J500 Media and the Environment

April 23, 2010, 2:37 pm
Filed under: J500 Week 13

As I sit here, the only thing on my mind is hunger.  It is mid afternoon and I have just realized that I forgot to have lunch.  School work has taken over the precedence of eating today.  The closest I’ve had to food since my 8 am breakfast is a venti non-fat latte from Starbucks.

The coffee has helped me get through the day but I imagine if I had eaten something then I would have had a longer lasting burst of energy.  Presently, I am thinking of the millions of people in the world that suffer from hunger everyday.  I have “suffered” hunger for only hours.

Should I tell myself that I am lucky to have eaten just hours ago or should I scold myself for whining about being hungry?  Growing up in the suburbs of Kansas City, I have never really been exposed to those that suffer from hunger.  I know people are living suffering from hunger, but I have never stopped to think how that must feel.

When I hear of people starving to death, I feel so sorry for them.  Any type of death is sad.  However, I have just realized that I haven’t put myself in their shoes before.  How would it feel to be hungry for days at a time?  That is a scary thing to think about.

-Tess H


Do “good” and “bad” foods really exist?

I absolutely love brownies, especially when they are soft and gooey.  Man, they are delicious!  Even though I love brownies, I consider them more-or-less a “bad” food.  I tend to do this with a lot of different foods, that is labeling them either “good” or “bad.”  In my mind, I think of bad foods as offering no nutritional value.  I think of “good” foods as those that give way to a full feeling without packing on calories.

Because I have this mindset, I tend to stay away from foods that I have labeled as “bad” foods.  However, slip ups are inevitable.  You always want what you can’t have and in my case, these are “bad” foods.  I can only say no so many times to pizza, cookies, brownies, you know name it.  But then, it comes too much.  I don’t know if this has ever happened to you, but When I want to eat something so bad, but I know I shouldn’t, that one food begins to take over my mind.  That forbidden food is my only thought.

Instead of allowing myself a little piece of brownie, or what have you, when I want one, I may eat 2 or 3 after so many times of saying I won’t allow myself to have any.  The aftermath of eating a few brownies as opposed to one is uncomfortableness and sometimes guilt.

I can recall some early morning shows that blatantly say that “this” food is good and “that” food is bad.  The “good” food category in my head has been easier and “safer” to eat than my “bad” food category of food.  I am also a fan of Cosmopolitan Magazine, but I was not a fan of this article called “13 Healthy Foods That Make You Fat.” They failed to acknowledge that you can still eat these foods in moderation.

The categories of “good” and “bad” foods began to take a tole on my everyday life.  These two categories began to consume my everyday thoughts.

There is too much of life going on for food to be the only thing controlling a person’s life.  I finally realized that I needed to dramatically change my thinking, which would then change the way I lived my life.

I found out the tools I needed to start on my journey of a different thought process.  I started seeing a nutritionist whom at first I was reluctant to believe anything she was saying.  She made me write down a list of “good” foods and “bad” foods.  She then proceeded to tell me that there are no such thing as “bad”  or “good” foods.  My first thought was, “This is a conspiracy!”

However, after more sessions with my nutritionist, I began to see that there was no difference between “good” and “bad” foods.  No one should have to deny themselves a food that they like.  I learned that having a few bites of something that you are hungry for will prevent a major craving for in the future.

Since going through this experience, I have thought about the way I ate when I was a little kid.  I realized that no one really taught us in school how to eat.  For me, I think it would have been very beneficial to have some sort of nutrition class once a week in elementary schools.  The way I would see it bringing in a nutritionist or dietician and teaching kids how to get the nutrition they need as well as how to eat the foods they like in moderation.

I have totally transformed the way  I think and feel about food and can now enjoy the foods that I choose to eat.  It has definitely been a learning experience, but I think it has been the most rewarding and positive journey I have taken thus far.  I highly suggest to set up an appointment with a nutritionist or a dietician.  I think you will find that your eyes, and mouth, will be opened.

-Tess H.

What is healthy?
March 5, 2010, 2:50 pm
Filed under: J500 Week 7 | Tags: , , , ,

Growing up in a Jewish family, food has and will always be an important tradition.   Brunches at my grandparent’s house occurrs monthly with the standard lox, bagels, and egg casserole. 

“Tess, eat more,” is what I hear at every meal with my grandparents.  By the end of every meal, I am full up to my ears.  Dessert is a must for my grandma.  So even after brunch, the dessert that is served is usually some type of pastry or coffee cake.  Usually a brunch is just one course, but for Grandma Stella, it turns into at least three. 

What I do find interesting about my grandma is that she thinks everything she cooks is healthy.  She always stresses to me that she is making a “healthy” meal.  However, when I see her preparing the steamed vegetables, I see her putting a stick of butter on top.

When I was little, this didn’t phase me.  Now that I focus more on my health, when I see her do this, it makes me cringe!  I don’t understand how she thinks this is healthy!  Is this a generational thing or am I making too big of a deal out of this?

It seems like a stick of margarine is my grandma’s weapon; she puts it on absolutely everything and calls it healthy!  I really don’t understand it.  I try to empathize with her in that food was nearly impossible  to afford for her family when she was growing up.  Maybe that is why she doesn’t really care what she is putting into her meals.

I don’t know if I should give in to this and just eat whatever she makes or if I should say something as in suggesting a healthier way to cook things.  The questions that arise are “will this offend her,” or “will this make her upset?” 

What is this correct way to approach someone on this issue?  Personally, I am very conscious about what I eat.  When I see my grandma preparing her meals with the ingredients she uses, that is all I can think about during the meal. 

Through writing this, I think I have discovered my plan of action; I am going to suggest some healthy options for my grandma as well as cooking with her.  This will not only bring us closer, but it will inform my grandma how to be more healthy.

-Tess H.

No say about food today
February 26, 2010, 4:43 pm
Filed under: J500 Week 6, Society + Media | Tags: , , ,

If someone were to ask me what my favorite food was, I would probably choose the simple lunch meat, turkey.  I could eat turkey everyday and never get sick of it.  However, if someone were to ask me how often I eat my favorite food, I would maybe say once a week.  Why, you ask?  Living in a sorority house gives you no freedom to choose what you eat.  The menus are decided by the chefs; basically, I just eat whatever they make even if I dislike it.

From my living situation the past year and half, my choice about the food I eat has basically been eliminated.  Since money is tight for the average college student, going out to eat usually isn’t really an option.

There is one place that has a special place in my heart, Subway.  The prices are great, it’s fast, and it’s healthy.  The five dollar foot-long has dramatically impacted my life; I mean I can buy one sandwich and get two meals out of it.  It’s brilliant!

If people are what they eat, I’m Subway.  Living on my own next year, I am curious how I will choose the poster foods of my pantry.  When I envision my kitchen next year, I see lots of fruits and veggies, pasta, and chicken.  Who am I kidding, I don’t know how to cook!

I’m sad to admit it, but I think everything in my kitchen will be packaged. This article describes how packaged foods are not the most healthy food, but is this going to stop me from eating it? Probably not.

Therefore, I will not have to mess with the whole cooking thing.  Looking at this previous statement, I realize how pathetic I sound; I don’t know how to cook and I really don’t have any desire to learn.  Good thing I’m not planning on becoming a house wife!

I’m really not too picky of an eater and will basically eat anything that is placed in front of me, which basically doesn’t leave me any time to think of where the food came from.  My hope for next year is that as I (hopefully) start going to the grocery store, I will be more conscious of where the food I’m buying is coming from.

I’m going to call next year my training year; I’m going to figure out what foods I really enjoy on top of being aware of where they came from.  Hopefully after my “training year” I will have a set list of foods that I always have my pantry and refrigerator stocked with.


I'm not a big fan of spicy chicken wings but it was in front of me, so I ate it.

-Tess H.

Localizing Frito-Lays Chips
February 19, 2010, 4:05 pm
Filed under: J500 Week 5 | Tags: , , ,

I found the article about Frito Lays Chips being locally made by Bruce Horovitz to be very interesting. Frito-Lay is such a huge industry; it is hard to believe that they are trying to “localize” their industry. I stress the quotation marks because I laughed when I read that they were coming out with this new campaign about how their chips are “local.”

The article points out that the brand has always been an American brand. However, because the current trend is to go “local,” I believe Frito-Lay wants to jump on the bandwagon. The article states that Frito-Lay chips have always been produced in the United States. Now, Frito-Lay wants to make it blatant to its consumers that this is so by starting this campaign.

The article talked about a chip tracker on the Frito-Lay website, so I thought I would check it out. The chip tracker is a tech-device that tells what state a person’s specific bag of chips is from.

Currently, consumers want to know where their food is coming from. From a business standpoint, Frito-Lay did an excellent job. I checked out the chip tracker and found that a bag of chips I bought in Kansas could potentially be made in, say, Florida.

I mean, I think it is interesting to know where the chips were made, but then again, Florida is thousands of miles away! When I think of “local” food, I think foods that are produced no farther away than one’s state.

This leads me to believe that Frito-Lay may be trying to “local-wash” its consumers. To me, it seems like the company is tricking its consumers into believing that the chips are indeed local, even though they may actually have been produced across the country.

I believe this is where the ambiguous term of “local” comes into play. It seems like Frito-Lay’s definition of local may be “made in the United States.”

“Going green” has often been thought of as growing crops without any chemicals. However, on the Frito-Lays website, it stresses how many tens of millions of pounds of potatoes are grown in various states. If you click here, you will be able to see a map of the United States and be able to scroll over every state that produces Lays. Personally, this sounds a little fishy to me and too industrialized to be “green.”

I found this video of a farmer for Frito-Lay from Maine on the Frito-Lay website. The farmer appears quite personable in the video and it actually made me sigh with happiness. Then, it occurred to me that this family’s farm is most likely very industrialized and not environmentally friendly.

-Tess H.

How many definitions are there of sustainability?

What is sustainability?  When I was first posed with this question, I was hesitant as to what my response was going to be.  I was trying to think of the correct definition; I didn’t want to sound like I didn’t know the right definition.  Before I blurted out my premature answer, I did some research on the word, “sustainability.”

The first place I wanted to look at was the dictionary.  So I went to dictionary.com but to my surprise there was no entry for “sustainability”; however there were defintions of the word “sustain.”

I thouht I was going to be golden after “finding” sustainability in the dictionary that when I came back to spill out my definition, it would be the “right” one.  I was wrong.  through more research, I found that there are numerous defintions of sustainablity, and there is no concrete definition of it.

There are such websites that use the title of “sustainable food” to call to the attention of activism.  This article is warning people that a bill possibly being proposed to the Senate could be harmful to people.  Various chemicals will  be used to cover up any unclean practices of companies.

What I gathered from that website’s definition of sustainability is protecting foods from being injected with any more unnatural chemicals.  It seems to me that this website encourages ordinary citizens to start taking a stand and taking it upon ourselves to help protect our foods and the environment.  Out of three head nods for sustainability, I definitely give this website 3 head nods!

As my journey for what the one definition of sustainability lead me to other websites, I came across one that I for some reason felt relaxed when I came to it.  I mean, the website is called eartheasy.

The background of the page made me feel like I was in nature.  As I began clicking through the website, I hadn’t learned anything that I didn’t already know.  For instance, one of the pages on the website gave suggestions of where kids and adults could play in the environment.

The examples given were all ones I could have though of on my own.  I gave this website 1 1/2 head nods for sustainability.

When I think back to the 70’s (even though I wasn’t alive yet) I think of hippies who loved the environment.  This YouTube video of Jim Carrey from In Living Color shows that mainly hippies are portrayed as being “earth lovers.”

-Tess H.

Green Awareness
February 5, 2010, 4:50 pm
Filed under: J500 Week 3 | Tags:

Money, money, money. Shoot, I would do a lot of things for money. It looks like ToysR US had the same idea when they introduced a line of “eco-friendly toys.” Coincidentally, this line will hit stores on Earth Day! For some reason, that just made me laugh. Of course they would release the line on Earth Day! It does seem somewhat strange that businesses are jumping on the bandwagon of green things and whatnot and millions of dollars are being made off of this movement. However, my thinking is that any type of reference to helping the environment is good. I have to admit that I have never been that into doing anything “green.” However, with the help from various media outlets and celebrities endorsing going green, I have become more aware of what I can do to help the environment. Everywhere I turn, I feel like I am faced with some type of ad, commercial, campaign, or what have you about the environment. Because of all these things, I am now aware of the environment and I cannot ignore it. I am curious if the green movement is merely a trend, or if people will be more environmentally friendly long-term. I’m thinking that maybe this needs to start out as a trend to start making people aware and then gradually people will start actively participating in the green movement. I feel like this is the way that I will be successful in doing my “green” part.

-Tess H.