February is Black History Month: Honoring Food Scientists

February is Black history month. This week our podcast honors the pioneering work of Julie Stewart and Sara Thompson. Historians are just beginning to recover the narratives of black women who made positive differences to our space program. Both women, employed at Stouffer’s made significant contributions to the Apollo 11 program.

Julia Stewart employed in their test kitchens planned menus for the astronauts. She designed recipes, applied FDA regulations, and staged food photos. Sara Thompson was a quality control supervisor in the “Quarantine Meals Out of this World” program. She applied chemistry, bacteriology, and biology to ensure astronauts’ health during threeweek quarantines. Using food science and technology, both women exceeded expectations of the FDA, NASA, and Stouffer’s.


Long, Charnell Chasten. The Black Women Food Scientists Who Created Meals for Astronauts. Lady
Science (2019)

B. Susie Craig
Professor/Area Specialist – Food Safety and Health
Washington State University King County Extension