Can content writing in food sciences be lucrative? Let’s know more about it.
Today Bezalel Adainoo (Bez) from Staywellnow who creates content in food science and nutrition talks about his job as a content writer. How he developed the skill over the years, and a lot more about how fun it is to write. Yes, we truly believe writing can be fun.
Let’s read about Bezalel’s story in his own words.
My dream had always been to become a medical doctor. However, due to the limited spaces available in the medical school, I had to find an alternative program to study at the University. I chose to study Nutrition and Food Science at the University of Ghana. It was a practical training which afforded me the opportunity to gain insights into how nutrients impact the health of consumers, how food materials behave, how the safety of food is assessed and how food products are developed. By my final year in the programme, my interests in food analysis, food chemistry, food processing had been heightened very much that I chose to do my undergraduate project work assessing the quality of coconut water and developing a shelf-stable coconut water product.
After my studies, I worked as a national service person (national service is a year of mandatory service to the country, Ghana, after undergraduate studies) in my department, the Department of Nutrition and Food Science, as a teaching and research assistant. This position helped consolidate the principles I had learned as a student. Since then, I have had the opportunity to work in different capacities including Food Quality and Safety Research Assistant and Content Creator.
Though I had a knack for writing in basic school, writing wasn’t something I had consciously worked on developing. After my national service, while searching for a job, I noticed that there were a lot of people who were giving education on nutrition. However, their information was very inaccurate. Also, I noticed there are a lot of scientific papers published with information that would be relevant to the Ghanaian context of food and its impact on health. But it would take someone with the right background to give the right interpretation to these scientific results in simple, easy-to-understand language for the consumption of the general public. So in November 2015, I started writing a series of weekly food and health articles tagged FoodAndHealthWithBez for a campus website called GhCampus. Then in 2016, I created my own blog STAYWELLNOW.COM which now features content from other writers as well.
The first few weeks of writing food and health articles were quite tough because I needed to effectively convey the information in some scientific papers filled with jargons in a manner that would be easy for the layman to understand. It was my first time writing about food and its impact on health for the general public so it had to be done with so much care so that the information I put out is not misunderstood. The experience helped hone my approach to science writing.
For every content writer, your job is to convey ideas clearly without causing fear and panic in your readers. Typically, the kind of content I write requires that I gain a good understanding of all the concepts in the particular subject on which I am writing and be able to translate this understanding into practical information that any reader can easily apply.
Also, in order to help achieve the UN Sustainable Development Goals on food security in Ghana/Africa, it is critical for me to put all that information in the context of Ghana and quite often, Africa. This is very important because many people know they need to eat healthy in order to stay healthy. However, there is almost no information on the nutritional content of specific Ghanaian/African foods publicly available. Without this information, it makes it difficult for most people in Ghana and the rest of Africa to make conscious food choices that would improve their health.
In July 2016, I created my blog, staywellnow.com, as a platform to share more of the content I write and also make the content I write more practicable. I have been doing this by liaising with some recipe creators. We brainstorm recipe ideas and I weigh in on the nutritional content of these creations to provide our readers with easy-to-use content to help improve the health of our readers. We promote the use of indigenous ingredients and also highlight the nutritional benefits of these foods; a way of reducing food waste and improving food security.
Because there is always demand for the high-quality information we share on staywellnow.com, sometimes, it becomes difficult keeping up with the demand while juggling work and other commitments. Nonetheless, because we get content from other contributors, we are able to keep the blog running.
Aside from the conventional jobs in production and quality after a Food Science degree, it is very important for Food Scientists to start writing about their research for the public as well. This would help them to be abreast with the latest research findings and it could go a long way to curb food insecurity.
Though I did not study medicine as I wanted to, my experience studying Food Science, applying it and sharing practical information with the public has provided several opportunities for me. I haven’t regretted studying Food Science at all. If you are a Food Science graduate, keep your options open. There are several ways you can use what you have learned to impact your society and the world at large.
Bezalel is a PreScouter Global Scholar with experience in food analysis, food chemistry, food microbiology, and food processing. As a food scientist, he has worked on projects assessing the quality and safety of dairy products and other food products. He has also been involved in some nutrition projects in Ghana and food security projects in other parts of Africa. Bezalel earned a BSc (Hons) in Nutrition and Food Science from the University of Ghana. He writes a blog (staywellnow.com) to educate readers on food and its impact on health. You can reach him on LinkedIn.
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