Monday, June 9, 2014

Making yogurt with the Food Science students at JKUAT
This week I had the chance to see the farm to table experience of yogurt making. Here on campus they have about 40 cows that they use for milk and meat. They also produce the grains to feed the cattle right on campus! The dairy farm is quite advanced as they have three automatic milking machines. As I watched the cows being milked, a small window in the building was being crowded with locals and students with their buckets and containers in hand waiting to receive their fresh milk rationing for the week. In Canada it’s very uncommon to sell unpasteurized milk! But here the locals know that they need to sieve and heat the milk before consuming. The following day I joined a great group of food science students that were learning how to make yogurt. It didn't take very long to heat the milk, as it was still warm from Betty’s Utters! It was good to see the care they took in ensuring proper food safety, as the products they were making would be sold later at the university.
The proctor that was instruction the students on the yogurt making was also giving them a pep talk about how if they put their minds to it they can be successful in the food industry: “Start small, and follow your dreams from there.” I found it very encouraging that the proctor was both a teacher and a mentor.
As a nutrition and dietetics student, I really appreciate how JKUAT university campus is all encompassing. It allows students to experience every aspect of nutrition, from framing and production to working in microbiology labs.

Food and Spirituality Experience:

This week I had the chance to speak with a pastor of a church that owned a butchery business. Very interesting mix of careers! We conversed about how farming and food production is done in Kenya compared to Canada. Really interesting to see the stark contrast! He discussed with me many issues that farmers in Kenya face, like drought, patented seeds and rising costs. What I found really interesting was when he described how farmers work together to find solutions to the problems they face rather than taking on the task alone. Throughout our conversation he made sure to emphasize that relying on God for provision is the key to small scale farming. I think I’ll coin this concept Faith Farming!        
Farm to table yogurt making.

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