Desensitization

Posted in Uncategorized on April 29, 2012 by NecridX5

Throughout the semester I have been writing blog after blog and reading story after story about food and I am teetering on the edge of being desensitized about the food industry.  All you hear about is food borne illnesses, corporate greed, obesity, and fighting over stupid topics.  I have gotten to the point that I just do not know if I care anymore.  Animal cruelty and corporate greed, it is immoral and should be gotten rid of but I do not see this ever happening.  Greed is something so embedded in our economy that we would have to change the whole economic structure of the United States to rid ourselves of the absolute control the food industries have.  Animal cruelty is terrible and the animals we raise for slaughter should be treated with respect, but the way our world is we will not be able to satisfy all the needs of the animals before our own.  It is something truly sad.  We have serious problems such as obesity, heart disease, and diabetes running rampant in America and it needs to be treated.  There is not just one cause but many factors coming together to give birth to these problems, so maybe instead of experts fighting over what “single” cause started it, these experts should work to end these fucking epidemics.  Who fucking cares what Paula Deen does in her cooking show?  I certainly do not and I know she is not the reason several of my family members are obese.  People are getting sick because of pesticides and virulent bacteria in our food but corporations still do not change their ways.  This is the hideous beast our way of life in America has produced and now we cannot kill it.  Instead of asking for smaller changes to lead to a healthier food system, some people can only focus on the radical changes.  I am sorry to say but vegans and vegetarians are not going to convert America into a no meat eating country.  Maybe if they would stop telling everyone to stop eating meat and/or acting like they are so much better than everyone else they could make some differences.  I have slowly but surely started despising America for what it has become and what it will probably always be.  When it comes to America’s food system now, I do not know if I even care anymore.

One of the Few Good Things in Our Food System

Posted in Uncategorized on April 29, 2012 by NecridX5

While reading Whats Up With Mad Cow on foodpolitics.com, I could not help but feel a little bit happy with our American food structure.  At least mad cow disease is taken serious enough to warrant proper food safety protocols.  It gives me some relief to know that when I am eating my burger, all the cows used to make my burger only have a minuscule chance of being tainted with the disease.  But then my happiness with the food system fades because then I realize that that is only one disease and it is not that high of a concern in comparison to other diseases.  This small glint of hope once again is blackened out by the realization that there is much worse in the world.  My burger formed from many cows has a higher chance of being infected with E. Coli and other virulent bacteria.  E. Coli infects thousands of people a year and kills many of them while mad cow disease has only killed a small amount of people in the U.S. within the past decade.  Why does E. Coli not have similar results in prevention?  I think there should be a greater priority in E. Coli prevention considering its statistics are much worse.  Also, it does not help that there are other bacteria you have to worry about such as salmonella and listeria monocytogenes floating around in your meat.  Is it because mad cow disease sounds scarier that E. Coli and friends and is much more likely to start mass hysteria?  Then again it is probably because of the bullshit (literally and figuratively) the corporations do not feel like messing with.  They lose more money keeping people safe and they always go for the money.

What’s Available…Nothing

Posted in Uncategorized on April 21, 2012 by NecridX5

I have really been hearing the same thing all week.  People have been complaining about the availability of good, healthy foods.  Whether I was interviewing people, sitting in class, or just having a normal conversation with friends this same subject matter came up time and time again.  Friends of mine have complained about the vegetarian and vegan selections being limited in the cafeteria.  I also have been hearing a lot about issues with Benny’s meal plans and how they can really be deceptive.  There are a lot of easy changes they could make in the cafeteria and Benny’s to accommodate most of the problems.  They could label foods and tell people what is in the dish.  They should also provide more food options so that people who are very selective of their food is not eating the same thing everyday.  Benny’s needs to restructure their menu and meal plans because many people are sick and tired of going over the price given.  Somethings are really not a meal yet they overcharge the student for the food.  I am usually getting charged an extra dollar for what is a complete meal for myself.  Usually this would simply be taken out of the flex you are given with the meal plan, but I myself as well as many others have lost all available flex.  I also wish they would just get rid of the meal time schedule.  If you get a meal within a certain time frame, you are not allowed to get another one until the next time schedule.  If I have extra meals built up at the end of the week and would like to get a smoothie as a meal, I cannot then get a normal meal until later.  Maybe I would like to get a smoothie as well as some normal food at the same time.  I do like Susquehanna University as a college but their food options really sucks.

Finally A Stand

Posted in Uncategorized on April 21, 2012 by NecridX5

I am somewhat pleased with the article I found on foodpolitics.com, The FDA Takes Action on Animal Antibiotics at Long Last.  The FDA is finally trying to do something about the antibiotics being pumped into animals.  They make some specifications such as it is okay to use antibiotics as therapeutics so that the animal does not die from sickness, but it is not okay to use antibiotics to promote growth.  The reasoning is that all these antibiotics are harming the people who end up eating the meat produced.  This can cause an increased resistance to antibiotics for people and make treatment for illness much more difficult.  There are several problems to be addressed and worked out with their plan though.  They are asking the companies to voluntarily cut back and consult with veterinarians on the use of the drug.  I seriously doubt these money raking companies are going to oblige the request with a yes.  At the end of the article it was pointed out that there was a lawsuit on a drug banning before that took a lot of time to work out.  This action is going to affect the sales of a  lot of drugs and is going to lead to a lot of protests and reactions.  I really do not see this happening like the FDA dreams it would.  I really hope there is a push against these companies that will lead to the ban of non-therapeutic antibiotics in our animals.  The FDA is going to need to put together a solid plan to do this rather than politely asking companies to volunteer themselves to lose profits.

Hmmm…Dirty

Posted in Uncategorized on April 17, 2012 by NecridX5

While looking through foodsafetynews.com I found the interesting article Magazine Cautions Against 10 ‘Dirtiest’ Foods.  I could not help but read something like this.  It turns out that the dirtiest foods reported by Men’s Health magazine are chicken, ground beef, ground turkeys, raw oysters, eggs, cantaloupe, peaches, prepackaged lettuce, cold cuts, and then finally scallions.  Some of the listed foods I expected to see there but cantaloupe and peaches really surprised me.  It turns out that 3.5% of sampled cantaloupes have been contaminated by Salmonella or Shigella.  Peaches have a very high pesticide exposure and you need to remove a wax coating to get rid of them.  I was a little surprised when they said ground turkey was the “foulest of the fowl.” Prepackaged lettuce can contain E. Coli which is very alarming and I am glad I do not eat the pathogen ridden scallions.  I was fully expecting to see ground beef on the list because anyone who knows anything about food safety knows ground beef can be very dangerous.  Eggs is also a dirty food especially when you consider where it comes from, but the number of people sickened by the egg annually is simply astounding.  The fact that 300 people a year die from eggs is surprising.  One food item that is not on the list that I thought would definitely be on there is raw milk.  It seems like I am always reading about raw milk causing people to get sick and need medical attention, so I was surprised when it was not on the list.  This was definitely informative and should be read.

Handicap Access to Food

Posted in Uncategorized on April 17, 2012 by NecridX5

Just yesterday, I was entered into the Greek Olympics for my fraternity Phi Beta Sigma.  We have been competing in events for Greek Week since Saturday and yesterday’s event was dodge ball.  Unfortunately I have been having problems with my right knee for the past couple of years and lately they have only been getting worse, and when I played dodge ball my knee finally had enough.  I heard a loud pop, my leg went sideways, and I was on the ground.  I tried to play it out but was left hoping trying to dodge balls.  After getting out and the round ended I was left on the ground waiting for crutches.  I am still on the crutches and one of the hardest things is trying to get food.  When somebody says something is not handicap accessible you may not know what they mean until you really become handicapped.  I cannot carry my food or drink and I am basically left needing the generosity of others.  Whether I try to eat at the cafeteria or at Benny’s I am unable to move my food.  It is hard to imagine those who are permanently handicapped doing this everyday.  To me it seems like an impressive feat now.  I am not sure how they can alleviate this problem but I think it should definitely be investigated.  I hate relying on other people because I feel like they are taking time out of their day to try and accommodate me when they have other things to do.  Something so normal as getting food seems like a chore now and that is definitely not what it should seem like.

Norovirus

Posted in Uncategorized on March 31, 2012 by NecridX5

While looking through foodpolitics.com, I cam upon an article that I could really relate to.  Norovirus – How and Where It Spreads as an article discusses the dangerous bug that can spread quickly and abruptly.  I am not sure if I caught norovirus myself, but when I was admitted to the emergency room with a very bad case of gastroenteritis, I cannot help but wonder if that was the reason.  My mom had actually called asking whether or not that was the cause after she heard about outbreaks of the virus in the local areas.  For me, it was a sudden case of extreme abdominal pain that had me slumped over for over an hour.  I also vomited around ten time within twenty minutes, leaving me very dehydrated and weak.  This also led to me falling and hitting my head, which I would later find out gave me a concussion.  Whether I had norovirus or not, I will not know.  The healthcare workers at the emergency room were not very caring while I was admitted.  They never checked me for a concussion despite the fact that I complained of a headache, told them I hit my head hard, and could barely remember my birth date.  They said about other cases of people coming in with bad cases of gastroenteritis, but they never really put everything together.  If I did have gastroenteritis, was it because of something I ate at Susquehanna University or did I pick up while I was at home the previous weekend?  I am mostly leaning towards my family since they also got sick, although not quite as bad.  Perhaps my family ate some food that resulted in the norovirus.  I guess the world will never know.