ll always have a job, because people will always need to eat,” Ali said.
And because we’ll always need to eat, we should probably know a thing or two about providing food for ourselves. And no, that doesn’t mean knowing when and when not to brave the Midtown Kroger parking lot. I’m talking about knowing how to produce your own food and going even further to understand the science behind what you’re consuming.
With Food Science 4 Kids, students ages 5-9 conduct hands-on experiments to understand the basics of food, flavors, texture, and more all from the comfort of their homes.
“We’ve just experienced a period of time where there were some product shortages, so it’s not out of the question to wonder what you’d do if something like meat became less accessible one day,” Ali said. “I think it’s so important that we know about what alternatives we have available in our homes.
“My students aren’t just learning how to grow produce in their gardens, but they are learning how to take what they have planted and use it to create something that they don’t have to get from the grocery store. I’m showing them that science isn’t just about explosions, but that it’s also about understanding the resources the are around you.”
From lessons on how to produce plant based butters to experimenting with the creation of carbonation, your little ones will walk away with foundational food-based knowledge that they can build upon as they grow up.
And you food entrepreneurs and restaurant owners can learn a little something from Ali Manning too. From product and menu development to general marketing and sales, she’s ready to help you tackle the issues beyond the kitchen.