Food Writing, From my Perspective…

“One cannot think well, love well, sleep well, if one has not dined well.” ― Virginia Woolf, A Room of One's Own


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Donald’s Garden

I have Donald’s Garden by Disney video on my blog because it shows that everyone knows the general idea of growing food, but it also shows the struggles that come along with the agriculture business. Such as irrigation and pests.

This is just a little cartoon to brighten up your day and to show you that everyone does have a hard time maintaining their farms. Agriculture is no joke.


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Food Writing Facts & Some Vocab

In Defense of Food: An Eater’s Manifesto by Michael Pollan, Michael Pollan uses the example of the ways that the way we eat has changed every generation. He states, “Today in America the culture of food is changing more than once a generation, which is historically unprecedented-and dizzying”(4). Another thing Pollan states, “You may well, and rightly, wonder who am I to tell you how to eat? Here I am advising you to reject the advice of science and industry-and then blithely go on to offer my own advice. So on whose authority do I purport to speak? I speak mainly on the authority of tradition and common sense” (13). He knows that there are two sides to every story; he knows that everyone has opinion. And what he is trying to say is that he can tell you, the reader, what he believes and what he knows is true, but he does not expect the reader to change their mind to believe what he believes. Anything a manifesto can do is just put your argument and ideas out into the world, you are not forcing anybody to change their opinion, you are only trying to expand their knowledge and open their mind to other ideas.

Some Vocab

Locavore

According to “10 Steps to Becoming a Locavore”, Locavores are people who care about and pay attention to where their food comes from, and they commit to eating local food as much as they can. They travel to their local farmers markets and buy the food that they know that is grown locally.

In Locavore: The new organic, they say that all the groups had the same idea and that was, “eating locally helps the environment, improves health, stimulates the local economy, and simply tastes better.”

Polemic

According to Vocabulary.com, a polemic is something that stirs up controversy by having a negative opinion, usually aimed at a particular group.

A piece of writing can be a polemic, just like Mary Rechner’s article, Why I Hate Food.

Government Subsidy

A government subsidy is financial assistance provided by a government to another business or industry. Subsidies are given to keep otherwise unprofitable ventures in business, they are given to help improve the economy.

According to Why Does the US Government Give Out Farm Subsides? They say that the government subsidies are given to domestic farmers and agribusinesses as a means to supplement their income and manage the supply and pricing of certain commodities. “The government argues that now, more than ever, farm subsidies secure the domestic farm sector as a measure of homeland security.”

Organic Food

In Organic Food: Worth the Cost? It states that, “What makes organic food different is the way it’s grown and produced. For example, only fertilizers like compost or manure can be used; chemical fertilizers are out, as are most synthetic herbicides, pesticides and antibiotics. Animals must be raised on organic feed and have access to the outdoors.”

According to Organic Food — Is ‘Natural’ Worth the Extra Cost? People who buy organic foods are seeking assurance that food production is gentle to the earth, and they are looking for safer, purer, more natural foods.

Organic-Food-LabelPhoto credit: fearlessmen.com

Vegetarian

A Vegetarian is someone who doesn’t eat meat. There are many reasons why people choose to become vegetarians. They choose to become vegetarians for reasons other than cost; they choose to become one due to parental preferences, religious or other beliefs, and health issues. Also, people may choose a vegetarian diet because of their concern over animal rights or the environment.

According to Becoming a Vegetarian, there are different forms of vegetarianism. “A true vegetarian eats no meat at all, including chicken and fish. A lacto-ovo vegetarian eats dairy products and eggs, but excludes meat, fish, and poultry. It follows, then, that a lacto vegetarian eats dairy products but not eggs, whereas an ovo vegetarian eats eggs but not dairy products. A stricter form of vegetarianism is veganism. Not only are eggs and dairy products excluded from a vegan diet, so are animal products like honey and gelatin.”


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My Milk Manifesto

As children, we ate whatever our parents gave us right? We didn’t question where the food came from we just ate it. Throughout the years we discovered different types of fruits and vegetables, which ones we liked and which ones we gave to the dog under the table. All we knew was what was our favorite and least favorite, we didn’t know what the brand was, where it came from or how much it cost.

Today college students are wondering which food to buy since mom isn’t here to buy the groceries anymore. College students living on campus, have the freedom of eating whatever they desire. We are on our own for going and buying our own groceries. But who exactly knows what to buy? Can we go and buy the right groceries without giving a quick call to mom? Do I buy non-fat milk or 1% milk? How about organic or not organic? What is organic? Why is it more expensive?

photo credits: minnpost.com

photo credits: minnpost.com

These are some conflicts I face as I go out into the world to feed myself. As students we have a budget and don’t have the money to spend on healthier foods that tend to be more expensive. Now a days, organic is the way to go simply because it is the healthier choice. According the USDA National Organic Standards Board, “Organic food handlers, processors and retailers adhere to standards that maintain the integrity of organic agricultural products. The primary goal of organic agriculture is to optimize the health and productivity of interdependent communities of soil life, plants, animals and people.” The USDA Consumer Brochure states, “What is organic food? Organic food is produced by farmers who emphasize the use of renewable resources and the conservation of soil and water to enhance environmental quality for future generations. Organic meat, poultry, eggs, and dairy products come from animals that are given no antibiotics or growth hormones.  Organic food is produced without using most conventional pesticides; fertilizers made with synthetic ingredients or sewage sludge; bioengineering; or ionizing radiation.  Before a product can be labeled ‘organic,’ a Government-approved certifier inspects the farm where the food is grown to make sure the farmer is following all the rules necessary to meet USDA organic standards.  Companies that handle or process organic food before it gets to your local supermarket or restaurant must be certified, too.”

photo credit: notenoughgood.com

photo credit: notenoughgood.com

My point is not to persuade you to purchase organic food; the purpose is to take a step further into informing you that purchasing either 1% or fat free organic milk is the healthier option. I have been familiar with the type of milk I drink for quite some time now and research proves that non-fat milk is better for you. As Jean Brillat-Savarin states in his aphorism, “Animals feed themselves; men eat; but only wise men know the art of eating”. Meaning that everybody can eat whatever they choose, but only the smart ones know what is healthier for them to eat.

First off, we know according to the USDA Consumer Brochure, buying organic is better, also as stated by the U.S. Department of Agriculture, organic milk does not contain any residue of growth hormones, antibiotics, and pesticides. The cows that provide the organic milk feed themselves grazing in fields rather than being corn fed.

photo credits: products.mercola.com

photo credits: products.mercola.com

Most people buy their milk in regards of whatever taste best to them. Personally, when I drink whole milk I think I’m drinking half and half, I think it is too creamy and I always believe that I am just drinking mostly fat. In my opinion, drinking either 1% or non-fat milk is more refreshing. It doesn’t make you feel weighed down or as full when you drink a glass. I had just recently asked my own mother, “Why do we drink non-fat milk and not whole milk?” and she responded with a simple answer say that it is healthier and that my brother and I had liked to taste better also. Many people may disagree with me when they say the taste of non-fat is better, they say that it is too watery and that there is no taste.

Skim milk is made by physically separating and removing the fat content from whole dairy milk. Also the biggest disadvantage of whole milk is its high content of saturated fat. One cup of whole milk contains 5 grams of saturated fat, which is nearly a quarter of you daily intake limit. Whole milk is also high in cholesterol with about 25 mg per serving. High intake of saturated fat and cholesterol can increase your chances for fatal disease, such as strokes and heart attacks. Though people say whole milk is “fattier” it still has more vitamins than non-fat milk. When fat is removed from non-fat milk it also removes all of its fat-soluble vitamins and it is replaced by being fortified with vitamins A and D. Consequently, you really aren’t losing any nutritional value. You may think, well if non-fat milk loses vitamins, then it must lose its calcium source too. On the other hand, dairy calcium is easier to absorb than calcium from vegetarian sources, and by removing the fat content, calcium absorption becomes even more efficient.

To conclude, I would like to say it is still your choice on what type of milk to buy for yourself. My best recommendation is to go with the organic, just because you know that it is healthiest for you. But with whole milk vs. non-fat milk, I say go with whatever makes you happier. But just know in the end, when you are drinking that glass of whole milk you are also drinking a quarter of you daily intake limit of saturated fat. I cannot sit here and force anyone to drink non-fat milk. I can only concur that non-fat milk not only tastes better but it is the healthier choice backed up with facts and detailed research.


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The Up and Coming, Listeria

As an expecting mother I worry about all the diseases, infections, and illnesses that could cause harm to my child and I. Listeria is now causing scare to not only pregnant women, but also everyone across the United States.

According to the CDC, Listeria or Listeriosis is a serious infection usually caused by eating food contaminated with the bacterium Listeria monocytogenes. It poses a serious health problem in the United States. This disease primarily affects older adults, pregnant women, newborns, and adults with weakened immune systems. In a recent article USDA, FDA Issue Major Report on Reducing Deadly Listeria in Deli Products, they talk about Listeria being found mostly in deli products.

The article says that the disease caused by Listeria, is rare, but the fatality rate is high. The CDC estimates that about 1,500 people fall ill with listeriosis each year, and of those, nearly all will be hospitalized and 260 patients will die. Around 16% of listeriosis patients will lose their lives, compared to salmonellosis, the fatality rate is only about half of one percent.

With all the things my doctor told me not to eat and drink while pregnant, deli meat was up on the top of the list. I was not allowed to make a sandwich for lunch without thoroughly cooking it before. Who has time for cooking deli meat before you put it into a sandwich? On top of that, I was already restricted to eating things that weren’t fish or a medium cooked steak. Now, I have to look out for deli meat too?

If you are unaware of Listeria, these are the symptoms:

-Pregnant Women: fever, fatigue and aches. Infections during pregnancy can lead to miscarriage, stillbirth, premature delivery, or life-threatening infection of the newborn.

-People other than pregnant women: fever and muscle aches, and headaches, stiff neck, confusion, loss of balance, and convulsions.

Ways that one can reduce the risk for listeriosis are stated on the CDC website. The FDA recommends rinsing raw produce under running tap water before eating, cooking, or cutting. Even if the produce is peeled, it should still be washed first. They also recommend separating uncooked meats and poultry from vegetables, cooked foods, and ready-to-eat foods. They also say to keep you kitchen and environment clean and safe and to cook all your meat and poultry thoroughly.

With Listeria becoming and up and coming problem to the United States, we can only hope that researchers can come up with way to make this disease more preventable and curable.