Iron chef was a unique assignment that provided a different experience than what I’ve done before as a final assignment. For our practice round, we were presented with the secret ingredient of pears. We thought since pears were sweet, it would be best to make a dessert type dish. However, our freedom was limited, since we were only allowed to use supplies from the classroom, which lead us to making crepes. Our crepes turned out really well and we were happy with how we did for the practice round. For the final round, we were instructed to use artichokes as our secret ingredient. Since either Owen or I knew much about artichokes, we were stumped for a little bit when coming up with the recipe, but eventually came to a group consensus. We decided to pair the artichoke with chicken, to balance out the dish with some protein. I noticed a lot of the other groups were thinking of doing an appetizer/side dish, so we wanted to prepare something that is more like a meal. We prepared all our ingredients on the first day and defrosted the chicken so we could get going straight away on the second day, since our dish would take slightly longer to bake. Since I had Owen’s social media on my phone, we were able communicate and decided to come to class earlier to get the dish going. Once we got to class, Owen and I immediately figured out our roles and what we needed to do. I started on the sauce immediately, a honey, lemon, and garlic mixture that would glaze over the chicken and artichoke. The sauce was supposed to contain Italian seasoning, which we did not have in the classroom. We substituted the seasoning with some thyme, basil, and rosemary, the type of spices that would typically be found in Italian seasoning. We poured the sauce over the chicken and artichokes and left it in the oven to bake. After we took it out of the oven, we discovered that the honey had burnt up, which was difficult to clean. Other than that, everything else was looking good. Since other groups were presenting first, we plated the dish and left it in the oven so it stays warm. We presented the judges with our dish and received some feedback saying that the chicken was a bit dry. However, I found the chicken to be quite juicy when I first took it out of the oven, my guess is that after we left it in the oven, it dried up a bit more. One thing that I wish I did was to balance out the dish more with more artichokes. Overall, we managed our time very well in this project, as we were only a two man team and had to do a bit more than other groups. Both of use constantly took on different tasks and always had our hands full, which resulted in our dish turning out great.
Neuron: Cells that transmit information.
If a nerve is stimulated by an electrical shock, pH change, mechanical stimulation, a nerve impulse is generated. This is where the sodium potassium pump comes into play. During the beginning of action potential, the sodium potassium pump membrane becomes permeable to Na+ ions, where 3 ions travels into the axon and depolarization occurs. Then, during repolarization, the membrane becomes permeable to K+ ions, where 2 ions travel outside of the axon. This happens continuously until the impulse reaches the axon terminal. The process is sped up by the myelin sheaths created by the shwann cells, creating gaps between gaps called the nodes of ranvier. This allows the impulse to jump across nodes and speed up the impulse, causing it to depolarize and repolarize only at certain points of the axon.
Once the impulse reaches the end of the axon, the nerve impulse travels to the dendrite of the next neuron. The synapse is the region between the two membranes. The action potential causes synaptic vesicles to release neurotransmitters into the synaptic cleft. Then the neurotransmitters bind to the receptors on the post synaptic membrane, which causes the impulse to continue travelling down the next neuron, where depolarization and repolarization continues.
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.