Thursday, August 27, 2015

Unusual eating habits and Generalizing soul food

After reading "Reclaiming True Grits" (Terry)  and "Eating the Hyphen" (Wong) from Food Matters by Holly Bauer it made me realize how we Americanize food in a way that the cultures where the food originated may feel weird  for eating food they could have grown up eating. "Reclaiming True Grits" (Terry) focused on how we see "Soul Food" ( Terry,82) in such a negative fattening way because when thinking of soul food we think of the "Instant Soul Food" (Terry, 82) which is basically the well known high sugar, high calorie, low nutrient food commonly thought of even though that in now way depicts what soul food really is. Soul Food is interesting, after living in the south for nine years I got to taste some soul food, it can either be amazing or it can be absolutely terrible. Granted I haven't experience the true "Soul Food" Terry mentions in the passage considering what little food I've eaten has been the "Instant Soul Food" (Terry, 82) so it would be interesting to eat home cooked soul food and see the differences. In "Eating the Hyphen" Wong focuses on her unique style of eating dumplings. Although she later elaborates and eventually explains why she needs so many different utensils and ketchup to eat a few dumplings. Now I've eaten dumplings and they have to be my favorite thing to order from Chinese restaurants, yet I've never needed a knife, fork, chopsticks, and I've never even considered putting ketchup on dumplings. Everyone has their own little quirks with different foods they eat. I found it interesting that she accounts this unusual combination from taking her American culture and her Chinese culture and mixing them up in such a way to eat dumplings with ketchup.  I think both works are interesting and give a better understanding on how Americans can generalize an entire culture based on a few findings that help to further proof why that generalization is correct. It's fine to appreciate different cultures and try food from around the world or from different areas, but when it comes to making a food have a negative connotation like "soul food" (Terry, 82) does it becomes an issue in my mind. Food is a weird thing. Everyone needs it, Everyone eats it, and there are many forms of the same food reproduced all over the world. It truly is something that connects people and helps strangers form bonds. 

Tuesday, August 25, 2015

College Food and other food adventures

The food in college hasn't been the high-fat food that I was worried about when coming into the school. On campus they offer many different varieties of food ranging from vegan to Indian. I appreciate these options and I think that will help me in the long run to try and avoid the freshman fifteen. I know there has been a lot of complaints about Browns food on different social media platforms, and if I'm being honest a lot of the food on campus has made me sick as well. It's not like I'm only eating pizza or pasta I've eaten a variety of different foods from different places and nine times out of ten I've left with an upset stomach. Not necessarily saying the food is terrible, but it takes time to adjust to the different ways of cooking compared to how my family cooked at home. I find my experience is similar to Kingsolver who wrote "Taking local on the road" basically telling us her experience with college food and the necessary adjustment she had to make from knowing where all of her food came from to having to eat in a college cafeteria that may not be held to the same standards as her family's farm was. She ends her story with explaining how she found a local place she can eat at that holds the same ideals as the farm she grew up on. The other story by Kingsolver "You can't run away on harvest day" explaining the process of running a farm and what it takes to "harvest" the animals. I was a vegetarian for two years, and the graphic details of how they killed the turkeys and chickens in this story made me want to run back to being a vegetarian. Kingsolver and her family were actually vegetarian at some point which I found interesting considering they now own a farm and harvest their own animals. But she made a good point in saying that being vegetarian is very expensive and not everyone can afford it especially if the land they live on can't sustain vegetables or fruit. After being vegetarian for quite some time I began to realize how expensive it was and it was  especially challenging considering I was the only person in my family who became vegetarian making any shared family meal very difficult. The great thing here on campus is that if I ever decided to become vegetarian again it would be much easier to do on this campus than it was back home. I think Kingsolver really made me curious about finding out where my food comes from, and after reading "Taking local on the road" you realize there is something for everyone you just have to look a little bit harder for it.

Sunday, August 23, 2015

Let's get serious.....

After being assigned to read "Not just a white girl thing" and " Her chee-to heart" you realize the different opinions people have about their body, their life, and their eating habits. Although they are both different articles I think they were assigned together so we can see how truly different people are. One article gives the reader insight  on this unfortunately common eating disorder and the other shows the life of a junk food junkie."Not just a white girl thing" is about anorexia nervosa: an eating disorder that affects more than just the privileged white girl that society seems to associate this eating disorder with. It instead focuses on the idea that many different cultures and people including men have this eating disorder. On the other hand "Her chee-to heart" instead focuses on a junk-food junkie in her prime. Where she could eat whatever she wanted while ignoring the possible outcomes of the high fat and high calorie food she ate because of her age. The first article I read was "Not just a white girl thing" which made me upset and very body conscious, I empathize with anyone that has suffered from an eating disorder although I've never personally suffered through one. I know many people that have and that article just made me realize what those people suffering really go through. It's just a terrible realization when it finally hits you how much this disorder can change your life. You also realize how strong those people are that overcome this disorder. On the other hand "Her chee-to heart" had a light, humorous tone in it which is much appreciated after reading such a serious article about an eating disorder. The message from  "Not just a white girl thing" made a bigger impact on me than the other article because of the tone and the message given. Although both pieces make you think one makes you realize how the media skews our view on what "perfect" is and how we can achieve that. One point that the author brought up multiple times is how magazines will claim they found the perfect new diet to help you get the "perfect-body" you always wanted, yet on the next page it will tell you how you can be happy with yourself just the way you are. I've seen this multiple times, but having someone else bring it to my attention makes me wonder what else I may have noticed even if it didn't really register in that moment.  After reading "Her chee-to heart" I honestly didn't know how to react to the food and snacks she was eating. Some of the snacks sounded good even if they were very fattening, and others make me wonder if her stomach is made of steel. To each their own I suppose.

Thursday, August 20, 2015

Comparing food choices from around the world

 After looking at the pictures provided from the book Food Matters  by Holly Bauer I further understood the different foods people eat around the world and even the different uses for cooking and storing the food. In the first photo there is a picture of the Mendozas from Guatemala. In the photo you can see a lot of vegetables and home grown food. I don't notice anything processed or unnatural. This is interesting compared to the next photo of a family from India. They have a lot of fresh fruit and vegetables and different homemade foods, yet they still have little to no processed foods. They do have soda and possibly chips, but other than that the food looks all natural. The next picture shows a family from Mali shows very few completely prepared "meals" instead showing more bags of seeds and other things used to possibly make their meals. It appears that they have bags of seeds and wheat products and a container possibly for water. All of the other families so far have shown full meals so it's interesting to see a family with no pictures of the complete meals they would eat in a week. The final picture shows a family from the United States. The first thing I notice is all of the processed and prepackaged food they have. All the way in the back of the photo there appears to be a bundle of bananas and some other fruit or vegetable products but other than that everything is prepackaged, precooked, and seemingly unhealthy compared to the other families. The other interesting thing is the size of the family in each picture in comparison to the amount of food they have. The largest family is the family from Mali, yet they have the least amount of food. Considering this is the amount of food consumed in a week by this family it makes you wonder how they do it and what nutritious things that could be  missing from their diet. The smallest family with the most amount of food comes from the United States. Not only does it show all of the processed food you can also see all of the junk they consume in a week. Seeing these pictures makes you truly realize how different cultures eat and view food and family time. Besides the type of food the families eat in a week and the size of the family in the caption you can see how the family cooks and the different technological advances some cultures have over others. For example the family from Mali use natural resources like a wood fire and natural drying to cook compared to the family from India that use a gas stove and a refrigerator freezer combo.Americans know, as a whole, they have a bad reputation for their food choices and these photographs further prove that. Sometimes you have to wonder what happened that made the United States take such a different and unhealthy approach to the food they eat.

Does food matter?

  In short yes food matters. To elaborate ; however, food matters for many reasons. Not only does food provide living things with energy to complete daily tasks  it also  gives us nutrition to help manage health. These are the very obvious reasons why food matters, but there are some things that people wouldn't necessarily think of like: food bringing people together, how food is used in a religious aspect, and how food can negatively impact peoples lives. Although most food is beneficial to our lives there are some foods, highly processed or extremely fattening foods, that lack basic nutrition. Although we know these foods exist people still consume them. Why is that? Well first the junky food that doesn't help us is cheaper and more easily accessible than healthy and nutritious food  we should be fueling our body with. Food brings anyone from strangers to family together. It is one thing most people have in common and therefore it is easily used as a common ground to help meet new people and connect with people you may have already known.  For many religions food plays a big role in family gatherings and also provides a  sense of community, but religions can also have a say to what people in a certain religion can and can't eat. Although food is such an important part of managing basic health there are people who lack the necessary resources to get food. Besides not being able to get food some people don't have a healthy relationship with food. There are many people impacted by psychological disorders pertaining to food, and these people struggle with maintaining a healthy diet or eating at all.