Restaurant and Food Service Life Cycle Assessment and Development of a Sustainability Standard

Credentials for the authors: All three are scholars in this field due to the fact that I researched scholarly journals which means they are peer reviewed by other scholars in the field. With some further research, I found that Nana Wilberforce has her PhD and is a VP and Energy Manager of PNC and has written many other publications on food sustainability and energy. Then Cheryl Baldwin is a Vice President at Green Seal  and a Senior Consultant for Pure Strategies and has also contributed to other scholar articles related to sustainability. Lastly, I couldn’t find as much information on the last author, but Amit Kapur was noticed in many projects dealing with recognizing food sustainability with the two other authors. This post was published on September 23, 2010.   http://search.proquest.com/docview/831703447/fulltextPDF/141063300A93A735FE2/4?accountid=14503

It has been seen over the last years that food sustainability and energy saving has decreased due to the lack of standard and responsibility. But as times are changing, many restaurants have been improving their sustainability and energy conservation because of the growing consumer interest in food that is environmentally favorable. It was studied that six out of ten consumers would likely chose a place to eat  based on their environmental efforts. (Cheryl Baldwin.  Restaurant and Food Service Life Cycle Assessment and Development of a Sustainability Standard.  http://search.proquest.com/docview/831703447/fulltextPDF/141063300A93A735FE2/4?accountid=14503) This is showing how much people are discovering how the food industry has been doing practices that create processed and manufactured food that the consumers do not want to be apart of. They are starting to realize how increasing the food sustainability in the places they eat, would also benefit them in the long run. The experiment that the three authors ran was basically how “green” a restaurant was and then choosing a plan for it to follow in order to fit standards of being sustainable. The four things tested through this experiment where the food procurement, food storage, food preparation and cooking, and food service and operational support. The results majorly showed that food procurement was the largest affect of the assessment along with respiratory inorganics, fossil fuels, and land use.  (Cheryl Baldwin. Restaurant and Food Service Life Cycle Assessment and Development of a Sustainability Standard.  http://search.proquest.com/docview/831703447/fulltextPDF/141063300A93A735FE2/4?accountid=14503)) The results were less than appalling to me, because growing up in this day and age, that is almost sort of familiar to me. I understand the way our system has been operating. But the most beneficial process that I am only somewhat familiar with. Which was changing their standards to fit sustainability and conserve energy by using  alternative sources and changing the food by moving to organic or changing the transportation of how the food gets here.

Citation: Baldwin, Cheryl, Nana Wilberforce, and Amit Kapur. “Restaurant and Food Service Life Cycle Assessment and Development of a Sustainability Standard.” The International Journal of Life Cycle Assessment 16.1 (2011): 40-9. ProQuest. Web. 10 Oct. 2013.

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Vote for the Dinner Party

Credentials on Michael Pollan: Michael Pollan, author of this article, is an environmental journalist for The New York Times and had written many books dealing with food sustainability and health. He has won the Reuter’s World Conversation Union Global Award and The Genesis Award from the Humane Society of the United States for his work in writing about sustainability. This article was posted October 10, 2012. http://michaelpollan.com/articles-archive/vote-for-the-dinner-party/

There is finally a movement in America starting up to demand change in our food system free form processed food and agricultural processes. This article is more specific and mentions California’s Proposition 37, which was part of the beginning of this change. This proposition was that all genetically modified foods carry a label pointing out the process to the consumer purchasing the product. (Michael Pollan. Vote for the Dinner Party. Michaelpollan.com) Something as small as this one state’s effort to make our food more sustainable shows how America is ready for a change. The amount of Ted Talks and documentaries I have seen on processed food and disease being spread through meat is uncountable, which means people are ready to start a big movement through our government to stay healthy. Pollan states how the population has lost trust and faith within the food industry, but also how in return, the food industry had lost trust in us as well. Our food system considers the certain propositions like California’s as a threat, and that we will act irrationally when we see a genetically modified label on a can. (Michael Pollan. Vote for the Dinner Party. Michaelpollan.com) We have been eating genetic engineered food for more years than we think, but it seems to me that it has only been recently that the people have actually heard and paid attention to this news because it seems like the fight for sustainable food has been going on forever. So I am not surprised that food companies are freaking out and finally releasing their practices to the public, because they have been hiding in the dark for almost twenty years, and we are just now starting to turn on the lights. Once the food movement reaches Washington and begins to actually start a revolution against our unsustainable food practices. Just like any revolution, it only takes one for others to follow, and California’s proposition is the one rebel everyone is starting to stand up for.

Citation: Pollan, Michael. “Vote for the Dinner Party.” New York Times 10 Oct 2012,  n. pag. Web. 26 Sep. 2013. <http://michaelpollan.com/articles-archive/vote-for-the-dinner-party/&gt;.

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Arsenic in rice: another food issue to worry about?

Credentials on Food Politics: http://www.foodpolitics.com/about/

This Blog was posted by Marion Nestle who is famous for writing books on nutrition and food sustainability. This post was made on September 13, 2013. The entire Food Politics Blog is one that is all about food sustainability and nutrition. Marion, the author of the website, is a professor nutrition and public health and has been on many boards and committees that deal with the FDA and dietary guidelines. http://www.foodpolitics.com/2013/09/arsenic-in-rice-another-food-issue-to-worry-about/

There are many different types of food that I had no idea would be any type of danger, and rice was one of them. When I think of arsenic all I picture is death and poison used by house wives trying to kill their rich husbands. But when I hear it is in fact within rice, I ask questions as to why it is even there in the first place. There is a range from about eleven to thirty micrograms of arsenic in mostly instant ready rice, and then about six micrograms in regular rice. (Marion Nestle. Arsenic in rice: another food issue to worry about? Foodpolitics.com) This seems like a lot of poison being fed to us, especially when you see the big double digit thirty. But micrograms are millionths of a gram, so I guess technically it is not as dangerous as it could be when you think of arsenic in our food. The FDA claims that with the low amounts, it is not being considered for any short-term health problems, but there is worry about long-term heath issues being the real problem. (Marion Nestle. Arsenic in rice: another food issue to worry about? Foodpolitics.com) I personally agree because if you compare any other toxic substance being put into your body, there may be still long term damage. For example, medical marijuana is considered legal and beneficial to patients in need. It is to help numb the pain and give a “high” to patients, but there is evidence of marijuana affecting memory loss. That is how I feel about the arsenic found in rice. The FDA may tell us that the amounts are too low to even worry about, but arsenic is a mineral used in insecticides to kill insects, and that chemical is being but into our precious bodies. To me, Marion’s question about if this is something to worry about, is definitely something to worry about because I don’t believe it is at all healthy to put poison into our bodies.

Citation: Nestle, Marion. “Arsenic in rice: another food issue to worry about?.” Food Politics. Names@Work, 16 Sept 2013. Web. 25 Sep. 2013. <http://www.foodpolitics.com/2013/09/arsenic-in-rice-another-food-issue-to-worry-about/&gt;.

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Whipped Cream

We were standing in front of the refrigerator at my friend’s house at about the age of seven. We were searching for a snack after playing outside all day. After only seconds of looking through the different levels of the fridge, I saw her grab a can of whipped cream. She squeezes this absurdly messy nozzle into her mouth with clouds of fluff filling her cheeks. It seemed fun because she was laughing around and making funny faces with the cream that caused her face to be puffed out like a chipmunk. She handed me the can and urged me to try it. My hand reaches for the can with slight hesitation, as I wanted to experience the playfulness of the whipped cream.

I felt the chillness of the aluminum can as it touched my skin. It felt to be about half full, because when I shook it, it sloshed around with much room. The cream that was left sounded like nothing I have ever heard before, meaning not any foods have this dense but airy texture. I squeezed the white nozzle in between my lips, and instantly began to raise my nostrils and squint my eyes to the nastiness that had entered my mouth.

The unbearable white sweet puff of air was stuck in my teeth, lips, and every crevice of my cheeks. My tongue could not get comfortable with the fluffy inconsistent texture, it was like I could swallow one hundred times but it wouldn’t get out of my mouth. As the last bit of cream slides down my throat with a little push from my tongue, I could taste the left over residue that continued to linger. The slight taste of sugar was dwindling on my taste buds like it was a game.

I let go of the can and let it slowly drop to the ground as I rushed to the counter to grab a glass for water. Stumbling over to the sink with the seconds not being fast enough; I finally received a relief of chill water running down my throat. I could hear the laughter from my friend as she continued to joyfully squirt the whipped cream into her mouth. Her reaction to me disliking whipped cream seemed surprised almost, because most people act the way she did with excitement and joy.

After the one attempt of trying whipped cream from the can, I am turned off forever. It has been about eleven or so years since the tragic tasting incident, so my taste buds have been a little more forgiving but I can’t seem to find the will power to voluntarily let the gooey, white substance slide down my throat no more.  I almost feel like I am the only person in the world who is not in favor of this desert condiment, because I always get a confused face from people when I ask for it not to be put on my food.

But I always tend to see kids around the same age I was, standing in front of the fridge with the door wide open squirting whipped cream straight into their mouths. Even though I find it disgusting, there is something traditional and comfortable with the playful idea of swallowing down mouthfuls of whipped cream in the kitchen.