Food For Thought Milestone #3

The third milestone for the FFT class was to do a taste test of homemade foods versus restaurant foods. The two that I reviewed were a homemade chocolate chip cookie and veal parmesan from Sabatino’s in Irving Park. When I conducted my reviews of these two foods I found very many tastes and consistencies that sometimes surprised my tastebuds. I had a very good time eating these foods because it gave me the opportunity to touch my iron chef side and be a food critic. I also really enjoyed doing this project because it gave me the opportunity to eat some delicious foods!

The first taste test that I conducted was the home made one. I ate a home made chocolate cookie and it was very different from a chips ahoy cookie. The first taste that I had with the first bite is one of crunch, the home made cookies are a lot more crunchy than the factory made. The second taste that I had was a sweet sugary taste, and the factory cookies are definitely the ones with less taste. The last taste I had was that the factory cooked cookies did not have an aftertaste of an oven, but the home made cookies did. The homemade cookies contain more sugar because they are very much sweeter than other cookies. Whenever I eat these cookies I always think of coming home after school. My mother would make cookies for dessert on week nights occasionally and I recognize the smell of her cookies because it is very specific. Whenever I eat her cookies I think of how industry has changed the taste of foods because my moms cookies are more naturally sweet rather than nabisco’s tasteless food.


I went to Sabatino’s Italian restaurant in Irving Park for my second taste test. I ordered the veal parmesan for the course of the meal that I was reviewing. When the food arrived, the portion was very large, but I was eager to taste it. The first bite entailed a warm sauce and veal held together by melted parmesan cheese. The veal is very tender and my teeth are given just the right feeling of consistency in the meat. The sauce is not clumpy at all and is still very coagulated. The parmesan is perfectly melted into the breaded meat. The meat was very sweet, with a salty mix of sauce and cheese. The combination of these two dominant flavors gives a delightful taste to your tongue. Whenever I have veal parmesan it reminds me of going to Rosebud on Taylor St. on the south side of Chicago. Whenever I go there I order the same thing because the taste it offers is irresistible. What I found to be true from the readings in class is that the food that has natural ingredients is definitely tastier than one without due to the processing of the food.




FFT Milestone 2

The second milestone of the Food for Thought class was to find an issue and demonstrate the parallels between crop mono culturing and human mono culturing. I chose the deforestation of the rainforest because I thought this showed both sides properly. One side being the deforestation is wiping out crop diversity and the other side being that the Brazilian government is creating a monoculture by deforesting to transport commodities through the vast rainforest. I have thought about this issue very differently after learning about various mono cultures of the mind over history and the surprising amount of similarities between crop monocultures and historical monocultures such as the Holocaust.


There is an uncanny relationship between the life of the rainforest and humans, and this is called monoculture. What is a monoculture? A monoculture is the exclusive planting of one variation of a crop thereby eliminating crop diversity and only planting one variety of crops. This creates discrimination of the other crops because they are cast aside and not planted. A monoculture does not only apply to crops, however; it also applies to humans. Since the beginning of time, there have been humans trying to create a monoculture society.

   Over history, many leaders have tried to create this type of society and just as it has with crops, it failed with humans. Dictators such as Hitler or Saddam Hussein have tried to create monocultures by killing off people that they saw as unfit for their “perfect” world. Hussein was a member of the group that is known as the Sunis, and he was trying to eradicate another group known as the Shiites. Adolf Hitler believed that blonde haired, blue eyed people were the perfect race, also known as the Aryan race. In order to attempt his monoculture of the German people, he had Jewish people imprisoned and killed during the Holocaust of World War 2. These are two key examples of mono culturing by eliminating diversity, however there is another monoculture of the mind and that is segregation. An example of this would be the American segregation of Whites and Blacks in America. Blacks could not even use the same water fountains as white people because of this government dictated monoculture.

  In terms of the deforestation of the Brazilian rainforest, there is an issue of mono-culturing in both senses. The Brazilian government faces a huge issue because they need to deforest the rainforest in order to transport their commodities across the vast region of the Amazon. The trees are also used for materials to build homes for those in need. With the deforested sectors completely flat, farmers plant soybeans and other crops that are in high demand. The government has a monoculture of the mind with the rainforest by encouraging the dismantling of the diverse rainforest to create monoculture farming.

  In order to address the issues that the Brazilian government is facing, I would like to have a negotiation between Brazilian government officials and scientists that study the conditions of the rainforest. The reason why I chose these two groups is because they can come together to create a strategy to keep the rainforest from being wiped off of earth permanently. At this negotiation I would serve the many fruits and foods that exist in the rainforest to demonstrate the importance of keeping the region safe. The use of these foods would symbolize what would be lost if the rainforest is not cared for properly. With this arranged meet between the two groups, there could be a plan that could save the rainforest. Even I have thought of some ways to save the rainforest so if the powerful minds of the Brazilian government team up with environmental scientists there’s no telling what good they can do.

 The suggestions that I would have at this negotiation would be to utilize the deforested space better. In certain areas that have been cut down, only small spaces are utilized for things such as farming or living. With a better plan for usage of deforested areas of the rainforest, there will be less demand for more flat land. Another discussion point that I would discuss with both sides is the vitality of keeping the rainforest. I would show them that with the rainforest completely eradicated, they would have a similar situation that Kenya did when the British colonists burnt down the vast forests. The country was never the same after that until only recently there has been a tree planting incentive to save the once rainforest esque Kenyan landscape. The most important issue to discuss would be the social implications of the deforestation. There will be civil unrest if privatized military organizations harm the farmers that are only trying to protect the rainforest that has given them the gift of life and food.

FFT Introduction

The new course that we are beginning is the Food For Thought course, or FFT. In unit one we explored our own family history for recipes as well as found the places of origin for many plants we eat today. Our first field experience included us interviewing someone from our family about a family recipe and creating a family tree. I interviewed my mother and I learned that my favorite recipe “…has only been tradition since 1993” I chose the ingredient most common in my favorite recipe, cow! The reason why I researched this ingredient is because it was a very popular item in the union stockyard based in Chicago. The stockyard was host to many animals and was considered the meat packing center of America, right here in our city. I learned these facts from my research and the origin of the cow which was in the fertile crescent.

MDG Milestone 4

For this milestone, I was to create an action plan concerning the environmental sustainability and connectivity of Chicago. The following paragraph is my action plan with an image to convey my idea.

The city of Chicago is one of the largest cities in the United States, therefore there is most likely an issue with the urban setting and what it does to the environment. There are many parks and trees located around the city, but is that enough? A plan to create a more environmentally friendly and efficient city is necessary. The plan would be a three year operation to create a greener Chicago for all of its people to feel better and enjoy the scenery. A three year plan would be implemented in order to plant stronger and longer lasting trees, as well as create rooftop gardens. The idea behind the rooftop gardens is to take unused space and create an environmentally stimulating and visually stimulating space. In order to implement the three year plan, each year 33% of roofs will be changed into rooftop gardens and a number of trees will be raised in the newly created sapling nursery. After three years there will be a significant increase in environmental sustainability due to the gardens and the saplings that will be planted throughout the city.  

MDG Milestone 3

The third MDG Milestone was to take a country and write a country profile for it. I chose the country of Burkina Faso because my brother did a country report on it in seventh grade. I knew that it was in Africa and that was all, therefore I decided to find out more about it.

The country of Burkina Faso is located on the western coast of Africa. As a large group of African countries do, Burkina Faso has problems with children’s health and poverty. The millennium development goals that focus on children’s’ health apply mainly to Africa. The problem that Africa has with HIV/AIDS and children’s starvation is the lack of funds to properly maintain health. The problem of children’s health does not lie in how many survive births, but how many children are not properly nourished. In Burkina Faso, 37% of children under five were severely underweight. This is a significant number of the very young population in the country. This could be the key to most children’s health problems in Africa because in comparison to HIV/AIDS, Malaria, and other complications that are prevalent in the region, hunger is by far the largest problem. Burkina Faso can allocate majority of the funding they gain towards fixing children’s starvation due to the heavy amount of children that have a problem with starvation.

MDG Milestone 2

For the second milestone of the MDG course, I interviewed a doctor about infant mortality rates in Chicago as well as globally. I conducted this interview in order to get a better idea of a topic in which I am not familiar with and the responses and interview.

In order to find more information about children’s health in general, I talked to a doctor that lives down the street from me. His name is Lew Coulson and he works at the veterans hospital in Chicago. He did not have much knowledge about the millennium development goals, but he did acknowledge that children’s health is a growing problem around the world. He noted that specifically in Africa there is been a significant amount of trouble in comparison to other regions. When asked what the main reason for the malnutrition and lack of sustenance for children is, he stated that it is the socioeconomic problems such as lack of funds for food and lack of proper resources to grow foods. He stated that to fix these problems of children’s health, we have to supply more financial support in order to pay for the planting of crops and the delivery of food to keep the young generation healthy and alive.

MDGs Milestone

For this milestone project, I created an action plan in order to eradicate poverty and hunger in the city of Chicago. This pertains to MDG number 1, which is to eradicate the earlier mentioned on a global level. I think that it is important to start on a local level to solve a global problem as I learned in my global peace course.

Just over a decade ago, the United Nations created what they called the millennium development goals. The first goal discusses the aspect of eradicating poverty and hunger throughout the world. The only way this can happen is if it is taken care of on a local level. In the city of Chicago, there is a wide range of socioeconomic status. There are some of the world’s wealthiest and on the other hand there is a portion of Chicago that is impoverished and hungry. The best way to bring all the people of the large city together while attacking the problem of money and hunger is a “People’s Restaurant”. The idea behind this is to create a very affordable source of food that is available to all in the city in 2014. The plan for said restaurants will be placing them in numerous strategic locations around Chicago to attract all those in need. There will be seven locations spread out over the northern, central, and southern sides of the city based on socioeconomic demand. Two will be situated in the north, two in the center, and three in the south. The millennium development goal will be a success because with the addition of these restaurants, the citizens of Chicago will be able to eat for less and save money. The reason why the food will cost so little is because the local government will allocate a portion of taxes collected towards the project. With this project and the teamwork of the city and its citizens, Chicago will have a tool to eradicate the problems of hunger and poverty.

GD's MS1 for MDGs and You

Satyagraha Presentation

For this presentation, I created a propaganda poster as a solution to not only Egypt’s political issues, but our own issues of violence here in Chicago. The painting is of a gun with a flower sticking out of the barrel with the phrase “Bravery is not measured in bullets”

I liked this project very much because it gave me the opportunity to use art as a political influence that can inspire people to put down their arms and come to an agreement. The purpose of my poster was to really pop out to the people and I think I accomplished that goal with the vivid colors and the yellow background. The project was a lot of fun to do as well because I got into contact with my old art teacher from grade school who managed to give me many great talking points for my research. I think I will follow up on this project and go out into the public and put my images around in order to spread the word of my non violent call.

The Internet Apology

The assignment given to us was to write an apology speech similar to the one that Socrates gave to the court when he was being tried for corruption of youth and practicing the wrong religion. Socrates was a philosopher that was famous for asking questions and taking both sides of an argument and deconstructing them to create understanding of both sides. The reason why I chose the Drucker Center’s internet is because if the issue is deconstructed and analyzed, we will be able to find the proper solution to the lack of internet in the building. If my apology were to be similar to Socrates’s apology, then my goal might be met and we might be able to have internet of incredible speeds in the center.