J500 Media and the Environment

All in a day’s eats by Chardonnay

I kept a food diary for 24 hours and then thought, this is hardly representative of my habits. I haven’t eaten a single m&m, I had three breakfasts (not in place of any meal, either… I’ll get there), and I didn’t eat any snacks between meals. Then I went back 24 hours and decided that I couldn’t ‘fess up to it because it was entirely (and uncharacteristically, I swear) too greasy. I began to log my current 24-hour period and at the time, I was sipping a latte and planning to bring $18 Whole Foods little fruit-topped cheesecake to my mom for her birthday. I decided that diary sounded too snobby.

Conclusion: Upon reflection, food, like trash, is intimate. We are well-accustomed to answering only to ourselves about what is acceptable and have strong beliefs about how our habits define us (or how who we are define our habits). When I write the foods down/take a picture of my trash, I have to come face-to-face with my daily habits, sans my mental justifications.

Dear Diary (Saturday 9am – Sunday 9am)
1 bowl of my cereal mix (All-Bran, Shredded Wheat, Grape Nuts, Granola) and All-Natural Dannon Vanilla yogurt

Another bowl of the same (I was particularly hungry and planning a very active day)

1 mug of coffee w/ cream and sugar

1 PB & J that my man graciously made and brought to the library for me (aka made on his corn-syrupy wheat bread, non-organic partially hydrogenated oils-filled peanut butter and … I think it was all-natural jelly, actually. I know I’m hypocritically inconsistent w/ my organic demands, but I prefer a body-friendly PBJ since it occurs so frequently in my diet.)

1 apple that I found in my backpack from Friday

–hours and hours and hours pass with no snacks and lots of playing outside!–

1 Jason’s Deli salad-bar salad

Delicious Jason’s Deli strawberry shortcake

A second salad

More delicious strawberry shortcake

–No nighttime snacks because I was early to bed. I had breakfast before work @ 7am so it must be included in this 24hr period–

1 bowl of cereal mix and yogurt

1 mug of coffee with cream and sugar

You are what you eat? Today I was many helpings. Looking at what’s in a Happy Meal, it is clear that my m&m addiction, my job at First Watch (where foods must be researched on the sides of many cardboard boxes shipped from who-knows-where) and my residence in the USA promote a lifestyle full of ingredients I can’t pronounce much less predict what they are/where they came from/what they do in my digestive system.

One good thing I can say is that Jason’s Deli promises zero trans-fats, no MSG and an ongoing effort to reduce/eliminate high-fructose corn syrup from menu items. It also take initiative to make lots of cool eco-conscious efforts to reduce its footprint, like foam-free to-go packaging and napkins/plasticware by request only to reduce waste. Through extensive primary research, I’ve also found overwhelming evidence that it is damn delicious, too.

-Sonya English

[Please limit the articles you send me about over-eating and portion control.]


6 Comments so far
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A lot of restaurants have started making shifts to provide more ethical food options, and to green themselves. Chipotle has started making strides too, offering quality meats and using recycled materials for decorations. Now if only they could figure out properly sized portions…

Comment by jkongs

Isn’t it interesting? If I am what I eat, I am a whole lot of organic, chocolate, dairy, and packaging. Few few fresh foods have entered my diet this winter. Everything is encased in something, which means it’s less healthy even if it is grown without pesticides. Add to that the amount of packaging that ends up in landfills, and I long for summer. . .a time when I eat more stuff off trees and vines and less off store shelves. Of course there’s always canning, but I am still trying to master compost so it’ll take awhile. . .

Comment by j500

I think it it very bold for people to admit what they consume, and what they waste. It is hard because we are admitting that we aren’t perfect, that we are hungry people that are short on time. I wish I could say all I ate was perfectly healthy, organic, and environmentally and ethically sound foods, but no one is perfect and everyone indulges and desires those sweets in their tummy. I think as long as we think about what we are getting ourselves into, then its a step in the right direction! Kudos to you for really detailing your intake!

Comment by julianat

I forgot to add my name ! The comment above ^ is by me, Juliana!

Comment by julianat

Thanks, Juliana. I loved what you said in class about the organic cookies– that hey, this is the one class that I could bring cookies to and worry that they won’t get eaten! I have the same perception of everyone in our class exclusively eating vegetables from their backyards and riding their bikes to their hometowns. However, everyone ate (and loved!) the cookies and we’re all learning from each other the changes we can make. Perfection isn’t possible right now because sometimes tight budgets, hectic schedules and organic/harmless food can’t all live together in harmony. What’s interesting about food to me is that while there are countless changes that could easily be made (reformulating fast food recipes, reducing packaging and additives, consuming meat more infrequently) it seems that to keep up with the world’s massive population, it is truly impossible to be as kind to our land and our animals as we’d like to be while producing enough food to feed everyone.


Comment by Sonya

[…] look to “Reduce” before “Recycle” in my triple-R toolbox. I mentioned in a previous post Jason’s Deli’s new practice to include extra resources only upon request. This easily […]

Pingback by Can I get you some extra global warming with those pancakes? « J500/ES624 Media & The Environment

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