FBI Forensic Scientist Applies Skills to Predicting Food Trends

By Joseph Calamia | August 9, 2010 3:54 pm

agentsupermarketWant to predict the next hot foodie craze? You might train for the FBI. After five years as a drug toxicologist, Suzy Badaracco decided to make a switch, from tracing murderers’ steps to pointing clients towards street food and South American cuisine. Actually, she told the Food Navigator, there is considerable overlap.

“For me, with drugs and baking, there’s no difference,” she said. “It’s just chemistry right?”

The Food Navigator reports that Badaracco worked as an ante-mortem toxicologist–analyzing drugs from crime scenes and tracing them back to the street in attempt to figure out where, for example, a serial killer might strike next. Badaracco says that her training in forensic anthropology, which taught her how to pick out patterns from chaotic systems, today helps her orchestrate diverse sources (from the FDA to food magazines) to predict consumer behavior.

According to her company website, Badaracco found a successful career in food following her crime-solving days. Besides a degree in criminalistics, Badaracco also has training in culinary arts and nutrition, and has worked for organizations including Mintel, the USDA, and Nestle. After all this, it seems fair to say that she has a pretty unique skill set. In jest, she told the Food Navigator:

“Being a dietitian, a chef and a toxicologist, I could cook a fabulous meal, poison you, get rid of the body and get away with it–a perfect circle.”

Related content:
Discoblog: Building a Better Dead Body Detector
Discoblog: Crime-Fighting Kitties: Cat Hair Could Be the Next Forensic Tool
Discoblog: Food Fraud: High Schoolers Use DNA Tests to Expose Fake Caviar
80beats: DNA Scanner Proves That NYC Sushi Contains Endangered Bluefin Tuna
80beats: DNA Forensics Traces Sharks Killed for Their Fins

Image: flickr / benuski


Discover's Newsletter

Sign up to get the latest science news delivered weekly right to your inbox!


Quirky, funny, and surprising science news from the edge of the known universe.

See More

Collapse bottom bar