Science & Society Benchmark: Food Project.


Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 50 minutes (or so)
Servings: 13


6 tablespoons of pure olive oil
1 onion, peeled and chopped fine
2 cherry tomatoes, cut into small chucks
2 cloves of garlic, minced
1/4 yellow squash, peeled and cubed
1 zucchini, peeled and cubed
10 mushrooms, washed and cut into thin slices
8 baby carrots, washed and cut lengthwise
1/2 red bell pepper, washed and cut into thin slices
1/2 green bell pepper, washed and cut into thin slices
All the stalks of broccoli, washed and cut into chucks
5 cups of water, preferably from the kitchen faucet
A box of Barilla Whole Wheat Rotini
    A tablespoon of bubbarai
    Salt, pepper and cumin to taste
    Chopped Italian Parsley as garnish

1.) Heat up oil in a wok under medium heat.
2.) Add in onion and stir occasionally for five minutes.
3.) Toss in tomatoes and garlic and continue to stir.
4.)  Combine the yellow squash and garlic, the mushrooms and carrots and bubbarai, the salt and pepper and cumin and half of the Italian Parsley, the red and green bell peppers, and the broccoli with five minute intervals in between.
5.) Turn the flame down to low. Splash water into a standard pot and turn the heat on high.
6.) When water is boiled, gentle spill rotini.
7.) Stir when needed.
8.) Drain off almost of the water; leave roughly two cups left.
6.) Finish by tossing the vegetables and the rotini (with water) together. Top off with the remainder of the Italian Parsley.


The olive oil, water, pasta and two of our seasonings are probably the only pieces of this dish that are processed. If I am not mistaken, many of the vegetables in our household come from a farmers’ market in New Jersey and the rest hail from a store that exclusively sells fruits and veggies. Yes, the drive does release harmful gases into the air, but at the very least, we know where our food is coming from. As for the spices, we have a community garden that grows herbs, like the parsley, and we keep them handy until the time comes.

Although they are considerably low in protein and fat, veggies have varying proportions of vitamins, minerals, fiber and carbs throughout. It makes for a pretty well-balanced meal, even so eating this all day would not be very smart. As a remedy to where it is lacking, adding some well done meat or nuts of some kind to mix would beneficent to one’s health. Having it once a day is okay move for it does not necessarily hold everything a human body requires.

We know that the pasta was manufactured in the United States and the olive oil was imported from Italy, but there is one other thing that has traveled a far distance to end up on this plate. My grandfather is visiting from Ethiopia and the bubbarai that was used is a combination of spices that is a homegrown concoction. He made it with his bare hands, I swear. The trip over took him roughly a day, though and no matter how I look at it, that has to take away from the overall environmental impacts because yeah, the taste literally had to fly via airplane, the ecologist deathtrap.

Price has never been my strong point, still if I had to guess, I would say that a portion reaches into the nine dollar and seventy-six cents category. The actual price of each could not have been exceedingly expensive, but there was a bucketload to incorporate. On the bright side, dividing it between that many people should be about enough to cover the cost.

Thankfully, this was a flavorful vegetarian dish sans any type of meat, in other words, no corn for us. This project really delved deep into our food system and the phrase”made from scratch” is given an entirely different meaning. The ingredients that allow for it all to come together are not conveniently placed in our backyards. The distance traveled probably outweighs the health benefits, but now, we know.


I am the daughter of a consumer. While I do eat out with my friends on our weekly excursions, the grand majority of my meals are eaten in the dining room / kitchen area. Shoveling down whatever is available is considered okay for there are very few stomach-turning products make it past my mother. She is a critical human being and her judgement is adequate by my standards because my not-dying-yet is a testament to her choices.

However just because she gives into her motherly duty of combing through whatever she places on the table does mean the rest of country can. The way foods are labeled confuses, the practice in which they are introduced to the public is wholly disgusting, but more importantly, the American government allows multinational companies to carry on with their operations scott free. The healthy is far more expensive than the fast and all of this is playing on my wry humor more than it should.

Maybe it is just our mindset, because we are too young to have been corrupted with the temptations of the big bucks that we are able to think clearly. The food system is a cutthroat business where only the rich and cunning can rule and the ones trying to fight for the betterment of humanity are left to perish. Ah, and suddenly, this nation seems more like the land of the exorbitant and the home of the convenient.

Personally, this unit has entitled me with of the facts and figures to make the correct assumptions altogether. I have noticed that I look more critically at the soft drinks than the bottles of water, that I pass over the deep fried for the whole grain. Hopefully, there is something to be said here.