I have become fond of the idea of starting a garden. Partly because I love fresh vegetables and because it will allow me to monitor my plants and I will know they are fresh and free of chemicals. Everything will be organic! It will also be cheaper because organic food from the store is usually expensive. In order for it to be organic no synthetic fertilizers or pesticides will be used. Here are some steps that can be helpful.
- Preparing the Soil: Good soil will help result in healthy plants. You can test the soil for its quality but if you don’t then make sure the soil is a dark color and has a lot of organic humus. To help the soil you can add compost.
- Making Compost: Start with an area or a container to put your compost in. For good compost you need the right ratio of nitrogen and carbon-rich organic waste, mixed with soil, water and air. In simpler terms, some leaves, grass, soil, kitchen scraps, soil, and very little water. If done right it shouldn’t stink but if it does add less water and more dry components like leaves.
- Choose the Right Plants: It all depends on your area on what plants to grow. You’re not going to plant an exotic fruit in a place where it is cold most of the time. Also keep in mind that some plants need more light and some need more water. If it rains a lot where you live don’t plant a cactus. A good place to buy seeds is at a farmer’s market because their seeds usually have not been open to any chemicals. Some plants that will give you the best results are Indeterminate Tomatoes,Non-Hybrid (Old-Fashioned) Pole Beans, and Swiss Chard. I personally love Swiss Chard.
- Watering: The best time to water is in the morning because if watered at night the plants are more likely to get a disease. Give the plants about 1 inch of water every day. It is best to water the roots not the greenery because it is easily damaged.
- Weeding: We all hate it but it must be done.
- Harvesting: During harvesting time it is ideal to check the garden daily so you can harvest the plant when it is at its peak. If you have herbs you can pick them a while before you are going to use them so they can dry. Make sure to be gentle and dig down a bit around the plant.
- Clean up: Clean up all dead and diseased plants so they won’t infect other plants. This will help keep your garden healthy.
Since I have watched Food, Inc. I have become more aware of what I am actually eating and not all of it is necessarily pleasant. I have decided I’m going to be more aware of what I’m eating and want to share my advice. I don’t just want to eat healthy food but food that is safe to eat. I want to stay away from preservatives, genetically modified food, and anything that doesn’t treat their animals right. Anything processed is also on my list to stay away from because of their potentially harmful effects. To stay away from these things can be hard and may involved some research and a cautious eye. you’ll have to read the labels but that may not reveal everything about the product since genetically modified foods aren’t on the label. Something my family does to avoid some of this is shopping at our local farmer’s market. There the vegetables are fresh and there is a local butcher where we get meat. I highly recommend this to people concerned about what they are eating. Organic foods are also an option; this means no added chemicals or pesticides are used; it’s all natural. You could also grow a garden, then everything is fresh and you know exactly where it comes from. Another option is living on a farm but I know that’s not for everyone including me.
One thing I know I will do and encourage is to have a healthy balanced diet that includes exercise. To do this you can use the Canada’s Food Guide and take that information to buy food that is healthy and safe. Another easy way to avoid these kinds of food is to eat at home and not at restaurants. These foods tend to be high in salt and often are processed and are not organic or local. This can make a big difference and allows you to keep better track on what you’re eating. Here is a website for more information on Canada’s Food Guide: http://healthycanadians.gc.ca/eating-nutrition/healthy-eating-saine-alimentation/index-eng.php?utm_campaign=CHS1213&utm_source=google_en&utm_content=ADV0096-12_sem-ad-1_en&utm_medium=cpc&utm_keyword=%2Bfood%20%2Bcanada%20%2Bguide
One of my friends told me about this site to help you keep track of your diet and physical activity. If you are eating out you can enter your meal and it will give you information on it if you ate at a major restaurant. http://www.myfitnesspal.com/
There are thousands of subway restaurants in Canada and I’m sure basically everyone has eaten there and thought that this is healthier than other fast food restaurants. I know when I am at volleyball tournament that I eat subway because I feel that it is a better choice but is it really? It depends on what exactly you order but generally subway is not healthy. In fact it can be worse for you than other fast food places including a Big Mac from McDonald’s. A Big Mac only has 540 calories and 29 grams of fat while Low Fat Sweet Onion Chicken Teriyaki Sandwich has a whooping 760 calories with 9 grams of fat and other subs can add up to almost 1000 calories. This is about half of a persons daily calories if they wanted to stay fit and healthy. It shocks me that a so-called healthy fresh food is indeed not healthy at all.
Subway prides itself on being fresh but it really isn’t. All the meats are processed, pumped with preservatives and have sodium nitrite in them. This is used in processed meat to make them look red so they appear to be fresh but really they have been shipped from somewhere far away and the meat is no longer fresh. There has also been multiple studies that prove that a daily intake of sodium nitrite increases your risk of getting cancer! Isn’t this crazy. in the 1970’s the USDA tried to ban sodium nitrite but was overruled. Food industries fought back with saying the USDA was trying to ban bacon. Then if you actually look at the vegetables you will see that the lettuce isn’t that fresh looking at all. Then the bread is made with refined flour which means that the original grain has been striped of all its natural healthy components. Think about that paper mache project we all have done in elementary; remember how sticky that substance was. Now imagine that bread you eat; all of that flour does when it is digested is turn into a sticky mess like that paper mache. That bread doesn’t provide any nutrition and definitely isn’t healthy.
Now you may be wondering why we believe Subway to be in reality it isn’t. The main reason is because of the advertising; it tricks us into thinking what they want us to because like any business they want the money. Recently, they have advertised that if you were on a diet of only subway that you could lose weight like Jared Fogle who achieved to lose 245 pounds. They also recommended a daily walk along with this diet. The thing is that it is very hard to lose weight on burgers from McDonald’s but by looking at the calories it would be easier to lose weight on burgers than Subway. BUT it would still be unhealthy, challenging, and most likely leave you hungry because nothing in your sub actually takes a long time to digest so you would quickly burn it off and have no energy. Compare it to a healthy, hearty breakfast of eggs and sausage to a bowl of sugary cereal or a slice of white toast; the eggs definitely are more filling. Who wants to eat sandwiches 24/7 anyway? Then they say everything is fresh but who has ever heard of ‘fresh’ cold cuts, eggs patties, chicken patties or even canned tuna? Crazy when you actually look at what Subway is presenting with a clear mind; they have hidden the truth right before your eyes. Subway says what they mean by ‘fresh’ is that it is made right in front of you not that the ingredients are fresh. That isn’t what I think of when I hear fresh. I am extremely disappointed in Subway.
After I learned all of this about Subway I started to questioned even the most simplest things they stated. I’m sure we all have seen their advertisement for their foot long subs but have any of you ever wondered if they are actually a foot long? I went to Subway and found that my sub was only 11 inches not 12. Then when I searched to see if this wasen’t a one time deal I found these images.
This shocked me and I no longer have the respect I used to for Subway. What is your opionion on this?
There are lots of things that we don’t know about our food, from the ingredients to the conditions the product goes through. One examples are genetically modified food because they don’t put on the label that genetically modification was used. Another example would be what cows go through in a slaughter-house; they want a lot of money so they put so many cows in a small space that they are trampling over each other and walking in deep, disgusting feces this can all result is disease that makes it into our food including contributing to E-coli. Then there are the chickens which are feed certain food so they are bigger and fatter in a shorter time and because of this the chickens organs and bones aren’t strong enough to support themself and some die and most of them can only take a few steps without falling. Most chickens also never see daylight because they are kept in dark houses so they are easier to catch and ship off; they say that when they are kept in the dark they don’t fight back as much. Isn’t that tremendously atrocious! We never know what our food has gone through before it reaches our mouth and sometimes it is extremely shocking. You know how we are taught not to take candy from strangers because we don’t know what is in it or what will happen to us after; well isn’t that kind of what it is like with our food industry today, not knowing exactly what we are consuming or if we will get sick after eating it. We wouldn’t knowingly put ourself in that kind of danger.
I think this should change so when we go grocery shopping we know exactly what we are purchasing to feed our family. I want to know every little detail about what I am eating including if it is genetically modified. In my opinion the government isn’t involved enough with our food industry; there should be more testing done and more laws and regulations in order to keep us safe. one of theses laws should be more accurate labeling that doesn’t keep any secrets from the public. No one likes secrets, especially big ones that could potentially put our life at risk. information about our food should be better spread so more people can make informed choices;this should be discussed in newspapers and on the news. The businesses should also care about their customers. I’m positive they don’t want one of their customers to die of a faulty product they produced. It’s not good for their image nor their mind and residing guilt. I’m also sure a big law suit could follow which I’m sure wouldn’t be a pot full of gold. There should definitely be some change and improvement.
The consumer also has some responsibility. A desire has to grow inside them; they have to want to know and learn. The company may put on the label what is in it but we have to read it in order to know what is in it. We can’t just wait for the information to be handed to us on a silver platter; companies can only do so much when informing us on what is in their product. Consumers also have to be somewhat knowledgable so when it says on a label that it is genetically modified, we know what that means and can then make on informed decision. The responsibility of knowing what is in our food products definitly goes both ways.
When I leave home my diet will definitely change drastically because both of my parents are extraordinary cooks that can cook the best meals in the world. when I come home from school one of them is usually in the kitchen making some delicious meal; they both love to cook especially my dad. He is always watching the cooking channel trying to learn something new and to gain some better skills. his favorite show is Micheal Smith; he said “No other show even compares!” Sometimes I wonder if he is possessed. my dad told me he likes that he is a good cook but still family orientated. Chef Micheal Smith say ” I’m a FoodTV host, cookbook author and official food ambassador for Prince Edward Island, more importantly I’m a Dad and passionate home cook!” Then, there are the million cook books that occupy multiple cupboards in our house. There is always a new cook book that my parents are buying and they will say “But this was in unique and has a cool recipe.” I wonder if they even use all of the books that they have; there’s just too many recipes for them to have tried every one. They are both centred around health too; we always have a balanced diet with healthy ingredients. I wouldn’t be surprised if they are addicted to cooking. All I really contribute is the cleaning; I love putting on some loud music and just cleaning when no one is home. The feeling of contentment I get from a clean kitchen is wonderful but that is all I do. My mom does the shopping every sunday and during the summer my dad goes to the farmer’s market every thursday. This all contributes to why my diet will change.
I usually eat fairly healthy and I would like to continue to do so when I leave home. It might be hard considering the unhealthy food tends to be cheaper but I will vow to try my hardest. In Food Inc. a family was interviewed and they were struggling to be a healthy family. Money was low and the farther’s medication was expensive. They had to fill their children’s hungry stomachs and the easiest and cheapest way was with fast food. This is a constant dilemma for many families and I find it very sad that our country has made it such a struggle for families to purchase healthy food. Then at schools where lunch is served, kids are digesting unhealthy, cheap food. One major contributor to this is that they don’t have enough funding. Sometimes it is very hard to run from such a large evil but when I leave home I am going to be healthy. I’ll learn how to cook and take my favorite recipes from home with me. It helps that I love to eat a good piece of meat and asparagus or that instead of some sugary cereal for breakfast I prefer a piece of fresh fruit. Also, when I am grocery shopping I’ll have to look and consider what I am actually eating. My meals will be healthy but they won’t be as gourmet or elaborate as the dishes my parents cook. I guess I might just have to come home occasionally.
Here is Micheal Smith’s website if you want some of his recipes or his cook books. http://chefmichaelsmith.com/
There is great controversy on genetically modified food. Genetic modification means to alter the genetic make-up of an organism. This has been done with numerous products such as soybeans, corn, cotton, canola, alfalfa, and even sweet potato and rice. The idea is to create a product that is better. In the movie Food Inc. they explore GM soybeans; they are altered so they can resist Roundup, a spray that kills weeds and grass. With the plant being resistant, the farmer can spray the land with roundup, killing all unwanted plants but not the soybean; this saves the farmer money and time. The down side is that these plants can spread and contaminate other fields causing huge problems for that farmer because it is then extremely difficult to get rid of. Then there is the sweet potato which has been altered to resist a certain chemical in Africa so that the crop is more likely to survive. They have also changed rice so there are more nutrients in it; this can result is solving malnutrition in Asian countries. Plants have also been altered so they can resist harsh weather. There are lots of great things from genetically modified foods. They are even trying to put our vaccine in a banana! That way you can just eat your vaccine in a sweet yummy snack. I don’t think there is anyone who likes needles.
Of course, with every good thing there is a side effect and with genetically modified foods there are questionable topics. There are health problems; for example, if you are allergic to peanuts you have to not just make sure you aren’t eating peanuts but also make sure you aren’t eating anything with a peanut gene in it. That makes things a little more complicated. It doesn’t help that most companies don’t say on the label that it is genetically modified. Don’t you want to know what you are eating? Then you also have to consider your own ethnic belief. Do you believe we should be doing this? There might also be a consequential effect on the organism and environment. There are lots of possible outcomes. I personally think we shouldn’t be genetically modifying organisms. Things are so much more complicated and strenuous when you get involved with genetic modification and it causes pandemonium. Another thing I believe is that the labels of our food should state that the food is genetically modified; I’m sure that would open some eyes to what our food really is. I wouldn’t want someone genetically modifying me; I am who I am! What is your view on this topic?
my sources are http://www.ornl.gov/sci/techresources/Human_Genome/elsi/gmfood.shtml and my text book; Science in Action 9.
Would you eat this now that you can easily see that it is modified?
Recently, I have watched a movie called Food, Inc. and it has permanently changed my insight on food. It showed me the shocking truth of what our food really is. I found out that beef is washed in ammonia, corn is used for almost everything including sugary beverages like Coke, diapers and batteries, and that chickens are modified so they grow “faster, fatter, bigger, cheaper” as one chicken farmer said. This was all stunning to me but the most surprising aspect has got to be that the corn they are feeding cows is the main cause of E-coli. “Cows aren’t meant to be eating corn.” said a farmer; he believes that cows should eat grass because that is what is natural to them and keeps them healthy. The reason industries feed cows corn is because it is cheaper and makes the cow fatter but has the horrid result of E-coli. If farmers let the cows eat grass for 5 days it would get rid of 80% of the E-coli but they don’t do this because they don’t want them to slim down but lean meat is healthier for everyone. I don’t understand this and I don’t agree with it. Why must food industries produce food that is potentially dangerous and unhealthy? There has been numerous deaths and illnesses due to contaminated meat. One of these deaths includes a 2-year-old boy named Kevin. Now Kevin’s mom and grandma are activist that want to create Kevin’s Law. This law would give government power to shut down industries that continually distribute contaminated meat and hopefully decrease the number of deaths due to E-coli.I feel that this law should be put into effect but they have not succeeded in doing this. I believe that our country should focus more on our vital situation with our food and our health. Why should we jeopardize our well-being?
The movie Food, inc. was a very informative source. I feel that the most knowledgable speakers was the authors Micheal Pollen and Eric Schlosser. They were both extremely involved with the movie and have multiple books out about the food of our nations. Now that I have watched this movie I can’t look at food the same because I am constantly wondering what I am actually eating and what that piece of food has gone through. For example, soy products are ussually produced from genetically modified seeds but this isn’t put on the label. I have definitely learned a lot of new and intriguing facts but I still wonder about some things.Why are we allowing this to grow into such a problem that people are dying? Why aren’t more people aware of the condition of our food industry? I know the big shots want the money but don’t they have families of their own that they want to protect and keep healthy? What is it going to take to change the food industry?
For more information go to http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Food,_Inc or http://www.pbs.org/pov/foodinc/collaborators.php