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Mohamed Marzouk's Cous cous



  • Cous Cous
  • Chick peas
  • 2 2/3 cups of water
  • 2 2/3 tea spoons of salt
  • your choice of spice


  • Actual Cous Cous
  • Pot
  • Big Spoon
  • Microwave to speed the heating of the cous cous
  • Another pot to stir the sauce for the cous cous
  • Plates to eat the cous cous!


  • Open cous cous from container, put it in pot
  • Add water, salt and mix the cous cous
  • Although some people prefor to heat the cous cous using an oven, I've found simply using a microwave is sufficent.
  • Use the other pot to start making the sauce for the cous cous
  • Either use already made sauce and add more spices or ground up your own tomatoes.
  • Combine both the sauce that has the meat in it and the couse cous
  • Eat up!


Cous Cous is a food that is very popular in the Mediterranian. The Mediterranian includes Countries such as: Italy, Spain, Tunisia, Morrocco. These places eat cous cous a lot. Cous cous has become a trend around the world too. Especially in places like the Middle East, North America and South America. The United States has particularly adopted Cous Cous as a favorite. It travels over 2,000 miles to get here- the natural kind, that is. Some cous cous is getting picked here, caushing it to have more pesticides in them. 

There are many, many variations of making Cous Cous but the one I explained above is the my Mom's recipe she's been using for many, many years and it's customed to eat it like that where I'm from. Cous Cous can be a very healthy food- it doesn't rival brown rice when trying to eat healthy but is still a healthy alternative to pasta. You can cook Cous Cous with lots of vegetables and healthy lean meats. Depending on how much you buy, this could be a very cheap meal when looking at this bare bones. Most of the food here is not processed because usually you can pick the vegetables that you want to cook with or the kind of meet. Also, when looking at the container of cous cous the nutrients are very healthy. Though cholesterol is a bit high, there is low sugar, fat, but again, high on carbohydrates. 

The money goes towards farmers because they help dig up the cous cous because it is a grain. Cous Cous is usually picked without much pollution or immorality like you see the meat companies do here in the States. Since cous cous is in such a high demand, people are hired more to make them across the pond, so I feel as though politically, the people win. Also, the quality of food is better so people will enjoy cous cous more and the demand will keep growing. Cous cous could be become one of the most sought-after foods in the world.

This recipe has been in my family for many generations and lives on. My mom makes really great cous cous and I don't think the other types I've tried really rivals the kid she makes. The times i've gone to tunisa, I've tasted amazing cous cous and wish to travel to Italy or Spain to  try some more.

Personal Reflection:
I think there are lots of problems with our food system. I don’t think it necessarily comes from the food makers or the people who eat the food, but rather our economic status. I believe that obesity comes from socioeconomic status rather than what people put in their mouth. I know that sounds absurd at first, but people need to eat, right? When you’re poor and need to feed your family food to keep them from not starving, anything really matters; eating healthy is not the one concern. Going to the dollar menu at Mcdonalds and spending 10 dollars to fill your family up or just getting heat-up dinners that are high in transfat and generally bad for you is something that you need. I feel like if we want to make a difference now, we need our Government to strive and implement programs where people who are in need can receive the food they need, but also getting healthy food in the process. When the doctor from Camden came told us about his work and finding, he made a valid point about the correlation of cheap food and no money. I feel like I can accurately base my opinion on credible research like that. I feel like what I can do is try to make aware stores like Trader Joe’s or Whole Foods that do have some healthy but cheap alternatives to people so they can eat and be healthy

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Spaghetti w/ Sweet Mixed Meat Sauce

Sweet Mixed Meat Sauce


1.5 lbs ground beef

2 packets of onion soup mix (one box usually contains two packets)

2 cloves of garlic

2 twenty-six oz bottles of traditional tomato sauce

1/4 cup of sugar

6 Italian sausages (approx. 12 oz)

1 tsp of worcestershire or A1 sauce

bay leaves

1/2 tsp sea salt

1/2 tsp ground peppercorn

1 medium-sized bell pepper (green or red; green was used)

1 medium-sized yellow onion

1/2 tsp garlic powder

1/2 tbsp basil


A crockpot

2 skillets (or one that is washed for each meat, one non-stick skillet was used)

2 spatulas (or one that is washed for each meat)

A few cutting knives

A wooden spoon

A strainer

Measuring spoons and cups

1.  Begin to brown the ground beef in a skillet on medium high heat

2. While browning the meat, add one packet of onion soup mix and 1 tsp of Worcestershire or A1 sauce.

3. Add two bottles of 26 oz traditional tomato sauce to a slow cooker (crockpot), set on low heat. 

4. Mince two cloves (or as much as desired) of fresh garlic

5. Once the beef is browned, drain the meat, then add it to the crockpot with the sauce, stir well

6. Remove the casing on the Italian sausage. 

7. Separate the sausage meat the best you can and put the sausage into the skillet on medium-high heat and brown the sausage while chopping it with the spatula.

8. Add a few bay leaves, the salt, pepper and sugar to the sauce and stir well. 

9. Cut 1/2 of a medium-sized pepper into fine cubes and add it to the crockpot

10. Cut 1/2 of a medium-sized onion and add this to the crockpot also, stir well

11. Add the second packet of onion soup mix to the sauce, stir

12. Add garlic powder and basil to the sauce

13. Let the sauce simmer on low heat for about an hour while stirring occasionally. 

Spaghetti Recipe:


2 boxes of thin spaghetti



A big pot

A spoon

A strainer

1. Fill a big pot mostly with water and let it boil

2. Once the water comes to a rolling boil, gradually add the spaghetti noodles

3. Stir occasionally to make sure that the noodles do not stick to the bottom or the sides of the pot

4. Remove the pot from the heat once the noodles are soft and drain the water

5. Top with warm sauce


Most of the meal is processed. Regarding the meats, the ground beef is a whole food, but I'm with the sausage, since seasonings were added to it inside the casing, I believe that would be processed. The tomato sauce that we used is processed, but we used fresh vegetables in the sauce. The spaghetti noodles would be processed, since they are made from other things. 

I'm not sure how to evaluate the meal seeing as there are some aspects that would be difficult to factor into the things we do have labels for. I believe that there would be a high sodium, fat and sugar count though seeing as pasta sauces are naturally salty, there is a lot of meat and there was extra sugar added. If this meal was eaten everyday I believe someone would have high blood pressure and an increased risk of diabetes because of the salt, sugar and fat.

A lot of the ingredients in the meal are processed, so this could affect the air quality of the environment. When foods are processed, since they need additional time to process, factories use up more energy. The energy used is most likely generated through methods that involve fossil fuels. When this fossil fuels are used they release toxins and pollutants into the air.

Fast food uses a lot of undesirable ingredients and things that are not supposed to be digested by the human body in their products, whereas this has nothing of the sort. A home-cooked meal is easier to monitor and to adjust to someone's diet, but this is more difficult in the fast food business. There may be a low-calorie choice in a fast food restaurant, but that does not mean that there is less fat, sodium, or sugar,. With this meal, it would be easy to adjust to make it so that there would be less fat, sodium and sugar; simply by buying lean meat, adding less salt and using ingredients that have less salt and not adding sugar (the sauce tastes delicious without it, too!).

Green Peppers are in season in warmer months. If I grew these myself, then I would only be able to use them during that time. However, the fact that they can be bought year-round means that they would either be grown in a different country and shipped or they would be kept in a type of greenhouse and forced to grow all year round. When the peppers are shipped from other countries, a lot of gas; fossil fuels are required in order to get it to the supermarket. If the peppers are forced to grow all year round, they may not have a flavor as good as the flavor they would have during warmer months; when they are supposed to be grown. On the spaghetti noodle box, there are ingredients that are unknown to me; if they are common things, they have crazy names or they are just things used in a factory. Spaghetti noodles could be made at home with simple ingredients. Since the spaghetti noodles are processed in a factory, energy is used and so are ingredients that are not found in a common kitchen. The energy would contribute to the problem with fossil fuels. The fact that there are ingredients included that are uncommon in a normal, means that these ingredients could be things that do more than just the basic functions of normal ingredients or are not meant to be in a normal household. If I made the spaghetti noodles myself, I would recognize all the ingredients that I would have to use by name and would not have to question the other functions of these ingredients. 

Personal Reflection:

I believe my role in the larger food system is to simply be a consumer. There’s a reason as to why things are labeled and boxed the way they are; t attract the eye of others. If I do not prepare and package these products than I am the eye they are catching.

The biggest problems I see with the food system are that there are many things we are not told about it. Many people do not know where their food comes from or how it is processed. If more people knew the story behind their food; where it comes from, what is in it and how it is made, I think more people would be aware of what they are eating and would eat less of it or invest in better choices. However, people are not aware of what they are eating, they do not know what they are taking into their bodies and therefore we, as a people, are unhealthy. If the ingredients of food were written in layman's terms, I believe a considerable amount of people would take the time to look at the food labels. 

I could not snack as much or find healthier snacks. The impact of these choices would be that I would eat a lot less sugar, msg, sodium and food dyes. I am willing to make this change and have already partially done so; instead of eating gummy worms or a bag of chips, I will usually buy granola or a trail mix. 

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Q2 Food Benchmark

Shepherd's Pie

Prep: 10 minutes   Cook: 50 minutes  Total Time: 1 hour 

Makes: 8 servings


  • 1 1/2 lbs. ground turkey
  • 1 cup onion chopped
  • 1-2 cups vegetables - (corn, peas, chopped carrots)
  • 1 1/2 - 2 lbs. potatoes (3 big potatoes)
  • 8 tablespoons butter 
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1 jar of Heinz Beef Au Jus Gravy
  • 1 can of Campbell’s French Onion Soup 
  • Ground pepper


  1. Preheat oven to 400º F. Spray an 8x8 inch or 11x7 inch baking dish with cooking spray. 
  2. Peel and cut the potatoes. Boil in water until tender (about 20 minutes).
  3. While potatoes are being cooked, melt 4 tablespoons of butter in a large frying pan. 
  4. Sauté onions and carrots in butter over medium heat. Add the corn and peas to the pan and let the vegetables cook until the onions begin to brown.
  5. In another pan, cook the ground turkey. Stir to brown. Cook until meat is cooked through. Add salt, pepper, gravy and soup. Mix. Add this mixture to the vegetables.
  6. Mash the potatoes in a bowl, and use the remaining butter. Add extra seasoning if necessary.
  7. Place the ground turkey and vegetables in the baking dish. Spread the mashed potatoes on top. 
  8. Cook until the potatoes begin to brown (about 30 minutes). Allow time for cooling before served. 


Instead of using mashed potatoes, you can use sweet potatoes. You could also use ground beef instead of ground turkey. 


The ground turkey is semi-processed. It's gluten free, all natural, and is 65% less fat than ground beef. The vegetables aren't really processed, because they're organic.This meal is about 390 calories per serving. The only ingredient that could cause possible health issues is the butter. Too much butter can lead to different health issues like high coronary artery disease, stroke, and other issues do to the blockage of arteries. However, with this recipe there is no need for excess butter, so these issues aren't anything to worry about. The ingredients for this recipe are all from the United States. Jennie-O's farm locations are in Wisconsin and Minnesota, and the potatoes are from Idaho. So, the potatoes traveled the farthest. Corn and peas can be grown anywhere in the country, as long as the growing conditions are fine. Carrots are primarily grown in California. The food that traveled the farthest, were the carrots. The meal cost under $10 for the full recipe. At fast food restaurants you can get a bit more for about $10 than this. But, this meal has some vegetables and it also has meat for protein. So, it's healthier even though it might be a little less than what you can get in the drive-thru. The farmers and the turkey corporation (Jennie-O) made money off of my meal. 



    It's kind of hard to point out what my actual role is in the larger food system, because I think we have so many. There are many different ways that people can and have contributed to the food system. We're consumers for the most part, but some people are producers, farmers, or business leaders in the food system today.

      Our biggest problems with our food system is the lack of knowledge about things that are grown or produced in our country or around the world to be consumed, and the rapidly increasing obesity rate in our country. There are so many people who don't have access to "healthy" food due to their financial status and their location. There are also so many people that just eat terribly, and are causing their health to deteriorate. The obesity rate years ago wasn't as bad as it is now. Obesity affects adults as well as many children. These obesity rates can come from the amount of food eaten, lack of exercise and lack of important nutrients in a person's diet. If more and more people gain knowledge about how to improve their health and to eat right, we could see the obesity rate lower.  

      For the most part, I eat pretty healthy on a daily basis. My mom makes healthy, home cooked dinner each night. And, I don't like sugary drinks (I dilute all of my juice), and I try to steer clear of soda. So, I guess the change I want to make isn't much of a change but more of a continuation of the lifestyle I lead now. If I continue to eat right, and exercise and stay healthy then I think I'll be fine.

Food Rules Slide:
I wanted my slide to be pretty simple, because the rule is simple! My family eats dinner together every night, and since it's so important to us I think that more people should try to do so more often.
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Jenny's Jewish Apple Cake

Jewish Apple Cake Recipe:

6 apples, Granny Smith preferred
1 tablespoon cinnamon
5 tablespoons sugar
2 3/4 cups flour, sifted
1 tablespoon baking powder
1 teaspoon salt
1 cup vegetable oil
2 cups sugar
1/4 cup orange juice
2 1/2 teaspoons vanilla
4 eggs
1 cup walnuts, chopped (optional)

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Grease and flour a 9” Bundt pan. Peel, core and chop apples into chunks. Toss with cinnamon and sugar and set aside.

Stir together flour, baking powder and salt in a large mixing bowl. In a separate bowl, whisk together oil, orange juice, sugar and vanilla. Mix wet ingredients into the dry ones, then add eggs, one at a time. Scrape down the bowl to ensure all ingredients are incorporated.

Pour half of batter into prepared pan. Spread half of apples over it. Pour the remaining batter over the apples and arrange the remaining apples on top. Bake for about 1 1/2 hours, or until a tester comes out clean.


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The approximate calories for the whole cake is 4,973 calories. There is quite a lot of oil in this recipe, 1 cup, and that comes up to almost 2,000 calories just itself! sugar and oil are the most ‘unhealthy’ things in the recipe. If you ate nothing but this, you would be eating entirely too much sugar and oil which should be the smallest parts of one’s diet. This is a not the worst desert, it uses 6 apples after all. The best way to optimize it in the future is to cut down on the oil and the sugar.
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The apples definitely came from Washington. They are from a company called Rainier Fruit Company. I read on their website that they apples are harvested in September and October. On the site, it says they are stored in oxygen controlled rooms for up to 12 months. They say this allows the US to not rely on the imported apples and only ones grown locally. They state they do not use GMOs, but I can’t find information about the fertilizers or pesticides only that the fruit is certified pesticide-residue free.

The flour costs 2.98 for a 5lb bag so this recipe used 50 cents worth. 

The sugar cost 6.48 for a 10lb bag so this recipe used 87 cents worth.

The vegetable oil costs 3.48 for 48oz so this recipe used 58 cents worth.

This recipe uses about 66 cents worth of eggs. 

This recipe is actually pretty cheap if you buy the ingredients on sale. Apples can vary in price if they are in season. Farmers and companies that produce eggs and apples made lots of money off these because they are mass produced. For the apples, the Rainier Fruit Company is an independent corporation but they are one of the biggest fruit growers in the US.

The main ingredient in Jewish Apple Cake is the apples. As mentioned, they are from Washington, specifically the Selah town. That is about 2,750 miles from Philadelphia. There isn’t a way to know when they were actually grown do to the storage process. The website for the company as well as the bag mention the wax that is put onto the apples. Firstly, I believe this to be purely aesthetic to achieve that shiny apple look, but they say the waxes come from natural sources, they stop mold and apples normally produce their own wax--plus you can wash it off. Now I bought them at the supermarket, but buying them locally cuts down on the need for these ‘waxes’. Growing them yourself would be of course the idea and most cost efficient.

​Personal Reflection

My role on the larger food system is my consuming of products. My vote is the money I spend in the supermarket or at a fast food restaurant. Spending the money I earn on the food that is un-whole or that uses animals treated inhumanely is my vote for the continuation of that type of food. Because of that the absolute biggest problem in the food system is the shroud of mystery about the production of the food. If there was more awareness I believe there would have to be more policies in place to regulate it and make it safer. As a nation we are obsessed with convenience and cheapness. Changes I could personally make are buying food that is responsibly produced. The people who can afford it need to be the ones who make the changes by influencing the companies to change. Just like in Food Inc. they gave the example of Walmart altering the way they milk is produced because of consumer trends. I am willing to make these changes, though they it might be difficult to see at first. I think most people are like me when they don’t know about the basics when it comes to food. Learning just some of the terminology can change the way a person looks at the food they buy.
photo (47)
​Food Rule
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Jamaican Curry Chicken and White Rice

Food Rule Slide

Prep Time: Approximately 15 minutes

Cook Time: Approximately 45 minutes

Servings: 4


  • 4 cups of rice
  • ¾ cup of water
  • 4 tbsp of vegetable oil
  • ¼ stick of butter
  • ½ of whole chicken
  • 2 tbsp of curry powder
  • ¼ tbsp of black pepper
  • 1 small onion
  • 2 stalks of scallion
  • 3-4 pieces of thyme
  • 3 pieces of garlic
  • 1 tsp of chicken seasoning
  • ½ tbsp of pimento seeds
  • 2 Irish potatoes
  • Salt for taste

Instructions for CHICKEN:

1. Wash chicken (remove skin if preferred) and cut into small pieces.

2. Sprinkle black pepper and chicken seasoning onto chicken and mix well.

3. Pour vegetable oil in pot (keep stove on medium heat) and let it heat up.

4. Crush garlic and fry in oil for 5 minutes.

5. Remove the garlic and place in trash.

6. Pour curry powder into oil and stir gently for 1 minute. 

7. Gently place chicken into oil and stir with a long fork for 5-7 minutes.

8. Dice onion and scallion.

9. Pour ¾ cup of water all over the chicken.

10. Add diced onion, scallion, pimento seeds and thyme and then stir.

11. Cover pot and let it cook for approximately 30 minutes.

12. Wash, peel and slice potatoes into cubes.

13. Add Irish potato to pot 25 minutes in and stir (Only cook for 5 minutes).

Instructions for RICE:

1. Wash rice twice to remove starch.

2. Put rice into pot and add just enough water to cover the rice.

3. Add a pinch of salt, butter and stir.

4. Place stove on medium heat until water boils.

5. After water boils, turn the stove on low heat.

6. Let it steam until rice is soft (Approximately 20 minutes).


Curry is an intricate part of the Jamaica culture, history, and cuisine. Indian indentured servants who were brought to the then English Colony to work on sugar cane plantations after the abolition of slavery brought the spice to Jamaica in the 17th century. Curry is now one of the most popular spices in Jamaica and is used on various types of meat. As long as it is meat, it can be curried (E.g. curry goat, shrimp, chicken, crab, and even pork).

Surprisingly, I estimate that approximately 80% of my meal was processed. The processed ingredients included the rice, chicken, curry powder, black pepper, and butter. On the other hand, the whole foods included the onions, thyme, garlic, potatoes and scallion since my mom buys most of our fruit and vegetable at the farmer’s market at Reading Terminal. However, if this meal was prepared in Jamaica, over 95% would be whole foods. This is because the chicken would have been raised on a farm, the curry seasoning would have been homemade and all the vegetables would have been from a garden.

After completing some calculations, I estimate that each full serving of curry chicken and rice has approximately 640 calories (48% fat) and 18 g of protein. As you can see this meal is high in fat and also in protein. If this nothing but this meal is eaten everyday, obesity, diabetes and possibly high blood pressure could occur. However, if eaten in moderation, this meal can provide you with healthy benefits since it is also low in cholesterol and high in protein.

The ingredients for this meal originated in New Jersey, Pennsylvania, Iowa, Texas, Wisconsin, New York and Florida. The food that raveled the farthest was the curry powder that was manufactured in Doral, Florida, 1,297 miles away. The potatoes traveled all the way from Rosholt, Wisconsin, 1070 miles away. The potatoes were organically grown with a limited amount of pesticides. As stated previously, the vegetables (onions, scallion, garlic, thyme) were local produce that was bought at a farmer’s market. I estimated that my meal traveled more than 7,000 miles, which is bad for the environment because of all the pollution.

The cost of this meal was approximately $15. The most expensive ingredient of the meal was the chicken at $5. The corporations that made money of this meal were the Wakefield Food Group and Purdue. In addition, local farmers made money off this meal. Cooking this meal at home is more cost friendly and healthier because a full fast food meal for four people would cost more than $15 and would be unhealthier.

I am used to getting a home cooked meal everyday and I do not eat fast food that often. I believe this enables me to make healthy food choices, even though most food items nowadays are unhealthy in some way. The cost of this meal would have been reduced to about $7 since everything would be grown at home.


This unit has further informed me of the flaws in our food system and the factors that contribute to it. I also learned of the prevalence of obesity and heart disease in America society. It is interesting to see the connection between the way Americans eat and the diseases are now affecting a large part of the population. The most interesting thing I learned about was food deserts and how popular they are in America. Food deserts help to contribute to high levels of obesity in low-income areas where residents do not have access to healthy foods. Based on the research we did in class about food deserts in our own communities, I found out that I actually live in a food desert. I also understand this because people in my community usually shop at corner stores and Chinese stores. This is why people of a lower socioeconomic status have higher rates of obesity.

From watching Food Inc, I have learned much about the food system and the role that I play. As the consumers, we are the drivers of the food system. Food companies makes the products that we want to buy and if we decide to not support a certain food product or company, we can bring change to the food system. A prime example of this was the pink slim industry. After a public outcry in 2012, people stopped buying pink slime, which is ammonia treated meat scraps that are grinded together. Soon after, pink slime was banned from major food stores such as Kroger’s and Food Lion, among others. This drove these companies out of business and brought change to the industry. My mom usually cooked ground beef/pink slime, but after I heard the news reports, I told her that she should not buy it again. If we can to change the food system, we have to start with ourselves and them get our families and friends to join in.

The biggest problem with our food stem is the lack of federal regulation. Food companies have essentially bought out the government and is often lobbying to get laws passed in their favor. This makes companies feel that they are all powerful, which leads them to abuse their workers and animals. I am willing to change the way I eat but I have to think about the budget of my family. Eating healthily means more money. I am going to stop eating at much fast food, especially at McDonalds. I believe that this is something that I can achieve by eating more often at home.

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Food Benchmark

​Ingredients- Bruschetta

6 ripe plum tomatoes, chopped

2 cloves garlic, minced

1 Tbsp extra virgin olive oil

1-teaspoon balsamic vinegar

5 fresh basil leaves, chopped.

½ teaspoon of Thyme

½ teaspoon of Oregano

Dash of ground black pepper


Bruschetta Toast

Loaf of Italian bread

¼ cup of extra virgin olive oil

½ teaspoon of garlic, minced


-Slice the loaf of bread into thin slices, put olive oil and garlic on top of each slice, place the bread on a baking sheet and put them into the oven. Let the slices get crispy. (Toast low about 200 degrees and slowly.)

-Chop the tomatoes, mince the garlic and add the basil, place in bowl

-Add the olive oil, mix

-Add the balsamic vinegar, mix

-Add the Thyme, oregano, black pepper.


This dish is more of a side dish for bigger meals. Tomatoes are about 26 calories per tomato, so there are about 156 calories from the tomatoes. There are about 4 calories per glove, so there are about 8 calories from the garlic. There are about 7 calories from the basil, thyme and oregano. About 120 calories for the 1 Tbsp of extra virgin olive oil in this recipe. The tomatoes were grown in the USA, I bought them from AMCE and they are probably from Florida. The olive oil and balsamic vinegar are products from Italy. The basil was grown in my backyard in the summer; the other spices were from the company Classic Spices and were made in China. The spices, olive oil and balsamic vinegar came form other countries they most likely get shipped to the United States. The boats have can have a bad environmental effects, because of the fuel the ships use. The Italian bread was baked fresh at P&S, but the ingredients that make up the bread may be form different places. The spice company Classic Spices, and the olive oil and balsamic vinegar company is called Monari Federzoni. It cost about 2 dollars for the bread, 3 dollars for the tomatoes, I had all the spices and other ingredients at my house. This is a side dish but it is not made with a bunch of processed foods and is not terrible for you, there is a good combination of vitamins you get out of this. Such as vitamin A and C from tomatoes, basil has vitamin E, C, K and has fiber; olive oil has vitamin E and K. So tomatoes are grown and picked when green then a chemical is used to turn the tomatoes red. The tomatoes are massed produced and use many workers that are not paid and treated well. The basil went from a seed that was planted in my backyard to my kitchen. :)


The biggest problem with our food system I believe is that it has become a process of producing a huge amount of food in a short period of time and in the cheapest way. Our food system has evolved into something that does not care about the quality of the food. Our food has become less food and more processed "stuff" because that is what is cheap. The major problem is that the things we consider food do not consist of what we think. We think Chicken is chicken but there are a lot of other ingredients added that we do not know about and the food distributors don't want us to know about. There is a huge disconnect between us and our food suppliers, and the suppliers like it that way. If the package says that these chicken nuggets are made with real chicken, why would anyone believe otherwise? Then you look at the ingredients on the back and see all these different names of things you can’t pronounce and the question what is all this, is raised and most of the time that question only gets a few seconds of thought because people need food. 

I contribute to this larger food system, I buy foods from the market and fast food places. I am I guess guilty of supporting the way our food is made by eating it and buying these products. Some changes could be eating food from farmers markets and eating foods that are locally grown. Eating less fast food and more home cooked meals. Watching the movie Food Inc, put in perspective how big the food industry has become and I feel that there is nothing I can do solo that will make a huge impact besides in my own life.

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New slide By Ilker Erkut

I had to change my slide totally because you cannot customize a wordle.  I researched for like 2 hours and never found a way to customize it my way.  This one is simple and gets the point across.  I am in the middle.  Right under me is my name in bright orange letters to match my background.  The soccer ball and computer represent things I like to do.  That is why they are right next to me.  This is my new slide.
new slide 3
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Media Part 2

My slide change greatly throughout the weeks, after the criticism I received I strongly considered what I could change. I fixed my alpha picture fist by replacing it with a unalhaed picture, and masked the parts of my photo that were not useful, like background people. Next, I fixed the alignment of the entire slide by moving it to the middle of the page, this way I was able to have a flow. I also changed the position of my name from the bottom to the top of the page since it is the most important. Then, I changed the colores of the words to match the colors in the picture so it seems like it fits together.
One slide about my self
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How to make a devil cake

lavense las manos
Despues de, secate tu mano porque pararas las bacterias.
primero Calenten holvo 350 grados
despues comprar un tazon
ponas harina y huevo y aceite en la tazon.
despues Mezclar juntos por tres-cuatro minuto.
antes batir bien juntos, echar en el sarten.
despues  poner en holvo.
Cocines para cuatro cinco minuto.
Tomar el pastel
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Food Project: Chicken Alfredo

Chicken Alfredo Recipe

Prep time: 30 minutes

Serves: 6-8


Chicken Breast

Box of Barilla Fettuccine pasta


Bertolli Alfredo sauce 

Coconut Oil

Garlic Powder

Black Pepper


1. Boil a pot of water and place the uncooked fettuccine into the pot. Stir occasionally and leave in for up to 10 minutes or until noodles are cooked. 

2. Drain noodles and put into serving dish. Set aside. 

3. Tenderize the chicken breast. You may use a meat tenderizer or a fork. Jab the chicken on both sides and put 2 tbsp of butter into a pan. 

4. Put pan on high heat and allow coconut oil to line the pan, then place the chicken breast in and allow it to cook

5. Leave it on for 7 minutes and then flip. Repeat. 

6. When you finish, take out the chicken and cut in half to check and make sure there is no uncooked meat (look for pink).

7. Cut the chicken into strips and place into dish with fettuccine. 

8. Pour 1 jar of Alfredo sauce into a pot and heat until it bubbles up and pour over the chicken and fettuccine. Mix until everything is all flavorful. 

9. Sprinkle with black pepper and garlic powder for flavor. 


Chicken Alfredo is a quick meal full of protein that my family makes because it is so easy and convenient. Originally, it is an Italian dish made entirely from scratch, but since it is a simple go-to meal in this case, we used a jar of Alfredo sauce and a box of Barilla pasta. 

In order to make this recipe as healthy as possible, I only used chicken breast. Chicken breast is a naturally lean meat and contains vitamins, minerals, and proteins that we need. Chicken breast is natural and has no artificial ingredients, dyes, and has been passed by the FDA. It is also a good source of iron, which is great because my mom and I are anemic (low on iron levels). Also, I cooked the chicken with coconut oil because it is a very healthy butter substitute. It does the same task as butter, but it does not cause clogged arteries.

Fettuccine pasta was used because it is the most popular type of pasta. Fettuccine contains a good source of iron and protein like the chicken. The reason pasta is our go-to meal is because it is fairly nutritious and simple. Pasta is rich in carbohydrates, Vitamin A, potassium, and folic acid. It usually helps in preventing serious anemia and itself, is fuel for your body. It keeps you energized and full without over consumption. 

I used Bertolli Alfredo sauce because if you made the sauce by hand, it would take a lot longer and cost a lot more than simply purchasing the jar. Not only will you purchase and combine multiple ingredients, but you will also have to make sure there is a good consistency. The jarred sauce is also a good source of calcium.

The reason I use garlic powder and black pepper instead of the usual salt and pepper is because garlic powder is a valid salt substitute. There is less sodium and adds much more flavor than salt itself. Also, the garlic adds flavor to the Alfredo so that there is not just one boring, creamy taste.


Our food system is relevant to anyone who eats, so it's relevant to everyone. So to sum it up, this unit has been very helpful. Even though each of us are one consumer of 7 billion, we are each a part of the larger food system. America has been known to consume a lot of fast food and to be a very obese country, but everyone knows the struggle with staying healthier and realizing that the unhealthy foods we are told to beware of are more affordable that the things we're told to eat. So I believe that is the biggest problem with our food system. We should be making heathier foods cheaper and more accessible. Our country has its priorities all jumbled up by having cheap fastfood, but also wanting the country as a whole to be more "fit." The food system is too big and those in charge are cutting all corners to make a larger profit. They cut costs and become less careful with their goods and raise the cost for consumers and everyone loses with the companies' greed and carelessness.

Some changes I could make to my food choices based on my new knowledge from this unit would be to make wiser eating decisions. I was aware of most of the diseases that could succumb from bad eating habits, but now can make sure I do my best to avoid them. Most changes I would make are to consume less unhealthy foods and to be more active. Not only is my diet important, but my physical fitness plays a huge part in my health as well. I am willing to make these changes because what I eat now could affect if  I'll live a long, healthy life whether or not I think my diet is changing anything about me. 

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-Three to four cups of elbow macaroni

-Sixteen ounces of sharp cheddar cheese

-A stick of butter 

-Can of Evaporated Milk

-Tablespoon of salt



-One casserole dish

-A large pot

-An oven



1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

2. Boil a large pot of water and place a tablespoon of salt in the mix

3. When the water begins to boil, put three to four cups of elbow macaroni in the pot.

4. Boil the macaroni until it is tender (you need to taste-test the macaroni to make sure it's good-to-go)

5. Butter a casserole dish.

6. Put the macaroni in the buttered casserole dish, then dice a stick of unsalted butter over the macaroni.

7. Add a cain of evaporated milk to the dish.

8. Grate eight ounces of sharp cheddar cheese over the macaroni

9. Put the dish into the oven for five to ten minutes until the cheese melts.

10. Take the dish out of the oven and stir the melted cheese

11. Grate another eight ounces of sharp cheddar cheese over the dish.

12. Place back into the oven for five to ten minutes until the cheese is melted

13. Take out of the oven and stir the dish.

14. Place the dish back into the oven for fifteen to twenty minutes until the top becomes a crisp brown.

The brand of butter I made my macaroni with is Land O'Lakes unsalted butter, which contains only sweet cream, natural flavoring, and milk. The elbow macaroni is San Giorio and contains only pasta. The evaporated milk is Carnation brand, and is simply dehydrated milk. The sharp cheddar cheese is America's Choice, which is unspecified whether it is HMO free, so I can only assume it isn't.  This means that half of the ingredients in my dish are whole foods, while the other half are artificially produced. 

There's roughly 522.5 (see below for how I concluded this) calories per every two ounces, which means that it's a pretty hefty meal. Your body will react different to this meal depending on your activity level. I can eat a pound a day of this stuff and be totally fine, while someone else might feel super sick after eating only a few ounces. Because it's pretty hefty in both fat in carbohydrates, a lot of what you intake from this meal is going to be stored for later use as either glycogen (for the carbs) or as fat (for the bulk calories from the cheese.)

The cheese and the milk were both processed, which means they were commercially developed. Processed foods like these can possibly come from across the country, which means there was a lot of gas used and C02 emissions emitted from where it was produced to my fridge at home. The same could be said for the pasta and butter though, since they were not produced in a farm out in Lancaster.

Since half of the ingredients in this dish are non-whole foods, it costs just under ten dollars to produce 32 ounces of macaroni. Compared to Wendy's dollar menu though, you could get a lot more ounces of food with that ten dollars. For example, at Wendy's you could get a Double Stack burger for a dollar, which has 158 grams (roughly 5.58 ounces). If someone bought six of them, they would have 33.48 ounces of food, and would still have four dollars left over to buy four four small frostys (298g or 10.51 ounces per frostys.) There's a lot of quantity in buying that sort of meal, but not a lot of quality nutrition, like there is in my macaroni. 

Land O'Lakes butter is from Arden Hills, Minnesota, which means it could have arrived to Philadelphia by one of two ways - Plane (probably not), or a truck (probably). This butter then traveled 1,166 miles to get to Philadelphia, which is pretty far for butter. Someone had to drive 1,166 miles to Philadelphia, then back to Arden Hills to do this delivery, which is a lot of mileage to do for a driver. In addition to encouraging poor treatment of truck drivers by supporting Land O'Lakes, I am not supporting local businesses by buying from Land O'Lakes. This is something for me to consider next time I am in the diary aisle buying ingredients to make macaroni.


I'm not a nutritionist, so I am not entirely sure of the accuracy of my conclusion:

Since I put three to four ounces of macaroni in the dish, we can assume there's anywhere between 24 to 32 ounces in the dish. For the sake of simplicity, we are going to say there is 32 ounces in the dish. Since there's 16 ounces of sharp cheddar in the dish, we could assume there's a ratio of 2:1 ounces of macaroni to shedder. We used a whole butter stick in our dish (on top and below the macaroni), which means there's assumedly 3200 calories of butter in the dish. There's two servings in a can of evaporated milk, which means there's 80 calories in total. For two ounces of my macaroni then, we could say there's 210 calories from the macaroni, 200 from the butter, 110 from the cheese, and 2.5 from the evaporated milk, which means there's 522.5 every two ounces. It's a pretty hefty meal then, which explains why I really like to eat it to carb up.


I think there are a lot of problems with our country’s food system, such as the convenience of unhealthy food, and the affordability of healthy food. Though these are very serious issues against our country’s health, I believe the larger issue is our government’s involvement in the agricultural industry. As a nation we have always found pride in our freedom in business. As our nation’s population has increased though, companies have been pressed to feed more mouthes than ever before without increasing production costs. In order to do this, companies are putting cheap and filling GMOS on the market, which consumors by because it's cheaper than organic. I believe the government should put in place bills that force these companies to produce organic foods instead. I don’t believe the government would do that though, because the effects would be devastating to our economy. 

I think my role in the food system is to support and advocate for organic foods. I would do so by purchasing only organically grown products, and encouraging others to be conscious about what they put into their bodies. In order to actively do that though, I would have to start eating organically. I really don’t like grocery shopping and I have a love-hate relationship with cooking (I like making the recipe, though I hate finding all of the ingredients), which makes it difficult for me to eat organic. A first-step for me could be to start eating salad, considering that is pretty easy to make. I think it is in my best interest to go organic, because a lot of the runners I know have done so and are running faster times than ever. With that as a motivator, I think I could go organic, starting with baby steps.

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My new Slide :)

I changed my slide from a collage to a simple slide. The way I set it up is that the first thing you look at is my name.  Then you look at the music symbols around. I made my name purple so it could contrast from the black background. Then the pictures white so it could contrast too. 
New Tech Slide
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Blog Post 2 (YATW)

Screen Shot 2013-01-24 at 12.31.55 PMHello again, for those of you that have not read my blog post #1, my name is Marcus Cruz and I’m on a mission to help prevent young students from dropping out. In my first blog post I explored different things that those that have drooped out can do to get their life back together (you can view my blog post #1 by clicking here). However, my goal for this part of my project was to find the causes of dropping out and warn the youth. I think it is better that they are exposed to why these things happen and if they see it happening in their life, they will be prepared to handle it.
First I began by interviewing my cousin Andrew, he has graduated recently from El Centro de Estudiantes, a school for those who have dropped out to get the education. I started by asking him what was his life before he dropped out? He answered “It was good, I felt like that there was a lot of pressure, for me as a student to handle all the responsibility...” I then asked him, how did he handle this? He said “I ignored it, I turned away from it, I thought I ain’t need it...”
We next talked about how was his life after he was ‘done’ with school. He gave me one word description, “broke” saying that he had no income.
However, Andy was able get back to school with El Centro De Estudiantes, a program/school to get dropouts back to school. I was there at his graduation, I was able to see his able to see his satisfaction and pride when he had that diploma in his hand. I asked him at his graduation, “now that you have your diploma what do feel?”.  He responded “Way more confident, now that I’m educated, I think I ready to work in more sophisticated places.”
Second, I went to Julia De Bergos (a middle school) and spoke to up and coming 8th graders, we discussed why they feel that they dislike school. They told me that it’s boring and it’s hard. I continued forward with their opinions why they don’t like school. I asked them how can we eliminate these problems by fixing ourselves. That question had them stumped.
Thats a problem that a lot of students are facing, self evaluation and constructive criticism. If students were able to fix solutions they found in themselves, they would be able to focus on obtaining their education.
I came back a week later, I told them my opinion and we made a goal. We would see an improvement from their 2nd report card by using self evaluation and fixing problems they find in themselves.Now my next post will contain, the results of this little test. Until next blog post.

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Lizzie's New New Slide

​I made a few slight changes to my slide but not many. I changed the picture to a picture of just me as opposed to the picture of me and my friend because I thought there would be confusion with who "Lizzie" actually was. Plus, I made it bigger because I found it to be an important part of the slide but I didn't make the size of the actual slide. The reason for that was I didn't it to because less important by, quite literally fading into the background. I made my name a vibrant color so it would be the first thing you saw. Lastly, I faded the superhero music notes because they aren't really that important compared to the other components of the slide.  
New new slide
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Shaion's Slide

​I had to change my slide based on what my peer were criticized about. I wanted my name to stand out but not enough to distract people from the rest of my words. So I made them the same color but different fonts sizes. Another thing I did to make myself stand out was swap one of the photos in the background so that it was sure to stand out. I think I worked more on how to get things to stand out so I also pointed in the pictures.
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New New Slide !

I made this new slide because it looks better ! Its more simple than the collage I made the first time. The way the words have an affect it makes it pool and the picture fading makes you look at the name first. 
Chrissy - Imani

New Slide

​As you can see my slide is totally different from the very first one I did. In my first slide I did somewhat of a collage. As you can see now my slide is not a collage. Even though my name is not big as people told to make it bigger, but I wanted it like that. I'm saying that because look at the big baseball player. Now look at his arm with his glove in it. The glove is actually pointing at my name. This will catch everyones' eyes. So thats why I made my name in that size. I hope you guys are interested in my new and improved slide.
Slide 4

Platzer_Food Benchmark

​To make Latkes:

2 cups Grated Raw Potatoes with skin (round white or red)

2 T Whole Wheat Flour

2 Well Beaten Eggs

1 t Salt

1 t Sugar

Pre-heat oven to 425˚ F. Pour off dark water accumulated on top of grated potatoes. Add the ingredients and beat well. Heat pan with one tablespoon of olive oil. Spread oil thinly and spoon drop batter onto pan. Spread as thin as possibly and fry each side until nearly golden. Remove from pan and soak extra oil off cake with paper towels. Bake in oven for 10 minutes.


For this project, I chose to make potato pancakes, also called Latkes. They’re traditionally eaten during the Jewish holiday, Hanukkah. Because latkes are a little different depending on the country, I chose to use the Polish version. In my efforts to make a healthier version of that latke recipe, I made sure to keep my ingredients as whole as possible, like the potatoes, red instead of russet, and eggs. The cooking oil, salt, and sugar is processed. The whole wheat flour, which is substituting bleached while flour. is only a little processed, since it’s not shelled and bleached. When selecting the ingredients at the store, I went for the organics, especially the eggs. The salt, oil, sugar, flour, and potatoes were produced by lager manufacturers, like the Acme brand where the ingredients were purchased. If a person were to eat nothing but the latkes, health problems would certainly arise. It has all of the basic vitamins, proteins and fiber that the human body needs. The main problem is that one batch doesn’t have enough of everything to stave off malnutrition. In order to get all the essentials, one would then have to deal with obesity. Luckily, the ingredients aren’t all that regulated. Everything found in latkes are common staples of the Western Diet. The one ingredient that is a little special would be the eggs. They require special processing, shipping, and storage. They also need to be cooked in a certain way to prevent food-borne illnesses or food poisoning.

Self Reflection:

The problem with our food choices is related to a few things. The amount of money we have. Groceries needed to make fresh, healthy meals all week can cost $100 or more. Fast food is cheaper, especially with their dollar menus. Another issue is availability. While the nearest grocery store is about a mile or more away, fast food can be found right around the corner, especially in poor-income areas. Unhealthy food is everywhere, in corner and dollar stores, and much closer and cheaper then healthy foods. Yet another issue is motivation. Americans these days as a whole are lazy. Electronic addiction overrules the body’s basic needs, like exercise and nutrition. I would know, I am one of those people. 

Like many people in America, I find it easier to go out and grab some chicken, fries, and soda than cook for myself. If I want to make the food myself, which I have done before, it can eat up over an hour that I could be using to browse the internet, make progress in my favorite games, or chat with friends. While cooking for myself can be fun once in a while, it gets tiring and boring. Exercise is the same. It take time and dedication. It’s hard work. 

The worst part is that the only people who can fix this are the people themselves. Instead of driving to the nearest fast food restaurant they can walk there. Try cooking once or twice a week. Pick stairs over elevators. Get some friends together and go out. The government can’t make people to do so, and even if laws were made they’d be difficult to enforce. The only thing they can do to help is make healthy alternatives more readily available. This is what I learned this semester.

Food Rules Slide.001
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Media Fluency- Slide 2

On my first slide, I made a few minor mistakes. I did a collage format and had an idea to just put pictures everywhere. Then when I went over it, I realized that some pictures were over lapping others and they were not alined correctly. The edges of the pictures were not in contact with the other ones. That was all I would change if I redid the same slide over again. 
2nd Slide