Sustainable You

Sustainability and the Built Environment

4900: Wk 13 Food

Response due at the beginning of class 4/14.

Weekly 5pt post question:

After we finish talking about IAQ (indoor air quality) we’ll start chatting about food. For your 5pt post this week, please give us an overview of what you know about food sustainability. This is a broad topic so consider some of the following questions to help you tell us about food sustainability:

1)  What are the issues involved in food sustainability?  (e.g. animal treatment, soil, water issues,  domestic vs. non-domestic foods, processed vs. non-processed food, organic vs. non-organic, etc…).

2)  What sources have taught you about food sustainability? (e.g. family, documentaries or books “Food, Inc” or “Supersize Me”, doctors, etc…)

3)  Rate yourself on a scale of 1 (not aware) to 10 (supa dupa aware) regarding your awareness to food sustainability? And discuss what things you are doing now to be pro-active in your food sustainability awareness?

4) What are the benefits of organic foods?

5) What are the disadvantages of organic food?

6) On a scale of 0-100% how much of your food that you is organic?  How do you feel about your percentage?  And why do you think your percentage is what it is?

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Filed under: Sustainable Design

24 Responses

  1. Laura Murdock says:

    1. I know that there are issues of people not wanting to eat food that is conventionally grown due to the chemicals in pesticides that are used in fertilizers and the hormones that the animals are given to reduce disease. Some may prefer to use USDA certified organic products that don’t use these chemicals that are more harsh (instead they use natural pesticides like insects that kill certain bad bugs and disrupt mating if these harmful bugs). I agree with not wanting to eat a lot of processed foods because when the foods are altered to preserve the shelf life of the product, they now have more additives than what the original product was. Anything processed has more to the product than what is naturally in the product. I don’t see too many problems with domestic vs. non-domestic foods except when they come from countries that may not have the standards for foods that we have in the US. I don’t personally care for organic foods because coming from a family of botanists I have heard more scary stories about organic foods than anything. I know that there’s a much much higher possibility of livestock developing diseases on an organic farm and these same animals are used for the fertilizer. There’s a higher risk of contamination in organic foods due to not being able to kill everything and cross contamination. I know that conventional foods can also be contaminated (we se the more than once a year), but this isn’t due to methods, but poor management of the farmers methods. I don’t like eating processed foods because I know that there are more additives than what the actual food is suppose to be. I try to make my own foods like applesauce and freshly squeezed juices.
    2. The sources for my knowledge are my parents who have their doctorates in plant science, knowledge through research, and a book that I have partially read called “Skinny Bitch.” The book tells you the whole process of how processed foods are made and doesn’t hide anything. It really makes you think twice about eating processed foods because it grosses you out. Mayo clinic also has some pretty good information about organic vs. non-organic foods. I also grew up in Rome, GA where one of the best agriculture schools is (Berry College) and I learned so much information about how foods area made and organic vs. non-organic, etc. My favorite restaurant is Ted’s Montana Grill due to his practices and how he uses bison (much healthier) instead of beef and it is not added with other things besides his own bison from his own farm. He also uses environmentally friendly practices and products in his restaurant.
    3. I would rate myself a 7 because I’m pretty aware of food practices but there’s always something I can learn especially when new practices are introduced from new research. I only plan on changing how much processed foods I eat, b/c this has always grossed me out. The closer to the real food I can eat, the better.

  2. Hannah Ellis says:

    1) Food sustainability, i think, is a really complex subject. The food industry is huge in America and the arguments against many of our foods are now multi-faceted. Animal treatment is one branch. Most Americans have seen glimpses of photos of livestock cruelty and take it or leave it as they choose. Its a topic that has had a lot of exposure since the industrial revolution; With Upton Sinclair’s ‘The Jungle’ on the forefront. I read The Jungle when I was about 15 and much of it has stuck with me. Some people willingly watch the animal cruelty documentaries and decide to go vegetarian. We’re learning that local meats and produce are best for our bodies and the carbon footprint but may come at a higher cost. The light is being shown on processed foods and we’re figuring out that items with the fewest “ingredients” are probably better than the ones with very long lists. We’re also figuring out that pesticides and chemicals go into the majority of our produce and we can control what we consume by buying organic.

    2) My parents were the leaders in teaching me about food sustainability although I didn’t really know it until recently. We weren’t allowed many options of packaged or frozen foods while growing up. We also ate mostly local meats and produce coming right from our backyard.

    I’ve been a vegetarian for about 2 years now and most people assume its because I “feel bad” for the animals but thats not really my reasoning at all. I read this book, “Skinny Bitch” a few years ago and I thought I was going to sound stupid by saying that book started the cycle of new eating habits… the I saw that in Laura’s post she references it too! The authors shed light on the production of processed foods, chemicals in non-organics and harmful elements of specific ingredients. So I researched a little more and read more of the same information and decided I would try cutting out a few things in my diet. It worked for me and I’ve been eating the same way since. I feel so much better than when I ate meat, drank soda and ate a ton of processed snacks. I have a slip-up with a couple things every now and then but I’m only human. Albert Einstein said something along the lines of “Being a vegetarian is the single best thing a person can do for the world.”

    3) I would rate myself at a 6.5… or maybe a 7. Just being vegetarian makes me proactive in my food choices and awareness. I rarely go to a fast food restaurant because I can’t eat anything there so that eliminates a good chunk of processed food for me. At the grocery I buy mostly organic items and often read the ingredient list to make sure I avoid certain things. I have a little vegetable garden in my backyard where I grow tomatoes, basil, cilantro, cucumbers and peppers in the summer. I also like to shop at the Farmers market when I can.

  3. Rachael G says:

    1. Food sustainability has many factors including cultivation, processing, production, and transportation. At the cultivation level, sustainable farming would employ those methods that reduce erosion, increase soil fertility and minimize impact on the surrounding environment while not over applying toxic fertilizers and pesticides. Organic farming is known for possessing these qualities but I also believe that low-impact conventional farming is alright too. Food processing contributes to air and water pollution and packaging has big implications on the consumption of resources (like paper and plastic). I believe the most important factor to a sustainable food market is minimizing the distance the food must travel from the farm to the table. Eating locally has gained popularity over the recent years, and for good reason. Eating locally grown food not only decreases the consumption of fossil fuels but also ensures fresher produce and a more stable local economy.

    2. I think a lot of my knowledge about food sustainability has come around through my classes. Being in the College of Agriculture and Environmental Sciences, farming and cultivation practices are often presented as real world examples in my classes. I have become well versed concerning the adverse impacts of fertilizer and pesticide application and their results on water pollution, human health, and other ecosystem impacts. I think the media has also played a big part in getting the word out about sustainable farming practices and eating locally through books, TV, etc.

    3. I would give myself a rating of 7. 7 because I am very interested in the subject but still have a lot to learn. Next year I am going to get my organic gardening certificate through the horticulture school. I am really excited about this, especially about doing undergraduate research with a professor on community gardens in Athens. In the spring (and maybe fall), I am going to receive class credit to volunteer at the athens local coop. For my corresponding research paper, I plan to examine the economics and issues facing a farm-to-table way of life, and I’m excited to see how it all turns out. As of now, I try to buy as much organic food as I can, and definitely support products that employ ethical farming practices (free range eggs, etc).

  4. Taylor Jordan says:

    1. There are a lot of factors that go into food sustainability. First, many people consider animal treatment to be a large issue. People generally feel bad about eating animals that were not treated humanely. One of the larger areas of interest in this field involves processed versus non-processed foods. Processed foods are crammed with preservatives to help preserve them longer. They are normally made for fast food restaurants. Overall, people understand that the materials that are used to process these foods are not as good for you as eating non-processed foods, which is why many people avoid eating at fast-food restaurants. Non-domestic foods also are less preferred than domestic goods. I think a lot of this has to do with the fact that people here feel better buying American, but regulations could also be lower overseas.

    2. Most of what I know about food sustainability comes from my own research. My family never really bothered to tell me much about it. It was never a major issue within our household. I have watched videos like Supersize Me which struck a nerve that I should probably cut back on fast food.

    3. My food awareness is probably about a five or six. My research in the area has been limited, and my family never really cared, so I don’t know all the much about the subject. I honestly still do very little to be aware, but I would like that to change.

  5. Anne Hollwedel says:

    1) The first thing that comes to mind when I think of food sustainability is organic foods. The main concern I think of about food is how much pesticides and chemical treatments are used in producing our produce. I don’t particularly like the thought of genetically altered strawberries, but at the same time I’m still alive and have been eating them for years, not to mention my wallet is a bit heavier because of it. I really think that organic foods are healthier and wish I had the money and motivation to shop that way… maybe when I am not a college kid anymore.

    Another thing that I think of is vegetarianism and veganism. One of my best friends in high school was a vegan and I’m not gonna lie, it kind of confused me. While she would not drink any kind of milk, she would eat heavily processed things like vegan brownies or something, that was made up of a lot of chemicals instead. While I know she didn’t want to eat products from animals, I just feel like if you eat vegan it can be really hard to stick to eating organic, which is what I more relate to healthy food. I am never happy when I think of the idea of dairy or chicken farms and wish that the “happy cow” concept was really true, I feel like there is definitely a way to make meat and dairy produce much more sustainable.

    2) I have seen “Supersize Me,” but more the message I got from that was to not eat McDonald’s every day, not so much that you should eat sustainably. I honestly haven’t had much other than from my exposure to certain products at the grocery store or at my friends’ houses. I usually don’t go in the organic foods section of the grocery store that often, but I have been to Earth Fare and there is a Whole Foods right down the street from me at home, so I do have options to buy more sustainable foods. I’ve done a bit of research on products that I am particularly curious about, but for the most part it is a hands-on kind of learning that I do when I just come across certain products.

    3) I would say that I’m about a 6. I understand that eating natural or organic foods, preferably ones that are locally grown, is the healthier and more sustainable option. I would like to purchase these products more, but I am a consumer trapped in a routine– I buy products that I know I like and rarely branch out, or I go for the cheaper options (not typically the organic ones). I feel like because I have never had any direct negative experiences due to the groceries I purchase, I don’t have as much incentive to change my habits. The more research I do and the more I’m exposed to this sustainability talk, the more I want to change, though.

  6. Michaelann Grady says:

    1. To me, sustainable foods are those things (plants, animals, etc) that occur in nature and are healthy to consume. I know it really isn’t that simple, but I like to think of it that way. Sustainable food would be characterized by the lack of harmful pesticides or growth hormones during the life of the plant/animal, a lack of cruelty (though that’s tough because peoples’ opinions on the definition of cruelty vary widely), a short travel time from grower to eater, and efficient use of water/irrigation/feed for the animals. I think eating organic food is easier that most people realize…and I also think that farmers’ markets are extremely underused. Soil is an important factor- it needs to be healthy, nourished soil (not near any contaminants in groundwater, etc).
    To go back to the animal cruelty issue- I know that there are many sides. I don’t agree with the mistreatment of animals in dairy farms and chicken plants, but there are other ways to get your meat: hunt or know someone who does. This gets peoples’ hackles up, but I think it is a wonderfully sustainable practice. My father is an avid hunter and we eat (or other people eat) everything that he kills. Population control is sometimes necessary and hunting (not for sport) is a great way to provide a lot of good food for your family and friends. We also have a chicken coop in the backyard and a wonderful vegetable garden that provides us wonderful meals and plenty of leftovers for our friends and family. Everyone benefits!
    2. My family taught me nearly all I know about sustainability- though growing up, I didn’t have that term to put with how my family functioned. I just had an innate sense of what things were good for my body and for the world around me and I can thank my mom and dad for that. I’ll be honest- my family’s life kind of revolves around food. When we aren’t cooking and eating, we’re thinking about what to cook and eat next. As I said before, we have fresh meat, eggs, and vegetables year round, courtesy of my dad. My parents and various immediate and extended family members are the best cooks in the world- I’m very lucky. Growing up, I was that nerd who had baggies of carrots and apples instead of oatmeal creme pies and nutter butters. Trust me, I begged and begged, but we never had (and still don’t have) chips, cookies, candy, Coke, or basically anything unhealthy. Now, though, I am so grateful that I was raised nearly without processed food- I hardly crave food like that. All of that cooking and eating leads to a lot of family time and when your family members are your best friends, it’s pretty nice.
    3. I would give myself a 6 or a 7. I’m no expert, but like I said, I was raised to know what is good for my body and for the world around me. I don’t know all the ins and outs of all things that make food sustainable but I do know that with the help of this class and my dad’s desire to be totally green (food wise), my education on this subject will be ongoing.

  7. Hannah Morris says:

    (1) One major issue of food sustainability is that there is no strict set of rules that farmers and manufacturers have to follow. Food can be labeled sustainable, cage-free, natural, organic, etc when in actuality it isn’t – there is no clear meaning or legal definition of these terms so they are easily thrown about misleading consumers. Another issue with food sustainability is that industrial farms use a heavy amount of pesticides which can lead to health issues and environmental contamination. Industrial farms also concentrate huge amounts of animals in a small area, causing major issues with manure – having more manure than the ground can absorb causes hazardous gases to be released into the air and after a rainfall pushes the manure into local and surrounding waterways contaminating the water. Which leads to water waste issue – water is constantly polluted with pesticides, fertilizers, antibiotics, and manure harming its ecosystems and human health. Some farms even deplete local aquifers due to high rates of usage. Another issue with industrial farms, is the massive use of hormones given to cattle and chicken to speed up the growing process – this issue is again not good for human health, which I believe is one causation of the increase in cancer and early development in children and teenagers.

    (2) I have learned about these issues mainly through the environmental classes I have taken at UGA. I have also retained some information from watching videos like the “Meatrix,” and “Supersize Me.”

    (3) I would rate myself a 7 – I feel as if I am more aware than the average person however, there are more issues with food sustainability that I am unaware of. Some things that I am doing now to be pro-active in my food sustainability practice is (1) shopping at a farmer’s market, (2) buying foods that have a third-party label on them saying it is truly organic or natural and (3) doing some research on the foods I am buying.

  8. Doneshia Starling says:

    1) I think when people think of sustainable food, they either think PETA, or an individual who only consumes a raw diet of uncooked foods. However, there is much more to sustainable food, than this. When I think of sustainable foods, I think back to an ethics class I took as an undergraduate, and a book from high school I had to read regarding how food was manufactured in factories. Information on sustainable food entails issues about safe farming practices, wise food decisions, and how this all fits into the human ecosystem. It is important to know about safe treatment of animals at farms because unsafe treatment can lead to diseases of animals, mental illness of animals, and overproduction of hormones injected in foods, which are eaten by humans, and these diseases and illness will replicate in the human body. Other issues regarding food sustainability is additives, antibiotics, cloning, and slaughterhouse practices. These all have an effect on how meats are processed, and the effect on the human body if eaten. In regards to plant, vegetables, and fruits, it is important to understand the laws of exported and imported plant life from other countries because we don’t know if they are genetically engineered, the pesticides used in that country, or other food safety issues and food irradiation practices used to preserve food.

    2) My best friend is into holistic eating and practices. I am a vegetarian, and I thought I could eat any vegetable and product and not have side effects. However, after watching videos on food network of how foods are made, how snacks are made, and even the process of making vegetarian products; I find it important to listen to my best friend who shops at local food markets and eats organic products. She is sick less, and has few side effects from food such as, gas, upset stomachs, allergies, or viruses. I know this is gross, but sometimes I just sit and watch people eat greasy and unhealthy foods, and it makes me more conscious of what I put in my body. It costs more to eat healthy, but the long-term effects pay off such as, more energy, healthy looking skin, and less stomach problems. I also love shopping at farmer;s markets and local food stores.

    3) I would probably rate myself as a 6.5 to a 7. Sometimes it is enlightening to have fatty foods every now and then. I think moderation is better than strict eating habits. I still have lots to learn about balance and eating correctly. I have switched at least 1/3 of my food to organic, or natural products. So, once I am able to financially eat totally organic, I will. But, overall–all dairy products are soy organic based, and most snacks are natural or organic. I still purchase frozen veggies because they are financially feasible. I think I can be more proactive by paying more attention to items I am purchasing, and maybe allotting funds for items that will contribute to my overall health. I think I will continue to do research on food sustainability, but not go overboard!

  9. Chris Wilson says:

    Food sustainability goes beyond “organic” or “natural”. It is not enough to simply plant a crop without the use of chemical deterrents in order to be considered sustainable. The concept of sustainable food involves many factors concerning the production of goods such as labor practices, resource conservation and allocation, pollution reduction (including pesticide/herbicide/fungicide reduction), and economic development. It may seem to be a huge undertaking to accomplish all of these criteria, however I believe that if producers strive to attain such standards and employ a few of them effectively, then they have achieved sustainable food production.

    I have gained most of my knowledge about food sustainability and similar subjects through my classes in the College of Agriculture and Environmental Sciences here at UGA. One of the most interesting classes I have taken is “Food Security, Economic Development and the Environment” (AAEC 4720). During this course I learned about the production of Agricultural goods and the effects it has on our environment, society, and world economy.

    I would rate myself a 7/10 for food sustainability awareness. I am quite confident in my knowledge of issues involved, however I find myself unaware when it comes to everyday, practical terms. I do not always shop organic, and when I do I rarely, if not at all, research to find if the producer/manufacturer also maintains other sustainable food practices. I am heavily considering becoming more actively aware, but will most likely wait until I have a stable income to do so.

  10. Matt Twyne says:

    1) Food sustainability can be broken down into three main categories: what inputs are used, what environment the food is grown in, and how it is distributed to the end consumer.

    Input choices largely boil down to organic versus non-organic. Resource intensive/non-organic agriculture involves the input of many fertilizers, pesticides, and anti-biotics. Such chemical inputs enabled world grain production to increase 250% between 1950 and 1984 (Kindall). At the same time, the long term use of these artificial inputs is beginning to develop its own problems. The runoff of high nutrient fertilizers into bodies of water leads to eutrophication and the death of natural fauna. Common tilling practices used with synthetic fertilizers also reduce the soil’s ability to replensih its nutrients naturally, further increasing dependance on artificial nutrient sources. Pesticides kill many beneficial insects in addition to pests, and many feel that pesticide residues in the soil and water are harmful to human health. The heavy use of anti-biotics has been linked to increased development of anti-biotic resistant bacteria. Another contentious issue surrounding modern agriculture is the use of genetically modified seed. This technology has many apparent advantages with the ability to provide increased pest resistance, drought tolerance, and higher yields. Conversely, many fear that humans still lack the level of understanding necessary to safely modify an organism’s genes. There are also many property right issues associated with GMO crops, and concerns that traits may pass unintentionally between crops.

    Organic farming is associated with lower yields but also lower inputs. Techniques such as crop rotation, integrated pest management, manure based fertilization, and traditional plant breeding are used. Although studies have indicated that there is little nutritional difference between organic and non-organic food, organic food is often less visually appealing to consumers. At the same time, there are a growing number of buyers who are willing to pay a premium for organic foods.

    The environment that food is produced in involves not only how plants and animals are treated, but also the conditions that workers are subjected to. Once again, the deliniation between organic and non-organic plays a large role. It simple terms, organically grown livestock live a more natural life than their non-organic friends. Each animal is given more space and is allowed to forage on its own, as opposed to being kept sedentary and having feed brought to it. Their developmental cycles are also more normal in the absence of synthetic growth hormones. As far as human working conditions go, this varies largely according to a country’s labor laws. In the case of smaller locally owned farming operations, the lifestyle of the workers often depends on the price of the commodity being grown. Commodity pricing can be affected by weather patterns changing global yields and by international trade agreements.

    Once food has been grown and harvested it must be distributed to consumers. The distance betweens these two points often determines the net “sustainability” of a food item. Even if a pear is grown organically and the workers who tended it receive fair wages, shipping that pear three thousand miles across the world consumes lots of fossil fuels and pollutes a great deal. For this reason, buying locally grown, seasonal food is a great way to eat more sustainably.

    Kindall, Henery W & Pimentel, David (May 1994). “Constraints on the Expansion of the Global Food Supply”. Ambio. 23 (3). http://dieoff.org/page36.htm.

    2) The majority of my knowledge regarding food sustainability comes from classes I have taken in college and from articles I have been assigned to read in those classes.

    3) I would rate myself a 6, because I am fairly well versed in technical production methods but my knowledge of the politics and social issues surrounding foreign food production are limited. All of my current food comes from the University meal plan, and as such I have no idea where it comes from. Suffice to say, I doubt any of it is organic or procured with thoughts of environmental/social responsibility in mind. However, the summer is fast approaching and I will once again be buying my own food. For both health and sustainability reasons I try to food that has undergone as little processing as possible. This reduces transport and refining, as well as packaging in many cases. I also try to buy organic foods when ever I can afford them.

  11. Lauren Edmunds says:

    I’m going to be 100% honest here….
    The VERY first thing that comes to mind when I think about sustainable foods is “EXPENSIVE.” My only understanding of the sustainability of food is organic or non-organic. Two weeks ago, I decided to attempt to eat better, so off to Publix I went. I avoided the frozen food section and went straight to the fresh produce aisles. The prices for organic food are significantly higher, so I went for the regular apples right next to the organic ones that were just as red and juicy looking. Obviously I’m incredibly unaware of the enormous amount of info out their on this topic. I am not going to pretend that I know a lot about it.

    1) issues involved in the sustainability of food:

    Growing up on a farm taught me that the bottom line is always what makes the final decision. Keeping crops alive through the horrible Georgia pests is quite a feat. Pesticides are the easiest and cheapest way to fix this problem. It’s as simple as that. I’m sure that their is somewhat of a payoff when you get to price your crops higher because you can stamp them as organic; however, the costs that go into getting to that point are too much for many small farms out there right now.

    I’m sure that transportation has a lot to do with the level of sustainability of food. Just like selecting building materials is concerned, I would think that buying local is the best option when it comes to food as well. This not cuts down on the amount of fuel and pollution that comes from the vehicles transporting the food, but I would assume it eliminates the need for preservative measures to be taken on the food. When the crop goes straight from the field to my kitchen, I am guessing that this produce is less chemically dealt with than the veggies on the Winn Dixie counter for the pure logistics of moving food around. This was never a huge problem for me growing up because many of my family’s vegetables came right from my uncle’s farm. Hey, maybe I am a little more sustainable than I thought!

    2)sources that have taught me about food sustainability:

    As I stated earlier, I don’t currently know a lot about this topic. I’m hoping that this class becomes my source of information. My family did teach me a lot about healthy eating habits, such as fresh vs. frozen and veggies vs. sweets. The problem is that we never discussed WHERE those fresh veggies were actually coming from and WHAT had been done to them to get there.

    3) I would rate myself at a solid 4 or 5. Like I said. I will not lie here. I have considered that my food labels could be greenwashing me in the store, so my current actions toward learning more about food sustainability include questioning those claims. I will not be persuaded to buy a food product just because it says “all natural” or “organic” from now on. I have learned from this class to research those labels and really find out if they are certified by a third party and which organization is funding them.

  12. Rebecca Sellers says:

    1) What are the issues involved in food sustainability?
    Food sustainability has many issues. One of the most prominent issues has to do with the chemicals (like pesticides) and artificial additives that are put in food and are used when growing food. So, not only is there the question of purchasing organic foods, but then you must also factor in if the food is locally grown. The further the food has to travel, the more additives are mostly put in it (if it’s not organic), the more gas is used from transportation, and in tun that adds to pollution. But, a locally grown product does not necessarily mean that it is organic. Delving even further, one could look at the treatment of the workers on the farm or factory growing/making the food, and also the treatment of the animals. When I go to the grocery store I see free range eggs and then cage free eggs, but what is the difference? The only thing I know for sure is that buying sustainable food is confusing.

    2) What sources have taught you about food sustainability?
    I have learned most about food sustainability from my family and then also from some books that I have read. My sister is fairly knowledgeable and likes to share her wisdom with me. She gets most of information from articles and books that she also reads. One book that she recommended me to read was, ‘Skinny Bitch.” While it sounds like it is more of a diet book, it really just explored what food was healthy for your body and what was not. Overall it was promoting the choice to be a vegan, but it had supportive facts to back up its claims.

    3) Rate yourself on a scale of 1 (not aware) to 10 (supa dupa aware) regarding your awareness to food sustainability? And discuss what things you are doing now to be pro-active in your food sustainability awareness?
    -I would say that I am a 4 or 5 regarding my awareness of food sustainability. I feel that I know the basic issues of food sustainability, but I have never really researched them more thoroughly. I would like to begin researching these issues more in depth on my own to become more self-aware. I do occasionally buy organic produce and I try to stay away from foods that have a lot of artificial additives. I would love to buy more food locally, but going to a farmer’s market has never been convenient for me and most of the time I do not know where the produce that I am buying at the grocery store is even from.

  13. jenna yates says:

    1) I do not know much about serious issues that people have dealing with food, but I do know that some people prefer organic foods to non organic foods. My friend’s mom recently went on an organic spree where she only let her kids eat organic food and use organic shower products. She never had strong reasoning as to why she decided to do this but she was very adamant about only eating organic foods. The only reason that I could guess would be that she was worried about pesticides and such. I have been What are the issues involved in food sustainability?

    2) I do not know much about food sustainability currently but I am hoping to learn more from this class. My family was never focused on organic foods or anything like that. My dad sometimes goes to my grandma’s farm and gets fresh vegetables and fruits but I think he simply does that because he likes the way they taste better than the fruits and veggies he can buy at the grocery store. It is not a very sustainable decision because he has to drive for over an hour to get there, but he brings a lot of veggies back when he go to visit her. I am interested in this topic and am looking forward to learning about it in class this week so that I can make more sustainable food decisions in the future.

    3) I give myself a 2! I pretty much know nothing about sustainable foods. I am taking this class to learn more about sustainability in foods and that is about it. Sometimes I go to the organic section and buy what I think are organic products but I honestly do not know where the food comes from or how organic it really is.

  14. Chris Sweat says:

    1) This has been a big topic for me over the last couple years, especially with the idea of where our food comes from. The main two points being proper labeling and food sources. I think that food production has changed tremendously in the past 15-30 years and we are just so used to picking up products off the shelves and consuming them because of their cost. Ground beef today isn’t what ground beef was 20 years ago. The cattle industry as a whole isn’t as regulated as it once was, and diseases such as e-coli are creeping into all our food sources because of mis-management of the food chain.

    2) I watched the documentary Food, inc. awhile back, so a lot of my background comes from that. I also grew up in a restaurant where I saw how food was purchased and prepared. But a lot of it comes from just paying attention. When I eat a hamburger at McDonald’s, I feel disgusting…When I read the label of a salad or salad dressing, or soup…there are ingredients I’ve never heard of and don’t care to ingest.

    3) I’d say 4 or 5. I try to be very conscious about what I buy and where it comes from. Last year I grew my own vegetable garden and tried to buy more at local farmers markets. When I eat out, I try to avoid fast-food (but that isn’t always cost effective). Everytime I go home my family sends a cooler of frozen vegetables back with me, so I try to eat that as much as possible. It’s definitely more difficult being a student and affording quality food, but I think the benefits outweigh the costs when it comes down to health.

  15. Laura Latham says:

    1. In my opinion food sustainability has many issues that oddly enough are similar to the issues the fashion industry has when it comes to sustainability. The first issue is whether or not the food is organic or made from organic products. It is important that no pesticides were used to help grow the product. When looking at processed food, one must also look at the amount of pollution created by the plant where the food is processed. Another issue facing sustainable food is the foods carbon foot print. Where did the food come from? What was the shipping incurred with food. The more local the product, the more sustainable it is. Another issue that must be faced is over production. For example, right now it is cheaper and more profitable for farmers to till their strawberries up than to pick them and attempt to sale. How can the food industry be sustainable when they are destroying their products? The last issue that needs to be looked at is the packaging that food comes in. It is often plastic which is not sustainable. However, this is improving. Sun Chips just created a 13-week decomposing plastic chip bag.
    2. My thoughts on sustainable food probably come most from my dad. Growing up my dad always made us eat organic food. I was never allowed to eat yummy cereals like fruit loops, that I lied and told my aunt my parents said I could eat it. However, it backfired a little later in life because growing up organic food was not “in” and quite frankly it was not that tasty. The cookies, cereal, pancake mix, and fruit bars never tasted like the non-organic foods my friends ate. When I got old enough to pick my own food, I steered as far away from organic food as I could. After all, I was the kid who said, “yummm, cat food” when my dad gave three year old me organic cereal. I never had a problem going to the local farmer’s market! In fact, it became a family tradition for my family; even as I grew older I would run while my parents shopped. Our local farmer’s market was at the park.
    3. I am probably a seven on my awareness, but that does not mean I am a seven at actually eating and buying the sustainable food I am aware off. Right now I eat on the meal plan, so I am not doing anything pro-active in food sustainability. However, over Christmas I found these amazing cookies make from organic products and my mom recently discovered they sell cookie dough too! They are so yummy, not like the nasty ones I grew up on. Also, sun chips are my favorite chips and I will for sure be purchasing them and their brand new sustainable packaging. Lastly, I like organic produce and will always purchase it first. That is how I am currently being pro-active, but hopefully I can do more this summer when I am living in NYC and purchasing my own food.

  16. amanda gerlaugh says:

    1. Food sustainability would involve all aspects from start to finish in the process of acquiring food products. With vegetables the sustainable practices would come into play by eliminated pesticides, herbicides, and other harmful chemicals. These chemicals not only can be absorbed into the vegetables we will eat but also be included in runoff water due to rain or even animals that might use the gardens as their food source. I think the sustainable vegetables would also need to be packaged properly. Many organic foods in the supermarket end up wrapped in plastic which to me is an oxymoron. When looking at meat products how the animals are treated and the life style they are allotted can have an impact on sustainable practices. Most animals do not have the pretty green fields to roam. Fair trade practices should also apply to animals and sustainable food. Grains are typically grown within the United States. Government subsitities have allowed farmers to keep their farms operating and meeting the finacial obligations.

  17. amanda gerlaugh says:

    So I was not done but the computer sent in my response…. to finish up…
    Since the government does provide some subsidies to local farmers this is a greater incentive to keep farms open. Purchasing any products non-local is more of an environmental obligation and can only put more carbon emissions into the air due to transportation issues. Organic foods are better since they do not have the chemicals linked to them. I feel organic foods perish faster (obvious due to the lack of chemicals) so if the organic foods are not being consumed fast enough technically this results in a non-sustainable good due to waste of the product. At my house I was raised in we have always participated in composting. Through this process you can “recycle” food that is non-dairy or meat based and it will naturally break down. My mom would later use the soil made from the compost pile to use in our garden at home. I think growing a personal garden for you family is a wonderful option and experience.
    2. My mother actually taught me a lot about growing gardens and producing your own vegetables and herbs this way. I think this is an very sustainable practice. I have also learned information from the media about sustainable foods. This information needs to be taken lightly since it can be skewed depending on the network you are watching. Another great way to find sustainable vegetables would be to locate local farms. There are three farms in Athens that offer a program where you pay a low amount of money and you get a goodie basket from the farm with vegetables for the week. One in Athens asks you to volunteer a few hours in addition to the financial support. This is very sustainable because not only are the vegetables organic but they are local and also help support a family in your community.
    3. I would rate my knowledge on sustainable foods around a 5. I feel like I have a lot of knowledge on what should be accepted as sustainable but on the other hand I will probably eat beef and chicken (all meat really) for the rest of my life.

  18. valentinag18 says:

    1. WOW! i know pretty much nothing… i know there’s organic vs. not organic food.. and i know that there’s some conflict out there somewhere on what kind of water and soil and how much water its used and stuff like that but i did not ever thought about sustainable food!

    2. i really haven’t heard much but what i know is either because of stuff i hear or see at the grocery store. i didn’t even watch the super size me movie!!!

    3. i would say I’m rated as 1 or below. i know nothing nor I’m trying to investigate about it. it was just an area that wasn’t a concern to me for some reason… kinda embarrassing to know huh?… definitly going to start looking into it and maybe start considering some changes accordingly.

  19. Katie Butler says:

    1. Some of the issues that involve food I feel are the pesticides that are used daily to help grow our foods. Some people say they are safe and others claim they can hurt us in the long run. NO one knows for sure what is being done with our foods when they are growing. The organic and non organic is the same way. Some of the organic stuff, from what I have heard, is not safe for us because it has the food growing differently which is what makes it more expensive. I don’t know if there really is anyone who is watching what is done to our growing foods. I’m sure there is but why then, are pesticides and things used to help enhance our foods still considered bad for us sometimes?
    2. I have really never thought about food sustainability. If there was a thing or two I would have to say my family and the shows like Supersize me. These are the things that make people more aware of the foods and the process of what is done to our foods and how bad our foods could possibly be bad for us or maybe even good for us.
    3. I would only rate my knowledge on sustainable foods around a 4 or 5. I don’t really go and find information about the foods that I like to eat and munch on. I now know that I should be more aware of what I’m eating and putting into my body.

  20. Alice Knowlton says:

    I think there are a lot of elements that go into the sustainability of food. I feel like so much of what we consume, especially Americans, is processed crap that has absolutely no nutritional value, a lot of which is fast food. Unfortunately, many people associate fast food with being cheap and easy to access, so that’s what they choose to buy. Many fast food restaurants offer “value” meals that are actually more like heart attacks in a box. But people will save a buck wherever they can. Athens has a lot of great local restaurants that use fresh ingredients, and sometimes organic foods, in all of their recipes. For example, Last Resort downtown is a fabulous place to eat and for lunch can actually be cheaper than eating at a fast food restaurant. There is also the Farm which uses all local and organic foods for a fairly low price. So to me, sustainable food is food that is fresh and good for your body. Sustainability is a cycle of so many different components. People have to live and eat well to be sustainable, in my opinion. I did a project in high school on fast food and its effect on obesity in America, and watched Supersize Me as part of my research. It was an eye-opening project and really showed how much processed stuff goes into the making of fast food recipes. None of it has nutritional value except for extremely high contents of fat and about a day’s worth of calories in just one meal. In the movie Supersize Me, he actually started to have withdrawal symptoms from McDonald’s, which is absolutely revolting in my opinion.
    I don’t have too much of an opinion about whether something is organic or not- usually I won’t buy organic fruits and vegetables because they’re more expensive. As long as the food is fresh, I will buy it. But I’m sure if I had an idea of the amount of pesticides were put on the foods I ate, I would be more willing to splurge for organic. I personally think it’s more sustainable to buy locally as opposed to organic because an organic apple could come from Mexico, but local things don’t have all of the traveling costs attached to them. And minimizing transportation is a major aspect of sustainability in my opinion. I love fresh markets and farmer’s markets. At home, there is a farmer’s market every Wednesday and I used to always go with my mom and we would get the freshest fruits and vegetables.
    I would rate my knowledge about sustainable food at a 4. I definitely have my own opinions about it, but my opinions are not fact based- they are just personal.

  21. Chris Crisler says:

    1) The ability for the food i consume to sustainable is an interesting idea, can it be grown using seed kept from past harvest to enable the future to prosper from my penny. Can i use genetically modified seeds that are resistant to whatever may attack them or use organic methods to farm? I beleive there are good ways and not so good ways to do things, but when it comes to food there is really no right answer to me at least. So my knowledge of food sustainability spawns new thoughts of how my food is made. I have read a couple of papers dealing with organic farming being just as good as conventional but there are lags for both dealing with pesticides, and amount of land being used for these operations. Preferably i like the idea of organic farming due tho the fact that low to no pesticides are used, because of the use of pests themselves helping maintain the farm.
    2) I have from a child usually eaten home grown food not saying i didnt eat processed foods or store bought beans, my grandparents mainly grew all of our own food, so i say I learned most from my grandparents about the type of foods that are “best” or I can now say sustainable.
    3) I dont believe i know everything there is about food and where is comes from and how it’s produced but i know enough to make informed decisions, its kind of hard to put a number on my knowledge so Im not going to do it, if i did i would be wrong and thats not fun to be wrong, so I would like to say i have an ever expanding knowledge of my food be it sustainable or be it trash. I think this is a great subject to involve myself in and i always will.

  22. David Jasper says:

    1. There are way too many issues involved with food sustainability which I think is why it I so hard for people to make the right decisions or even care about where their food has come from or what it has been through. Most people when they think of sustainable food only think organic. They assume that if they buy organic they are automatically helping the environment and eating better. A lot of times this is true but sometimes all it means is they are paying more for the same thing as the nonorganic counterpart. In reality there is much more to food than this. Water issues, locally grown foods, processed food, and animal treatment are just a few of the issues involved in the food we eat. The best approach to buying food would be to consider these issues when buying products but getting reliable information and the sheer number of products available makes this task almost impossible. In my opinion knowing how to read a label correctly and being able to sift through all the shady marketing is the best way to make the right decisions.
    2. The main sources that have taught me about food sustainability are my mom and some UGA classes. My mom tries her best to make informed decisions and buy the healthiest food she can but what she goes off of is mainly church seminars and other research she has done or talked about with other people. We talk about it from time to time but mainly she has always tried to keep my sister and me healthy and eating right. I took an ecology class at UGA a few years ago and one of the big topics for the class was genetically modified (GM) food. The class talked about it and the controversies surrounding it but really the instructor did not do a very good job informing the class. He was very one sided, both about the topic and politically, and very much rammed it down our throats. I agreed with much of what he said but the way he presented it made me resent him and the information so I mostly shrugged it off. Basically my understanding of GM food it is horrible for the environment, has no advantages, and dirty hippies get very violent over it. A generalization, yes, but my view none the less.
    3. I would say I am at about a 4 on the awareness scale. I am aware of the issues and have some knowledge but not much. The main thing is when I go to the grocery store I buy the cheap things. I am a poor college student and cannot justify spending $4 on a half gallon of organic milk when I can buy a whole gallon of the Kroger brand for $2.08. I know the organic is more than likely better for me but for the most part I just don’t care. I do love going into Earth Fare and buying their certified organic products, they can be sneaky about not labeling things. The food is excellent and a little part of me feels good about myself for buying it but really this is just their apparently magical marketing at work.

  23. Martha Douglas Peyton says:

    1. So I am pretty much ignorant on the subject of food sustainability. I mean I know that a lot of people prefer organic vs. non-organic. I am sure that a lot that has to do with sustainability is locally grown food and whatnot and the transportation of foods… I am sure that has something to do with it. Also, I know about chemicals in food (such as pesticides), and I know they are not good, but that is abut as far as my knowledge goes concerning the actual sustainability of food.

    2. My parents have somewhat taught me about food sustainability. We grow tomatoes and other vegetables in our back yard and I know that they always said that that was better and healthier than buying some kinds at the grocery store. I have seen Supersize Me… I was absolutely disgusted. I do not eat at McDonald’s and I realllllly try not to eat fast food. I am pretty much just grossed out with processed foods and such. I watched this TV episode about this chef that picked the most unhealthy city in the US and showed little kids how chicken nuggets were made compared to a grilled chicken breast… they picked the chicken nuggets still. I almost threw up.

    3. I would rate myself about a 3 or 4. I really don’t know much about it. I need to be more aware, but I’m not. Just being honest. I try to buy organic foods whenever I can, but they are a lot more expensive than the Kroger brand of things, which is always a weighted decision these days.

  24. Brittney K says:

    1. There are several issues in food sustainability. Whether or not to buy organic is just one and many people don’t even consider the other aspects of where their food comes from, like the ways in which the animals are kept and treated and fed. Geograpc location of where the food comes from (local vs. not and even international), etc. Genetically modified foods are another newer issue to be aware of.

    2) What sources have taught you about food sustainability? (e.g. family, documentaries or books “Food, Inc” or “Supersize Me”, doctors, etc…)
    I actually own Supersize Me and brought it into one of my highschool classes for everyone to watch because I thought it was so interesting. Another big influence in my views on fod and sustainability com =e from a book called The Food Revolution by John Robbins. It is a great book because it backs up everything it says with facts and compares statements from the big corporations (meat, milk, etc) with those of 3rd party studies. It really makes you realize how corrupt the industries are.

    3) Rate yourself on a scale of 1 (not aware) to 10 (supa dupa aware) regarding your awareness to food sustainability? And discuss what things you are doing now to be pro-active in your food sustainability awareness?
    I would give myself a 7 or 8 on sustainable awareness, especially when it comes to food and cosmetics. Not so much design and construction. I have pretty much had to be educated on the food and health aspects in the past few years because of health reasons but I am glad that I know about these things. I also like to be able to be informed on what products you should buy organic and which are okay to buy conventional so I can pick and choose. I dont take an all or nothing approach to sustainability and I think it has a lot to do with the individual and what is most important to them.

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