Boys and Girls Ultimate: State Championships
Teams must qualify.
Prep time: 30 minutes
Box of Barilla Fettuccine pasta
Bertolli Alfredo sauce
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.Reflection:
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.
-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
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.
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.
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.
I have learned a lot of things in this food unit. I learned a lot about the diseases that unhealthy eating can cause, and what those diseases can do. I think the most interesting part of the unit was when looking at supermarkets. The graphs that showed the obesity percentages vs availability of supermarkets vs income and population density were very eye opening. At first I thought that it was strange that although there were more supermarkets in places where there were more supermarkets, more people were obese. Then I saw that these places also had a high population density, and they were usually on the lower end of the income bracket. I came to realize this is because there is also a lot more fast food in these areas. The fast food is much cheaper, but unhealthy to it makes sense that people of lower income would go here more than to supermarkets which are a lot more expensive. Something like this was shown when we watched "Food Inc." There was a family that just ate fast food because they didn't really know it was unhealthy, and it was so much easier to get. This showed a real like family that was in the situation that I couldn't really imagine. I have a supermarket .6 miles away from me, and that's almost exclusively where my family shops. This unit showed me how different eating conditions are available for other people, and how much it can effect lives.
Matzo ball Soup:
Only three out of the eight ingredients are processed food, unless eggs are counted then it's four. The rest are mostly natural ingredients, or things that aren't processed. The nutritional information is shown above next to the ingredients to make the soup. Most of the calories are from the processed food, in fact the three processed ingredients have 80.7% of the calories in the whole mean. The butter is also the main contributor to the calories from fat. Almost all of the calories from butter are fat, making it the most fatty and unhealthy part of the meal. The natural ingredients of the food are much more healthy than the other parts, with eggs somewhat excluded. All the other ingredients have barely any calories, and almost none from fat. The chicken broth has the highest calorie to fat from calories ratio at 1:1, but it is still a very small amount. Eating Matzo ball soup every day wouldn't be unhealthy, but probably shouldn't be consumed every day. The butter in the soup is the most unhealthy part of the meal with all the fat it has, but it's not really enough to be harmful because one person wouldn't eat all of the soup made with this recipe.
Most of the food in this has probably been sent from somewhere else. Because this is a Jewish meal, some of the food has to be prepared specific ways, so it can't just be sent from anywhere or straight from where it was produced. Some has to be blessed by a rabbi, or kept from other ingredients. Most of the natural ingredients were probably not grown organically, or in the healthiest way possible. It's much more efficient for companies to mass produce the ingredients, so it more than likely came from large fields that were treated with chemicals or other things to make the food grow faster/taste better.
The meal costs about $15 to buy all the ingredients, possibly a little more or less. This is a lot more expensive than most fast food. Most fast food is less than $5, and although the soup isn't for just one person, fast food would be more cost efficient. The items in this aren't really regulated. It's not very hard to buy any of the ingredients except for maybe kosher matzah because of the requirements for it to be kosher. The people that made money off of the meal are the supermarkets that sell the products, like Walmart and ACME. Also the places that supply the supermarkets with their products (the places where the things are made). There aren't many small corporations that would make money off of this, because most likely all of the ingredients come from places that mass produce the food. Walmart sells several of the ingredients, so they will be making money off of the sales for matzo ball soup.
Walmart gets some of it's eggs from Sparboe Farms. Sparboe farms claims that it is "family owned since 1954". This might be true, but that doesn't really mean anything. A whole page of their website is devoted to being family owned, but that doesn't mean they're better than other companies. This just means that the family owns the company, and doesn't say anything about how the eggs are made, or who works for Sparboe. They also say that their chickens are "cage free". This is the same thing as free-range, which just means that the chickens have access to go outside. They could be allowed outside for only 1 minute a day, and have the space allowed as a 2x2 foot small cage. This, along with the "family owned" claim are both technically true, but are purposely misleading. The companies use the definitions to their advantage, making customers think that they are more person and animal friendly than they are in truth.