Post 2 – Part 2 – Traffic Lights

I recently read an article about a study done to help people make healthier eating choices. The experiment was simple: red means unhealthy, yellow means semi-healthy, and green means healthy. In a hospital cafeteria items that were unhealthy were given read labels and healthy choices were given green. At first just the colored labels were used. A second factor was introduced when the experimenters made the healthier options easier to find in the cafeteria. They found that just putting the colored labels on influenced people to choose healthier things. When the unhealthier things were not as easy to see the sales decreased even more.
I really like this idea because I hate when I think that I am buying something that is decently healthy and it is not even close. This practice would allow people to find healthy food with very little effort. The blog nor the link to the experiment mentions if the people were completely aware of the labeling scale or not. I would believe that people would assume what the colors stood for because they relate to traffic signs. I would also enjoy the unhealthy options being hard to find. If yummy cookies were hidden then I wouldn’t be able to make impulse buys as I am paying for my food. I’m sure that companies would not enjoy having these labels on their foods. Well, at least for the foods that would fall into the red category. I hope that some where int he near future I am asked at work (Burger King) to go around and place red stickers on all of our menu options.


Post 2 – Post 1 – Second week of classes

This weeks classes has taught me a lot about the production that goes into meat products. I never thought that the meat that I was consuming came from a cow that lived a long, healthy life and volunteered its life so that I and the rest of the world could have a good meal; but I never realized how much of the mistreatment is due to laziness and greed. The normal diet has been replaced with corn, fat, and just about everything except grass. This newly constructed diet assures that the cow and other animals grow quickly and uses over produced corn. The faster the cow grows, the sooner it can be slaughtered and replaced. My standard for what food I put into my body is still underconstruction so I can’t really say how that has been affected. What bothers me the most is how these animals are treated. I’m not suggesting that we stop eating meat all together, just treat them better. I don’t like to complain about something unless I have a suggestion, so that is one of my goals for this class.
It is easy to say that we should makeover our current methods to a heathy, more animal friendly process.(As friendly as it gets since we are killing them in the end.) However that would cost the producers and farmers more money. This increase will cause food prices to be higher for consumers. For example, I glanced at the egg selection at Weis today. A dozen of eggs from a caged chicken was $1.79 while cage free eggs were $3.39. For someone like me who doesn’t buy eggs often that isn’t too bad, but some families can use more than a dozen in a week. So making that small change will cost you a $1.60. I did not stop by the meat department so I can’t offer a price comparrison there, but I can imagine that switch to grass fed, friendly treated animal meat will be a similar price spike. I think I will continue comparing prices.

Post 1 Part 2 – Wait, cookies aren’t a part of a balanced breakfast?

As I read through the different blog posts I couldn’t help but smile when I read Mark Bittman’s post called On Cookies for Breakfast. In this article Bittman lists the limited cereal and egg options that his mother gave him for a healthy breakfast as a child. He was not fond of these so he normally did not eat them. However, Bittman explains that when his parents would be on vacation and his grandmother would be the one providing breakfast. Bittman loved that his grandmother was not concerned with what he was eating, just that he ate a lot of it. So as a young kid he chose cookies and milk. His mother did not like this, but ended up losing the battle with her son and left him eat the cookies.
One thing that confused me about this article is if Bittman’s mother was so concerned about nutrition why was she feeding him Frosted Flakes? I imagine the differences exist because Bittman’s mom was feeding her children in the best nutritional way that she knew. Bittman grew up in the 50s and 60s so I am assuming there was not an obesity problem yet. Bittman’s grandmother was probably around during the depression and focused on quantity, not quality because she knew what it was like to not have food. Maybe I am reading too far into this, but that is just my take on it.
This article opened my eyes to how my family and I treat my young nephews. We love pleasing Brayden, two and a half years old, and Calob, eleven months, so if a bite size Oreo or Teddy Gram cookie makes them smile then have all you want. You’d think after lecturing my family that it’s their fault I’m not 100 pounds and love junk food that I would be passing out carrots.
I liked this article because it reminded me of my great-grandparents who would always allow me to eat what I wanted and turn away the rest.  It is only recently that my great-grandmother has started to watch what she eats, but my great-grandfather probably still tastes the raw meatloaf to make sure he has seasoned it right.

Post 1 Part 1 – First week of class

With the conclusion of this week’s classes I cannot honestly say that my perspective on food has changed that much, however I’m welcoming any potential change with open arms. In the fall of my freshman year I, along with the rest of the 2014 class, had to read a book put together by Susquehanna University’s staff and students about sustainability. The book had some articles on food production and farming. After reading that book I not only felt that I should recycle, but felt a responsibility to buy from local farmers and learn about where my food came from. However, it’s been about a year and I have yet to start doing that. The problem is that the convenience of the supermarket hours and variety of products keeps me from making any kind of change. Also, I have yet to pick up on any of my body’s cries for help from marinating in preservatives, pesticides, and other chemicals used in the production and preserving of food.
Learning about the over production of corn in class this past week reminded me of the commercials that have been on TV lately where the actors claim that “You’re body doesn’t know the difference between cane and corn sugar!” The commercial ignores that sugar of any kind is not healthy and suggests that since the syrup is made from corn it is natural. This commercial never sold me on the idea because I know that high fructose corn syrup is in everything and if this magical substance was so natural wouldn’t our society’s waist lines be going in a different direction? Thanks to this week’s readings I now know the long path that the corn goes through, which is not very natural. So today while eating a granola bar for lunch I decided to peek at the ingredients just to see if I could find some variation of corn since we’ve been talking about it. There in the list was sugar and corn syrup. Both. I wish that I was kidding. Now that’s why these Fiber One bars taste so good! I’m sure you’ve seen those commercials as well..