The film A Place at the Table was truly an eye opener for me, where it provided insights on families that struggled with food insecurity. I always knew that there’s a large percentage of population around the world that are struggling with hunger, but I always thought it was mostly in developing countries. I did not realize that such a large percentage of population in United States was also struggling with hunger. As someone that’s always had an abundant supply of food, I cannot imagine what it is like to be hungry all the time. The movie shows the fact that hunger isn’t just about being hungry, it’s more about people not getting enough nutrients to stay healthy from their food. It made me realize how lucky I am to be from a family that is financially stable enough to afford good food, even though I’m still complaining all the time about how hungry I am. Unfortunately, the price for fresh food compared to processed food is significantly higher, where parents would buy chips over fresh apples just because of the price. I found it especially heart breaking to see parents not having enough to feed their children, when they already are cutting the food supply short for themselves. Some parents even needed to travel hours on the bus just to get to the closest superstore for food. It shocked me to hear that one in two children in the United States suffer from hunger, but one in three children would develop type 2 diabetes. Furthermore, even with people try to help by setting up food banks, it just isn’t enough due to the amount of people that are in poverty. As the price of living increases, more families that struggle with food insecurity may increase as well, and to change that, I think the price of living needs to be changed. Overall, the movie really changed my perspective, making me realize how grateful I should be to not be struggling with hunger issues. The movie did a good job providing exploring poverty and families struggling with food, giving me an idea on what the world is like.
I think to truly fix this issue, we can’t focus too much on donating to food banks and such; However, doing that does do a lot of help. Instead, focus on things that will solve the problem in the long run, such as education and economy. Educating people can help people learn the problems that come with processed foods. Although processed foods are cheap, they don’t provide a lot of nutritious value, which in turn results in malnutrition problems. Learning that fact can help parents choose wisely when purchasing food to ensure their children meets the amount of nutrients required to have a healthy body. Having better economy can mean a lot of things, such as improving minimal wage. That way families that don’t have stable financial support can earn more money to have stable support for both them and their children. We can also regulate the prices of fresh foods so that they cost less than processed foods, where we change the way fresh food is farmed so that we can mass produce them without costing too much.
For me, there’s food waste almost everywhere I go. Most of the time at home, we don’t finish all the food we prepared for one meal and a lot of the food is either stored as leftovers or thrown away. We don’t have a compost bin and usually just throw the food into the trash. A lot of the food we buy at superstores are packaged food, so there’s a lot of paper and plastic containers that we have to sort out. At school, I buy the food from cafeteria and always finish the food. Since the food is usually on paper plates or in paper wrappings, the waste is easy to manage. Outside with friends, we often go to convenience stores such as 7-11 to buy snacks. A lot of our waste is in plastic wrappers, bottles, and cans. We usually just find a garbage can around us and throw out the trash after we’re finished with the food. There are a lot of different ways to support the environment by cutting our food waste. At home, we should start using a compost bin to sort out the food waste, since right now we just use the trash can. We can start buying less packaged food and instead buy in bulk or fresh food to have less containers that needed to be sort out. Meal planning is extremely important and can also cut the food waste by a lot, but it’s usually not me who prepares the meals at home. To improve, I can communicate with my parents and prepare a feasible meal plan every week, and perhaps do some of the cooking myself. Food storage is something that we can improve at home. A lot of foods are spoiled easily from storage problems. Some fruits and vegetables, such as bananas and tomatoes, release a gaseous plant hormone known as ethylene, and there are foods that are sensitive to ethylene and will easily go spoilt after exposure to it. Another way to reduce the food waste at home is to start preserving foods by canning, which we recently learned how to do in class. A lot of the fruits at home is left forgotten in the fruit bowl and can easily go bad. Canning will give theses fruits a longer shelf life and can save a lot of waste and money. Overall, food waste is inevitable, but there are many easy ways that we can do to reduce the waste.
Our group were assigned pages 31 to 40, where the firemen received a call about an old lady and her books. Since I was away on the day we were assigned the project, I got the role Connector, where I find connections in the book to our world and other literatures. I contributed many creative ideas as well as creating some visuals. Although my visuals were first meant as a joke, we decided to put it in the PowerPoint anyways for some laughs. For my section, after taking down some notes, I had a general idea of what I would be talking about. I first found the quotes that I could use to put in the PowerPoint, and did research on some historical people, such as Martin Luther King Jr, Anne Frank, and Benjamin Franklin. After getting my research done over the long weekend, I inserted only the most important information in point form on the PowerPoint. I was able to prepare thoroughly and had everything I needed to talk about memorized in my mind. Since not all my group members were present on the day of the presentation, I also needed to present the summary, which was Alyah’s role.
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The article Becoming Greta: ‘Invisible Girl’ to Global Climate Activist, With Bumps Along the Way written by Somini Sengupta addresses the environmental issues our world is facing known as climate change, and how a mentally ill girl named Greta is demanding action on climate change. I was fascinated how a girl suffering from crippling depression was suddenly able to change and shame the world into addressing climate change. Climate change has never been addressed properly, most people know that the issue exists, but does not act upon it. On the other hand, others tend to go into complete denial when it comes to addressing this issue. The author’s writing really hooked my attention since she explains the story in detail from different perspectives, the crowd and Greta herself. Moreover, the author includes facts about climate change showing the impact it has on our environment. In the article, Greta said: “It’s sometimes annoying when people say, ‘Oh you children, you young people are the hope. You will save the world’… I think it would be helpful if you could help us just a little bit.” It shows the irony how adults are the ones warning us about climate change all the time, but they depend on us to act upon it. Although this article was just written recently, it seems climate change that is addressed in the article will become an even bigger issue in the future. The article portrays how humans are often in denial about things they do that has a negative effect. Instead of being in denial, people should accept what they have done and act upon the consequences. I think Greta is an inspiration for me to take responsibility upon my actions.
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For the first seven years of my life, I lived in China, and while living there I went through the Chinese education system, which is very different from what we do in Canada. Teachers would force students to copy entire sections and pages from textbooks to make them remember the information. This article I chose talks about how a Chinese girl uses a robot that mimicked her handwriting to cheat the system, which caught my eye because I can see myself in her shoes doing the same thing. The authors, Daniel Victor and Tiffany May, kept the information simple and showed many different opinions on the subject from different people. They also pointed out how it’s ironic that writing out texts repeatedly is a form of punishment in China, even though it’s supposed to help us learn. Although the robot that mimics handwriting was only created not too long ago, people have still found ways to cheat the Chinese education system before. Take me for example, when I was forced to copy phrases, I used to tie two pencils together to write twice as fast as one. This reveals the universality of this article, and how people may find even more ways to cheat in the future. Our world is becoming more and more dependent on technology and this article demonstrates how machines can be used to cheat. Personally, I don’t think the girl is doing the right thing by cheating, although I may do the same; but at the same time, Chinese education seems a bit extreme by going to such lengths forcing students to copy phrases over and over.
Charles Darwin was an English naturalist who is famous for his work on the theory of evolution. There was no proof that his theory was correct during that time, until the discovery of DNA came along and proved his theory true. While travelling on the ship called the HMS Beagle, Darwin noticed many features about the animals. He learned that even though the birds from the different islands are the same, they had different beaks because of the different environments that they lived in. Not only that, but the tortoises that had different patterned shells and colours depended on which islands they lived on. Thus, Darwin created a new theory called natural selection, meaning that organisms will evolve by gaining traits that fits them into their environment to survive.
The discovery of DNA allowed us to study the different organisms and how they are descendants from other organisms. This showed that different organisms were similar at one point until they adapted to the different environments that they lived in. For example, the bones inside a human ear are developed from fish gills, showing the little changes in the DNA bases can create large changes in different species. Nowadays, scientists know that there are parts of DNA called switches that turn on and off specific genes. This is how all forms of life are related in their early stages of life, but evolves to be different if put into different environments. This proves that it is possible for more complex organisms to be related to simpler organisms.
DNA showed us how organisms evolve and adapt, and with DNA, we can check the ancestry of organisms. In the future, we can use DNA to keep and get rid of specific genes. The more knowledge we find from DNA, the more knowledge we have on life and evolution.