It was a relationship that got off on the wrong foot. It was Sunday afternoon at the IFT Expo. I don’t remember the year or the city, but I can clearly visualize the scene in my mind. I recognized his name tag. I knew him by name only. He had written me a nasty letter upset that that I had chaired the committee that had rejected the Food Packaging symposium for that meeting. The topic was Dual-Ovenable Packaging–the topic was a good one, but the proposal was poorly written. I reached out my hand to make contact and he started yelling at me.
A few years later Aaron Brody would move to the Atlanta area and request to be an adjunct faculty member in Food Science and Technology at the University of Georgia to teach food packaging. I supported his request as I knew that he was a foremost authority in packaging, but viewed his arrival with trepidation.
He initiated a graduate course in Chilled Foods and asked me to teach it with him. We became friends and had a good time teaching the course together. I learned more that first semester about chilled foods than any of the students in the class. I thought I was a good instructor, but he also taught me much about teaching and connecting with students. I invited him to talk to my Chocolate Science classes every Fall Semester about his experiences as a senior scientist at M&M Mars. I know of no instructor in our department who gave our students a better understanding of what the food industry was like.
We developed a grudging admiration for each other. I understand that it was Aaron and not my Department Head who nominated me as a Fellow of IFT, an honor that I cherish. We frequently disagreed. He was a much more hard-core, industry-oriented food technologist. I tended to be a skeptic about many things, but we both believed that part of Food Science student’s education was to understand the food industry and what it stood for.
Since I retired, he has been a frequent contributor to my blog as well as a commenting on other posts on the blog. I don’t know if he has yet to truly retire or if he ever will. I admire him as a food technologist and an instructor. I cherish our friendship. Aaron celebrated his 90th birthday last Sunday, August 24. Happy birthday, Aaron! I wish you well.
7 thoughts on “Breaking news: Dr. Aaron Brody turns 90”
Congratulations to both Rob and Aaron for your many contributions to food science. You both should keep up your good work
Thank you Andy for all of your contributions to our profession as well.
I loved Dr. Brody’s class! Definitely one of the most engaging in my undergrad. I followed every word. Happy Birthday! 🎁🎂🎈
I have had the pleasure of meeting Mr. Brody, I believe God puts us in certain circumstances for a reason, and I feel Blessed to have him in my life now. I look forward to all of our conversations, and the things I can learn from him!
Thank you so much for remembering me and my life.
Thank you so much for remembering and honoring me.
Yes, indeed, those who do not make mistakes have not tried; all progress is built on a foundation of learning from others as I hope that others have learned from me– and you – and all our colleagues.
You have been a major part of my professional life – and I have thoroughly enjoyed our relationships – including the conflicts and push backs! We – you and I – have contributed mightily to food science and the world.
Continue your super work of helping the folks better comprehend food and its role in all of life!!!
We were a team! The feeling is mutual.