My adventure into the world of food started when I was about 5 years old.
My mother told me that anytime she is in the kitchen, I must be there watching her. She had a little stool on the corner for me to sit on, all I did was watch her and chat with her while she cooked. I later graduated to standing on a stool and helping with dishes. My love for food and creating delicacies started at a young age. As a teenager, I started baking and ventured into sugar arts. I later became the go-to person with family and friends for all things cakes. You can see some of my creations here. (PS: I have not baked in a very long time though)
For so many years, food was all about the pleasures it brings for me.
I never thought much about it…
…until my late father had some medical challenges and was on a special diet.
During this time I observed how quickly his body changed when he ate certain food. As a geneticist, that pricked my curiosity and I wondered what was going on on the molecular level inside his body. For the first time, I thought differently about food and I started looking for opportunities to learn more.
A few years later, I was fortunate to join a research team working on understanding the anti-cancer properties of moringa isothiocyanate and also phenylethyl isothiocyanate in breast cancer cells. This opened my eyes to see food in a different way.
My perspective also changed and I started exploring opportunities to drive change for a healthier food supply.
While I still have a keen interest in learning more about how food interacts with our body with the goal of understanding how we can delay the onset of specific diseases. I strongly believe we can leverage technology to create impact in communities and we are doing just that.
My team and I rolled out Yscooks to educate, engage, and inspire students to make healthier dining choices. Regardless of socioeconomic status, our platform gives students access to expertly-curated digital resources which helps them learn about the science of food, its history, and the effect food has on overall wellbeing.
Shaping a better future of food is not something one organization can do, it is a collective effort. Since 2016, my team and I have hosted conferences that bought scientists, innovators, and food industry leaders together for thought-provoking conversations on shaping a healthier food future. I believe it is important to create opportunities for scientists to share their knowledge with innovators and executive decision-makers facilitating learning and collaboration. I founded FoodNiche Inc in 2015, a company that leverages thought leadership and strategic partnership to drive innovation towards a healthier food supply. The company which was founded in 2015 grew to a community of over 40,000 food enthusiasts, entrepreneurs and innovators before launching its event series. FoodNiche Inc. promotes innovation in the Food Industry and is behind nationally recognized Disrupt Food Summit, Food Health and Technology Summit (now Global Food Health Innovation Summit).
I currently lead innovation at Global Food Health Institute a for-profit organization where we are leveraging our technology and scientific expertise to drive positive change in our communities. YScooks is one of our portfolio products at the institute, we are also building a community of leaders who are driven to build a healthier food future.
I earned a doctorate degree in Microbiology and Molecular Genetics and a BA in Genetics from Rutgers University, New Brunswick. Prior to that, I earned a Bachelor’s degree in Agriculture and a Master’s degree in Molecular Biology.
Apart from my work in the food industry. I am passionate about helping people, inspiring them to live their best life now. On my own time, I work with women to develop strategies to accelerate growth and go from where they are to where they want to be in the shortest amount of time. I love sharing inspiring words or practical strategies to help people live better lives. You can find me volunteering in my local church on weekends and serving on different committees.
I believe that just as food is important for our body to function well, words are powerful to the well-being of our soul. Where possible I am intentional about ensuring that my words inspire and lift people up.
I married my best friend in 2006, we live in NJ our two boys.