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


1 Comment

So, Here I am About to Enter into the World of Writing About Food…

A beginner writer? Or just a writer that has not found her place in the writer’s world yet? I am currently a writer on the rise, ready to take on this blog with creating posts about food that will provide me with opportunities to express myself and it will provide you with continuous information and family stories to broaden your perspective on food.

I dread reading boring, dry, and useless things. I have to admit that I am definitely not the type of person you will catch reading the daily news outside next to the fountain. But, I definitely get excited about reading articles about food and I love responding to them with my own thoughts and opinions. I do not have much experience with the many genres of writing, but I am willing to learn along the way and expand my knowledge.

Writing about food? I love food. I have never found writing enjoyable because I have always had to compose essays and research papers, nothing on topics that I actually wanted to write about. And even though I am not the best writer, I know that writing about the topic about the one thing I love most in this world will make me enjoy writing more and more as time goes on. A college professor of mine always said that there is no such thing as a good writer or a bad writer, but I have to admit I know that writing is my weaker subject. I know this because I know I haven’t practiced writing in ways I know that could help me succeed. Hopefully this blog will help me become a better writer, let alone a writer who definitely knows how to share their own opinion.

In the future, I see myself loving food more than I do now. Now, let us all read, write and express our voices about food!


Leave a comment

My Music Selection

I Never Told  You By Colbie Caillat is one of my favorite songs, you can feel free to play it during your visit on my blog. Although, you may be thinking, why is she using this song for her food blog?

Even though this song has nothing to do with food, there is apart of the lyrics that define a little about me as a writer:

 

“But I never told you

What I should have said

No, I never told you

I just held it in”

 

With these lyrics I feel the same with writing, I never can write things down. And when I need the information, it is too late. Usually, when I have ideas I just hold them in, I never get the chance to get them down on paper. That is why this song is representing my blog. My blog posts that I wrote are things that I wanted to say and I did have to chance to write them down. And now I am telling you, not holding anything in.

so please feel free to browse through with a little bit of Colbie Caillat..


2 Comments

Dear Student Writer

Dear Student Writer,

When thinking about writing a manifesto, the first thought that goes through everyone’s head is, “What exactly is a manifesto?” Looking up what it is can be daunting and it can make you feel overwhelmed because there are so many components to writing a manifesto. But once you understand what a manifesto is supposed to do, it gets easier.

Choosing a topic for your manifesto may be the hardest thing to do. It must be something that isn’t that difficult to research and most importantly, it must be something that you are interested in. Forcing yourself to write something that you are not that interested in will just make it a hard time for you and it will make your manifesto lack that emotion it needs.

Including your own experiences and beliefs in your manifesto can make it personal and more relatable to your future audience. Having a personal interest and experience in your topic will give it that fire it needs to make it more influential.

Now that the hard part is done, now comes the dirty work. You have to search and dig through articles, interviews, and different kinds of research to get to the information you need. But not just any information that comes from anywhere, you need to obtain the main sources. As you research you can narrow your topic into something less broad, that way you can really get your persuasion on! Talking about a broad topic such as World Hunger can make you talk about so many different things that can make your reader feel like they are being pulled in so many different directions. You don’t want that, you want your reader to feel that they can start believing in what you are trying to get across to them.

Aside from all your great research and personal input, you need to put some actual statistics into your growing manifesto. Although it is some boring stuff, it is also necessary. Statistics will make your readers see that what you are talking about is not just something that you made up. It will show that it is a real thing that is talked about in the real world.

Remember, this is something that you want to share with your audience, and you want them to know what you know, and you want them so feel how you feel. So keep writing and make those people believe!

Yours truly,

Kristen


Leave a comment

Words from a Professional

As my knowledge of avocados grew, my hunger to know more grew faster! I wanted to know so much more than what regular Internet research gave me. It was hard for me to go out to an actual avocado farm. As much as I wanted to visit one, they were a little to far for my reach. Even though I couldn’t go meet a avocado farmer in person, I was lucky enough to get the chance to chat with an expert avocado grower over Facebook.

As I was waiting for a live chat online with Chuck Brandy, a California avocado grower, I was thinking of the questions I wanted to ask him. I didn’t know what I expected out of this chat, but I was pleased with our conversation. He was very informative and I could tell he loved talking about what he does best. He definitely knew his stuff; of course I would never expect less from an expert avocado grower. I knew that he was very passionate in what he does, and I was glad that he shared his knowledge with me. Now I know that there are some very technical details in growing avocados. I never would have guessed that irrigation and water supply would be a problem in growing avocados, let alone I wouldn’t have expected him to say that the cost of water is a problem. It makes me realize that there is way more care and detailing in growing an avocado tree, or thousands of avocado trees. I have come to appreciate this wonderful fruit even more, and I can’t wait to discover more so I have a deeper understanding of why this fruit is oh so expensive.

 

Questions with Chuck Brandy:

 

-What do you think is the most important thing in growing Avocados? What do you think the greatest obstacle is?

 

the most important thing in growing avocados is proper irrigation and irrigation management. The greatest obstacle in southern California is the availability and cost of water. –CB

 

weather is always a challenge too, we are facing different types of impacts at different times of the year – from roughly mid-Oct through mid-Feb Santa Ana winds are a huge concern for us. From Nov 30 through Feb 30 cold temps are a huge concern to us too. Heat spells are not as big of a concern if we have advanced knowledge of when a hot spell is likely to arrive or how hot it might get and we have an opportunity to pre-irrigate going into a heat spell – CB

 

-For the different kinds of Avocados you grow, do they need different treatment? Is the growing time different? or is there no difference at all?

 

From an irrigation and fertilization standpoint there is minimal difference. the growing time will vary by just a few months of actual tree life, the actual tree life of the fruit. For example, the Hass avocado in this area reaches maturity in mid-late January and will hang on the tree until mid-August. While the Lamb hass-hybrid matures in mid-summer and will hang on the tree until early October –CB

 

What is your favorite part about being a California Avocado Grower?

 

It’s an opportunity to be outdoors, 360 days a year haha – it’s an extremely healthy lifestyle. I spend hours a day walking in the foothills of northern San Diego county, and Southern Riverside county, amongst green trees, with beautiful views and lots of fresh air every single day – CB

In addition to the lifestyle, it’s a huge feeling of satisfaction that we’re producing a product that is so delicious –CB


Leave a comment

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.


Leave a comment

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.”


Leave a comment

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.