Category Archives: Food for Thought

Food for Thought

NS FFT “Death”

June 2, 2013, by

The purpose of this action project is to see how foods move from the ground, up to your plate. This action project took a lot of time to research and get all the information that I needed to complete this presentation. I learned a lot about oranges from where there are grown to how they get processed in the packinghouse. I learned that there are a lot more steps to making foods eatable. It’s not just pick and eat, it’s more like pick, truck, pack, market, to eat.

GM Food Poster

May 30, 2013, by

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In birth, the final unit of the Food for Thought course, the assignment was to create a poster containing four panels that represented four periods in agricultural history as taught in the course — life, decay, death, and birth. The purpose of the assignment was to demonstrate our understanding of these four periods in history. It was also designed to have us contemplate the future of sustainable food production.

I first came up with three keywords and/or concepts that stood out to me the most in each of the four periods in agricultural history — life, decay, death, and birth. I brainstormed images that could represent my keywords and concepts. Then, I browsed creative commons for images. I put my poster together. I also wrote an explanation of each of the four panels to go along with my poster.

With the industrialization of food, a lot of processed food has been brought onto the market. Farmers have abandoned old farming techniques and have turned to conventional farming. This method of farming is very destructive to the environment. The ideal food system would rely on a variety of growing methods such as organic, biodynamic, agriforesty, and biointensive methods. We cannot just rely on one farming method to sustain us. We must rely on many, because our planet is so diverse. Also, we need to support local farmers by buying our food from farmers markets whenever we can.

You can read the explanation to my poster below.

My poster represents the four different periods of agriculture history as covered in the Food for Thought course — life, death, decay, and birth. The first panel, life, illustrates early agriculture, the domestication of animals, and early society. A picture of a farm represents agriculture. The domestication of animals is represented by a picture of two cows, with the heading above them that says, “Got milk?” This symbolizes how early society learned how to domesticate cows for their milk. Society is represented by a picture of four people fitting puzzle pieces together to form a circle. This depicts the unification of society. Maslow’s hierarchy of needs represents how society was able to fulfill basic needs. The fulfillment of these needs enabled them to practice agriculture and domesticate animals.

The second panel, death, illustrates global trade, our global food system, and monoculture. A picture of a map represents global trade. It shows where various commodities, primarily food, are traded around the world. Our global food system is represented by the distribution chain of the banana, which is illustrated on a picture of a globe. The banana is grown in Ecuador among other places in South America. By ship, it is transported to the U.S. where it is sold to consumers. A harvested field of potatoes represents monoculture. This symbolizes the Irish Potato Famine. This famine shows that our food system cannot rely upon monoculture. Instead, we must cultivate a variety of crops to sustain populations.

The third panel, decay, illustrates the industrialization of food, the food industry, and the American diet. I represented the industrialization of food with a picture of a factory with various foods floating above it. I represented the food industry with the words “Food Industry” written in the palm of a hand. The word, “Monsanto” is written above it. This illustrates how Monsanto, the largest biotech corporation, has a monopoly on the food industry. The corporation has the industry in its palm. The American diet is represented by a version of the painting ‘American Gothic.’ The farmer and his spinster daughter are standing in front of McDonalds. The farmer’s pitchfork is holding a Big Mac. This symbolizes how unhealthy the average American diet is.

The fourth panel, life, illustrates the future of our food system. I represented eating food locally with a picture of a farmer’s market. There is a picture of the earth with the recycling symbol surrounding it. Standing along the perimeter of the symbol, are green people holding hands. This represents how mankind needs to be eco-friendly. In order for our planet to be a better place, it must be a joint effort. Around the earth, are several methods of farming that are written out, “Biodynamic, agriforesty, biointensive, and organic farming.” This shows how we must rely on a variety of farming methods to feed the world. The picture of a happy, healthy boy eating an organic apple, represents how we should eat a healthy diet. In addition, the picture represents how we should try to eat as many organic foods as possible.


American Gothic- Lovin’ It. 2011. Web. 17 May 2013.

Apples. 2009. Web. 17 May 2013.

Blueberry drizzled donut Krispy Kreme closeup. 2010. Web. 17 May 2013.

Cargo Ship. 2008. Web. 17 May 2013.

Factory. 2008. Web. 17 May 2013.

Finkelstein, J. Maslow’s hierarchy of needs. 2006.’s_hierarchy_of_needs.png Web. 17 May 2013.

Food Hot Dog. 1994. Web. 17 May 2013.

Fung, Ryan. “New” Coca-Cola can. 2008. Web. 17 May 2013.

Harper, Derek. Harvested potato field in the South Hams. 2006. Web. 17 May 2013.

Heinz Ketchup. Web. 17 May 2013

Hopson, Steve. Bananas. 2006. Web. 17 May 2013.

Mabel, Joe. Ballard Farmer’s Market-vegetables. 2007.’_Market_-_vegetables.jpg Web. 17 May 2013.

Macaroni and Cheese. 2012. Web. 17 May 2013.

Mantell, Gaby. Hand. 2013

NASA. NASA Goes- 13 Full Disk view of Earth August 3, 2010. 2010. Web. 17 May 2013.

North Central Pennsylvania Farm. 2009. Web. 17 April 2013.

Peanut Butter. Web. 17 May 2013

Phillip’s Atlas of World History. 2011. Princeton University. 2007. Web. 17 May 2013.

Two Cows. Web. 17 May 2013.

Vincentz, Frank. Banana plantation (San Adrés). 2008.és)_04_ies.jpg Web. 17 May 2013.

Working Together Teamwork Puzzle Concept. 2007. Web. 17 May 2013.

Transformation Poster by AH

May 30, 2013, by

In the Last unit of Food for Thought, we had to learn about Designed a farm using an organic agriculture model, Interviewed farmers at a local farmers market and Envisioned the future of food and agriculture, using the Beehive Collective as inspiration. We learned about identifying the 4 moments in agriculture history. I am proud of putting together a poster about the 4 units and making it a drawing and incorporating color and drew different views we predict the future would be like.









Here is my Artist Statement:

My poster explains how the food culture has evolved over time, how it impacts the food we eat, and how we can make things better. The first panel, Life, shows history, origin and time. Long ago, pilgrims kept their farms healthy by rotating the plants and animals and growing a wide variety of food. The farms were small and the food was grown very close to where it was eaten. The second panel, Death, shows our new modern production, processes, and travel. Food is now grown on really big farms and feed lots that are very far from where it is eaten. The food is also highly processed in factories. The factories pollute the air. Doritos for example, are made from processed chemicals, put into a bag, and then the truck drives them very far to deliver them and pollutes the air. The mountain’s remind me of climate change caused by the extra pollution wondering your way. The third panel, Decay, shows slaughter, health, and a factory. The pesticides and fertilizers used by big farms ruin the soil and put poison in our water and we waste energy and pollute our air to deliver the food far away. The slaughterhouse is slaughtering cows and turning them into meat and then transporting it to a market to be sold and eaten. The black water is so polluted it needs to be cleaned out. The last panel shows Birth, farming, and imagine. The farmers I talked to said, “We must return to the old ways of growing food. We need lots of small farms that grow food and raise animals close to where it is eaten. We must use sustainable methods like: composting, crop and animal rotation and no pesticides.” If we do this, our soil and water will become cleaner, stronger, and there will be less pollution. I imagine that more and more people will start small farms that are closer to big cities. These farms will organic use: 1 organic composting, 2 crop and animal rotation methods, and 3 will not use pesticides or chemical fertilizers. I also believe that the people in the cites will start to want food that is produced this way.

What’s in Your Food System?

May 30, 2013, by

For our Food For Thought class we each had to create a four panel mural. This mural should have four different parts representing each unit we have covered in class this term. A few other contingencies are, each panel must connect to the other and stand on it’s own, and all the four parts need to add up collectively. The purpose of this action project was to demonstrate understanding of four snapshots of agricultural history and envision sustainable food production. I am very proud of mural for this project. At first I struggled with my idea for this project but then I worked it out and it turned out great.


ZP. “Food System.”2013.


Panel One Unit 1 Life: For this panel my keywords are: Orgin, life and history. To represent these keywords I drew a child looking looking up at the world because being a child is one of the earliest stages of life. Next are toilet paper scrolls as a fun twist on history scrolls, and the human body to show life. To connect to the next section I used speakers as legs on the body and had the next part of the speaker landing in the second frame.

Panel Two Unit 2 Death: My Keywords are: Impact, Transportation and Produce. The connection of the speakers and the body means this is what we’re hearing, is this what we want to hear? Then I drew a picture of a man holding a gun against the side of the rooftop building. This is to show us protecting the system that we live in. I drew a skyline because we’ve basically reduced our world down to buildings and concrete we’ve killed all things natural. Lastly I have a factory, that is blowing smoke into the next frame.

Panel Three Unit 3 Decay: My keywords are Revolution, Revelation and Investigate. This section is about us realizing the bad things that are happening because of us, so I drew a fire extinguisher putting out the smoke from the factory in panel two. I drew this picture to represent what we could achieve and “sail” to what is best, which is why i drew the boat.

Panel Four Unit 4 Birth: In this last section. I used a fisherman to catch a fish from panel three as my transition. My keywords are Equal, System, and challenge. I represented this by drawing three different pictures of ways we can improve a food our food system. Which include an organic grocery store, hunting (particularly fishing) and planting organic seeds. This amounts to the last drawing which is us with surplus food.

“The Transformation” My Art Creation for Food4Thought

May 30, 2013, by

Food For Thought” class I created a art piece called “The Transformation” that is supposed to represent the food system and environment  in the past, present, and future. I did this by creating 4 panels in the drawing which is our four different units in our class, Life, Death, Decay, Birth. Below in my narrative, you can go in more depth of what these 4 units represent in my art piece. I would have to say the hardest part about creating this drawing would have to be the detail in the dirt and in the solar panel on the fourth and final panel. It was pretty tough getting the right detail in. One thing I am most proud of has to be the piece over all because I have put somuch time and work into this, I feel like it truly represent my understanding of the food system and environment in the past present and future represented in four different units. Please read my artist narrative below to get a better understanding of my piece. Also please view my drawing below!


In my piece above I try to show 3 different generations of farming. I show what farming looks like in the past, present, and I try to depict what it will look like in the future. Starting from left to right, I drew a tribe that is farming all by hand. The first three words that came to my mind while drawing this was, Organic, gatherer, fresh. I thought of these words because I feel like they explain what needs to be done and what comes out of a farm that has no pesticides or technology .
As we move on to the next generation, I drew a factory owned by Monsanto with a farm below. I also drew a water source above that they cannot use because it is polluted with chemicals that come from pesticides dropped from the air to their farms near by. In the farm you can see there are no humans working and this shows that all foods now are processed and not hand grown or organic. Also right next to the farm I drew a bank witch stands for the corporations that make food just for money and not for the health of people. The three words that came to my mind when I drew this generation was factory, processed, pesticide. I choose those three words because I feel like it represent what really happens behind the curtains in our food industry today. In the final generation I drew a farm the only relies on solar energy with solar panels placed on the roof of the tool shed. I also drew a filter in water because
I feel like in the future e will have the technology to filter out certain chemicals from water so we can use in our farms. I also connected a irrigation system that connects the water to the farm so it could get fresh water. Right next to the garden is a 24 inch raised bed that represents biodynamic farming in the future. Also in the farm you can notice that there are humans. I tried to symbolize that to show that in the future most of our food will be grown by hand and not processed through a a factory. The three words that I choose for this generation was biodynamic, fresh, Non-GMO. I thought of these words because I felt like it represent our future of our food industry. In conclusion I created this with four panels that shows how our industry has changed from past to future and past and now to our future.

The Saga of Food Production

May 30, 2013, by

This post is about a mural I had to create for my Food For Thought course. What I was supposed to capture through this project was to show each unit of the course through by drawing pictures that connected and gave an idea of what we learned. I am proud that I was able to draw and paint my entire mural all on my own. I learned how to use watercolor pencils and then how to use them to make painting. I hope you read the rest of the post and enjoy the artwork I made. Enjoy!


     The first panel is Life. It shows that as time passes (clocks made of arrows that move) so does the locations and places that life exists. For example in my drawing it shows corn growing naturally one side of the body of water but not on the other. Below there is a clock pointing to a different time indicating time has changed. Now it shows farmers harvesting and working the crops on both sides of the lake.


     The second panel is Death. This unit showed the modern production of food. So to show this I drew the crop of corn, Some factories to show the food is processed, and then a little map with the Doritos sign in the US and then arrows pointing to where it it shipped/transported too.

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     The third panel is Decay. This unit was made for us to examine the true production of food now. What I drew to show what the current food production system is in The US is a bunch of factories creating huge amounts of pollution that is going into the air and into water killing the fish that live in it, I drew a huge amount of corn being sprayed with pesticides by a airplane that I have the word DEATH written on it, and a map that has the US with the word DEATH on it and arrows pointing to where the food is shipped to.

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     My final and 4th panel is meant to show birth. In the unit of birth we learned of ways to create a new food system that would allow us (the people) to have food sovereignty or rule over our own food!  The type of food system I drew was Biodynamic food system which is where you grow food in raised beds so that it is guaranteed healthy to eat, use compost for most soil and fertilizer, and have the garden planned to fit in whatever space you have. I also drew little arrows at the bottom towards a crown labeled food sovereignty because through this method you achieve food sovereignty.

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GM Restaurant Review

May 15, 2013, by

 photo 36cd1df0-3d8a-49f6-89cd-2906c4a5cc16_zpsdc21943f.jpg

M,G (2013).

In Decay, the second unit of the Food for Thought course, the assignment was to write a review of two different dishes — one that is homemade and one that is eaten at a restaurant. The purpose of the assignment was to determine whether there is a difference in taste between organically and conventionally grown food, and between fresh and processed food.

I chose to review a meal of chicken and spinach prepared at Francesca’s, an Italian restaurant and the homemade version of it. I selected this meal to review, because I love eating chicken. Prior to reviewing the dish, I had always thought that organic foods tasted better than non-organic foods. Reviewing the two meals confirmed this notion of mine. The chicken and spinach that I ate at Francesca’s had that distinct taste associated with conventional food. The spinach was not to my liking, because it was a little on the bitter side. I prepared the same dish using only organic ingredients. My spinach was absolutely delicious.

You can read my food review below.

Food Review: Chicken and Spinach at Francesca’s vs. Homemade Chicken and Spinach

Pollo al Limone photo 50f4dde6-7821-4004-a21b-e1dfa09e0af6_zpsf52d896e.jpg

M,G (2013).

On a cool April evening, I dine at Francesca’s on Taylor, an Italian restaurant. I order their Pollo al Limone, a sautéed chicken breast, in a lemon white wine sauce with capers and spinach. I wait eagerly for this dish to come out. Finally, the food arrives. I am given a generous portion of food, arranged beautifully on the plate.

The two chicken breasts topped with capers, salt and pepper, frame the spinach. The aromas of the chicken are heavenly. I cannot resist. I dig into the tender chicken. It is scrumptious, bursting with flavor. The flavors of the seasonings and white wine sauce define the chicken. I can faintly taste the salt sprinkled on top. I eat a forkful of spinach. It is not cooked to my liking. It is astringent and slightly on the crispy side. The chicken and the spinach taste like conventional food.

Homemade Chicken and Spinach photo 67842004-97b4-4e04-ae48-c5b56f6c8090_zpseb4b2bc1.jpg

M,G (2013).

I make dinner the following evening. Using organic ingredients, I prepare a meal of chicken breast and mexican style spinach. After I lift the top of the pan, the heavenly aromas of the spinach are released. The chicken too, smells good. I plate the food. I arrange the two chicken breasts so that they frame the spinach. The thinly chopped onion and red bell peppers are mixed into it. I take a bite of the chicken. It is delicious — tender and fresh as can be. It is savory. I put a forkful of spinach to my mouth. It is out of this world. They are cooked to perfection — tender and very soft. The bell peppers and onions are carmelized, which bring out their natural sweetness. I can taste the juice from the tomatoes and a hint of jalopeño pepper, giving it a spicy kick.

After eating the two versions of chicken and spinach, I compare them. When I ate the meal at Francesca’s, the presentation of the food on the plate looked nicer than mine. The aromas of the chicken were stronger than mine, because it was topped with more seasonings. Conventional ingredients were used. With my dish, I used very fresh ingredients — organic chicken and vegetables. I used baby spinach, which are very tender and have a sweetness to them when they are cooked. Homemade meals are often tastier than those outside the home. This was the case with my homemade version.

I have observed that Michael Pollan’s food transformation of “Quality to Quantity” is at play with the meal eaten at Francesca’s. The chicken that I ate tasted like it was conventionally raised. Since the american demand for chicken is so high, their quality is sacrificed for an increase in their production. The spinach tasted like it was conventionally grown. Increasing crop yields is the primary focus of farmers that follow conventional growing practices. These farmers use industrial fertilizers on their crops that are often nutrionally inferior to those that are grown by organic farmers. So, they are sacrificing the quality of their crops for an increase in their production.

If you want to indulge in a delicious meal of chicken and spinach, made with only the highest quality of ingredients, then making it from scratch is the way to go. There is nothing like eating a good homemade meal in the comforts of your home.

Fresh to… Not so Fresh

May 14, 2013, by

This post is about a food review I have completed for my Food For Though Course where we are learning about ways that food is changing and how it is affecting us. With this project, we were given the task of going out and finding the different tastes in foods that are made/produced differently. I am proud of finding that processed and easily accessible food may bee cheap and easy but that food you make definitely tastes better and is healthier to. I learned that when you pay attention to what you eat the more attention you are paying to your body and by doing so you already being healthier. If you want to see what I did for this project, check out my presentation below and then read the food review.


Tasting Cupcakes – From Scratch to Processed

by JM

     I am writing this food review to show that there is a difference between food you make and food you buy. I am conducting the test more for me than for you. Because I have to admit, I am a processed food junkie when it comes to sweets. I decided last minute to do a test on more natural sweetening for my homemade cupcakes to see if I could find the same amazingness in my handmade, not completely-processed food.

     The first food I will be reviewing is a cupcake I made from scratch. This cupcake was made of flour, eggs, milk, sugar, butter, and baking powder. Rather simple. I creamed the butter and sugar together, mixed the eggs in, then the flour and baking powder. Then I mixed the milk in. I placed them inside of the oven at 350º F for 25 minutes and then they were ready to eat. I could smell the buttery sweetness. I could see the lightly brown delicacy that I was about to indulge.

     The feeling of the slightly crisp, moist top of the cupcake still makes my mouth water a little. As I bit into this cupcake, a rush of sweetness and moist texture flooded my mouth. It was amazing. I remember tasting the sweet, slight crunchiness of the top of the cupcake and my brain telling me that I wanted more. The saccharine rich flavor of the entire cupcake enticed me into another one. Other than the sweet tastes that flooded my mouth, there was also this little hint of saltiness in the taste of these cupcakes. The succulent carbs I was eating was filled with Omega 6 and the hanging possibility of a heart attack from all the butter that was inside of this delicious cupcake.

     As I read labels on my ingredients, I found a label on my carton of eggs that I decided to investigate. It said, “ United Egg Producers Certified”. I did research and found out that this symbol meant that the animals are kept in conditions that people see healthy for their hens. They call it Hen Welfare. What Hen Welfare entails is: a code of conduct for proper animal handling signed by trained employees, annual compliance audit by independent third-party inspectors, scientifically supported space for hens, nutritious hormone-free feed, fresh water and air available at all times, prohibits feed withdrawal molt programs, strict biosecurity measures to protect food saftey and health, and space for nests and perches in cage-free houses. Although my deepest efforts, I knew that all the ingredients were only somewhat organic.

     The next cupcake I tried was a Good & Delish Red Velvet Cupcake from Walgreens. I took a look at this cupcake and said, “Well this is definitely going to be different.” I got home later and decided I would eat it.

     This cupcake was in a plastic container. I still hear the snap of the container coming off of it. As I pulled out the cupcake, I felt it moist and the icing rather creamy. Then I grabbed the cupcake and took one bite. I felt a rush of too much sweetness hit my tongue. It was overwhelming. It was so sweet it was practically candied tasting and sickly to my stomach. I believe it was the icing on it. As I pulled it away from my mouth there was an aroma lingering in my nose. The smell of chocolate and salt even though they were making a red velvet cupcake. I think from now on, I might just stick to making my own cupcakes. These processed ones just aren’t that great.

Action 3 project DL

May 13, 2013, by


This project was about me going out to find a restaurant and comparing there food to a home cooked meal. What I learned was that my home cooked meal tasted a lot better that the restaurant meal. I can relate this to a time I had sweet potato pie at a store and when my grandma made a pie hers tasted a lot better.



Food For Thought


I’m comparing restaurant ribs from TGI Fridays to cooked ribs off a grill. In the process I wii be  using my senses. I will describe how the ribs, how they smelled. I will be also be talking about how this connects to Michael Pollan’s five food rules. I will also be talking about the different ingredients in the two different ribs.


Homemade Ribs

I’m going to start with the ribs made from at home. I bought my ribs from the store called jewels one hundred percent pork meat. I grill my ribs on a grill that I have in my   backyard. I use jack denials barbecue sauce from jewels. I cook it for about 30 minutes till the meat turns dark red.  I sometimes wait a little longer so the meat can get a little juicer, but after all that I sit down and ate them.


 Restaurant Ribs

At the restaurant TGI Fridays I order the one hundred percent pork baby back ribs. The wait for the ribs were about twenty minutes. As soon as I walked in they seated me. They brought  me water the after five minutes they ask to take my order and thats when I waited on my ribs to get down. The restaurants baby back ribs were juicy the meat was dark red like my homemade ribs but the had there own special barbecue sauce. They would not tell me what type of sauce it was. Also the ribs were diced up into small strips of meat. Unlike my homemade ribs they were hole strips of ribs, that mean they were pretty big.


Taste test


Homemade ribs:






Touch:rough, wet


Restaurant Test:


Taste: juicy,spicy

smell: salty


Touch: rough, wet,sticky


Food Review

While I was eating the ribs I could taste the sauce and they both tasted kind of similar, but the ribs at TGI Fridays the sauce tasted a little spicier than my homemade ribs, and it was also has that tangy taste to it like my homemade ribs do. This reminds me of one of the food rules from quality and quantity. The quality of the the food since I only made one rib the quantity was low because I only paid attention to only one rib and the quality was high because it was so good.




In conclusion  for the ribs from TGI Fridays were very interesting it was delectable and they ribs were made in a very different way from the homemade ribs that I made. My ribs were juicier than the ribs from TGI Fridays, But the service there was very good they treated me well and served me fast. It took me just as long for me to make my ribs just like they did as well. I just can’t believe that the ribs from TGI Fridays tasted just as good as my homemade ribs the so alike but they’re so different in so many ways.


Food Taste Test by AH

May 13, 2013, by

In the third unit of our Food For Thought class, we have to understand the impacts these changes have had on our food and our environment. We also learned about completing a series of readings and responded to reading prompts about the industrialization of food, learned to read food labels and analyzed common ingredients in processed foods, learned to distinguish flavors in processed and organic food and we also written or created a video food review. I learn how to read food labels and learn about the different unknown ingredients and to see if they are safe in food or not. I am proud of putting this Food Review together  because to see the comparison between organic tomato-sauce dish and a non organic dish and to see which is much healthier for you.