Arroz Con Leche

Arroz Con Leche Food Slide:

I chose this rule as a rule for my benchmark because any type of food that is pretending to be something else is not as healthy for you as the real food. I figure that if you’re going to drink juice that is flavored to taste like orange juice, you may as well drink real orange juice because it is much better for your health. Arroz con leche is exactly what it sounds like, the translation is rice with milk and all of the essential ingredients for my recipe are either rice, different types of milk, water, or flavoring (raisins and cinnamon.).

Arroz con Leche Recipe


7 cups of water

2 cup of long white grain rice

2 cinnamon sticks

1 can of evaporated milk

1 can of condensed milk

1 cup of organic whole milk

1 cup of golden raisins

ground cinnamon


1. first bring the water to a steady boil.

2. slowly pour in all of the rice and begin to stir.

3. put the cinnamon stick in with the rice

4. cook rice for 18 minutes.

5. strain out almost all of the water and take out the cinnamon stick

6. put rice in a saucepan making sure it's still a little wet and stir in condensed, organic whole,  and evaporated milk.

7. cook until mixture comes to a boil, stir constantly. (It burns easily if you do not stir).

8. lower the heat a lot and stir constantly for about 20 minutes.

9. add raisins and dust with cinnamon.


Processed foods:

Condensed milk

Evaporated milk (Although it is not very processed surprisingly)

Non Processed:

Cinnamon sticks

cinnamon powder

Golden raisins

Organic Whole Milk

White Rice



The calorie breakdown for this Mexican dessert is approximately 60% carbs, 15% protein, and 25% fat. This meal is clearly not the healthiest, and like most Mexican foods it is packed with a lot of calories and is meant to fill you up. A half cup of arroz con leche is approximately 200 calories. This food originated in Mexico as a simple and delicious dessert that tastes a lot like the American rice pudding, which actually originated from arroz con leche. Arroz con leche thought not the healthiest food, is not particularly unhealthy. Almost all of the ingredients I used were unprocessed, and it does not contain more than the average amount of sugar that desserts tend to have in them.


A lot of rice is grown in Mexico, and Mexicans tend to use a lot of dairy in their food so it is not unlikely that when it is made there, the ingredients are local and generally fresh. The miles that my food has traveled from many different places in the world is hard to calculate, but from my research I can see that it could have traveled more than I have in my lifetime! Rice is grown in many countries such as China, India, Australia, etc. but it is also grown in seven states in America, so there is a good chance that it came from Arkansas, California, Texas, Louisiana, Mississippi, Missouri, or Florida. One interesting thing that I did not know about cinnamon is that it is a tree with leaves! Sri Lanka actually produces 80-90% of cinnamon or C Verum which is the name of the tree. There are twelve species of cinnamon, and another fun fact is that it is the bark of the tree! The condensed milk that I used came from Mexico, and the evaporated milk was most likely made in the U.S.


This meal cost approximately 20$ to make, but that being said, not all of the ingredients that have to be bought to make the meal get used up in one round. There will be a lot of leftover ingredients that can be used again such as cinnamon, raisins, and whole milk.  the only thing that would have to be bought to make more would be condensed and evaporated milk. The countries that made money off of my meal are America, Sri Lanka, and China (as explained in the previous paragraph). Compared to fast food, arroz con leche is way healthier. This is because most fast food places not only sell food that isn’t good for you, they also sell food that is generally very bad for you. Arroz con leche is a food that does not contain many health benefits, but it is also not bad for your health because it is fairly unprocessed (and it tastes much better than fast food.).


Most of my food items were purchased in China, Brazil, India, Sri Lanka, America, or Thailand. It is hard to trace exactly what country the different ingredients  came from because many countries produce and sell the same products. Americans make money from redistributing foods, but so does the country that originally sold the ingredient because America (and likely other countries) buy the ingredients they need from the producing countries. Making condensed or evaporated milk without processing is almost impossible, and growing rice at home doesn't really change nutritional values. Arroz con leche being a food without too many health benefits would not change drastically if made from all natural ingredients because it would still be produced with essentially the same amount of nutrients.


During this unit I have learned the importance of nutrition, and the lack of it in the American food system. One of the things that I think could be the biggest problem in the food system is the fact that corn and soybeans make up for the majority of the food system. Many foods are disguised as other foods but really, a lot of them are made out of corn and soybeans. This is bad because it means that we aren't receiving the wide range of nutrients we need to be healthy.

Another thing that I learned in this unit is that sugar is the most expensive in the US because we buy sugar in other countries, and there is a limit on how much sugar can be imported into the US. I also didn't know that America basically feeds farmers to overproduce the following food items: corn, soy, wheat, rice, beer, milk, beef, peanut butter, and sunflower oil.

Michael Pollan’s article on food rules and their importance really opened my eyes up to the simplicity of eating better. Though it is often tempting to consume and get ahold of things that are cheaply made and without health benefits, it is not much harder to go out and find food that is much healthier and just as yummy. I’d like to think that through this benchmark I have learned to be more conscious of what I eat and what it really is that I am eating.

The last and most interesting thing I learned was that in order to have a successful food system, we need to eat less meat. This is because if we eat too much meat, the animals we're eating need more greens, and then the price of food increases and the cycle ruins itself.

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