How I chose my major: Nutrition and Food Science

A close-up of hands chopping fresh food in a professional kitchen. Recipe books, class notes, and other ingreidents sit nearby.

In the “How I chose my major” series, we showcase the academic paths CSU students have taken, and students tell their stories in their own words. Read on to meet Annie, a CSU nutrition and food science major, and learn how she decided it was the perfect path for her college career and far beyond.

Netflix was booming during my senior year of high school, so, naturally, as both a Netflix and nutrition enthusiast, I was ecstatic when health-related documentaries started popping up on my recommended movies tab. I was seeing everything from dairy- and meat-based diets to plant-based superhumans, and they seemed be getting a lot of buzz. Despite my interest, I knew Netflix was not the most-reliable way to become an expert on the topic … but that didn’t mean I wasn’t going to dive in and watch even more than I care to admit. However, I realized I shouldn’t be ashamed to have watched almost all the nutrition-centered documentaries. In fact, I’m now quite proud. I see it as an accomplishment; broadening both my Netflix “have-watched list” and my knowledge on a wide variety of nutrition-related topics.

The more documentaries I finished, the more my perspective on health changed. Questions concerning what I was actually eating started consuming my thoughts: What do companies really mean when they advertise products as low calorie, no sugar, or fat free?  I developed a genuine interest and passion for nutrition education and a future career that can help prevent illness through a nutritious diet.

While doing my research on colleges, I was focused on a few main characteristics: mountains and outdoors activities (CSU: √), lots of sunshine (CSU: √), and a nutrition major (CSU: √). I was happy to discover that CSU checked all my boxes, and so much more. Colorado State University offers a nationally recognized program in nutrition, which allows students to gain the knowledge and skills they need to be successful in their field of choice, along with a wellness-focused approach to the discipline.

These documentaries, paired with my exploration in CSU’s Food Science and Human Nutrition department, provided the perfect kindling to light a fire in me for the Nutrition and Food Science major. I became very focused on the concept that food is medicine, and wanted to be involved in a program that also shared my passion of treating patients by improving health and nutrition. I read numerous CSU student stories and ultimately decided that CSU’s nutrition and food science major would become my academic home. And while I wasn’t — and am still not  — exactly sure where my path is taking me, I feel very comfortable with my choice to learn how diet and different nutritional choices impact human health. I didn’t grow up with a desire to be anything in particular in my life, I just knew I wanted to help others.

In addition to my studies in the College of Heath and Human Sciences, I was also able to participate in an experiential learning trip to Zambia. This was an incredible opportunity that allowed me to develop new passions within nutrition and medicine and shape a more-concrete path for my future. During our visit, we were able to lead small groups of medical volunteers as well as work with local leaders to plan and teach public health lessons.

As a nutrition and food science major, I get asked questions like “oh, so you just eat super healthy all the time, right?” daily. Questions like “is chocolate really good for you?” and “what should I be eating?” also pop up in my regular conversations. While I love getting these questions and being equipped with the knowledge to successfully answer them is incredible, I also make sure to tell people my truth. I don’t eat perfectly all the time — no one does — and I wasn’t always this focused on health and nutrition. But with my experiences at Colorado State University and with the inspiring, passionate people in the Food Science and Human Nutrition department, I feel like I am on a more-defined path for my future and am able to help guide others in their journeys to health and wellness.

Want to see more?

Take a look at our photo blog on the CSU Nutrition and Food Science major, featuring the academic spaces where all the tasty learning goes down.

Annie Bush headshot

Annie Bush is a third-year Nutrition and Food Science major with a concentration in Nutritional Sciences. She is a member of the College of Health and Human Sciences Dean’s Leadership Council and an officer for the Holistic Health Alliance. Her favorite part of the day is her morning coffee time, where she is able to spend a few quiet minutes watching the sunrise and planning her day. In the future, Annie hopes to become a physician’s assistant who connects women’s health care to culinary, nutritional, and clinical wellness. She hopes to bring her skills and passions for healthcare and nutrition to rural communities and those who may not have access to such things.