Jacob Farr's blog

Nitrites: One Reason Our Food is Safe and Bacon is Tasty

Nitrites don’t make it on your grocery list but likely end up in your fridge. They have several roles in foods and have become a necessary component in many of our favorite products. Their most common use in foods is inclusion in cured meats, but they are present in many dietary sources including vegetables and drinking water.

3 Takeaways From My Sylvia Rowe Fellowship

As a third-year student embarking on the journey of receiving my PhD, I planned on spending my summer in a lab, carrying out experiments. Instead, I was fortunate to be offered the 2016 Sylvia Rowe Fellowship. For my PhD, my work is focused around food chemistry. I also added a minor in computer science and engineering. This might be a non-traditional pairing of skills, but the International Food Information Council (IFIC) Foundation was receptive to my proposal to use foundational programming skills to create interactive and engaging tools as a form of scientific communication.

Testing the Waters of Carbonated Water

Earth’s most popular medium of life has recently experienced exponential growth in options at the grocery store. Sparkling, tonic, seltzer … there are likely a dozen more versions of H2O, but how do they differ from one another? On top of that, there are several extra elements that can drastically change your drinking experience.

Let’s start with the titles:

Weekend Chew: Why You Should Try Cold Brew Coffee

Every weekend morning for a span of my childhood, my grandma and grandpa, living on the street behind me, would open their house and brew coffee. I remember rolling out of bed way too early, used to my Monday through Friday routine, and being aggravated by my body’s affinity for habit. But the reward was coffee and time with family. Coffee was the vehicle and excuse for our time together. When I go home, it is something I always look forward too. Now that I dare say I am an independent, fully functioning adult, I repeat this small tradition on my own terms with cold brew.

Simple Safety Tips for Grilling with Dad

Father’s Day is almost always accompanied with grilling and spending time together outside with your old man. Don’t let this year be an exception.  

Putting IARC Into Perspective

A vast body of information and research has grown regarding cancer. But for several decades, the illness was at best a mystery. This gave rise to knowledge-seeking organizations such as the International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC).

The Truth Behind Nitrites in Your Meat

NitritesFear the word! I am betting at some point in the endless ritual of perusing the internet, you have stumbled across the topic of nitrites/nitrates in food.

Coffee By-Products: Buzzing with Growth

Coffee is the most important part of my diet, immediately following all the essential nutrients. In the past year, I have upgraded to pour over in the mornings and cold brew on hot days. Beyond everything I value in life, it gives me a reason to wake up and become a functioning adult. This magical beverage has a lot of dietary benefits, but did you know there is an industry sprouting around coffee by-products? The hipsters running your local coffee shops are embracing all the possibilities of coffee, and it is resulting in some fantastic new products.

Sensationalized Science

Science communication is at the heart of what we strive to do here. When new scientific results are oversold and/or sensationalized, it can leave us with all.the.feels. And it’s not like we are the only ones that have a reaction to this phenomena. In fact, there’s quite a spectrum of emotions that surface when new scientific research is released, which got us thinking ... how are the major players reacting, and what are their emotions?

Seeking the Iron Throne? Follow These Tips To Help You Conquer All of Westeros

Sunday nights are the only part of the week that matters for me during the next three months when HBO’s “Game of Thrones” airs. The time in between each new episode is simply for reviewing the last episode and postulating what will happen the next Sunday with fellow co-workers, and sometimes complete strangers. In honor of the sixth season beginning, let’s reflect on how food has, at times, become a spotlight in the series.