food

Day 86: Home Economics (High School Edition)

Ever thought high school left you in want? Math – when have you ever used algebra in real life? Science – understanding why adding mentos to coke makes it blow up. Did they think we were going to sue this as a skill in real life? Is there something they know that I do not? Until the zombie apocalypse happens I don’t see how this knowledge is important in our everyday lives. 

Home economics. The structure of the class (as I remember it from my humble public high school days) was you choose your recipe the week before. You then purchase the ingredients (parents a grumbling about the cost along the way), lug them next to your vulnerable text books and writing pads in you already over stuffed back pack and bring them to school. You store it in the schools fridge until class (hopefully there is room for all you kit) and when it is time, go back and get it all out again in a cluster of 30 other people scrambling to grab theirs too. You cook you food, you clean your dishes,and then the teacher comes around and tastes everyones food and grades them on how much they enjoy it. Then you store it again until home time, run back to the fridge at 3.15 when you remember it’s there, beg the bus driver at 3.20 to let you on with food (again. This happens every xday, why cant he just let you on???). Awkwardly stink up the bus with your foods for 30 minutes then walk it all the way up the steep hill to your home. Good times. 

What I feel is missing. Nutrition. Understanding personal nutrition and meal needs and ability to out knowledge into practice (from grocery shopping to cooking methods). Knowledge of food industry practices from dairy to junk food ‘restaurants’ to agriculture. How to find out the actual nutrient value of non labelled food (fruit and vegetable. Just because the standard nutrient of apples is x, doesn’t mean that the apple you picked up from the grocery store or even from you friendly neighbourhood food market has x nutrient it. Also explain to them why.). Standardized testing.

The Theory. 
The students learn their bodies personal factors from bone density, metabolism, allergies and personal taste preferences.Then they make a meal plan based of their knowledge of food and beverage and their own personal bodies. they will also need to express nutritional figures and explain their choices using rationale. Then the teacher, who will also be a nutritionist (we’re swamped with underemployed nutritionists here so that shouldn’t be hard) will grade them on how well they completed one, and give advice on what they ought be doing. 

Learning to understand your own body and its limitations is important at that age.  I personally doubt anyone gets harassed more openly or are more unabashedly, insensitively scrutinized by their elders, peers and everyone else about their meal habits and appearance as when they are in  high school. The damage from inappropriate dieting can be devastating. 

Practical
Cooking skills. Each cooking class should have a standard recipe. Simple to make ,very few ingredients and cheap to buy ingredients for because lets face it, these kids will either go to uni or enter lowest level employment at a fraction of minimum wage because they’re under 21 (and those guys only get a percentage of minimum wage) and they’re not going to be affording much for a while. Then grade them on how well they followed the method of cooking. Grade them extra marks for things that show ingenuity and creativity. But most importantly have a standard grading system for each one that makes the grading fair and is comparative to others. 

Multiple Choice + Essay.
For this test I would have them watch a documentary the week prior to the test.
A multiple choice including everything they have learnt. 
Essay.
1. A person is sick with x disease, what meal do you make them, whats in it and why that meal?
2. Make a hypothesis based on movie x, explain the documentary and why you feel it supports this theory. 

Students should also be taught about the food industries. What are the practices of the agriculture side? The dairy side? The meat side? The Corporate side of things. Should we care if Nestle ties to force their formula on 3rd world countries, or that palm oil fiasco? Should we care that the *junk food companies created a union for its industry to fight any government regulation they dislike (even at the expense of the people)? What about the addition of GMOs? Should our schools be teaching our children to look out for these things when determining what brands to buy? This is the sort of knowledge I feel would be great for a M.C. test. Each term a different doco is selected for testing. The manuscript for the movie is available online. Print off for students who learn better reading.

How does this relate to being vegan? How many children do you think will be vegan – or at least vegan-curious – if they watched Food Inc, Earthlings or even read about the meat industry killing practices? How many people will cut down on meat when they realise how it is affecting their health or even weight? Even those sporty sports who want to be best of the best will feel their ears prick up when they learn how much better they would be on the field without meat. The “I only get A+’s” crowd will get to feel more superior as their brains become stronger and smarter and increased concentration and memory on a vegan diet. Everyone gets moderate their own body effectively and become impervious to looks based teasing. It’d be very liberating. 

As a non-mother, non-education related worker with no official background in nutrition, what are you thoughts on my suggestions? Like them, dislike them, see issues or holes in the theory, or have your own you’d like to throw in the mix? 

1st day of high school was like magic: Pick a crowd, any crowd…

Summer Tay.

*What? You thought corporations were anti union? Nooo not at all! They’re against you having a union. 

Advertisements

Day 76: Die You Car Hitting Piece Of (A Blog Piece About Vegan Aged Care Options And My Car)

Cooking (real animal) chicken at 6-8am in the morning is one of the most grossest things I have ever had to do in my life. The smell. It gets into your clothes. It gets on your hands. It gets in your nose. Why am i cooking real, animal chicken at 6am in the frickin morning? Because I get paid a tiny minimum wage to that’s why, and I need to get a massive dint out of the back of my car (and afford groceries and rent and things).

Every meal that is made is made this meat and/or dairy and often egg. I feel bad for the people I’m cooking for. Looking at the menu I cook, and remembering the menu my Nana had when she was in aged care, I have noticed that they both have essentially the same menu, right down to the rice pudding. If you’re ever wondering of a home is a good place for your mum/grammy/dad/grampy, don’t bother stressing the food that much because they’ll all be the same. Maybe do a check to see how many staff they have on the floor though, and how easy they are to find, because that is where the money seems to make the difference.

Wonder if any homes are vegan… it appears not 😦 Though vegetarian is on the rise. So much so the government have factored this trend into their aged care menu assessment. It’s a start. Hopefully when I’m 80something all this vegan stuff will leave me looking 30ish like it does other long term vegans and I won’t need a home. But if I do, I hope they have viable vegan options by then. There are none right now. Anywhere in Australia anyways.

To anyone looking for a bounty to cash in, find the douchebag who crashed into my car. The reward: My love. Because I’m broke. And because I’m awesome, you know you want my love 😛

To the few good police who actually tried to help, I thank you.

Summer Tay.

P.S. The story behind the car? Someone – and I suspect they were as high as a kite, that got stuck to a space ship and got sent into space – hit the car next to me and left a dint the size of my pinky finger and hit mine with a dint the size of the grand canyon. The cars were parked. There were cctv cameras in the area. The bit that tickles me is my mum was in the car, and she was very tempted to stay in it, what with the air con and the InSaNeLy hot weather outside and all. But she decided last second she was hopping out and joining me for a blender check at Good Guys. We were 10 minutes, give or take 5. And in that 5-15 minutes, some… “person”, left that dint on my car.  Cost to fix: $610. My excess: $500. I don’t even have $500 spare. Not for this.

But none of this is the best bit. Wanna know the best? Ok, I’ll tell you the best bit. According to the police, this is not a crime. They are not willing to inspect the video footage which would have been available at the time I called it in (immediately). The footage would have by now been dleted accoridng to the shopping centre management.  Infact this is so legal, the police won’t even look at the cctv footage of the scene or investigate. Not unless the insurance company asks them to. Guess if I wanted some police love I should have been born a corporation.
Alos should mention, the cctv footage is deleted after 3 days. Only police (not mere civilians such as myself) can request it’s continued existence, and they did not. It’s gone now.

F’ the po-lice. But not literally. Because they suck.

Day 74: Beyonce Did What!?! (oh my gosh who the hell cares?)

People who give a damn what celebrities are doing, get over it. I don’t care that Beyonce ate her vegan foods wearing fur. People rarely change overnight, and it takes a lot to make someone even try to change certain things about themselves. What they choose to eat is one, and how they chose to express themselves in dress is another.

As far as fur coats go, though always seemed gross for me personally, and all the effort to take care of them. For others though I have heard they take on a meaning of prosperity. Many people who were once poor, upon finding they have pulled themselves up from their poor bootstraps and finally have money to burn in their life, burn it on a fur coat immediately. They also sound very warm.

This symbol of “I;m here, I made it, I earnt this” can be a strong one. If it were this, the bets combat – other than screaming “fur is murder!!” and covering the person in animal blood – would be to hear them out on their reason why they chose fur, respect the reasoning for what it is, then make positive, friendly suggestions.

To give an example I read from a book once (no idea which one, but if you recognize the story please give the original person credit and mention it in the comments:)
A piano teacher had a very gifted student. She vastly surpassed all the others, and she clearly loved to play.  However, she also loved her ever-long, ever-growing fingernails. The teacher always told her to cut them back. One day she decided to try something different: told her how beautifully she had played. Then she told her she would have played even better had her gorgeous nails not gotten in the way of some notes. She noted the girl clearly took great pride in them and went to great effort and it was a shame that ultimately, she was forced by nature to be choosing between one and the other, but ultimately it was her choice.
Basically the teacher acknowledged the sacrifice the girl would be making, and left it a choice for her to make.
The next day, the nails were cut short.

If someone takes that first step, don’t hate on them for not being your perfect, ideal symbol of vegan – or any other thing. Give people encouragement, and time.

Gosh fur coats look hideous.

Summer Tay.

Day 72: The Raw Diet (Is Disgusting)

Raw meat is now a thing. What the what? A news article today claims that, of all people Natalie Portman is an advocate? I’m not that much into celebrity “news” but even I managed to hear about her being vegan(ish – there was that time with the pregnancy [I like me a little less for knowing this]). Less surprising and more believable is Gordon Ramsay and the articles claim that he too is down with the sickness of eating raw beef and raw chicken. Never heard of salmonella? What about e-coli? Maybe if he got a good diet he wouldn’t be so angry? *hint hint, nudge nudge* :)?

This diet, if popular long enough, could cause an uproar of how meat is natural and healthy fr human consumption. At least temporarily. Then the sicknesses would start surely?

Surely people have tried to do this before. Has anyone been successful? Has anyone kept track of success to failure ratio and life expectancy (and life joy expectancy in comparisons)? This guy. He has tried every diet under the sun it seems, and has become his healthiest on a raw meat diet. A diet he has sustained for 5 years and counting. I warn you, hopefully before you click the link, that the picture you will undoubtedly see if you click it is a shocker. Lets just say, British circa 1500’s teeth, that’s all I’m saying. He brushes his teeth with animal fat. This guy has a girlfriend. I just…stunned.

Is he an exception? Why is this diet working for him? I want studies (respectfully done of course) of this guy done to find out why he seems to be at his optimal on such a diet. I don’t mean to be mean but, that is not normal. I’m sorry, but that fridge, and those teeth, and the smoothie of blood and internal sheep organs. I want to never eat again.

I’m sorry but I cannot get behind this. He needs to be checked, he needs to be given alternatives that will work for him and maybe some surgery or something to fix what is going on there and figure out how on earth he survived this long on that diet.

What I don’t know is where are the other examples? Did they die quickly from it and not get noticed, or did they simply not become known for it, or is it simply a very new fad that aside from this one guy has never really existed at all before? Have to admit, if I had a diet that was that extreme, I probably wouldn’t tell people.

To the non vegans who read this blog, if the diet did become a full on famous thing, would you fancy some raw sheep brain? Would you drink that smoothie? Is this a plausible thing society at large will do or just a trumped up crazy thing that exists that has given the newsplaces a story more swallowable than the wars happening, the economy crashing or what to do about unemployment?

To the grossest diet I have ever seen in my entire life, and to trying to turn one of the worlds most famous chefs vegan,

Summer Tay.

P.S. If you didn’t already do so, before clicking the this guy link, you may want to grab a bucket. Fair warning.

Day 71: Hipster Vegan Hangout

I’m writing on my phone for the first time so this post is going to be short. Today I was taken to a trendy hipster type place I never knew existed.  It consists almost entirely of food. The exceptions are a clothing store and a live band. They weren’t too shabby. But back to the food.

They had everything! All the kinds of food including wood fire pizza, Korean, Vietnamese, Hungarian, Vegan. The vegan one had a whole bunch if different fresh salads, a hot pot, falafel, some weird and tasty seaweed roll thingy and a couple of desserts to choose from.  I had a massive craving for potato so went with a potato salad.

Where to find this?  Every Saturday from 4pm you’ll find this place of awesome and wonderment at the industrial estate in Miami, QLD (Australia). The Miami Marketta.

I want to add a picture, but the phone is being a b-hole.

To the next step: becoming hipster! (But not really if I do that please just shoot me).

Summer Tay.

Day 61: Doing Ones Duty

People who say they eat meat because God gave them the duty of care and dominion over the animals. My heads translator:  “god told man to take care of the animals, so that is what we do, we take care of them. With a hatchet”.

Now, correct me if I’m wrong, but if you gave me duty of care for your cat, and I ate it, wouldn’t you be a bit miffed? Somehow I think some people got confused between the meaning of care and the meaning of kill – they are actually very different words, with very different meanings, despite their similar sounds and role of the tongue to make.
                                                                                     

Image

Coincidentally, I have also heard the duty of care and dominion excuse before. Once upon a time, man believed he had a right as the carer of and a person with dominion over his wife to do pretty much anything he wanted to her. She had no legal rights or recourse to stop or punish a man for much of what he did. Society had no problem with this and agreed beating your wife is what must be done – such beings being so emotional and incapable of maturity and all (to name one of the things done in the name of DoC+d logic). There are people who believe this is the way it should be to this day. When I look at animals now, I think of women back then, and when I hear this excuse, I think of men back then. It’s a bitter-sweet look, as it was horrible back then, but here we are now, and if we keep up the good (read: progressive) work, I know where we and animals will be. One day. I suspect not just the women liberation movement (aka acknowledging women as humans movement), but many different people will have something in their culture that can directly relate to this concept of DoC meaning do what you want, and how they consider this to be wrong. The comparison of women and cows/animals is not to suggest women are cows just that the plights have similar aspects. Now that I think about it, it kinda seems cattle is what we women were considered back in the day. But I digress…

What I put to anyone who uses this logic is this: imagine you are the cow. I mean literally, imagine all the things that a cow is when humans aren’t around (intelligent, happy, just chillin’), research if you have to, but then be the cow. What is the mans duty of care, as someone who has dominion over you, to you? What should his caring dominion constitute? What actions and decisions should this person make and not make in regards to you – at all times factoring in he has this duty of care for you and his dominion over you?

And I mean be the cow.

Mooo,

Summer Tay.

P.S. I also hope I made it clear that one of my points here is just because you can get away with it, even if society and the law are completely supportive of your actions at this time, it still doesn’t mean that it is right. We did not go from a society where beating a woman is ok to a society where it isn’t ok – we went from a society that ignored that it wasn’t ok and made excuses to one that acknowledged that beating a woman is not ok and then made laws to stop it and social campaigns to stamp out the mentality. That is where I see this meat eating society going.

P.S.S. Click this link only if you have a sense of humour and are firmly strapped into your chair, because I fell off mine when I randomly came upon this picture within my google image search. Fair warning.

Day 59: Massive Mango Madness

I just ate the biggest mango in history! It was measured at 15 by 13 by 10 cms, and it tasted like bliss.

Image

The mango came off my dads tree. Last year dad had more mangoes than he had pairs of holey undies (who understands guys and their holey undie fetish). This year he got a grand total of 11. All massive. All amazing looking. If you look at the picture, you’ll notice the mango is the almost the same length as a kitchen knife.

You jelly?

Summer Tay.

Day 56: Dried Mangoes

Dried mangoes! I have found a place that sells dried mangoes. They contain no fat, limited protein and limited dietary fibre and they have about as much sugar as a bottle of coke. The only place that seems to stock them in store in Daiso, a Japanese multi-purpose store that sells almost everything for $2.80, including 100grams of dried mangoes from the Phillipines.

Image

My bedtime snack.

Their taste is exactly like dried mangoes. The texture is weird. The skin feels almost, hairy? Get past that and it’s just like eating dried apricots. The smell from the bag was not promising though. Smells like unhealthiness.

Cunning plan: next time there is a party, put dried mangoes and dried apricots in a bowl and mix them all up. Because stuff maturity, my veganism is going to be fun! Well, for me anyways 😛

Everyone seems to agree these are great for boosting energy levels during times of energy draining difficulty such as waking/getting up in the morning or after reaching your desk at work. I really shouldn’t be eating these at 10pm.

Overall verdict is that they definitely do not beat the real thing – raw, unprocessed, unchanged in any way mangoes are still the best thing to ever happen to taste buds. Dried mangoes do not seem to be in any way healthy in itself, but can count as a ‘healthier alternative’ to boosting energy levels and a vegan option when required. I would very much like to use these to make a mango cheesecake one day.

A lot of people have described how to make these yourself. It’s actually pretty easy, but of course, it requires a food processor or blender. To make them you take off the skin and remove pip, blend/process the middle part until smooth, then lay it out onto a baking tray and bake till yummy. Cut into pieces as desired. I just keep looking at the pictures and thinking, “what a waste of a perfectly good mango”, as a silent inner tear is shed.

I wonder if my housemates would appreciate a so long, and thanks for all the food mango cheesecake as thanks for being some pretty awesome housemates and for all the times I’ve “borrowed” from their spices…

To maintaining a vigilant stance on being a cliche prankster, to showing appreciation where due, but mostly, to mangoes,

Summer Tay.

P.S. in case you were wondering, the nutritional value of the dried apricots per 100g:
Fat:                  0.0g
Protein:            0.7g
Dietary fibre:    2.0g
Carbs:            90.5g
-Sugars:         80.9g

Yeah.

Day 53: Future Plans / Restaurant Ridiculousness

Today was yet another sushi train day. The options are reasonable: some weird pumpkin and carrot thing that tasted good, some random thing that we think was grilled eggplant, vegetable goyza thingies minus the goyza sauce because alcohol, and then the tiniest slice of ginger which I was trying for the very first and last time tonight. The face I made had my friend falling off of her seat (at least one of us found it humourous). The only other options I remember in the pre-made vegetable area were inari (a fried tofu stuffed with rice), the standard avo in rice, cucumber in rice, and some weird thing that freaked me the hey out. It looks like it’s vegetables wrapped in a thin white sheet of rice, but first the eyes think it looks like a tiny, white, bumpy man part / evil alien egg about to pop (depending which one of us you ask). I literally jumped back when I saw it.

UGLYvegetarian_Suhshi_HVS

Do you see it? Do you see what I mean?

We came up with the perfect plan. After we move in together, we will purchase a sushi making kit. Once we have mastered the art there-of, we are buying a fully functioning moving model train set. Much sushi will be made, then placed on plates that will then be balanced on the train. Then we sit in the middle of the train set and grab whichever sushi we feel like eating as watch low budget Japanese horror films (the best kind). Ok that last bit about the horror movies I came up with by myself – but it is going to happen. Huzzah home made sushi train!

SUSHItrainforthelounge_HVS
It will look a little something like this, but in the lounge room. If successful further tracks might be built to have the train reach the kitchen (a sensible next step) followed by the bedrooms and maybe the bath tub and then, if we have one, the balcony (gotta make the neighbourhood jealous).

In semi-related news, I came up with a new name (and a theme) for my/our/the vegan pizza store. PJ Pizzas. Can be spelt Pjzzas. You can set it up like a regular pizza restaurant, but the catch is everyone has to come in PJs or bedtime attire including restaurant staff. Appropriate ones. If you don’t have any, or don’t have any on because you’re a walk in or something like that, then you can rent/buy a onesie from the restaurant to wear over your clothes. The restaurant will have an assortment of styles and sizes for the young and the older – dinosaurs, chickens, even Pikachus and Stitches if we can. Point is, no PJ = no pizza. Feel free to steal this idea if you’re thinking of opening a restaurant of any kind, just remember me if/when your restaurant become super famous and they ask you where you got the PJ idea. You got it from me 😀

In completely other news La Brana was (presumably) lactose intolerant. In case you missed the news this morning, La Brana is the 7000 year old guy found in La Brana region of Spain. His DNA was perfectly preserved and has been tested. He also was very dark skinned yet had peircing blue eyes – making him one of the first of human kind to have mixed african and european features. He ate meat, wore fur, and died with his hunting utensils around him. He died at 30 years old. It has been added to my to-do list to research the average life span and the common diet and lifestyle of cultures back in the day, before modern medicine and modern science told us things and kept us alive. Back when all we had was food and lifestyle to determine our lifespan and the only knowledge and culture we knew was our own, grown from those directly around us. This idea is either really boring, or really brilliant (or really done before by ever other “genius” who has just gone vegan/health conscious and is researching it). Will let you know how that goes. Eventually.

To eating pizza in pikachu pjs in the middle of a public place,

Summer Tay.

P.S. If you were interested in seeing more of the model train set shown above, you can view the full article here.

P.S.S. If you happened to be at sushi train tonight and noticed 2 girls singing and seat dancing to Spice Girls Wannabe followed by Britney Spears Hit Me One More Time, that totally was not my friend and I.  We definitely did not go on a nostalgia trip of our 90’s childhoods in a busy sushi restaurant. You are thinking of some other people.

Day 50: A Brief For And Against

Been looking at the arguments for and against veganism, as well as the vegetarian and raw vegan diets since they come up so often in searches. I would like to go into them in more depth one day, but I feel I have still not read enough on even one reason to be ready to write about it. Add to that I’d like to be fully prepared for all reasons pro and con before posting about any one of them. I have however found a youtube video that has different people of differing views combat a few of the reasons for and against the vegan diet. The video appears fairly amatuer, but it gets it’s point across. If you are considering the ethical, moral, health and environmental issues surrounding the meat industry and the vegan lifestyle, then this video is for you. Fair warning, there will be blood.

 

The woman in the video. “I used to love Boca Burgers [vegan patties], until I found out they were made from mushrooms…I threw them away”.

*Second warning, I do get a little coarse from here out*

Sometimes I think mandatory school excursions should include places like animal farms, dairy farms, agricultural areas, et cetera. If you wouldn’t feel comfy letting your 13 year old watch and listen as a small group of adults slowly kill an animal in a sadistic way, then maybe you shouldn’t feel comfy that they do that in the first place. Let the children learn where their food comes from and how it is made. Their shock and horror would end it all.

The sound of a pig squealing in pain then gargling to death on its own blood rings in my ears.

Summer Tay.