View Post

Worth the Price

In # 8: Food safety: who is responsible? by Therese0 Comments

The government exists ultimately to aid and protect the people of this country. One of the most fundamental ways they can do this is by protecting those people “three times a day” by making sure that the food they buy, sell, and feed to their loved ones is safe. While the government has provided invaluable research and funding, there’s always more that can be done. Of course, money is tight everywhere, but a few minor cuts here and there could provide some much-needed funding for the FDA, USDA and other important agencies to make lifesaving changes to the way people prepare and serve food. There is a fairly large knowledge base when it comes to food pathogens and how to kill them. The real issue, however, comes from mishandling of food. Many cases of food poisoning can be avoided if a food is stored or cooked properly. More thorough education of consumers and kitchen professionals could certainly help decrease incidences of food borne illness. I believe that the most effective way that the government could protect consumers is by regulating …

View Post

Everyone Could Use Some Probiotics

In # 7: Gut health by Therese1 Comment

Health claims on food labels all must be evaluated by the FDA and must be supported by significant scientific evidence in order to be approved for use. The argument is centered around what should be considered “significant.” While it is fairly easy to understand that the FDA sets its guidelines in order to protect consumers, I believe that they may be missing out on some really great health benefits because the FDA’s standards are too high. Probiotics have been shown in a number of studies to provide great benefits. Digestive issues, such as allergies, sensitivities, and diseases like Irritable Bowel Syndrome, C. Diff., and Ulcerative Colitis seem to be increasingly more common. This is due to a number of factors, such as decreased breast feeding or more frequent deliveries by cesarean section vs. natural births. Breastfeeding and natural delivery both provide infants with vital bacteria that will affect their gut microbiota for the rest of their lives. If they are not allowed these bacteria, they could have digestive issues. These issues could contribute to obesity, diarrhea, constipation, and stomach pain …

View Post

HyVee Health Market

In # 3: Organic foods - up close and personal by Therese0 Comments

For this project, I went to HyVee to see what sort of things they had available there. Some of the things that I noticed had to do with labeling. On my shopping list were bell peppers, because i saw that they were on sale. Initially, I was disappointed to see that I must’ve read the ad wrong. I was expecting 3 peppers for $3, but instead I found that they were twice that expensive. That’s when i noticed the small sign that said “Organic.” The peppers looked identical, but the organic ones were much more expensive. This let me to wonder whether the small sign was intentional, to possibly lead people to pay higher prices without realizing it, or if it was my own lack of observation. I suppose I’ll never know which it is. I noticed that in the produce section, organic and conventional produce were pretty much all together. There wasn’t really an organic and conventional section; organic salad mixes were right next to conventional salad mixes, etc. Throughout the rest of the store, there were a few …

View Post

Convenience is Key

In # 2: Junk Food Dissuasion by Therese0 Comments

Two of the largest culprits in the obesity epidemic are convenience of unhealthy food and the lack of physical activity. While increasing physical activity would likely have a larger impact on general health, the issue of convenience is easier to address. Drive through restaurants, coffee shops, and convenience stores do not capitalize on healthy options, but rather quick and inexpensive options that satisfy cravings. Sweet and salty snacks, as well as caffeinated and carbonated beverages are the most popular items on these menus. Many do offer items like fruit and yogurt parfaits, salads, and fruit or vegetable cups, but in comparison to french fries and chicken nuggets these options have very little appeal. Another roadblock in the way of convenient health food is simply how difficult it is to eat things like salads in a car. Lots of families drive through restaurants to keep kids and drivers happy without causing delays. While it may not be a great idea, an experienced driver can manage a cheeseburger with one hand while driving relatively safely with the other. Something like a salad …

View Post

Spaetzle, and Barbeque, and Pizza, Oh My!

In # 1: You are what you eat, Leftovers by Therese3 Comments

My favorite thing about food is its ability to bring people together. Whether eating it or preparing it, food can create connections and a greater sense of community. Sharing in a meal creates such a sense of intimacy because you’re allowing another person or people to be a part of something that keeps you alive. Whether it’s first dates or celebrating holidays with family, the memories made while sharing a meal can last a lifetime. Some of my favorite memories are those made cooking with my family. My dad had four brothers and two sisters and grew up in a very old school, Catholic family. I believe that a lot of that carried over into my family of six — my mom, my dad, my three brothers and I. When I was young, up until around the age of 8, both of my parents worked as doctors, and were understandably very busy. I don’t remember a lot about what meals were like when I was that young, but I do remember that every Wednesday, we ate lunch at the food …