Archive | February, 2012

Weekly Response Five

25 Feb

http://www.foodpolitics.com/2012/02/nutritionists-notebook-portion-control/

Marion Nestle, creator and author of foodpolitics.com, published, “Nutritionist’s Notebook: Portion Control,” which interested me right away considering that this is my potential paper topic. The questions asked this week was, “What is the importance of size in our portions? What is the best way to judge portions when going out to dinner.” Nestle responds by stating that the larger the portion is, the more people are going to eat. The saying, “the eyes are the window to the stomach,” really plays a roll in her response, because we tend to consume a mass amount of food in just one sitting…and that is due to the increase in portion sizes. Nestle also mentions that the larger the portion sizes, the more calories people consume, people are encouraged to eat more, and people tend to underestimate the actual amount of food they are consuming. Portion sizes are one of the leading causes to the increase of obesity in the United States.

How can people learn to control there portion sizes? By using smaller cups and plates, and measuring the amount of each foods. If people are out to dinner, order appetizers instead of entrees, and order the smaller portions instead of the larger ones…or if you order the larger portions, share them with friends.

There is no easy way to change the portion sizes now, because society has become accustomed to larger portions, but individuals have the ability to choose smaller portions, and be conscious of the amount of calories, and food they are consuming during meal times.

Food Log Five

25 Feb

So this week was also Lent, which I am in no way religious, but I decided to give up sweets and meat…the meat part is easier, because I haven’t had any type of meat, poultry or fish in about three weeks. But the sweets is another story. And this got me thinking about today’s class discussion about comfort foods, and what is in our own personal “diets.” Normally, I am trying to stick with healthier choices like salads, fruits, and whole grain products, but there is the occasional slice of pizza and pint of ice cream here and there. And after I eat those I regret it, because I know I could have made healthier choices. But I have gotten into a routine schedule of diet and exercise that makes it okay for me to eat my comfort foods every now and again. I guess that is acceptable, right?

Oh, and to answer the question asked earlier in class about why people watch the food network channel: personally,  I watch it because it is like “food porn,” and I just can’t get enough of it. There is something about the way these chefs can make food not only out of sometimes bizarre ingredients, but making cooking and baking into an art. My weakness lies in the show “Cupcake Wars,” and I will admit on here, and not in person of course, that after watching an episode of that show, it makes me want to go and bake DOZENS of cupcakes and shove them all in my face. But the way the chefs make food into an art fascinates me, because we as a society normally stereotype art as something people sculpt, carve, paint, etc., but to chefs and people on the food network channel, cooking is their form of art, their form of expression.

If I had access to a stove, and other various appliances, food, and equipment then I would probably try and cook more healthy options, but for now I am stuck at the caf, or at Benny’s, Clyde’s and Periodic Table.

Food Log Four

13 Feb

So I know I am posting this early, considering we just started our topics for this week, but today really inspired me and made me question if sustainable farms will ever become more popular in the future? We saw today in the video that farmers markets can house some of these organic, naturally, and locally grown foods, but what if we know for a fact that our town and the towns around us don’t house farmers markets? I mean sure I live close enough outside of Philly that I could go in one day and go to a farmer’s market, but it would be more convenient for my family and I to have farmers markets in our hometown. I am really considering stressing to the borough about having more farmers markets available, and seeing if there was any local restaurants that only get their produce and meats from local farms. A question that I have been wondering though is how do we consider and define the word local…what I mean is the word locally grown within a certain mile radius from where the buyers live or what? Just like with the word organic, the word local is loosely defined as well. However, I am super excited to be going home this weekend, because my family and I are going to this new restaurant called Harvest, and all of its menu items are from local farms, and they only serve foods that are “in season.” I am really interested to see if there will be a difference in taste from the normal foods that I eat compared to the locally grown, organic, chemical free foods that I will be eating. Who knows, maybe this will help me start a new life filled with only locally grown, organic, fresh produce and such.

Weekly Response Three

12 Feb

http://www.foodpolitics.com/2012/02/weight-loss-key-to-fighting-type-2-diabetes/

“Weight loss key to fighting type 2 diabetes,” a blog written Marion Nestle on foodpolitics.com, discusses the Paula Deen cookbook, and Paula Deen herself, who was recently diagnosed with type 2 diabetes. Nestle states that the first step to take to fight type 2 diabetes, is losing weight. Nestle states, “The disease comes in two forms – type 1 and type 2 – but type 2 accounts for 95 percent of cases. In both, levels of blood sugar are too high as a result of problems with insulin, a hormone that enables the body to use blood sugar for energy.” So what is the connection between Paula Deen’s cookbook and type 2 diabetes? Well, Deen’s recipes normally consist of large amounts of sugars, which is a leading factor that causes diabetes. However, Deen’s recipes aren’t the only reason why many Americans are being diagnosed with diabetes. Fast food restaurant chains as well as sugary soft drinks can be blamed for the increase in diabetes. Both children and adults who regularly consumer fast food and soft drinks often are more susceptible to diabetes. So, Nestle claims that if these individuals who are avid fast food eaters cut back their intake of the fatty foods, and participate in physical activities, they will not only reduce their risk of being diagnosed with diabetes, but lose weight as well. And those who are already diagnosed with diabetes, cutting back on these foods will help them lose weight and be in control of their disease. Diabetes is a serious disease, and can be controlled, and prevented in some cases. People just have to be willing to stop consuming so much sugar, and take control of their food intake and physical activities.

This blog relates to our class discussions, because we constantly have discussions related to processed foods, and how our food system is the thing that  is causing the most problems…well diabetes is a factor of those problems. Health problems are occurring from our food system, yet the government does not seem to be doing anything about it. We as a nation need to make decisions that are in society’s best interests. If we don’t, then soon enough, the United States population all will be suffering from some type of disease, diabetes being one of them.

 

On a more personal note, my dad was currently diagnosed with type 1 diabetes, and has cut back his sugar intake and has become more physically active…I can see a positive change in his health. He no longer consumes fast food, and watches what he eats…it is such a nice relief to see him finally take steps towards taking better care of his health as well as himself. I sense a new found confidence in him that I have never seen in him  before.

Food Log Three

12 Feb

Okay, so I feel as though I am becoming a full on vegetarian, because I have rarely had chicken, beef, pork, or any type of meat within the past few weeks…or ever since we started this class. Not saying anything is wrong with being a vegetarian, it’s just sometimes I miss eating my chicken wraps from Benny’s. But, every time I go to order a grilled chicken wrap now, I wonder where this chicken came from, and whether or not the meat has been processed. As much as I don’t want to think about it, and splurge on my wrap, I always wind up just buying a fruit cup or salad instead. Not complaining though, because they are in fact healthier choices. I just notice myself wondering where my food comes from a lot more lately. I think I may have turned my mom into a vegetarian, or at least have made her become more aware of where our meat and dairy products come from, because she has been going to organically grown, and local food markets nowadays rather than the grocery store. I am certainly not going to argue with her about purchasing locally grown food though, because it seems to be the healthier option…at least that’s what we make it seem like in class. But I was thinking, after reading Omnivore’s Dilemma, is there a lot of safe food for us available? The book was stating that even labels that say organic doesn’t necessarily mean the food is organically grown, and the animals in which it came from are living in good conditions. We as a society really don’t know where our food comes from, unless we only purchase it from locally grown places…but even that can be a pain in the butt! If we were to purchase foods locally grown, then we would have to wait to eat some food since certain foods are seasonally grown. Oh the dilemma!!!