J500 Media and the Environment


Satisfaction Through Learning by jackiemcc

What I expected to learn, and what I did learn in this course, couldn’t have been more different. I came into this course expecting to learn about ways in which we can be more environmentally responsible, like recycling. In fact, we didn’t learn much about that at all. We discussed how food impacts the environment. Not only did we learn about general knowledge of environmental food issues, like the difference between “local” and “organic,” but we contributed to the community as well.

This semester we were able to work the newly-formed Douglas County Food Policy Council for our service learning project. For me, this was the best part of the class. I am in another service learning course this semester, and the satisfaction that comes from helping someone in the community while learning, is tremendous. When you are able to have a hands-on experience, you learn so much more than you could by reading a book. Hands-on experiences help you connect and see how things work and impact your life.

Through this experience, I was able to learn about the impact of local foods to many local farmers and KU students. I didn’t realize its impact on so many people. Before this class, local foods didn’t really cross my mind. I knew they existed, but I didn’t realize they were that big of an issue. I thought eating them was something people did nonchalantly. From this experience, I realize it’s larger than that; for some people, it is their life.

Through my interviews, I also learned about and toured a hoop house. A hoop house is a plastic-roofed greenhouse. Photo Courtesy of: http://www.growingformarket.com.

This experience impacted me the most because of our involvement with the community though. After all is said and done, I feel satisfied knowing that I contributed to the community, and that all my hard work will pay off for someone else too, not just me (as compared to a non-service learning course where I’m just earning a grade for myself). It makes me feel good that I am helping someone else out.

-Jackie McClellan



Reconnect: With Your Health by alyv

food-as-medicine-banner

Most people know bananas can corral Charlie horses. Some figure carrots help eyesight. And we know eating oranges keeps you from coming down with scurvy.

But what if our food could go beyond fixing our hiccups? What if, instead of filling prescriptions and taking a conga line of pills, we could find natural remedies right there in our fruits and veggies?

Turns out, we can.

People started using herbs and produce as medicine more than 5,000 years ago. Although food has changed a lot in that time – with the advent of pesticides, herbicides, additives and artificial flavoring – food still contains nutrients that can tame the common cold and keep your blood sugar low – you just have to know what to look for.

For the most part, foods with the highest nutrients, and therefore more medicinal, are the foods grown organically and, preferably, local.

“Conventional vegetables that are brought in tend to lose essential nutrients before they are bought,” said Pov (pronounced Paul) Huns. He used spinach as an example, saying spinach loses essential nutrients when it hasn’t been consumed in at least a week.

Pov is an urbaepazoten farmer in Kansas City, Kan., and grows more than 40 vegetables on his 4-acre farm. He started his farm, not for the tax write-offs or the sales income, but for the health benefits of naturally grown, local food.

Try Pov’s ginger or epazote for your irritable-bowel syndrome.bitter-melon

Menstrual cramps? Put down the Midol and have some bitter eggplant.

Got high cholesterol, high blood pressure and/or high blood sugar? Pov’s bitter melons might help. New research has found that this fruit may be an alternative medicine for HIV.

lemongrassCan’t beat your cold? Have some organic, locally harvested lemongrass tea.

And if you’re not satisfied with your allergy pills, try his pak choy. The blooms are supposed to help with the itching and sneezing.

But Pov isn’t the only local contributor to the medicinal food movement.

honeyKansas City also has a few resident-beekeepers. The honey from their well-kept bees have many medicinal purposes: preventing seasonal allergies, treating cuts and burns, upping your energy, providing natural vitamins and antioxidants, helping you lose weight.

It’s incredible to think that food has the power not only to sustain us, but to keep us alive and healthy too. That health care doesn’t have to come from a bottle, but can come from a vine out of the earth or the honey of a bee.

That the food we take so much for granted could help free us from the prescription-world we live in and release us into a world where food, grown as it should be, where it should be, provides us with all the nutrients and medicine we need.

By Group 2: Matt Bristow, Justin Leverett, Aly Van Dyke and Tina Wood

Thanks to Botanical Research Center, Gourmet Sleuth, Alumni Roundup, Food Subs and Alibaba,  to for the pictures

Thanks to You Tube for the video.



is convenience a crime? by dmdeshazer
March 4, 2008, 3:20 pm
Filed under: Food + Health | Tags: , , , , ,

What my food says about me? One word: convenience.

For a typical 24-hour period, here’s a rather intensive chronicle of my eating habits.

I woke up and my stomach was growling before I went to work, so I grabbed the only thing I had time for: a low-fat Granola bar (Chocolate Chunk flavored, if you wanted to know). I was feeling groggy and tired (which is usually the case, but rarely I have a solution for it) so I made two cups of French Vanilla cappucino mixed with coffee and creamer. I always used to say that caffeine had little to no effect on me– that was until I sometimes added coffee in the morning.

Anyway, as the morning wore on at the Ogden Publications office, more specifically the Natural Home magazine office, my stomach grumbled for a little snackity-snack. I had a small, yet always promising, stash of snacks in my drawer, so I ravaged the end of my Reduced Fat Wheat Thins box. Travis Brown, a fellow classmate of ours, came in and stole a couple, but I won’t hold it against him.

Lunch time was a-nearing, and I hadn’t had time to bring my lunch (note: remember that granola bar on the way out of the house?), so I was listening to my cravings. Lucky for me, my cravings are usually the same things: sandwiches and thai. I chose thai, and went on a rather rewarding experience to Tup Tim Thai in Topeka, Kan. I was feeling brave, so instead of sticking to what I get every single time at any Thai restaurant (Chicken Phad Thai), I ordered this peanutty, tangy curry– Panang curry. It changed my life. I am craving it just talking about it, or rather, writing about it, or rather, typing about it. I might just order Thai tonight only because I can’t stop thinking about how sensational this curry was.

Needless to say, I was pretty full after stuffing my face. I did find room in my tummy for two peanut M&M’s I found in my desk drawer (they were still in the bag) before the work day was over. For dinner, I was in a rush, running from Rock Chalk Revue rehearsal and the Stauffer-Flint building to work on a lab project. I grabbed a turkey sandwich from my favorite sub place, Jersey Mike’s, and went on my way.

Now, that might not be the most typical day, but it is rather indicative of my eating habits. I’m always on the go and rarely have time to plan out my meals. No, I don’t eat all-organic or even really try to eat local. I’m not too concerned with additives either. I’m just trying to be honest. We’ve all heard about this bad stuff– I just can’t help myself when I have already consciously chosen not to make the time to visit farmer’s markets, or research on the foods that’ll work better with my body, or cook meals on the weekend for easy access during the week. I’m just worrying about getting my homework done, succeeding in classes, graduating, having fun. Sure, maybe I won’t be having fun later if I contract some evil disease, and somehow I feel like I’m going to get knocked down for saying that I don’t eat organic, but is it really a crime? I wish I could say I was better about this, but I’m just putting it out there that I’m not.

–Danae DeShazer