Friday, April 30, 2010

Austin's Potato Post

In Austin's April 19th post, entitled "Real" Potatoes vs. "Fake" Potatoes, he talks about how he used to eat mashed potatoes that were "real", but since college has been eating the boxed variety for simplicity. Although he says that the boxed potatoes are very comparable both nutritionally and taste-wise to real, homemade mashed potatoes, he says he will probably some day return to making the real thing.
Austin also provides a link to
Junkfood Science, which has an article called "Processed foods aren't real foods". In the article, the author Sandy Szwarc begins talking about how people are taught to fear processed foods, and look out for anything with a long, unrecognizable name in their foods ingredient list.
Then, she surprises readers by giving her explanation of why all foods that are cooked are "processed" and how processing can be highly beneficial at best and unharmful at worst.
I loved the article Austin posted with his blog. Also, I thought Austin did a nice job of talking about mashed potatoes. It was simple, yet effective.

Post 5: Compare 2 online articles

UW Madison to End Nike licensing relationship vs. Purdue: Nike did not violate licensing agreement

Summary: A factory that makes collegiate apparel for Nike closed down and did not pay it's workers the 2 billion + that it owed them in severances. Purdue argues that it is not Nike's responsibility since they did not own the factories or cause them to shut down. UW students, however, urged Chancellor Martin to sever ties with Nike because they did violate UW's Code of Conduct.
I think that the article from UW is more convincing. We can't shut our eyes to wrong doing, which is essentially what Purdue has done. I had already made up my mind on the issue before I read the articles, so reading them has not changed my mind.
I feel as though many of the classes I have taken while at UW have deeply explored social injustices, such as the mistreatment of factory workers. It is good to see students and academicians putting their beliefs into practice. When I first read about UW severing ties with Nike, it made me very proud to be a Badger.

Sunday, April 18, 2010

Response to Darius Feaster's blog about Peaches

In his April 14th post about real vs. fake food, Darius Feaster compared the advantages and disadvantages of fresh and canned peaches. He said that although he used to enjoy fresh peaches when his mother would buy them from the store. Now he resorts to eating canned peaches, and although he finds them more consistently sweet than the real kind, he opines the fact that much of the nutrients available in peaches are lost through the canning process. His link is to an article by Dr. Leslie Van Romer, who talks candidly about real and fake foods. Dr. Van Romer urges people to eat as close to natural as possible, because when we fill up on junk food we're not leaving much room for the good stuff that will help us live long, happy and healthy lives.
Darius' article was clear and convincing, and maybe will help me pick a little healthier food choices in the future

Post 4: Analysis of a celebrity endorsement

Lance Armstrong is in an advertisement for Michelob Ultra Light Beer. It's called "Little Extra" and he is shown waking up early in the morning before a workout and adding a "little extra" milk into his cereal (thanks to the calories saved by Michelob Ultra Light Beer. Then after a hard workout he is shown relaxing in this beautiful mountaintop bar with friends. It is a super sexy ad and kind of makes me like Michelob. Lance Armstrong is a really good celeb to sell anything, especially beer. Look at how widespread his Livestrong campaign was, I mean, who didn't have one of those yellow bracelets? Okay, I didn't. But just about everyone I knew wore one, and it sparked a trend where you'd see people wearing multiple bands in different colors, all having different meanings. Lance Armstrong sells.
Armstrong said of his decision to campaign for Michelob (as quoted on, October 7, 2009), "I'm always making decisions that complement my active lifestyle, and this includes my beer choice when I want to enjoy a cold one with friends or take a break from training. I'm excited about my association with Michelob Ultra, a brand that supports cycling and running communities across the U.S. and is a favorite among active adults."
The commercial rated a 5.31 for popularity during the Superbowl. It didn't make the top 10, but wasn't the least popular either. I think the ads will do well, because I liked them, and I also noticed them a lot in magazines, more than other beer ads. And in the world of beer, more advertising = more sales. The article in, linked above, said that Armstrong is in some ways a good fit and other ways, very odd for selling Michelob.

Friday, March 26, 2010

Demo speech

A few weeks ago we had to do demonstration speeches for class. I did a presentation on PIZZA COOKIES!!! I thought it was the best speech I've ever done. I did a thorough job of explaining why pizza cookies are relevant to the average student, and my breakdown and organization of steps couldn't be simpler!
Also, I was full of energy and enthusiasm, and had great volume. I used lots of eye contact, and I used my body language to convey excitement to the class. Also, I think I did well at physically demonstrating the topic. Everyone could clearly see what I was doing, and they had material at their desk to follow along.
My visual aids were some of the most effective in the class, and I think they were visually interesting, at least to some degree.
I would do the same topic again, because I don't have expertise in many other areas. Pizza cookies are so simple, they are hard to mess up or get nervous about. I've learned from past speeches to avoid complicated or controversial subjects. I had a lot of fun doing it, and I hope people enjoyed it, even though pizza cookies are pretty much inedible after they've been plastered with a weeks worth of sugar. In the future I might try to refine it by experimenting with different toppings, like a less sweet frosting, and fruit instead of candy. Also, I might try homemade cookies that are less sweet than the store bought version, or more buttery...
If I could redo the speech I would dress better. I think the rest of it just "is what it is". I try to get these sorts of things over with and not look back.

Pa Nhia- Fresh Spring Rolls

Yum! Yum! Yum! Pa Nhia's fresh spring rolls made my mouth water.
In Pa Nhia Thao's March 25th post, she showed us (her classmates) how to make spring rolls. Then she talked about fake foods and how sometimes as busy students we just don't have the option to eat healthy. However, choosing to eat better is a long term goal for many of us.
Pa Nhia's ideas were very clear, and I agreed with everything she said.

Peanut butter Lovers and trans fats

Growing up, we usually ate the "natural" peanut butter, which was free of additives like partially hydrogenated oil and sugar, but now I just eat the regular kind. The regular kind tastes better, and is sweeter and smoother. Plus, you don't have to refrigerate it so it spreads easier; and it doesn't seperate into an oily mess. I used to enjoy the natural peanut butter, but it would be hard to go back to it now.
The "fake" p.b. provides the same nutrients that natural p.b. does, but has a lot more unhealthy additives. They are not complete nutritional equivalents (the extra junk in "fake" p.b. has a host of associated health problems). The kind of peanut butter I eat (Jif) doesn't have any added vitamins or health claims (except that "choosy moms choose Jif")
In college I developed more of a taste for junk food. Although I had previously been a conscientious eater, I lost a lot of weight my first semester in college and eating healthfully did not seem as big of a priority.
I know that I don't want to harm my son's health by feeding him junk food, so I will most likely improve my eating habits as he eats more and more regular table foods.
Check out the link to in the title of this blog. It talks about the trans fat content in peanut butter is very low, so you don't have to worry about it. I think they're right for people who eat an otherwise healthy diet, and don't eat more than the recommended serving size of peanut butter. But, what about kids that live off of peanut butter???

Monday, March 8, 2010

Response to Louisa Daniels post

In Louisa Daniels ( blog, she critiqued the diet product Quicktrim.
She basically stated that Kim and Khloe Kardashian, the sexy sisters who are promoting Quicktrim, have no scientific credibility towards selling this product. Included in her presentation, are two links to Quicktrim websites, as well as a link to a site critiquing Quicktrim. I thought the critique, which basically made the point that Quicktrim is not a real lifestyle change but only a quickfix that may hinder people from making real, positive changes, had the right idea. People should definitely try to focus on correcting poor health habits and see what that does for their body, before turning to quick fixes and diet fads. I thought Louisa did a great job of keeping her post succint and to the point, and her links were pretty good choices. Also, she had a clean, visually appealing format for the post, and the content was informative. Good job, Louisa!

Wednesday, March 3, 2010

Prepare a meal

Last night I made a "Hungry-Man" dinner, which I bought last week when I was in the frozen food section of Wal*Mart getting some "Banquet" frozen dinners. I picked up a Hungry-Man for my husband because he eats those a lot. However, I was very hungry last night and decided to have one instead of my normal t.v. dinner (there are more than twice as many calories in a Hungry-Man versus a Banquet t.v. dinner.) All I had to do to prepare it was set the oven to 350 degrees, cut the plastic off the chicken and brownie, and pop the thing in the oven. Then I waited forty minutes for it to cook. Forty minutes later I was enjoying a hearty, trans fat laden meal. I scarfed most of it down, and felt great afterwards. Clean up consisted of just throwing the box away, and washing a couple barely used dishes. Overall, I think the ease of preparation and clean up (and the headache saved from not trying to make something that has 20 ingredients and makes a big mess) made it a very enjoyable meal. Also, I liked that I had to wait forty minutes for it to cook, because the anticipation increased my overall enjoyment of the meal.

As for Michael Pollan's statements in In Defense of Food, I took major offense at some of the things he said. Perhaps Christians in the 19th Century did lead us to eagerly accept low-fat and processed foods. However, a low-fat diet is not the reason most Americans are suffering from an obesity epidemic. It is the brownies, the cookies, the fried chicken, the soda and the pizza. In short, I think Pollan was trying a little too hard in this chapter to make connections that are very loose, at best. The meal I ate did not affect my opinion. To me, it doesn't matter what you eat, but how the food makes you feel. Therefore, having some commonsense rules to keep your diet in check may be beneficial. Check the link to I've included to see the benefits you can reap from a better diet; such as, fewer headaches from drinking an adequate amount of water.

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

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

In the book, In Defense of Food, Michael Pollan says that we need to eat food. However, he isn't simply referring to the t.v. dinners and candy bars I love to eat, but real food, the kind our grandparents used to eat. He refers to the trend of "nutritionism", which is (in short) the practice of food fad-ism. Food is reduced to nothing more than nutrients, and scientists are working hard to find ways to eliminate the unpopular nutrients and incorporate the "good" ones into the genetically engineered stuff we eat today. Under the guise of nutritionism, anything can claim health benefits, even candy bars! But instead of becoming healthier, this Western diet is giving us heart disease, diabetes, obesity, and other kinds of "unsavory" diseases.
One point I'd like to refute is that humans need mostly plants. Although it is suspected by many that a diet consisting mostly of plants is the most beneficial, Pollan himself says later in the book that it doesn't matter what kind of food you eat, as long as it's real. Humans are adapted to a large variety of foods and can thrive on bugs, meat, dairy and other such diets. He even suggests that the health dangers associated with such foods may not be what is naturally in the food, but rather what we humans add to it (ie: antibiotics, growth hormones, etc.), and the way that we make it (ie:feeding cows corn instead of letting them graze naturally).
I do agree that food can not be re-created in a laboratory. A book I am reading, called Greater Healh God's Way, makes much the same point, and it was written in 1984! People have long suspected that our current scientific knowledge cannot measure up to what nature has evolved to give us (or God).
The link I included above takes you to Stormie O'Martian's testimonial, and a summary of her book. I included it because I think Michael Pollan and Stormie O'Martian would agree in their nutritional beliefs.

Friday, February 5, 2010

Uncovering the Nutritional Value of Oats

By Stephanie Yao
Oats have been widely touted for their many health benefits to humans. In part, these benefits are likely derived from avenanthramides (Avns), a metabolite with potent antioxidant properties found exclusively, among food crops, in oats.

Healthy Helpings

Shop Once Have Veggies All Week
Even if you can only make it to the grocery store once a week, you can still have fresh produce at your fingertips every day. Just follow these simple guidelines for buying, storing and cooking to get the most out of your weekly shop.

Test post

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