Archive | February, 2012

Weekly Response #6

25 Feb

For this weeks blog response I spotted an article that caught my attention called “The infamous Chipotle video: will it help get rid of gestation crates?”  It caught my attention mainly because I remembered the video of the pigs in the gestation crates and was completely disgusted by them, honestly I called home after that class and told my mom never to buy ham from Smithfield.  I read through the article and honestly made me hate the gestation crates even more.  Especially the list of reasons for why the companies could potentially use them, and even then, they are just cruel.  I agree with the overall idea of the article that the gestation crates should be done away with, and I do hold hope that the Chipotle video will provide more people with knowledge about the poor treatment of the pigs.  I haven’t seen the video but from the description provided by the author of this blog post, and a description of the response to the video was, it seems like it is a very plausible way to be able to raise awareness about this issue with the gestation crates, and how cruel they really can be to the sows who are placed inside of them.  Personally I think the video will work so long as it is available for many people, it will help spread awareness of an issue of animal cruelty.  It is something that the public, in my opinion, should be made aware about, and this video will help with that.











Food Log #6

25 Feb

Today in class we talked about our culture tool kit in reference to food and discussed our different experiences with food.  My culture tool kit for food is so very mixed and honestly when it comes to my heritage the only really cultural food that my family eats that reflects our heritage is corned beef and cabbage.  We’re Irish but that is always the one Irish food I can name off the top of my head that we eat regularly.  Otherwise, the food that makes up the experiences in my tool kit includes a lot of different kinds of food from different cultures.  This includes several Norwegian cuisines.  My cousin married someone from Norway and when they moved back to the States, she brought with her, her own traditions.  My personal favorite would have to be the Norwegian waffles.  They’re thin, buttery, and you can eat them with just about anything.  However, there is one ingredient in them that makes them very hard to make: horn salt.  Not something that most people have in their kitchens but it is in mine.  That and a Norwegian cook book which I now want to go home and look at to see if there is anything in there that I could try making.  I’d love to expand my knowledge (and thus my toolkit) of food and food experiences and quite frankly I see using the fact that I have family in and from Norway as a good reason to try to cook some Norwegian dishes.  Hopefully they’ll turn out okay.  At least that’s what today’s class got me thinking about, and wanting to expand my cultural toolkit.

Weekly Blog Response #5

18 Feb

For my weekly blog response I read a short article on Food Safety News titled “US and China Sign 5 Year Ag Agreement on Food Safety, Security.”  Since we covered it in class I figured that I would take a look at the article and see what the agreement was about.  The article was disappointingly short barely covering what was actually agreed upon more than guidelines that will help the relationship between the US and China and guide them for the next five years.  I had hoped that the article would actually state what the agreement on food safety and security was, but other than simply stating that there will be an opportunity for the two countries to collaborate on issues of food safety and advancing such technologies associated with it.  Honestly, from the title of the article I had expected more information about it, even more so since it’s from the Food Safety News blog.  Food safety has been an issue for countries with imports and exports, as we discussed in class not long ago, which is why my interest had been peeked with this reading.  I was just hoping that I would be able to read more about and what the details were.  This article was probably just giving a brief overview, stating that this had happened and that they are working on it, but personally, I believe that they should have had more information.  After all, food safety is a big issue, including how to regulate food safety during trading and such.  It’s an issue that I would be interested in knowing a bit more about, because we are two of the worlds largest countries and should be able to safely trade food with China.  I know my mom is always careful with products from China, and because of that I am too.  I wish this article had more information but it was still interesting to know that the US and China had reached this agreement.

Food Log #5

18 Feb

This week we talked about the organic farming in one part of the class.  This got me thinking about what organic food means to me.  I understand that organic could be healthier I do, but just because it says organic does not mean that it is a better quality of product than say something that is home grown.  For example, why pay a premium for organic tomatoes when you can pay to buy a tomato plant and grow you own which, I know from experience, taste a thousand times better than anything you can buy in the store.  While I do understand that there are some things that you cannot get homegrown if you do not have a farm, such as milk, but as for vegetables it is not that hard to grow vegetables in your own backyard.  Organic comes at a price, they are quite often more expensive than other kinds of vegetables because they are ‘organic.’  That doesn’t mean that someone has to pay that price to get good tasting vegetables that have not been exposed to any harsh chemicals.  I’m all for growing your own vegetables, it takes work but this summer I fully intend to offer to help my mom with our vegetable garden; so long as I get a say in what is grown of course.  I’m normally not one for going out in the sun to do things, in fact I hate being outside in the heat, I burn way to easily but so far in class I’ve gotten more interested in growing my own vegetables.  I’m looking forward to it this summer.  And now for a few final words:

Nitwit.  Blubber.  Oddment.  Tweak.  Thank you.

Weekly Response #4

11 Feb

For this weekly response blog, I read the post from Food Safety News titled “Pennsylvania Raw Milk Dairy to Resume Production.”  This post goes into detail about how the raw dairy farm, Your Family Cow, in Pennsylvania was permitted to start production of their raw milk again after the outbreaks of Campylobacter bacteria that have occurred in Pennsylvania, Maryland, West Virginia, and New Jersey had been linked to their facility.  Lab tests had confirmed that the bacterium was from the Your Family Cow raw milk dairy farm.  What surprised me while I was reading the post was that the people at Your Family Cow admitted that it was them and willingly shut down their facilities last month.  They performed safety improvements and were cleared to reopen recently.  Honestly, I’m not sure why I was so surprised when I first read this that they were allowed to reopen.  If their product caused so many illnesses, 43 this month, why was the plant allowed to reopen?  That’s what I thought when I first read it.  I couldn’t believe it, but as I read further and saw that the producers made a bunch of safety changes to help reduce the risk of another outbreak.  With raw milk being in the food news more often from outbreak and legislature trying to control or ban the sale of raw milk in different states, this article caught my attention, even more so since I have always loved milk.  I’ve never had raw milk and honestly articles like this would make me even less willing to try it, personally, I don’t think the risks are worth it at this point in time.  I did like the fact that Your Family Cow took responsibility for what happened and made the changes accordingly.  If more companies in the food industry acted like Your Family Cow did then perhaps there could potentially be a decrease in outbreaks of food born illnesses, and perhaps other farms that sell raw milk could take a lessen from Your Family Cow so that people who want raw milk will still be able to buy it.  Overall I did enjoy reading this blog post.  It was interesting to read.

Food Log #4

11 Feb

This week we learned about food safety and honestly it made me think about the safety procedures for the food that we get from the store to eat, or the food in the dining hall.  Made me wonder if something that was frozen, like a burger patty, would retain the bacteria through the freezing process, and how come during cooking if it did have some sort of infectious disease would it not be killed from the heat?  It was that sort of thing that I was thinking about.  That and how fast a disease could spread across the campus if one of the student workers actually went to work with a cold, and I thought about this after having to call in sick to work twice with a bad cold.  I didn’t want to risk getting my germs to other people, which in a sense, could be considered a kind of food safety.

More over, I thought about the time my family was at a restaurant and my mom got food poisoning.  She was the only one who got it because she was the only one who ate something that no one else in my family ate.  She was sick for the entire night and most of the next day or two.  It got me thinking about food safety and how there really should be strict guidelines for food and food processing in general.  There are many risks from different food born illnesses that could survive the processing procedures.  Personally, I know that it would take a lot of time and effort, but I do not see why the processing plants cannot spend a bit of extra money to test the products before they are shipped out.  If they did that I think the risk of food born illnesses would be lessened.  Then again, when it comes to a matter of spending money I don’t honestly see anything happening.  I do believe that something needs to change to make our food safer to eat.

Weekly Response #3

4 Feb

This week I read a blog post from Food Politics by Marion Nestle titled “Should CDC reveal the source of outbreaks? I vote yes.”  While I do understand why she thinks that the CDC should reveal the source of the outbreak, at the same time I don’t think that the CDC should, or treat the situation very carefully.  By revealing the source of the outbreak of food poisoning, while it would notify people to their potential risk, it could cause several problems too.  From hearing stories, when it is announced that there is an outbreak of something, people who are sick, even a little, will go to the ER thinking they have it.  Yes that may be the point of telling people, so they know it’s out there but that causes a mass panic and if people who aren’t sick with the disease go and clog up the ERs, someone who may actually be sick with the disease are at risk and in danger of having to wait before being seen.  Their condition could get worse in that time period, and they could get even sicker.  Also, it would have a negative impact on the economy and the business itself.  In my opinion, it is not entirely the restaurant’s fault that an outbreak occurred at their facility.  Why?  Simply put because they are not the ones processing the meat, they get the meat from a packaging plant that should test the meat for such diseases (again in my opinion) and make sure that all food quality standards are met.  That way there is a lower risk that someone would get sick from the food.  But the author thinks people should know, which makes sense so that that way they can stay away from that specific store.  And at the same time, there are other issues to consider as well.  At least in my opinion there are.