Yesterday I walked into the dining hall of Western New England University for the first time all semester to see quite a few changes in their food system. The main change that i notice was the conscience effort to implement my plate into our nutrition system. For people who don’t know my plate current nutrition guide published by the United States department of Agriculture, depicting a place setting with a plate and glass divided into five food groups. The current my plate was proposed to eliminate and take place of the food pyramid that has been our nutritional guide for 19 years. My plate has been integrated to display on food packages and used in nutritional education around the United States. That now includes Western New England University. I still do not see how our dining hall food is healthy but they are making an effort to obey those guidelines by serving the right percentages of each supplements. 

 

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It only been 3 months into 2012 and there already has been over 50 food recalls in the United States. The most recent food recall was yesterday when an Illinois firm recalled stuffed beef products because of a possible Listeria Contamination. “Mosul Kubba, a Chicago, Ill. establishment, is recalling approximately 1,100 pounds of stuffed, layered beef products due to possible contamination with Listeria monocytogenes” .Listeria  usually the causative agent of the relatively rare bacterial disease, listeriosis, a serious infection caused by eating food contaminated with the bacteria. This disease can often become deadly as it has a 20% mortality rate. The fully cooked, ready-to-eat, halal beef products were produced on March 20, 2012, and then shipped to a single distributor in Detroit, Mich. Another beef packaging Sysco Seattle Inc. recalled approximately 16,800 pounds of ground beef patties that were imported from Canada because they may have been contaminated with E. coli 0157:H7. This also happened this week, this recalled took place on March 24th. I never notice how many food products get recalled until looking at every specific food recalled. It varies from Salsa to Jalapeno peppers to walnuts in cookies. It is shocking and knowledgeable to understand the risks and the precautionary that these firms have to take before packaging  their food products for shipping. One bad shipment of food products can ruin a firms reputation and business.

Because on I missed class last Wednesday I was unable to hear the lecture on Hypoglycemia, so I wanted to research more about it and blog about it. Hypoglycemia is an abnormally low count of glucose or sugar in your blood supply. It can produce a variety of symptoms and effects but the principal problem arises  from an inadequate supply of glucose to the brain which then results in impairment of function. Effects can range from mild dysphoria to much more sever cases like seizures, unconsciousness and permanent brain damage but those cases are very rare. Hypoglycemia is treated by restoring the blood glucose level to normal by the ingestion or administration of dextrose  or carbohydrate foods. In more severe circumstances it is treated by injection or infusion of glucagon. Recurrent hypoglycemia may be prevented by reversing or removing the underlying cause, by increasing the frequency of meals, with medications  like diazoxide, octreotide, or glucocoriciods, or by surgical removal of much of the pancreas. The level of blood glucose low enough to define hypoglycemia may be different for different people, in different circumstances, and for different purposes, and occasionally has been a matter of controversy. Most healthy adults maintain fasting glucose levels above 4.0 mmo/L  (72 mg/dl), and develop symptoms of hypoglycemia when the glucose falls below 4 mmol/L. It can sometimes be difficult to determine whether a person’s symptoms are due to hypoglycemia.

I remember it was one of the first weeks in class and we had a discussion on the healthiest milk that we can consume. I have been drinking milk all my life, I don’t think I can go a week with out having at least a big glass of milk. With that said I have only been drinking 2% milk, coming into this class I didn’t really understand the differences between raw milk, soy milk, whole, milk, skim milk etc. And then professor Dancs requested that I took a look into the Raw Milk debate which concerns the issues of food safety and claimed health benefits of raw milk, and whether authorities responsible for regulating food safety should prohibit sale of raw milk for consumption. Over the past decade the consumption and the demand for raw milk has increased. Typically raw milk has been consumed by farm families  but raw milk advocates claim a variety of health benefits attribute to untreated dairy products. But government officials government officials and scientific researchers stress that there are substantial food safety risks associated with raw milk. This has opened up for a great debate because until we find out more scientific evidence that supports either one of these assumptions we may never know what to believe.  But if the government is correct and they are safety risks that are targeted to raw milk the consumers needs to be aware and notified. But in the other direction if raw milk demand is increasing it must be for a valid reasons, so to say that their are no health benefits to drinking raw milk may be ignorant. We need more evidence to support each hypothesis so us as the consumers are more conscious of these food products that may or may not be healthy for us.

I was watching T.V and a commercial came on came on asking random people from the street if a certain topic was a myth or medicine and one of the questions was regarding coffee. The question that they asked a lady was can drinking 1 to 3 cups of coffee today can help retain memory. My first thought was that no that had to be a myth, for all my life I have heard how bad coffee was for your health, how it stunts your growth or it makes your teeth yellow etc. But my thought process was quickly discerned when the man asking the question told the lady that it was a medicine instead of a myth. So I had to do a little more research on that topic. What I came up with confirmed that T.V. commercial. Coffee is a stimulant and it works to stimulant not only your heart but your mind as well. It can give a person an extra boost because of the caffeine. This boost could be all a person needs to clear their mind. The caffeine that is coffee jolts the brain activity so the brain can retain more information. I always remember my mom telling me in the morning “don’t ask me any questions until I had my cup of coffee”, and now I know why. But coffee is not the only thing that can help, tea , chocolate and chocolate milk can have the same affect on the brain and memory retaining as coffee can.

Yesterday I was sitting in my International trade class taught by Professor Petrick and we were discussing difference in price wages between countries and how imports and exports are effected. Even though the import and export is not necessarily important to our class in did remind me of our discussion we had in Monday’s class about organic vs processed foods. A topic came up about the Supermarket and how they market their products by putting the milk all the way in the back so you have to walk through the store to purchase it. And we started talking about the organic aisle and how small and different priced it was in regards to processed foods. I strictly believe that Supermarkets are over pricing these items for a reasons, this reasons I am not certain of but I do have some assumptions.I would love to organize an experiment by switching the prices between organic and non organic products and see if there is a change in consumer preferences. I do believe that if the consumer sees a difference in price from the organic and processed foods in favored of the organic foods that the consumer will start to purchase the organic products over processed. Which in return would make our world and country a lot healthier and safer. Just food for thought maybe we can organize a field trip and see if this experimient works like I think it would.

As it so happens this week I have came down with a cold and a little bit of a cough. So i wonder what was the best food/ drinks that would best help me cure my cold quickly. My mother has always told me that chicken soup was by far the best thing to eat to cure a cold. But I did some research and I have found that drinking a lot of  Vitamin C actually is the best thing someone can do when they are sick. Orange juice, Lime juice, Lemonade are one of the better drinks to drink while you are sick as they are rich with Vitamin C. But unfortunately I am not that smart as rest is also a key ingredient in to getting better and haven’t had more than 6 hours of sleep in 3 weeks. So for this weekend I am going to strictly drink water and a lot of orange juice or whatever drink I can find with a high dose of Vitamin C. I have notice that Vitamin C is one of the better things to intake for many illnesses. I have also read which really surprised me was eat spicy foods. They say this because spicy foods reduce the congestion a common cold brings to your body. As I am writing this I am still shocked that spicy foods help so for my next meal I am going to add some hot sauce to my chicken soup and see how that works.