January 2016

Tonight I washed my pasta off…

You may be thinking, “What’s the big deal? Washing pasta post boil is common.”

This was not the case.

I made spaghetti, drained it, then drenched it in a disgusting mayo/tuna/caper sauce (sounds disgusting, smelled awful, tasted even worse) which was practically unpalatable.

Currently in 2016 I have nearly zero wasted food so far!

Thus, since I try not to waste any food, dumping this entire pot of icky pasta was not going to happen, even though I debated tossing the entire batch. Since I was not going to eat this tuna casserole catastrophe, I figured I had nothing to lose if I washed off the sauce… so I dumped the whole meal back into the strainer and let the faucet do it’s thing:

Washing Pasta Sauce Off

Washing Pasta Sauce Off

To my surprise, this it worked brilliantly!

All the nasty sauce swirled down the drain, leaving the plain pasta, greens and a bit of tuna. I just zapped the spaghetti and what was left in the microwave, then topped with crumbled goat cheese and fresh herbs et viola: A delightful dish.

Washed Pasta + Goat Cheese

Washed Pasta + Goat Cheese

 

Lessons

  1. Keep it simple
  2. Mayo is gross and cannot be substituted for alfredo or any pasta “sauce”
  3. If your sauce sucks and you combined it with the pasta- just wash it off and start over!

DON”T WASTE FOOD!!!!!

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First off, I have watched nearly every documentary on food offered on Netflix. Currently, I am watching Fed-Up which is appropriately titled because it makes you Fed-Up at our government for succumbing to food-industry giants at the expense of the health of our nation- especially our children.

Solving the obesity pandemic is why I am in grad school at Josef Korbel School of International Studies focusing on Global Health and Food Security.  I am guessing DU Accepted me largely due to my letter of intent evaluating the power of children’s school lunch programs to turn around malnutrition or create obesity.

The US has created the world’s deadliest diet and is exporting it to other countries. It is a war. We have to change the way we produce, market, and consume food.

My war now is with myself. As I reiterated before, my goal is to eventually free myself from purchasing and consuming any food from the following top 10 food grossing companies who have too much political pull over the market and influence on public policy and government’s decisions: PepsiCo, General Mills, Kellogg’s, Associated British Foods, Mondelez Intl (Kraft), Mars, Danone, Unilever, Nestle, CocaCola (PGKAMMDUNC)

January, I am building awareness. 2015-12-03 12.02.56 2015-12-03 12.03.49

For example, these images may look healthy because I added leeks, carrots, and Kuner’s black beans (owned by Fairbault foods, which is a subsidy of the Mexican Canning Company La Costena) to Annie’s Organic White Cheddar and Shells.

*Mac n’ cheese is my vice/go-to unhealthy processed meal and I thought I was improving by chosing Annie’s, but to my dismay, Annie’s “sold-out” to General Mills in 2009. So now this is a no.no. 🙁

Alternatives- Amy’s Mac N Cheese– but it is a frozen food, although family owned, organic and simple ingredients with no preservatives!!

Better yet- Make your own from scratch!

Ways to make boycotting PGKAMMDUNC easier:

  1. Drink mostly water
  2. Eat tons of whole fruits and vegetables
  3. Avoid processed Foods

Some of my downfalls this weekend include:

Tostitos–> FritoLay, owned by PepsiCo

Gatorade–> PepsiCo

Otherwise, I think I was pretty good.

If you’re interested in Food Marketing and it’s effects on consumers, check out this tremendous report by Anna Lappe and sponsored by Friends of the Earth, SPINNING FOOD:

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At DU in grad school my life is studying food. (My masters will be in International Development concentrating on Global Health and Food Security). You’d think evaluating food all day would make me hungry… instead, what I have learned, makes my blood boil.

10 food companies own 90% of the market share. This is NOT OKAY because very little decision-making power is leftover for the remainder of the players in the food supply and commodity chain, particularly producers.

Right now I have too many questions to count, few answers, but day by day I will work to find solutions.

Solutions for now…

CONTROL MY CONSUMERISM.

I chose the food I buy and prepare for myself.  Thus, when strolling down the grocery aisle and confronted with the 42,000 items carried in the average grocery store, I can chose alternative brands from the top 10 food companies. However, illustrated by the Oxfam Chart above and below, these brands (and their off-shoots) dominate- so you have to be conscious.

Who I am avoiding:

  • PepsiCo
  • CocaCola
  • Mondalez International (Formerly Kraft)
  • Nestle
  • General Mills
  • Kelloggs
  • Unilever
  • Danone
  • Associated British Foods
  • Mars

I can change the profit margins of multinational food conglomerates by leaving one bag of frito-lay chips (PepsiCo) on the shelf at a time. Some claim this $3 may not make a difference, but I believe it does. One bag at a time- like “Every penny counts”.

Additional side benefit to this political diet: I’ll eat more healthily. Majority of the foods these brands carry are highly processed with sugars and fats which are not good for you.

My voice will be heard and my actions will make a difference. So will yours.

If you need more determination- you are helping starving children. Seriously, educate yourself and watch the documentary Black Gold.

This personal endeavor has also been largely guidedby the Oxfam Behind the Brands Campaign. Check out this updated article here:

http://www.oxfamamerica.org/explore/stories/these-10-companies-make-a-lot-of-the-food-we-buy-heres-how-we-made-them-better/ 

Image Courtesy Oxfam Behind the Brands Campaign

**Image Courtesy Oxfam Behind the Brands Campaign

JANUARY

The ultimate goal is to forgo these brands altogether- but I am giving myself a year to do so. In January, I will be uber aware of what food I am purchasing, what brands they are from, and the corporate social responsibility practices of the companies whose food I consume, as well as the nutrition provided.

This is what I ate today, as example:

Breakfast- Quaker oats, Nature Valley Cinnamon, Stoneyfield yogurt, Kroger brands raisins, Tropicana Orange Juice, **Specialty Coffee, Sugar in the Raw, Dean’s Milk.

Lunch- Homemade vegetable soup (With CSA and local colorado veggies 🙂 and Organic Wildrice and Jalepeno Cheese – with more coffee and sprouts green tea

Dinner- CSA 25 Farms Lettuce and Kuners black beans and same wildrice and spices, morton salt, pepper (have to look up brand).

Giradella dark salt and almond dark chocolate

And snacked on a couple yogurt raisins…sprouts brand.

Awareness day 1 has begun.

**Specialty Coffee from Southern Laos

Please Check out Jhai Coffee House 

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…and it’s going to change everyday. In the past, I’ve been overly concerned about having a perfect theme for this blog paired with perfect posts.

I’ve had so many ideas floating through my head that never come to fruition on this keyboard due to my fear of the literature not being just right.

Well 2016 is the year of mistakes… that is right… I am not afraid to just go for it. Trial and error = progress.

There are so many quotes that run through my head coinciding with this theme like Thomas Edison’s 100 or so attempts at creating the lightbulb and Michael Jordan not making his high school basketball team. A mentor of mine and past executive at SB, John Stoiber, runs a blog titled King of Failure “Failure is a moment – Success is a Lifetime”. That’s what I am going for. You get this gist? Mark Cuban even declares that no one will remember your failures as soon as you achieve success.

And what does success look like for EEEtheWorld this year? Consistent writing. Period.

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Reflecting is a therapeutic process to ensure growth. Where have you been? Who were you with? What did you learn? Why was the moment significant to your life path? How does this experience impact your past, present, and future?

Here is a look at 2015 Month by Month…

JANUARY

The icy winter wonderland of home sweet home Wisconsin and Illinois and Indiana was a harsh change from the sunshine and humidity of the mountains I’d been trekking through and the Seas I’d been swimming in Thailand. But climate does not matter when you are surrounded by people you love. World travels puts that into perspective quickly, so I made the most of my month home by spending it with People I love!

Molly Roloff: NYE SNL Theme Party with her awesome homies in West Bend, WI)

Mom & Dad: Ice Skating at the Lakehouse in Elkhorn, WI and participating in the World’s Snow Sculpture Contest in Lake Geneva, WI

Nana: This brilliant 93 year old woman keeps inspiring me everyday and lives vicariously through my travels- I got my wanderlust from her!

The Rohrs: Amanda and Brian are best friends from college (Go Hoosiers!) and it is exciting to see Brooks exploring and settling into their new home in Downer’s Grove, IL.

The Indy Crew: Krista Robinson and Caroline Eaton. We had fun celebrating Brigg’s 3rd Bday with Lottie- It is incredible how fast these tots are growing up! in Brownsburg, IN.

The Homies: KK, KT, Sarah, & Gina all make me feel at home in Milwaukee.

Buggy: My Sissy let me crash at her cozy studio and she is cooking proof that a good chef can make delicious creations no matter the size of the kitchen!

 

 

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