By the thread details, you're interested in more about how process/trasportation/vegetation of food? I'm not sure how much I may be resourceful but here it goes:
I work at a kitchenware company developing gadgets like potato peeler (I'm overwhelmed by how many there are as well), can openers, choppers, slicers, dicers, accessories etc...basically everything you have in your kitchen drawers and cabinet minus pots and pans. We do hands on testing from the gecko with food, making sure we first understand the recipe, process, reservations, condition, size, differences in size by where they're from, how ripe certain produces are, etc.. really boils down to lists and lists of spec sheet with research data. Take that information, generate bunch of diver concepts based on unique/easier interaction, along with creating story boards of how this product may be used or is of value compared to others in the market. More testing happens, sometimes with outside consumer test groups, refine, CAD, manufacture. FDA regulation are strictly applied, and material selection is limited, and heat temp are considered for few products that might be microwaved or stove top safe. There's not a week that goes by without needing to run to the grocery store to pick-up bunch of produces in bulks for testing, or left-over food in the kitchen that are up for grabs.
Ambiente houseware show in Frankfurt, IHA in Chicago are two major annual trade shows that all big players in kitchenware exhibit.
Being aware of food culture + trend really helps before jumping into this field. I myself am an immigrant from Asia and there were some big hurdles to overcome when designing products that I personally never used in my life or even heard of!