IRON CHEF REFLECTION

 

I definitely enjoyed the activity as a whole. I really liked that we had the freedom to choose our own recipes. I also liked that the secret ingredient was something as rare as radishes because it created a bit of a challenge when it came to thinking of ways to incorporate it into our meal. We all tried googling different recipes on our own and talked about it with each other when we found something good. Luckily, we managed to find something we all liked so the collaboration process of this lab definitely went well. If we were to do this activity again, we could maybe make a side salad for the main dish made out of radish leaves since they’re edible and not very pungent and gross (as I thought they might be), also because we had a lot of our blueberry purée left over so it would be a good way to utilize the rest so that it wouldn’t go to waste. The time definitely restrained us a bit but we still managed to have enough time to finish everything. The only thing we wish we could have done was make the buttermilk buns the day of the presentation as they would have been much fresher – we had to make them the day before because 30 minutes was not enough (actually you know what, we could have refrigerated the dough overnight, wow). We still managed to keep them warm by reheating them in the oven the next day. The ingredient itself restrained us a lot too because of how unique it was. We didn’t just want to use them as a filler for the bun, so we decided to chop little bits of radish up into the bun. Cooking the radish bits and sautéing the rest was a very good idea because raw radishes are…not very pleasant.
In general, I found this lab very fun and it was probably my favourite out of all the ones we’ve done. I was very impressed with how it tasted. Sautéed radishes on a buttermilk bun drizzled with blueberry purée definitely sounded very odd to me and I was hesitant on tasting it but I’m glad I did because it was absolutely delicious. Specifically the purée, I don’t know what it is but the sweetness paired so well with the almost-tasteless radishes and the creaminess from the bun (thanks to our homemade buttermilk that we made using milk and vinegar). I wish we made more, to be honest. I’d eat 10.

May/June Reflection

SUPERFOODS LAB

I chose to reflect on this lab because I liked that we got to choose our meals based on a specific purpose – for the superfood’s benefits. I found it very fun that we had to search for the recipe ourselves because it made the lab feel more personalized. Our meal turned out exactly the way we wanted it to. My group also worked very well with each other during the lab. We managed to split our duties up in a way that made everything efficient and productive, which is what I believe helped make our product turn out the way we expected it to. We had a tricky recipe, the chocolate avocado mousse, that we were all skeptical on because of the odd combination but we were all very pleased with the outcome. The only issue that came up was that we did not have any buns for our veggie burgers but we chose to take the healthy route and simply serve them wrapped in lettuce. If we were to do this lab again, we could perhaps try and find a recipe for burger buns – we only chose not to because we wanted to focus more on the recipes that actually had superfoods in it, although it’s always possible to incorporate some sort of superfood into the buns as well. The food was absolutely delicious, my favourite was definitely the chocolate avocado mousse. Not only is the mousse full of healthy fats, but it lacks any empty carbohydrates and unhealthy fats that you’d find in regular mousse or pudding. We also used honey instead of sugar and we found that we didn’t even need a lot of it. The bittersweet taste the mousse had was a good way to go. The hummus was very good too, specifically the texture of it. The burger buns had a slight spicy aftertaste to it and worked well with ketchup on the side.

Fn12 – Fad Diets (Juice Cleansing)

JUICE CLEANSING

The juice cleanse diet is a diet where you only consume fruits and vegetables in their juiced form, pulp-free. You may also consume a small amount of nuts and steel cut oats but it is typically not a part of the diet. This diet is like “a spring cleaning for your body” (Portland Juice Co, 2016). It is said that it detoxes your body because it is now free of the burden of digestion that a normal diet would have. Because the body’s main focus is no longer digesting food, it will begin to shed toxins that have been built up in one’s body over the years. It also supposedly rebuilds the immune system, provides your body will all necessary vitamins, minerals and living enzymes. This diet is meant to be short-term, lasting anywhere from 3 days to a week. It is commonly known as a diet that gives your body a break as you are not consuming any processed fats, additives and several other toxins that you may find in a regular diet.
Juice cleansing has been around since the 1990s but has only gained popularity in the 2010s. This diet is most common amongst millennials. Countless celebrities began to adopt this diet and rave about its weight loss and regenerating effects which made a huge impact on its popularity since fans were now willing to try the same diet to look like their idols.
As healthy as this diet may seem, there is an enormous amount of complications and limitations that comes with it. First, its affordability. Store-bought bottles of juiced fruits and veggies can range anywhere from $5 to $12 for a measly 355mL. The prices have gone up as the juice cleanse diet gained its popularity throughout the years. If somebody were to buy their own juice cleanser, it would cost them a few hundred dollars as well as countless grocery shopping sprees to buy their own produce. The amount of juice one piece of fruit makes is very little, so one would require a lot more fruit and vegetables than simply eating it on its own. As for health complications, this diet lacks several crucial components one needs in their daily diet. For one, they are very low in protein. Protein is a very essential macronutrient that should not be ignored for long periods of time. This diet may be very high in certain vitamins such as vitamin A and C, but it can be low in other vitamins and minerals like vitamin D, iron and calcium. People who try juice cleansing may also experience negative side effects from it since it is such a drastic change from their regular diet. For example, they may experience headaches, fatigue, brain fog, moodiness and hunger pangs. Hunger pangs may be caused from the lack of solids in their diet, which may leave them unsatiated and moody. “Be prepared for change in bowel function and frequent bathroom visits” (Applegate, 2017) Applegate warns, as the amount of liquid in this diet is significantly higher than average.
There are no long-term benefits of a juice cleanse. In fact, this approach to detoxify your body is scientifically unfounded and lacks any sort of evidence that proves it is beneficial for your health. “The digestive system operates every day to digest foods, and it doesn’t need any rest” (Applegate, 2017).
If anything, there are possible long-term mental health complications that this diet may come with besides brain fog. One may start to believe that indulging in anything other than pure liquid, low-calorie forms of fruit and vegetable juices is not allowed and should be punished. One may begin to experience guilt when going back to eating normally, as they are eating solid food again which may leave them feeling heavier. All of this will inevitably lead to an eating disorder.
Using my knowledge of these nutritional facts, my take on this diet is entirely negative. I think that this diet is one of the worst ones out there right now, especially with its popularity, for several reasons. First off, it’s crazy expensive. You would need 5-7 bottles of juice a day, multiply that by $12 and you’ll be completely broke by the end of your diet, living off of ramen noodles for the rest of your life. Second, I do not understand how somebody thinks it’s healthy to ignore an important macronutrient like protein and only focus on certain vitamins. Protein is by far the best macronutrients for satiety, which is why many feel unsatisfied during a juice cleanse. This unsatisfation might even lead to an unwanted binge once their diet ends, which they could have completely avoided if they were to simply try eating healthier. Most of the juices that I’ve seen in stores are high in vitamins A and C, especially C. There is absolutely no reason to be consuming that much of a certain vitamin because any excess will simply be filtered through your body and into your urine. One orange is more than enough for your daily recommend value of vitamin C. If you were to calculate the amount of vitamin C all juices you’d have to consume in one day, you’d be at around 400-600% vitamin C. Another downside to this diet is the ungodly amounts of sugar. Just because the sugar is fructose and coming from a natural source does not mean there is no limit. Even though consuming natural sugar is better than artificial sugar, fructose may still be harmful in large amounts, according to Healthline.com and Framingham.edu. Sugar gives the body energy, but the amount of energy would be excessive with a juice cleanse. Excess energy may lead to weight gain if you are going over your amount of calories that you must consume to maintain your weight. Not only that, but these juices lack any sort of fibre whatsoever, since the majority of it is found in the pulp of the fruit or vegetable. If you were to leave the pulp in the juice, it would be slightly better since you’d at least have the fibre to balance out the crazy amounts of sugar in the juice. This diet is also not sustainable at all, even if it’s meant to be used for 3 to 7 days. It is unnatural for us to only consume liquids, and forcing yourself to do so without any time for your body to adapt is bound to make you moody, hungry and experience “withdrawal” symptoms from your normal diet. The key to eating healthy (and losing weight since that’s what most people’s goal is when they decide to go on a juice cleanse) is consistency. This diet is not consistent at all. Any supposed weight one loses on this diet is most likely water weight, which may upset them later on once they weigh themselves and find themselves to have gone back to their original weight – especially if they think that they can now eat a lot (whether it’s controlled or uncontrolled) after their diet, which leads me to my next argument. The chances of wanting to binge on sodium-filled fatty foods are significantly higher than if you were to simply adopt a consistent healthy diet, which will end up making you retain water once more, making the person think they did not lose any weight and maybe even gained weight. Our bodies are meant to digest food, there is absolutely no scientific reason that our system needs some kind of break from digestion. Your body knows what its doing, which is why there are no long-term side effects of overindulging for a day or two – because your body knows how to handle anything that comes its way. Same goes for days you happen to undereat – you will not lose weight if you simply forgot to eat enough for a day. This is exactly why a short-term diet such as the juice cleanse will not do anything for your body either. Your digestion will not significantly improve, your immune system will not suddenly become the strongest immune system in the world, and you certainly will not lose a lot of weight in the course of 3-7 days because CONSISTENCY IS KEY. But in order for your diet to be healthy, you must be sure that your diet consists of all important macro and micronutrients rather than focusing on select few. This is why I find this diet absolutely nonsensical.

Silent Narrative Poem

PRESTO
There once lived a rabbit named Alec, but not just any rabbit
It was a magic rabbit, a rabbit of wizardry
A caged and hungry Alec was sitting in his cage
Reaching for his carrot, filling up with rage
The carrot was too far! It was too far out of his reach!
Finally, Presto, his magician came in the room
And Alec jumped out of glee – no longer gloom
All glassy-eyed, he looked up at his magician
He shifted his eyes back and forth from the carrot to Presto
But Presto ignored the rabbit’s signals
He reached down in his cage and pulled him out while he wiggled
Presto pulled out Alec’s musty dusty purple wizard hat
He blew the dust away, held Alec still and slid the hat on
Poor Alec didn’t get what he wanted and the show was about to start!
« You know what? » Alec thought
I’m going to mess with my magician, if he can mess with me then so can I!
« He may be my master and I may be his servant ».
« But today, he can’t control me. No no no he can’t »
He began to pull his hair through the hat,
The magician was almost as long as a ferret!

Alec did not stop. The magician wanted to please his audience, and Alec wanted a carrot
The magician got so angry that he grabbed Alec’s beloved carrot and smashed it
He smashed and smashed, watching the rabbit’s eyes grow wide
Alec quickly tied the magicians ankle to some rope and swung him up,
The other end of the rope was tied to a piano, making him collide
But why was the piano rigged and attached to a rope?
Are pianos normally found in this state?
And why was the magician feeling great
After everything he went through?
No matter what happened, the magician managed to get back up on his feet
How did he do it? How was he not hurt? Alec’s ideas began to deplete
And so the magician fell right on top of the pile of pianos and boxes and ladders
But Alec just grew madder and madder
He began to walk away but stopped in his tracks as he heard a whistle
The whistle came from the magician, he was calling his name!
Alec hopped back over to him to find a carrot sitting on top of a chair
The rabbit happily grabbed the carrot and jumped on his master’s arm
They realized that they go hand in hand, charm to charm
that they could not finish this show without one another
The audience clapped and cheered and the magician smiled
They both got what they wanted, even though it took a while
He pleased his audience, and Alec got his carrot
Maybe next time, they’ll prepare it
The show, I mean. Unless this was their plan all along
Maybe they wanted everything to go wrong…

March/April Lab Reflection

GAUFRES DE LIEGE/BRUXELLES

1. I chose to reflecton this lab because I found it a lot of fun. When you first hear that you’ll be making waffles, it sounds pretty boring and simple. But the two types we made were so different and unique that it turned something boring into something a lot more enjoyable.

2. I did enjoy the lab. I enjoyed it that we got to use the waffle irons as well since we’ve never used them in this calls before. I also enjoyed them because of the variety of different waffle-making methods we used, like using pearl sugar instead of regular sugar. I also liked that we got to make our own pearl sugar for the waffles rather than buying the store-bought kind.
3. The waffles turned out exactly the way we had hoped, especially the gaufres de liege ones. The only downside is that they butter almost greased through the edges of each waffle which did nothing but remind us how absolutely unhealthy these are. And the pearl sugar in the other waffles was probably not the same as real pearl sugar but it was a fun experience tasting the little bits of sugar in your waffle rather than having it fully mixed in with the batter. Other than that, both of the waffles were very tasty.
4. My group worked very well during the lab. We were all in charge of different things and worked cooperatively to make the lab go by as smooth as possible. The only issue I can think of is when we had to clean the waffle iron. The oil drizzled into the back of the iron and it was a pain to clean.
5. If I were to do this lab again, I would probably alter the recipe a tiny bit for the sake of my health. And also maybe find a new method of pouring the batter into the waffle iron to reduce any leakage.

 

 

A PPAT response

1. One example of food insecurity in this movie would be Barbie’s situation as a whole. She reportedly makes $9 an hour, unable to feed her two growing children with proper nutrients that they need for proper development. Barbie tried to fix this situation by signing up for food stamps, but her attempt was unsuccesful because she is two dollars over the (food stamp’s policy?).
Another example would be Rosie and her family’s situation. Rosie seems like an ordinary child, but the situation with food going on in her life is affecting her school performance. In her family, her food insecurity is seen through when Rosie says that she looks through the fridge some days and sees nothing. She wonders how her family will come by for dinner, Rosie admits that most times she doesn’t know how they will do.

 

2. According to a website I found, Nunavut is the province that experiences food insecurity the most. Close to 50% of the households are food-insecure. I also think that provinces like Newfoundland may be at risk too, since they are “off-the-grid” from the rest of the country. I can imagine it having a lot more food deserts in that province versus one like British Columbia. However, even people in Britsh Columbia may experience food insecurity because of how expensive it is to live here.

 

3. My personal reaction to this movie was nothing out of the ordinary, but a few things did catch my eye. For example, I admit that when you think of malnourishment, you imagine thin, frail children in Africa. It takes a lot more to think about those that are simply malnourished with improper food rather than no food at all. This movie made me realize how much of a problem improper nourishment is and how obesity can be linked to malnourishment as well. When you think of obesity, you think the culprit is simply overeating. In some cases, however, obesity’s culprit can be the result of poverty. I also learned a new term; food deserts. It’s very interesting to see how many food deserts there are in the US, especially as recent as 2015

 

4. The first thing I would probably do is to make sure to stay informed by educating myself on the topic and staying up to date with what is going on. Making sure to inform others through social media also sounds like something just as beneficial as informing yourself since you are making a number of people aware of the situation themselves. This could motivate them to get involved with special organizations meant for things like this. Another thing that could greatly influence the issue at hand is by simply supporting small farmers. By doing so, you are helping these farmers stay in business. This would allow them to continue farming and providing food for those around the area. If people stick to buying from large corporations, these small farms would eventually die out and those living in food deserts would lack access to proper food.

 

(It wouldn’t let me embed the document, the option kept loading on me then turning up blank)