Justin Pullins, Science and Society's Q2 Food Benchmark

Screen Shot 2013-01-22 at 8.20.48 PM
Screen Shot 2013-01-22 at 8.20.48 PM
​For this project, I made French Baguettes.

Recipe and Analysis-
(This is the recipe for one, 2-foot baguette.)

*1 cup water

*2 1/2 cups bread flour

*1 tablespoon white sugar

*1 teaspoon salt

*1 1/2 teaspoons bread machine yeast

*1 egg yolk

*1 tablespoon water

  1. Place 1 cup water, bread flour, sugar, salt and yeast into bread machine pan. This is recommened for the best possible baguette at the end. 
  2. When the cycle has completed, place dough in a greased bowl, turning to coat all sides. Cover, and let rise in a warm place for about 30 minutes, or until doubled in bulk. Dough is ready if indentation remains when touched.
  3. Punch down dough. On a lightly floured surface, roll into a 16x12 inch rectangle. Cut dough in half, creating two 8x12 inch rectangles. Roll up each half of dough tightly, beginning at 12 inch side, pounding out any air bubbles as you go. Roll gently back and forth to taper end. Place 3 inches apart on a greased cookie sheet. Make deep diagonal slashes across loaves every 2 inches, or make one lengthwise slash on each loaf. Cover, and let rise in a warm place for 30 to 40 minutes, or until doubled in bulk.
  4. Preheat oven to 375 degrees F. Mix egg yolk with 1 tablespoon water; brush over tops of loaves.
  5. Bake for 20 to 25 minutes in the preheated oven, or until golden brown.

    This is a traditional meal for the French and Francophiles alike. This is meant to be a treat, as well as a supplement to a diet, or a meal, and they are a staple in French society. Though my family is not French, we do eat baguettes frequently, and it is a big part of our diet, and we eat baguettes nearly everyday.

    Most of the ingredients within the baguette are whole foods, and because of this, the baguette is relatively healthy. Baguettes are a great source of grain and carbohydrates, and are a hearty addition to any meal. Roughly, each whole baguette, which is about 3-feet long, is roughly 200 calories.

    Baguettes require a great deal of harvested products, such as yeast and flour. These things are not findings in nature, and would require additional processes in order to make it accesible to the consumer. After tracking down the manfucaturing company who made my flour and yeast, I discovered that they were both made in Minnestona, over 1,000 miles away. This plant of flour manfuracting is one of the largest in the country, because of this, the enviromental impacts are great.

    Whole baguettes can usually retail for about $2.50 each. The greatest profiteers on baguettes are the large manufacturers who create the ingredients. Also, a great reason why the cost of baguettes are relatively cheap is because all of its ingredients are staple foods; necessiaties in every person's pantry.

    Personal Reflection-

    Throughout this food unit, the lessons I have learned were vast and varied.

    Firstly, I have learned the various corruptions of the system of the food industry. It was shocking to see how these things have been allowed to happen.

    In addition, we’ve gone over foods that are healthy for us and the foods that aren’t, as well as what our food is truly made of. This, to me, was one of the most shocking revelations; the dependecy of various staples, such as corn or soy, which come across in nearly all the foods we eat. It shows, once again that the food problem within the USA will require great work to rectify.

    One of the greatest lessons I've learned throughout the course of Food Inc. was the fact that modern day food production isn't so much natural as it is an artifical science expermiment. Various chemicals and formulas come together to create the foods that we feed ourselves and our children, and the indregient lists for our foods are littered with unpronouncable words and phrases which don't often warrented a second thought in our minds.

    Ultimately, the sheer size of this problem makes it difficult for myself, and I think, in large, the country, to try to fix it. At every turn, the people who we believe have our best interests at heart have allowed their greed and love of profit and power to overcome their duty to keep us safe as harm. The corrupt system of food in America is nothing short of our country's most difficult problem, and the only solution will require much work and perspective into the thing that our society should truly value as importmant: American lives.