Boys and Girls Ultimate: State Championships
Teams must qualify.
2 cups Grated Raw Potatoes with skin (round white or red)
2 T Whole Wheat Flour
2 Well Beaten Eggs
1 t Salt
1 t Sugar
Pre-heat oven to 425˚ F. Pour off dark water accumulated on top of grated potatoes. Add the ingredients and beat well. Heat pan with one tablespoon of olive oil. Spread oil thinly and spoon drop batter onto pan. Spread as thin as possibly and fry each side until nearly golden. Remove from pan and soak extra oil off cake with paper towels. Bake in oven for 10 minutes.
For this project, I chose to make potato pancakes, also called Latkes. They’re traditionally eaten during the Jewish holiday, Hanukkah. Because latkes are a little different depending on the country, I chose to use the Polish version. In my efforts to make a healthier version of that latke recipe, I made sure to keep my ingredients as whole as possible, like the potatoes, red instead of russet, and eggs. The cooking oil, salt, and sugar is processed. The whole wheat flour, which is substituting bleached while flour. is only a little processed, since it’s not shelled and bleached. When selecting the ingredients at the store, I went for the organics, especially the eggs. The salt, oil, sugar, flour, and potatoes were produced by lager manufacturers, like the Acme brand where the ingredients were purchased. If a person were to eat nothing but the latkes, health problems would certainly arise. It has all of the basic vitamins, proteins and fiber that the human body needs. The main problem is that one batch doesn’t have enough of everything to stave off malnutrition. In order to get all the essentials, one would then have to deal with obesity. Luckily, the ingredients aren’t all that regulated. Everything found in latkes are common staples of the Western Diet. The one ingredient that is a little special would be the eggs. They require special processing, shipping, and storage. They also need to be cooked in a certain way to prevent food-borne illnesses or food poisoning.
The problem with our food choices is related to a few things. The amount of money we have. Groceries needed to make fresh, healthy meals all week can cost $100 or more. Fast food is cheaper, especially with their dollar menus. Another issue is availability. While the nearest grocery store is about a mile or more away, fast food can be found right around the corner, especially in poor-income areas. Unhealthy food is everywhere, in corner and dollar stores, and much closer and cheaper then healthy foods. Yet another issue is motivation. Americans these days as a whole are lazy. Electronic addiction overrules the body’s basic needs, like exercise and nutrition. I would know, I am one of those people.
Like many people in America, I find it easier to go out and grab some chicken, fries, and soda than cook for myself. If I want to make the food myself, which I have done before, it can eat up over an hour that I could be using to browse the internet, make progress in my favorite games, or chat with friends. While cooking for myself can be fun once in a while, it gets tiring and boring. Exercise is the same. It take time and dedication. It’s hard work.
The worst part is that the only people who can fix this are the people themselves. Instead of driving to the nearest fast food restaurant they can walk there. Try cooking once or twice a week. Pick stairs over elevators. Get some friends together and go out. The government can’t make people to do so, and even if laws were made they’d be difficult to enforce. The only thing they can do to help is make healthy alternatives more readily available. This is what I learned this semester.
I have learned a lot of things in this food unit. I learned a lot about the diseases that unhealthy eating can cause, and what those diseases can do. I think the most interesting part of the unit was when looking at supermarkets. The graphs that showed the obesity percentages vs availability of supermarkets vs income and population density were very eye opening. At first I thought that it was strange that although there were more supermarkets in places where there were more supermarkets, more people were obese. Then I saw that these places also had a high population density, and they were usually on the lower end of the income bracket. I came to realize this is because there is also a lot more fast food in these areas. The fast food is much cheaper, but unhealthy to it makes sense that people of lower income would go here more than to supermarkets which are a lot more expensive. Something like this was shown when we watched "Food Inc." There was a family that just ate fast food because they didn't really know it was unhealthy, and it was so much easier to get. This showed a real like family that was in the situation that I couldn't really imagine. I have a supermarket .6 miles away from me, and that's almost exclusively where my family shops. This unit showed me how different eating conditions are available for other people, and how much it can effect lives.
Matzo ball Soup:
Only three out of the eight ingredients are processed food, unless eggs are counted then it's four. The rest are mostly natural ingredients, or things that aren't processed. The nutritional information is shown above next to the ingredients to make the soup. Most of the calories are from the processed food, in fact the three processed ingredients have 80.7% of the calories in the whole mean. The butter is also the main contributor to the calories from fat. Almost all of the calories from butter are fat, making it the most fatty and unhealthy part of the meal. The natural ingredients of the food are much more healthy than the other parts, with eggs somewhat excluded. All the other ingredients have barely any calories, and almost none from fat. The chicken broth has the highest calorie to fat from calories ratio at 1:1, but it is still a very small amount. Eating Matzo ball soup every day wouldn't be unhealthy, but probably shouldn't be consumed every day. The butter in the soup is the most unhealthy part of the meal with all the fat it has, but it's not really enough to be harmful because one person wouldn't eat all of the soup made with this recipe.
Most of the food in this has probably been sent from somewhere else. Because this is a Jewish meal, some of the food has to be prepared specific ways, so it can't just be sent from anywhere or straight from where it was produced. Some has to be blessed by a rabbi, or kept from other ingredients. Most of the natural ingredients were probably not grown organically, or in the healthiest way possible. It's much more efficient for companies to mass produce the ingredients, so it more than likely came from large fields that were treated with chemicals or other things to make the food grow faster/taste better.
The meal costs about $15 to buy all the ingredients, possibly a little more or less. This is a lot more expensive than most fast food. Most fast food is less than $5, and although the soup isn't for just one person, fast food would be more cost efficient. The items in this aren't really regulated. It's not very hard to buy any of the ingredients except for maybe kosher matzah because of the requirements for it to be kosher. The people that made money off of the meal are the supermarkets that sell the products, like Walmart and ACME. Also the places that supply the supermarkets with their products (the places where the things are made). There aren't many small corporations that would make money off of this, because most likely all of the ingredients come from places that mass produce the food. Walmart sells several of the ingredients, so they will be making money off of the sales for matzo ball soup.
Walmart gets some of it's eggs from Sparboe Farms. Sparboe farms claims that it is "family owned since 1954". This might be true, but that doesn't really mean anything. A whole page of their website is devoted to being family owned, but that doesn't mean they're better than other companies. This just means that the family owns the company, and doesn't say anything about how the eggs are made, or who works for Sparboe. They also say that their chickens are "cage free". This is the same thing as free-range, which just means that the chickens have access to go outside. They could be allowed outside for only 1 minute a day, and have the space allowed as a 2x2 foot small cage. This, along with the "family owned" claim are both technically true, but are purposely misleading. The companies use the definitions to their advantage, making customers think that they are more person and animal friendly than they are in truth.