Thursday, May 6, 2010

Peer Response 4 to Justin Hillebrand's Genetically Modified Foods

I read Justin Hillebrand’s post on “Genetically Modified Food”. He starts out by saying what genetically modified food is and then has two articles about them, one “for” and one “against”. He then, talks about each article and tells what is in each of them. Then, Justin shares his opinion on this topic. He thinks that genetically modified foods are good, but we still need to have natural, organic, foods so that we don’t lose it. I like this post, and I’d have to say I agree with his views on this topic. I agree, because genetically modified foods could end world hunger, but we can’t lose our original plants.

Post 5: Compare two online articles

The legalization of marijuana is currently a popular topic for many people. I found two opposing articles on this subject. The first one “Legalization of Marijuana” is for the legalization. This article starts out by sharing some statistics about arrests in the US due to marijuana. Then, it goes on to point out the impacts of these arrests on the families, simply on their choice of a recreational drug. Next, there is a statistic pointing out that there are no deaths recorded due to the use of marijuana. They point out the possible health problems due to abuse compared to other drugs, which are minimal. Next, the results of a medical study by UCLA were given and concluded that there were no differences in smokers and non-smokers of marijuana.

The second article is “The Case Against Legalizing Marijuana”. This article starts with a “for marijuana” point and refutes it. It then goes on to point out that if it was legalized, the big tobacco companies would start making it cheap, but start putting stuff in it like cigarettes. Another point is that if we do it for an economic purpose, we are forgetting our morals. They compare it to if only California were to lower the drinking age to 18, lots of 18-20 year olds would come to California and be irresponsible and create chaos. It ends with saying that medical marijuana is fine, but they aren’t going to go support legalizing morphine and Vicodin. Then, they say the effect it would have on the work-force.

I think that the first article is more convincing, because it has statistics and facts. Both have some good points though. After reading both of these articles, my viewpoint still hasn’t changed on this topic. I think that they should legalize it, because when you compare it to alcohol, marijuana doesn’t have as near as many effects on you.

Monday, April 19, 2010

Peer Response 3 to Kristin's Celebrity Endorsement

Kristin’s blog Celebrity Endorsement was about the AT&T commercials with Luke Wilson, whom she didn’t know from any movies. She felt that Luke Wilson probably didn’t have AT&T as a carrier and that AT&T should have gotten a bigger name celebrity. She also linked to another blogger who had the same opinions as her on the weaknesses of this ad campaign. I also agree with her on all of these accounts except I know who Luke Wilson. I only know that, because I’m a movie nerd. Everything is very clear and concise with her post.

Post 2: Prepare a meal

One of my favorite foods is chicken cordon bleu. I usually purchase them from Schwan’s, when they stop at my house. If my mom cooks them, we usually have some sort of vegetable with it, like cooked mixed vegetables. This meal is fairly easy to prepare. First, you need to have your food you’d like to eat and also, wash your hands. Then, preheat the oven to 400F and put the unwrapped cordon bleu on a foil-lined baking sheet. Once the oven has preheated, put the sheet in the oven and set the time for 30 minutes. While the chicken is cooking, you start to prepare your side for the meal. I decided to cut up some fruit for a fruit salad, which is really easy to make. You start by choosing your favorite fruits and then, start cutting them into small pieces. I usually choose apples, oranges, bananas, kiwi, and purple grapes. The grapes don’t have to be cut in half, but can if you prefer. Now that your chicken is close to being done cooking, you’ll just have to take it out of the oven and put them on a plate with your fruit salad. Remember to turn off the oven and clean up your utensils after eating.

After reading In Defense of Food, I agree with some of Michael Pollan’s comments, but also disagree with other comments. I agree with the fact that we need to slow down our eating habits and enjoy our food when we eat. I disagree with the statement “a flood of damaging innovations for years to come”, because I think that it’s for the better that we know and learn what is in our foods. Once we understand our food, we can enjoy it and know it’s good. This didn’t affect my meal choose. I really like both of the foods I made, even if someone were to tell me it’s bad for me.


So, I've been reading the book The Rules of "Normal" Eating by Karen Koenig. I highly recommend it for anyone who is either afraid of or obsessed with food. Or for someone who just plain wants to enjoy their food again.

I used to be the type of person that would forget to eat. I'd go for hours, keeping busy with things like drawing or reading or watching a movie. It wouldn't dawn on me that I was hungry, until my stomach started growling at me, like a gentle tap on the shoulder.

To continue reading, click on the title.

This article agrees with my view on eating to be satisfied and enjoy it. It doesn’t suggest anything about organic foods or unprocessed foods, but just eat something that sounds great to you at the time of eating.

Friday, March 26, 2010

Peer Response 2 to Austin Spohn's Tiger's Gatorade Endorsement

I read Austin’s blog post Tiger’s Gatorade Endorsement. It talked about the product Tiger endorsed, which was a sports drink. It was for hard working athletes that needed to focus also. Tiger had the credentials to promote this product and it went well for him monetarily speaking. Gatorade dropped Tiger recently due to his recent fiasco. The article that Austin put with this was about the details of the deal for the sports drink endorsement. This is a nice blog post, because it’s current in times and has to do with a lot of talk in the past couple months surrounding Tiger Woods. The opinions are clear, but there’s not many and there doesn’t have to be. This is more of an informative blog post than a persuasive or opinionated blog post. I guess I agree with Austin when he says it was a unsuccessful campaign for both of them, Gatorade and Tiger.

Post 3: "Real" food vs. "fake" food

In Michael Pollan’s In Defense of Food, he says that we can improve our health by just eating “real” foods, such as fruits, vegetables, meats, and whole grains. I wish it were that easy to get a hold of fresh fruits and meat from a butcher every day. I really enjoy hamburgers and that is a food that can be “real” and “fake”. The “fake” burger is usually smaller, not juicy, bland looking, tastes like newspaper and card board, and smells like cat food. The “real” burger is usually juicy, tender, tastes great, smells great, and is more expensive. The “fake” food doesn’t provide any addition vitamins/nutrients, but is usually the same as the “real”. I have “fake” burgers usually at MacDonald’s or a fast-food restaurant. I still have the “real” burger, but that’s usually at home when we grill or a nicer restaurant that actually cooks its burgers. I will return to eating the “real” burger when I go home for the summer, but will still have the “fake” sometimes, because of the convenience of fast-food.


Enjoy your barbecue this weekend? Our expose of the meat processing industry could change your mind

By Ryan Parry

DRIPPING with blood and oozing thick layers of defrosting fat, 31 giant chunks of compacted "meat" trundle up the conveyor belt.

An unpleasant stench hangs in the air and I rip open yet another pallet crammed with boxes.

It's my first day on the production line of a meat factory, and I'm feeding a giant stainless-steel mixer with the vital ingredients for an Iceland quarter-pound burger.

But as I load another huge 20kg block of white fat into the machine the wholesome image of a juicy beef burger nestled between a golden sesame-seed bun is quickly shattered.

To continue reading this article, click here.

This article is saying how bad the burgers and meats that are mass produced.

Thursday, March 25, 2010

Demonstration speech self-evaluation

After watching myself give a demonstration on throwing a bowling ball, I realized I don’t like the sound of my own voice. After I got over that, I looked at it through the eyes of a critic. I thought that some of my strengths were breakdown of the steps, volume, physical demonstration of the topic, and the background of the topic. I thought that some of my weaknesses were energy and enthusiasm, eye contact when giving the background, and the visual aid effectiveness wasn’t that great. I thought that the relevance was good, but not great. Also, my organization was okay and could have been improved. I thought that my eye contact when I introduced the steps and when I went through them was very good. The visual interest I created wasn’t that good, and I wish I would have pointed out my nice bowling shoes. I would use the same topic again, because I felt that its relevance is really good. Lots of people go bowling every year for fun. I thought that if I do this it could spark an interest in them. If I could do this over there are some thing I would change. First, I would have drawn a bowling alley up on the white board to show where I look at, stand, and the path of the ball. Secondly, I would have practiced saying the background part without having to read it directly from the card. Lastly, I would have pointed out my shoes, or I would have had equipment in the background.

Friday, March 5, 2010

Peer Response 1 to Pat Brady's Real vs. Fake Food

In Pat’s real vs fake food blog, he tells us of his love, beef jerky. He would go to local farmers market in Delaware, and buy beef jerky from the local butcher. He described how great the jerky was and told the price of it. He compares that to here in Madison. Pat can’t get the same great tasting jerky here as he did in Delaware. At Carson’s carryout, the jerky has a terrible taste and is processed. Here he links to a page about the food science of junk food. This article goes on to defend food processing. It compares today’s food processing to when our grandmothers made meals in the kitchen. The article goes on the break down what was in our grandmother’s homemade meals and that it’s similar to what food processors do today. Then, the article says that American Indians added some weird things to their meals such as wood ashes. The article goes on to compare raw, fresh vegetables to cooked, frozen or canned vegetables. It is common belief that raw, fresh vegetables are better, but there are numerous studies that there are negligible differences and that processing the vegetables make it easier to attain the nutrients. Back to Pat’s post, he wonders why they can’t make the jerky here like they’re supposed to. I understand where he’s coming from, but the article he posted doesn’t go with his argument. I think he is saying that real food tastes better than processed foods, but that is an opinion. Overall, I agree with him that “real, fresh” foods usually taste a bunch better than processed foods, but the article tells me that processed foods are just as good for me.

Post 4: Brett Favre Hyundai Commercial

Brett Favre is one of the most popular and well-known names in football today. In this Hyundai commercial, they make a joke of Brett's inability to retire from football and have him winning the MVP of 2020. It goes on to say that the next ten years could be unpredictable, but that your Hyundai will be covered. I believe that they do an excellent job using Brett Favre's retirement limbo and associating it with unpredictability. Then, they nicely assure you that they're product will be durable and make it ten years without problems. Brett Favre doesn't directly endorse the product, but since he's in the commercial, he's endorsing it regardless. I doubt Brett has a Hyundai, but that's a guess. The campaign could be successful, because people know Brett Favre and that makes the probability of it succeeding quite a bit better. I had a hard time finding people who wrote a lot about this. They either said they loved it or hated it. Here is one blogger that liked like me. She just says she loved it and had the outtakes with the original video.

Friday, February 19, 2010

Post 1: Response to In Defense of Food, by Michael Pollan

So far, Michael Pollan’s argument so far is that people and scientists don’t know what a nutrient is or does. His other key point is that nutrionalism is winning in our society and it’s making our nation prone to chronic diseases and, in general, fat. Pollan goes on to say that food scientist are changing our food to get rid of any “bad” nutrient, and put in or retain the “good” nutrient. Overall, his point is that a food is good for you by the collective nutrients in it, not an individual nutrient that’s in the food such as the whole carrot instead of beta carotene.

The first point I would like to focus on is what a nutrient is. Pollan says that scientists can’t see them and have no clue what they are. This is where I disagree. Food Scientists do know what they look like and what most nutrients do for you. I found an article that I'd like to share. Nutrient Intake, Nutrient Storage and Nutrient Oxidation

The second point I want to talk about is that we probably should change our thinking of how we eat. Pollan makes a good point that we didn’t have these problems 100 years ago, but he has no concrete proof to back it up. You also have to remember that we have become less active due to technological evolution. So, our eating problems might be due to more than one factor.

The last point I that I disagree with is when he blames the farmers and industrialization. He doesn’t realize that farmers were and are trying to keep up with demand by the population. Also, the farmers don’t change the food to make it “bad”. They’re grow the same crops every year, while the food scientists change it to a processed “bad” food.

Top 7 Misconceptions on Healthy Food Eating

Healthy food eating is just something everyone talks about these days. We’re bombarded with print and TV ads that promote all sorts of “solutions” and products that claim to get the entire nation in shape. There’s just no getting away from it.

With all the scams out there, we all need to practice good judgment from here on out. That’s why I’ve prepared a short list of myths that will hopefully set the facts straight and help you make better healthy food eating choices.

Thursday, February 18, 2010

USDA Outlook; Food Security; Biofuels; Climate Issues; and USDA Civil Rights

USDA chief economist Joe Glauber provided an updated economic outlook for agriculture yesterday at the Department’s Annual Outlook Forum in Arlington, Virginia.

In part, Dr. Glauber noted that, “On February 11, USDA’s Economic Research Service (ERS) released its initial estimates of farm income and production expenses for 2010. ERS forecasts net cash income at $76.3 billion, up $5.5 billion from 2009” [related graph from presentation].

And with respect to crop prospects for 2010, Dr. Glauber stated that, “Less land is expected to be planted to the major field crops in 2010 as prices continue to ease from their record levels in 2008…Total planted area for the 8 major crops (wheat, corn, barley, oats, sorghum, soybeans, upland cotton, and rice) is expected to decline to 247.3 million acres, down 1.6 million from 2009. The 8-crop total is down 5.7 million acres from the recent high in 2008 as the net returns outlook is much less favorable than 2 years ago when prices were at or near record highs” [related graph from presentation]