WEST Wisdom Blog

If You Eat, You Should Know…

Posted by Courtney Cyron on Apr 10, 2024 1:05:51 PM

STEM is a broad term; it includes all industries that relate to science, technology, engineering, 2024-04-22 2x1 and mathematics. Often, food and agricultural science aren’t top of mind when it comes to STEM industries. The reality is, these two STEM industries should be one of the first we consider as they impact every aspect of our lives. If you eat, you should be informed about what you eat and what are your best options. You should know about sustainable growing practices, quality of food, and the science behind providing you and your family with the best, most nutritious options. 

If you eat you should know the importance of the food and agricultural industries. These are the industries that are developing technology to create produce that comes packed with the best and most bioavailable antioxidants and nutrients. These are the building blocks of your body’s health. There’s truth to the old adage “you are what you eat.” The vitamins, minerals, and other nutrients in every single thing you eat become the very foundation of your cells and support for each of your body’s systems. Providing your body with the best food options is taking the most important step into supporting your physical and mental health. 

WEST has such a diverse community and is proud to have several leaders in the Food and Agricultural Industries. Kellye Eversole and Jessica Louie are proud WEST Board and Advisory Board members respectively. They were brought together at a WEST event and have been focused on bringing food and agricultural science and the associated health impacts to the top of mind in the STEM industries. 

Not only do the food and agricultural industries influence the health of you and every person around you, but they strive to introduce science that sustains our planet. In a world that is constantly changing due to climate, population growth and shifts, and soil depletion due to increases in farming needs, one of our biggest priorities should be supporting our environment so it can continue to care for our people. “Looking at things as a system, we have to look at microbes, native animals, insects, water, weather, physical characteristics; we need to begin thinking this way, we need to empower growers to use the most sustainable efforts for their specific location, then we’ll have the chance to feed our world for long term,” shares Kellye. The food and agricultural industries are working on technologies that can analyze and respond to weather, soil, and other growing needs to keep the planet and our food as healthy and sustainable as possible. 

While the food and agricultural sciences are important for every single person on our planet, women are the most greatly impacted by these industries. A 2019 Pew Research Center study showed that, in families with children, 80% of women do the grocery shopping and meal preparation within their homes. Knowing that women are the most greatly impacted by the food and agricultural industries, it should be surprising that only 27.4% of all Farmers, Ranchers, and Other Agricultural Managers, and 36.8% of Agricultural and Food Scientists are women. “We’ve all faced challenges in our career, it happens in every industry, it’s never easy for women. In agriculture it’s even more traditionalized with male dominance at the top. We need to be bringing women at all levels to that community and shared responsibility,” shares Jessica. With women playing such a disproportionate role in these industries there should be more discussion about why, what the women who are working in these industries experience, how we can close the gender gap, and how much of a benefit a more equal seat at the food and agriculture table for women would be. 

Kellye has been working in agricultural policy and science for several decades, has had an agricultural science bill passed through congress, and is now the President of her own consulting firm specializing in biotechnology and agricultural science guidance. Jessica has been working in synthetic biology, AI & data science, agricultural biotech, and has provided her expertise to help bring to market a new variety of Purple Tomato that provides high levels of antioxidant, plus makes a beautiful centerpiece of a dish. 

“WEST being very much grounded in science and tech, thinking about biotech and how it relates to our food- it’s really a great crossover,” shared Jessica. After much discussion about the amazing work they, and other food and agricultural scientists, are doing, they are thrilled to be joined by several other panelists to celebrate Earth Day by bringing you an in-depth look at the food and agricultural industries. “These companies [represented by the panelists] are focused on issues that matter to women,” shares Kellye on why this panel will provide such an impactful discussion for WEST community members.

Join Kellye as she moderates a panel discussion featuring Jessica, Megan Biango-Daniels, Catherine Feuillet, and Yajie Niu on April 22, 2024, Earth Day, that anyone who eats should join us for. Each of these women will be sharing their insight, their work, how we can work toward sustainable environmental and farming practices, and how we can best support the lives and health of each and every person in our world. As the food and agricultural industries play such an important role in our daily lives, if you eat, you should join us for this event. 

Register to join us here.


 Schaffer, Katherine. Among U.S. couples, women do more cooking and grocery shopping than men. September 24, 2019. https://www.pewresearch.org/short-reads/2019/09/24/among-u-s-couples-women-do-more-cooking-and-grocery-shopping-than-men/

 US Bureau of Labor Statistics. Household Data Annual Averages. January 26, 2024. https://www.bls.gov/cps/cpsaat11.htm

Data USA. Agricultural & Food Scientists. https://datausa.io/profile/soc/agricultural-food-scientists#:~:text=Demographic%20information%20on%20Agricultural%20%26%20food,woman%2C%20and%2063.2%25%20men.

Topics: Boston, Community, Inspire, Business, Inspiration, #WESTevent, Equity, Female Representation STEM, Conversations, Earth Day, Agriculture, Food Science

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