My Story: Bibiana García-Bailo, PhD, MS

Senior Scientist, Bell Institute of Health and Nutrition

Bibiana García-Bailo, PhD, MS

I love food and I have always been interested in science, but as a child, and even into my university years, I never would have guessed that I would become a nutrition scientist. Yet the signs were there. Growing up in a small agricultural community in rural Spain, I loved watching my grandparents make family meals chockful of ingredients from our own orchards, where we grew everything from almonds to clementines. Even the olive oil was homegrown! Once I moved to the US for university, I studied botany and evolutionary biology. The classes I liked most were the ones that taught me how people in different parts of the world have used plants throughout history, especially for food. I actually remember enjoying pulling an all-nighter to write a paper about the history of potatoes!

Despite these clues, it took a technician job in a nutrition lab in Boston for me to realize how interested I am in food and health. I find the interactions between our environment, what we eat, and our well-being fascinating. Fast forward a few years, a move to Toronto, Canada, and a PhD in nutrition later, and I am fortunate to work with a group of people who are just as interested in these areas as I am. As a scientist within the Dietary Intake Research team at the Bell Institute of Health and Nutrition, I get to collaborate with General Mills experts around the world. We work hard to answer business-relevant questions about what foods people eat, and how they relate to their health and wellness, in countries as diverse as China, the UK, Brazil, Australia, the US and Canada. I love learning about dietary patterns worldwide, and it’s very exciting to know that our work helps guide the development of nutritious, safe, and tasty products to be enjoyed by people around the globe. 

Favorite way to enjoy a General Mills product: I’m an avid cyclist and runner. My go-to post-workout snack? A Nature Valley Crunchy granola bar! 

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