Thursday, November 12, 2015

Service Learning Blog #3

After attending multiple service learning events throughout the semester I've realized that they are not only interesting, but very rewarding. Vising  the Lord's Acre two different times made me more comfortable with the entire gardening process. The second time around there wasn't any worry of not being able to garden properly. It was also really helpful knowing the people that worked there already. I find the group at the Lord's Acre to be very welcoming and they are always willing to help with whatever the class needed. While at the garden the group I was working with tended to complete tasks very quickly so I was able to learn how to do many different tasks necessary for the upkeep of a garden. I learned how to plant strawberries, cut kale, and cut up spices. In the second picture I went to the learning kitchen and learned how to pickle peppers. Working with Lydia really showed me the great resources that the garden gives the school. Lydia also provided us with kale and mushrooms which turned into a nice snack when the group was waiting for the peppers to finish pickling. I haven't tried the peppers yet, but the mushrooms and kale were delicious. I enjoyed working with all of these different people and learning all of these things that I wouldn't have learned otherwise.

Sunday, November 8, 2015

Reading response from 11/2

After reading "The Omnivore's Delusion: Against Agri-intellectuals” (204) and "Real Food, Real Farming” (Coleman 236) I realized that there are multiple ways of farming, but also multiple opinions on the correct way to farm. Mainly from people that haven't necessarily worked on a farm in their life. Coleman talks about organic food and how it now is equivalent to the highest form of food the public can eat. I don't necessarily believe that is accurate in any way. I find organic food is very beneficial, but often over-priced. Also organic food is not always the healthiest option in my opinion. Fresh food has always seemed healthier to me and from personal experience it is the healthiest option provided. In the piece by Hurst he opens with an encounter he had on a plane. It appears like Hurst doesn't agree with the idea of organic food being the solution. Hurst brings up the fact of wanting to farm with more technology or more industrial use in farming. Everything else has had major advancements in the way they work so it's only fair to allow farming to advance as well. 

Wednesday, November 4, 2015

Reading response

After reading the two articles and listening to the TED talk with Rob Finley I realized that there needs to be a change not only in the way we view food, but also where we get our food from. Will Organic Food Fail to Feed the World by David Biello talks about the not so well known negative side effects of farming and agriculture. Then Biello goes on to talk about Organic food appearing to be the obvious solution to counteract the effects of a more conventional farming. The main issue with organic farming is that this type of farming leads to less food being produced. In the second article Biotechnology Isn't the Key to Feeding the World by Frances Moore Lappe, Lappe talks about genetically modified seeds being the solution  in the eyes of "Biotechnology companies and even some scientists" (Lappe, 249)  although this is something Lappe disagrees with. Lappe also discusses the issue of food, grains mainly, that could be given to the population are given to livestock stating that " Thirty years ago, one-third of the world's grain was going to livestock; today it is closer to one-half."(Lappe, 249) Although food production has been made easier over the years sometimes it may be better to just go back to conventional farming in order to know where our food is coming from and provide the best food for our families. Finally in the TED talks with Rob Finley, Finley shows a creative way to garden in the "food desert" (Finley) that he lives in. He plants gardens on the side of the sidewalk in order to provide food that is healthy and free to the community. Finley shows the viewers that it is possible to provide healthy food to an entire community. I think the video was my favorite out of all of these pieces because it provided real life examples of a community benefiting from this garden Finley created. Considering these gardens are put together with the help of volunteers it shows that often times people have this desire  to eat healthier or be able to provide more nutritious food for their families. Sometimes it just takes one person to step up and start this movement to better their community.

Tuesday, October 13, 2015

Reading Response

I LOVE THIS ARTICLE. Let me just say that. So I was asked to read "An Open Letter From A Farmer to Angry Vegetarians" by Jenna Woginrich. I wholeheartedly agree with everything Woginrich is saying. To summarize the article is from Jenna basically saying she is sick of being called a murderer because she eats meat and owns a farm there is obviously more to the article than that but that sums up the main point I got from it. I understand the desire to be a vegetarian, hell I was a vegetarian for almost four years, so believe me I completely understand. Whatever your personal reasoning is for eating meat or not eating meat is totally up to you, and nobody has the right to criticize your choices simply because of a disagreement.  I don't believe that being vegetarian makes you better than anyone else because when you think about it like Woginrich stated multiple times there isn't a meal you can pick up from the supermarket that hasn't harmed an animal in some way. Please go read this article vegetarian or not it will make you think about topics you may have never thought of.
Go to:

Thursday, October 8, 2015

Service learning reflection

This past Wednesday I went to the Lord's Acre to help volunteer in the gardens with my class. Initially I didn't think I would enjoy going to a garden because I've never had a green thumb, but this experience was one I truly enjoyed. The Lord's Acre is a non-profit organization that helps provide vegetables and other nutritious items to people in need in the community. With all the work we were doing I could never imagine only two people completing the tasks we did. We were weeding, harvesting sweet potatoes, and cutting down okra. It was all a lot of fun and it was time well spent. The people that run  the Lord's Acre are very sweet, down to earth individuals who only want to help the                                                                                            community. It was great getting the opportunity                                                                                      to meet them and ask them questions like why                                                                                         they started volunteering there. I learned a lot                                                                                          from this trip and would love the chance to go                                                                                             back and volunteer again in the spring.               
Gardening in a purse:Just one of the many ways they showed us you can garden.

Wednesday, October 7, 2015

Reading Reflection

The two articles we were asked to read for class were very interesting. The first article "Downsizing Supersize" (Surowiecki 123) is actually the topic I am focusing on for my research paper. The article discusses the idea that Mayor Bloomberg wants to cut back on the sizes of sodas provided for many public places. Just like in research I've done people tend to have a problem with this saying the government can't control what we do or how we feed ourselves. The Mayor thought it would be a good idea to cut back to lower obesity risks. One question people had was " If someone wants a soda that is larger than 16oz they can just double or triple the soda they buy" , the mayor says that due to laziness of people doing that would be too much work and that's why he believed regulating drink sizes would help. The second article " Why Shame Won't Stop Obesity" (Khullar 127)   brings up many good points about the availability of healthy food compared to the easily accessible junk food. Khullar also brings up how much cheaper it is to buy junk food compared to expensive nutritious food. Khullar talks about the first step to solving the obesity epidemic is to provide more healthy options to low income areas so they have the option to eat better. Khullar brings in an interesting point about working in a hospital and even there the food options aren't the healthiest food choices. I think in general the first step needs to be providing more nutritious options  in a variety of areas especially low income areas that need it. Both articles were very interesting and I think they both bring two very important ideas to the table. They are both focusing on trying to make the food we eat healthier and controlling portion sizes, but that's not something they can solve overnight. Also the general public needs to have the desire to be better and healthier if they want to get anywhere with these movements. 

Tuesday, September 29, 2015

Reading Response

For class we were asked to read "The Pleasures of Eating" and Food Justice both pieces talked about food mainly focusing on supermarkets and where our food comes from. One thing I didn't realize before reading Food Justice was how in certain areas supermarkets may not be as close in distance as they are were I'm from. After reading that excerpt it helped me understand that supermarkets aren't always close enough and that's probably one of the most important problems to fix before we try and follow the guidelines Berry sets up for us in "The Pleasures of Eating". In a way these two pieces go in order of what should be done and then how to improve from there. In "The Pleasures of Eating" Wendell Berry provides a list of ways we can eat more responsibly. The list includes seven different things we can do ranging from being more active in the food process to eating locally or at least knowing where your food is coming from. I feel like all the different things Berry lists are important because they give reasonable options for the consumer to integrate into their daily life. Being in college with the minimum resources I have available to me it is hard to incorporate these things different suggestions into my daily life. Back home my family and I were able to grow some food/herbs and preparing our own food. I feel like it would be very beneficial for me to eventually adopt some of the suggestions like dealing with my local farmer/gardener directly to know where my food is coming from or knowing the origins of my food that I buy at the local grocery store.  In the excerpt from Food Justice that we were assigned to read Gottlieb and Joshi focus more on grocery stores and how they aren't readily available in certain areas. This is one thing that Berry takes for granted in his paper. Not everyone has access to locally made food at a reasonable price. In my town back home it was harder to get locally made food than it was to just get food from the local grocery store and hope for the best. Although I understand where Berry is coming and I agree that it is important to know where the food you're eating is important I think the first step we need to take is making sure everyone has equal access to food even if it may not necessarily be the kind of relationship Berry wants to form with local farmers. Food is a necessary part of our lives and Gottlieb and Joshi really point out the fact that supermarkets need to be readily available in all parts of the community.