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
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
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
Measuring spoons and cups
1. Begin to brown the ground beef in a skillet on medium high heat2. 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.
2 boxes of thin spaghetti
A big pot
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 water5. Top with warm sauce
Analysis: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.
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.