The past week has been a big learned experience for me into the world of the indigenous people. When this assignment was introduced to the class I thought it would be a great learning experience for me because I have never really studied or even thought of the indigenous people’s cuisine. My group chose to learn and do our assignment on the Squamish people, we learned about how they used the resources around them very well, from hunting wild game such as deer, bear, and elk to how they planted and cultivated many different fruits and vegetables from simple potatoes and carrots to several wild berries. Another big part we learned about was the importance of salmon. Salmon was the most important food staple to the Squamish people because it was so easily acquired by fishing or using fishing weir. So, in saying this we decided to honor the salmon that they ate and we made a salmon soup. My group easily decided on the soup because we all really like soup. We used fresh salmon and it was a great experience because I have never worked with fresh salmon, and I was in charge of cutting off the skin and cutting it into cubes. We also decided to put some vegetables that they farmed such as potatoes, carrots, and celery. There were no issues in our group and the outcome of the dish was great, the salmon was cooked perfectly and the vegetables where just perfect that they just melted in your mouth. One thing I would change was the broth, it was a little bland, and we maybe could have added more spices or let it boil and simmer longer so more flavors could sit and come out. Overall this assignment was very eye-opening into the indigenous world of cuisine and my favorite dish out of the 3 in the class was ours because I like soup and I thought the salmon was cooked perfectly. The bannock with the berry sauce was very good as well.
It is absolutely heart wrenching to see parents not have enough food to feed their children. These parents do not even have enough food to feed themselves. Unfortunately, the price of living in the modern age is too high, the minimum wage is too low, and the price of fresh food is too high that a parent would rather buy chips over an apple just because the chips where cheaper. It’s sad. I knew about food insecurity before watching this movie, but I did not realize that it was to this extent that it is now. I was surprised by the information because in the movie it is said that 1 of 2 children in the United States in their childhood life will need food assistance, it is said that 1 in 3 children born in the year 2000 will develop type 2 diabetes. In this day and age, it is shocking, it’s shocking to see parents struggle and we as people, other human beings, try to help, just it is just not enough due to the sheer amount of people in poverty. I’m just surprised that people sank this low before the government noticed, the obvious factor in all of this is that parents cannot afford the price of fresh and healthy food due to their income. Since the 1980s the price of fresh food has skyrocketed, but with this came the decrease in the price of unhealthy processed food. The price of living needs to be changed.
Many things can be done to help change the issue at hand. The biggest I can think of is education. Education is key to helping people understand the dangers of overeating processed unhealthy foods such as chips or we can educate people on the extent that food insecurity has gotten to. If we were to change the education system to include the dangers of processed foods or the health benefits from eating a balanced diet, we could easily solve the matter of processed food. As well as changing the education system, they can also serve healthy alternatives to these processed foods in the cafeterias such as chips, cookies, pops, and fries. We can also change the minimum wage so that it is higher so younger parents can have healthier lives for both themselves and their children. The government can also help regulate the prices of agricultural products such as vegetables or fruits so that they are lower than the price of processed or unhealthy foods. The government can also make programs focused on encouraging people to eat healthier or they can educate parents about the dangers of eating high amounts of processed foods.
As I think and reflect on the food waste in my family, I really cannot find much waste that we produce. My mother is very organized with the food that we buy and eat, and we rarely ever throw out food unless it is for an alternative motive (mold, smells bad, etc.). We regularly compost peels, chicken bones, coffee beans and more in the compost bin that we keep next to the sink. There are 5 people that live in my house, and we snack a lot, so whatever my mother had made for dinner we usually snack on it later in the day, or we will take it for lunch or eat it for leftovers. I feel like it is definitely a money thing in my house because my mother hates wasting her money, so if something is close to its expiration date, she makes us eat it first out of anything. For things like bread or baked goods, she will freeze it, and then bake it in the oven to heat it up and basically revive it. There is on occasion, but very rarely, that something will go bad, such as fruits or juices and we, unfortunately, must throw away. One thing I can think of that my family does waste a lot is plastic water bottles. Nobody in my family uses a reusable bottle or cup for water, we always take water bottles because they are easy to carry and dispose of, but in saying that, there have been times that I have not been able to find a recycling bin or a proper place to put the water bottle and I throw it in the garbage. Plus, not all of the water bottles that go into recycling bins are actually recycled, there are some amounts that do just go into landfills or dumps, etc. Obviously, we can improve on keeping notice on when items expire such as juices or milk and we can take better notice on when our fruits and vegetables are going bad. We could try to use more of the fruit and vegetables, such as zesting lemons, limes, and oranges or maybe using the chicken bones or beef bones that we just throw into the compost for some sort of stock, and to just get the most value out of the items that we throw away. As for the water bottle situation, it is very easy to change over to a reusable water bottle and stop taking and buying the huge water bottles from Costco. I have been planning on talking to my mother about this, but I’m a lazy guy and just have not gotten around to making the switch to a reusable water bottle.