This week we talked about food and there were a range of topics that I read through last week from the articles provided and some other research that I had done. I found it really interesting how much extensive research is done on nutrition, food, and the effects of all of it on our bodies, short term and long term. I am very thankful that science has advanced enough for us as consumers to be more aware about what we are putting into our bodies.
Through my readings and research, I had come across some words that I feel like as consumers we should know – especially when it comes to food. I think that we should be aware of more terminology around the foods we purchase and eat. One of the words I came across and I am familiar with is GM or genetically modified. Genetically modified foods have been around for years and have constantly been a topic of discussion. GM foods are constantly being questioned on if they are healthy for us and what the new genes can do to our bodies. When I first learned about genetically modified foods, I was so shocked that people had found a way to alter a food’s genetics to cause the food to grow larger, have a different taste, or grow more. I also was concerned that they would be altering the genes for the worst, and the effects of those genes could have been harmful to our bodies. In addition to foods changing, there was a reaction I came across called the Maillard Reaction. I had never heard of this before but once I looked into it more – it rang a bell. The Maillard Reaction is the chemical reaction that gives browned foods like seared steaks, burnt marshmallows, etc. its flavor.
Another topic that I am happy we are talking about this week is moderation. While reading about moderation, I came across a term called moral licensing. Moral licensing, when it comes to moderation, is how we justify the amount of food we eat or when we eat. For example, if you eat really healthy all week and then binge eat a whole pizza with five beers as a “reward” for eating healthy or under the justification that you had eaten healthy all week and a cheat day wouldn’t hurt. Moral licensing is how we judge ourselves on our consumption decisions.
- Moral Licensing: doing something that helps to strengthen our positive self-image also makes us less worried about the consequences of immoral behavior, and therefore more likely to make immoral choices
- GM or Genetically Modified: also known asgenetically engineered foods or bioengineered foods, are foods produced from organisms that have had changes introduced into their DNA using the methods of genetic engineering. Genetic engineering techniques allow for the introduction of new traits as well as greater control over traits than previous methods such as selective breeding and mutation breeding.
- Maillard Reaction: a chemical reaction between amino acids and reducing sugars that gives browned foods its distinctive flavor.
I discovered a website created by the Washington State Department of Social and Health Services to be extremely helpful when looking for health care. Almost all the information someone would be looking for can be found here. It is a decently short one paged website with many links to different pages that are useful as well, providing extra information one is looking for. DSHS cuts straight to the point, with no extra’s that tend to confuse consumers. The links are provided so that if a certain facility sparks one’s interest, they can travel to the cite and learn more about it.
When I first entered this page, it clearly stated that people using state funds (Medicaid) to pay for their care need to be looking for facilities licensed by Washington state that accepts Medicaid payments. Under that is a list of long-term care state license facilities and non-state licensed facilities. DSHS describes more in detail nursing homes, adult family homes, assisted living facilities and the non-state licensed facilities which include, retirement communities/independent living and continuing care retirement facilities.
I would suggest this as a place to start for those who are looking at facilities to send their loved ones for extra care. This offers important information as well as the important links that lead to more extensive information. DSHS provides an exceptional place to start when beginning this research process for the elderly in your life. It is clear that not everything is provided, and more research will need to be conducted however, the information is true and pure as well as extremely helpful for families.
This week we talked a lot about food and certain aspects of nutrition. I was reading through the material that Dr. Pearson provided to us, as well as finding some interesting articles of my own. I am such a foodie myself that I found this topic extremely interesting. I have been reading nutrition blogs for quite some time now and it is amazing to see all the different opinions people have. The even stranger thing is that each opinion is backed up by different scientific facts.
I decided that I wanted to find specific words many people see on a daily basis but likely are not aware of the definition. Throughout my readings I found three that I thought should be brought to peoples attention. Those three are: hydrogenated, micronutrients and protein quality. I am going to do my best to explain these words in my own understanding without the tricky language a dictionary often provides. Hydrogenated is a fancy term for adding hydrogen to something. In the food world, many oils are hydrogenated which helps make them a solid so that they are more shelf stable. In other words, stay away from hydrogenated oils!! Now, since it is all the rave right now, I am fairly certain many of you have heard of the term macronutrients. A lot of people have decided that it is a good idea to start counting “Macros” as a new diet fad. But the more important term, in my opinion, is micronutrients. These are the tiny vitamins and minerals our bodies need to function. They are called “micro” nutrients because our bodies need them in such small amounts that it is hard to see. However, they are extremely vital to our health. And lastly, lets talk about protein quality. This is basically exactly what it sounds like, the quality of a certain protein. And no, I’m not going to discuss certain protein powders to consume after your workout. A food with high protein quality just determines how bioavailable it is, how well your body will absorb the nutrients. A great example of this is eggs. Eggs have a high bioavailability and also a high protein quality, our bodies tend to absorb them very well. Now that we have a basic understanding of these terms, let look at how the dictionary defines them.
Hydrogenated: to combine or treat with hydrogen, especially to add hydrogen to themolecule of (an unsaturated organic compound).
Micronutrients: an essential nutrient, as a trace mineral or vitamin, that is requiredby an organism in minute amounts.
Protein quality: the digestibility and quantity of essential amino acids for providing the proteins in correct ratios for human consumption.