Sunday, August 21, 2011

crazy(ness) and changes

So…these past few months have been super crazy. I know I haven’t blogged much, and honestly that is because when stress hits, I usually try to eliminate things vs. adding them.

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But fastforwarding through the stress leads me to the present, where I’m moving (again) to take a job as a pediatric outpatient dietitian in Grand Rapids, MI. Pretty excited about this!

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A lot of the past few weeks have been spent at the beach and finishing up work with the wonderful ladies in Ann Arbor; I will miss them and am grateful to have learned so much during my time there.

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So, thank you for being patient in all of this. I do want to continue blogging, at least for the time being. I’ve still been creating and trying new recipes, despite not blogging about them.

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Constant change is exhausting, but there have been lots of good changes, and I’m excited to see how life continues to evolve.

Hope everyone is enjoying summer!

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Monday, August 1, 2011

food inc. review!

And now…my review of Food, Inc.! Many bloggers have touched on the basic principles of Food, Inc., so I won’t take time to do that. Here are a few of the things that stood out to me:
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  • According to the movie, factory farm animals are grown in an economically advantageous but not necessarily sanitary way. The rise of E.coli epidemics and other foodborne illnesses are said to be partly attributed to the factory farm method.
  • When it all boils down, just a handful of companies are behind the products you see in the grocery store. These companies monopolize their respective industries, and the government has little power to regulate them since many of their supporters hold government offices.
  • Many packaged {and processed} food products contain GMOs (genetically modified organisms}. Although we don’t know the long term effects of consuming GMOs, we should have the right to know which products contain them.
So, what can we do to change the way our food is processed and labeled?
  • Do what you can with what you have. Although the movie says that we can “vote” 3 times a day when we choose what to eat, not everyone has the freedom to choose. As a grad student, I struggle with the cost of food; I don’t have tons of money to spend on organic groceries or Amish-raised cows. As long as fast food restaurants buy from the industries, they will continue to survive. I think equal attention should be devoted to improving food pantries and helping families grow their own produce, so they won’t have to rely on fast food for fuel. Buy local produce at famers markets when you can and eat as responsibly as your wallet allows.

  • Demand to know what’s in your food and where it comes from. That means pressing for GMO-containing food to be labeled and being aware of in-season produce. I’ve seen firsthand how consumer demand can change the course of industry {read how research on BPA and consumer demand caused Nalgene to start making BPA-free water bottles}. Write your Congressman, and try to eat less processed foods.
  • Spread the word. I think a lot of people have an inkling of what goes on in the meat and corn/soybean industry, but they choose to ignore their suspicions. Many of us bloggers are more aware of what’s going on…tell your families, friends, and co-workers about Food, Inc. and urge them to be more responsible consumers.
There is so much more I could write, but I feel like I’m preaching to the choir here. The blogworld is probably one of the most informed communities in which I’m involved; we need to focus on reaching the non-foodies and unconcerned, apathetic consumers. One of the ways I want to reduce my consumption of non-local and non organic produce is by starting a garden. Some of my friends have already done so and have experienced fresh cucumbers, peppers, lettuce, and onions already this summer. If anyone has any thoughts or tips on this, leave me a comment!
If you haven’t seen Food, Inc. yet, I’d really encourage you to do so. Despite reading other bloggers’ thoughts on the movie beforehand, seeing it for myself definitely made an impact.
If you’ve already seen the movie, I’d love to hear how it’s changed your perception of food or your shopping habits.
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