All posts by asinnersthoughts

Final Project

BIMG_0250eing a college student that lives on her own, learning how to make the right decisions for myself as a consumer was very difficult. I had to determine what would be money saving but would also be good for my body. When going grocery shopping for the first time that I had moved out, I was overwhelmed and I still get that way sometimes. I am constantly wondering what my choices are when trying to buy food. In my head, I am asking myself if I want to buy the pasta, sauce, eggs, vegetables, etc. or should I just eat out at cheap places during the week to save time. However, that option is not money saving and is not healthy – it is only beneficial if I am not wanting to cook.IMG_0253

Many people are in the same boat that I am when it comes to being a consumer. We always want our moneys’ worth but we also want good products and services. However, we also factor in what is worth our time. To further elaborate, let me explain with some photos that I had taken while grocery shopping at Whole Foods. Whole Foods has a good reputation when it comes to being environmentally friendly,


IMG_0249but not so much when it comes to being wallet friendly. As you can see from the prices listed below some of the Whole Foods items, they are little bit more than what most consumers will pay for. In contrast to them, Trader Joes had some frozen vegetables that were still a bit pricey but more reasonable than the price listed at Whole Foods. Trying to be healthy should not mean that it has to be expensive either. This is why many consumers feel that trying to be healthy is a struggle due to the price tag attached to the organic vegetable or meat, for example.Then once you leave Whole Foods or Trader Joes, you realize that you are hungry because you just spent an hour or so looking at all of the products that you will take home and prepare for a meal. But, what if you are so hungry you cannot wait and what immediate gratification with a meal. This is where fast food places come into play – because they are quick and satisfy the taste buds in a timely manner.


McDonald’s, the most well-known contributor on Earth, is very easy to spot in any town or city. Looking at the image of their menu and comparing it to the prices of the frozen vegetables, which one looks like a better option money-wise? McDonald’s does, obviously – and it is a whole meal for roughly seven dollars. This is why being unhealthy is easier – it is cheaper and convenient. Being healthy not only costs a bit more money, but also costs time for the consumer. The choices for being healthy are plentiful  but the options are also just as plentiful for being unhealthy.

IMG_0261Consumers need to consider their health but also should be cautious about what they are spending their money on. I do not shop at Whole Foods on a regular basis, but I do appreciate the products they carry and the numerous healthy options available. As a consumer, I think it is just smart to know what you are putting your money towards and to know all of your options available to you.


Glossary Post 5

For this week’s topic, I was excited to learn more about greenwashing because anything that can help me to be more environmentally friendly is a benefit. However, through the course slides and research outside of the classroom, I had learned more about the ethics of green washing and what is considered “green” and what is not”.

Greenwashing means “the concepts of “green” (environmentally sound), and “whitewashing” (to gloss over wrongdoing) to describe the deceptive use of green marketing which promotes a misleading perception that a company’s policies, practices, products or services are environmentally friendly” (Flows 2012). Greenwashing, because green itself is in the term, can sound like a good thing, but it is not. Many companies can promote their products as environmental and ethically friendly but in fact, they are not. For example, Tesla claims to be very environmentally friendly with their cars however, the batteries that are in the cars, are NOT environmentally friendly at all and cause a lot of damage to the Earth.

Another term that has to do with green washing that was in the course slides was lohasian. At first, I thought a Loha was an abbreviation for something and it turns out that I was correct. It stands for Lifestyles in Health and Sustainability. A lohasian is someone who has a lifestyle that is environmentally and ethically friendly with everything that they do. They buy organic foods, organic or natural care products, and any other services that match their life style choices. “Lohas represent 17 percent of the U.S. population” (Are you Lohasian? 2017).

The last term that I came across in my own research was volatile organic compound (voc). These compounds are “organic compounds that easily become vapors or gases…they contain elements such as hydrogen, oxygen, fluorine, chlorine, bromine, sulfur, or nitrogen” (Tox Town 2017). These are considered hazardous air pollutants because they are gases that we breathe in. They can also contribute to climate change when combined with nitrogen oxides.

  • Greenwashing: the concept of being green to describe the deceptive use of green or environmentally friendly marketing which promotes a misleading perception that a company’s policies or anything else is environmentally or ethically friendly.
  • Lohasian: Lifestyles in Health and Sustainability, someone who has a lifestyle that is environmentally and ethically friendly with everything that they do
  • Volatile organic compound: organic compounds that easily become vapors or gases


Are you Lohasian? (n.d.) Retrieved December 7, 2017 from   

Flows, C. (2012, March 22). “Greenwashing”: Deceptive Business Claims of “Eco-Friendliness”.    Retrieved December 7, 2017, from         claims-of-eco-friendliness/#4bada7223d9a

Tox Town – Volatile Organic Compounds (VOCs) – Toxic chemicals and environmental health risks where you live and work – Text Version. (n.d.). Retrieved December 07, 2017, from

Peer Review

The post that I chose to peer review was Greenwashing by mwalker92. I chose to do this post because they had mentioned many questions in their initial prompt that I am constantly discussing with my friends and people I work with who are very conscious about what they put into their bodies. From reading the post, I learned that media has been promoting fad diets to coincide with beauty terms to come off as an attractive life style for consumers. In addition to that, I also learned that fad diets are not always be successful for consumers because consumers can diet incorrectly and put themselves at risk for many health problems.

I think that many college students and woman (as a general group) could benefit from reading this post because diets like this are “get fit quick” kind of situations because they are eliminating the “negative” parts of their diet when in fact it might not be necessary. College students may want to read this post as well because they can view the diet as a cheap option in order to get some food in their body, when in fact it could cause them to be lacking many nutrients.

The strongest part of this contribution is where the author mentions Celiac disease. Celiac disease is not an easy immune disease to live with and I agree with the sentence where they mention, “I would not recommend it [gluten-free dieting] to any consumer that does not have Celiac disease”. Gluten free means no flour – no wheat. People who have celiac cannot process these ingredients and it can cause their body to have many health complications. I think that this point is very strong and helps to point out that being gluten free is not a fad and is not exactly necessary unless you are celiac. In contrast, the weakest part of this contribution is that there were no other fad diets mentioned in the post but they were in the prompt. I think it would be interesting to learn a bit more about the juicing fad or liquid diets to see what this author had to say.

One part that made me want to read more on this topic is the health problems that can come with each fad diet. We always here about the success stories for the diets but rarely the struggles that come with it or the problems that they can cause. I think it is important that consumers know what they are choosing to put their bodies through when they make these lifestyle changes.

On a scale of 1-4, I would rate this post a 3.5/4 overall because it touched on a personal experience and had very informed points that are beneficial to the reader.

Greenwashing Post

Prompt: What are somethings (in terms of consumption) that you have changed in your life to help impact the Earth? Are these decisions to be “green” or to just be a more ethical consumer?

Looking over my past, I think that I have tried to be a green consumer with most purchases that I make whether that be with food, clothing, etc. I have always been cautious about buying organic foods or knowing where my food came from because of the amount of chemicals that gets sprayed all over produce or pumped into the meat we consume. Then when I moved to Bellingham, I made the decision to stop eating meat and that made me feel better physically and it also saved a lot of money since all I was buying was vegetables and fruit. I also became better about my recycling vs. waste meaning that I became more in tune about sorting it correctly to make sure I could limit the amount of waste our household produced.

Even now, I am still a vegetarian and I am buying more plant based protein options, organic produce, organic dairy products, etc. Another small change I made was whenever I get a drink to go I try to avoid using a straw because straws are horrible for the environment when not disposed of correctly. It is not a subconscious action yet but it is something that I am trying to work on. I have also gotten my roommates (three other guys) to become better about not wasting food or producing a large amount of waste and it has been successful thus far. We have started a compost bin in our yard instead of just throwing out food and that is helping the soil become more fertile and produce more nutrients for a potential garden in the future.

I think that my decisions are both trying to be “green” and ethical because I want to do what is right for my health and others. I also think that it is better as a consumer to know where our food and products in general are coming from because as consumers we appreciate the finished product, but we do not always think about the journey of the product to get it into our homes.

Glossary Post 4

The pharmaceutical industry is one that I am not very familiar with so I am thankful that it is one of our weekly topics. Through all of the readings and additional research, I had come across a few words that I was not very familiar with.

The prompt for this topic was about DTCs or Direct-to-Consumer Advertising. DTCs are advertisements created by any major company that is viewed by the consumer on some form of technology. It is aimed specifically at the patient rather than healthcare personnel. It is the main form of advertisement for pharmaceutical companies because it promotes an immediate response from the consumer. The FDA, or food and drug administration is responsible for the regulation on DTC ads.

The second word that I came across was Geriatrics. In medical terms, geriatric is the focus on health care of elderly people. There are specific physicians for this group of people however, it is also determined on the patient’s health needs. This field of study is important because it works toward promoting proper health care for older people.

The third word that was new to my vocabulary is pharmacology. Pharmacology, different than pharmacy, is a specific science about how drugs react to systems in the body and how the body responds to the drug. This field of study incorporates chemical properties of the drugs, biological effects and therapeutic use of the drug themselves. This field is also useful in any medical discipline.

  • DTC (Direct to Consumer) Advertising: a form of marketing promotion that is aimed toward the end patient rather than healthcare professionals.
  • Geriatrics: a specialty that focuses on health care of elderly people; aims to promote health by preventing and treating diseases and disabilities in older adults.
  • Pharmacology: science of how drugs act on biological systems and how the body responds to the drug.



About Pharmacology. (n.d.). Retrieved November 26, 2017, from

Geriatrics. (2017, November 25). Retrieved November 26, 2017, from

Staff, I. (2011, July 19). Direct To Consumer Advertising – DTC Advertising. Retrieved     November 26, 2017, from   advertising.asp


Pharmaceutical Industry Prompt One

DTC ads which are also known as direct to consumer advertising are the most common form of advertisement for pharmaceutical companies. Companies spend billions of dollars on these ads to promote certain drugs, however, the billions of the dollars do not cover all of the information needed for a consumer to make a right decision. Companies spend money on the actors, props, and scripts that promote the drug and the effects it can have on one’s health, positive and negative.

DTC ads should be a concern for medical professionals and for consumers because the advertisements are not required to have all of the information – they just need to add the last bit at the end “ask your doctor for more information about ____”. From the Pharma slides, “a study in 1999 (Bell, et al) found 1/3 asked about a drug after seeing an ad, 1/5 asked for a prescription; most people believed ads were reviewed by FDA prior to print/air”. In addition to that, from the FDA’s website “Doctors believe that patients understand that they need to consult a health care professional about appropriate treatment. Eighty-two percent responded either “very well” or “somewhat” when asked whether they believe that their patients understand that only a doctor can decide whether a drug is right for them”. Consumers believe that they are already well informed from the advertisement and doctors are normally just meeting the consumer’s request when they are writing a prescription.

Another concern that comes with DTC ads is that a lot of consumers are not fully aware of the risks that can come with the promoted drug. The “fine print” of an advertisement is always said quickly or rushed or behind music- often not something that is easily heard. In addition to that, when the consumer requests the drug, the physician may not inform their patient of the side effects because they are working under the assumption that the customer already knows. Consumers should know as much as they can about a drug before taking it.

In order to make DTCs more informative, more doctors should be in the advertisements or the FDA should be the one to promote it instead of major pharma companies who are viewing it as moneymaking opportunities.


Illness and Mortality Prompt Two

Illness and Mortality is never an easy discussion to have with people, let alone your own family members. We have learned since we were little that we need to take care of ourselves so that our bodies can continue to function for an extended period of time. However, our body functions can start to slow down with age which can cause health complications later on. Through the readings and talking to people who have dealt with having to put someone they loved and cared for in assisted living, I have learned that long-term care and handling with death is never going to be an easy concept to understand and the education in that area is necessary in order to make sure the proper actions are taken.

Within my research, the myths that surround this topic are as follows. The first myth is that if you put people in an assisted living environment then they will be cared for 24/7. This has been proven otherwise in the article by Michael J Berens titled “How the Aged and Frail are Exploited in Washington’s Adult Family Homes”. In the article, Berens mentions how older men and woman were being abused or neglected care but the “caretaker” was pocketing money regardless. The second myth is that long-term health care is affordable. According to an article in Forbes written by Richard Eisenberg titled “Americans’ Estimates of Long-Term Care Costs are Wildly Off”, the average cost of a room rental for one at a nursing home is about $92,000 and assisted living is half of that an average of $44,000 a year. The third myth is that family members are the best care givers. Coming from what I have witnessed personally with my uncle and my grandma, it is a stressful situation to put yourself in. It is straining mentally, emotionally, and sometimes physically to have take care of a loved one at such extremities.

Now in contrast to the mentioned myths above, here are some facts. The first fact is that long term health care is expensive – as proven in the Forbes article mentioned above. The second fact is that it is not an easy decision to decide on if you should or should not put a loved one in someone else’s care whether that be through assisted living, a nursing home, adult day care, etc. It is never going to be easy and that is something that I feel a lot of individuals need to educate themselves on to make the best decision. The third fact is that not all family members make the best care takers because everyone has their life to take care and taking on another one can be very stressful and some family members may not be ready for that much responsibility.

I think that when it comes to long term care and death that we all need to educate ourselves a little bit more about what the next step might be or talk to people who have firsthand experience with these topics because they can provide the most insight.


Food Prompt 2

Growing up, I remember always hearing “Everything is fine in moderation”, and being a kid I just understood that as having limits on things like fried food, soda, candy, etc however, being a child, I did wanted to exceed those limits. Now that I am adult, I think that I value moderation a bit more considering how many more food additions there are to my diet as I am a vegetarian and that can go wrong very quickly. This is where I feel I fit in to the section of “not very moderate food that feels moderate”.

When I had first decided to become a vegetarian a few years ago, I justified all the high carbohydrate food items that I ate because I was a vegetarian so I could eat everything just without the meat. I was a college student at the time so not buying meat was easy for my budget but so was buying the cheaper, unhealthy foods. To elaborate, I ate a lot of pasta, ramen, potatoes, bread, veggies, etc. because that was all I thought I could eat being a vegetarian. Through the year of getting more accustomed to the lack of meat (and protein for that matter), I realized that I was consuming a lot of foods that were not exactly healthy for me. I justified eating all of these under the idea that it was In moderation and that there was no meat in the meal. Some weeks were better than others – meaning there were more veggies in dishes than there was just a large bowl of pasta.

I know that I am not the only one who is guilty of misusing the term moderation – even in the article, they use the example of a glass of wine or two or three every night was okay but in reality, it is not or when someone eats only salads and water for a week straight and then treats themselves to a pizza and a few beers once Saturday comes around. When you eat a pretty consistent diet, your body gets used to it and is used to the nutrients that come from those foods but if you are consistent only for a few days and then add someone drastic to it (like a pizza and several drinks) it can cause a lot of shock onto your body because it is not the same nutrients. I feel like this is a concept that we as consumers are not super familiar with and that’s why moderation becomes a back-burner concept to a lot of us. We know what it is and what it generally means, but whether we actually apply it to our everyday eating habits is different. I think as consumers, we understand the concept of “not too much and not too little” compared to “in moderation”.

As a consumer myself, I want to be more cautious about moderation and become more understanding of the term when it comes to the food that I put into my body. It is something I do want to take more seriously because there are so many discoveries being made about the foods that we eat and we need to be more cautious about what we eat. Moderation only works in our benefit if we are consuming the right foods.

Glossary Building 3

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.




Challenge: Random Act of Kindness (for three days)

I took on this challenge because this is is something I do every day because I too agree that people deserve to be complimented on anything that stands out to the people around them. Compliments also make people feel noticed and valued so I think that randomly giving them to people  can make a huge difference. I will continue to do this every day because I believe that the slightest act of kindness can make a difference in someone else’s life and that is something that I strive for every day.

Here are the things I did over the last three days:

Day 1: I sent a good morning text to one of my friends who I know is going through some rough times right now and they had responded a few hours later saying that my little message had made their morning better. And I have been doing this since I became friends with this person because every day is a different situation for them and I want them to have a good start to their day.

Day 2: For Haloween, I went out with some of my girl friends and at the bar that we were at – there a bunch of people in costumes. I complimented every girl that I saw who was with her friends or by herself and they all responded in shock and then thanked me. I think that woman always look to get affirmations from men and always forget that other woman can be and are genuine as well with what they say.

Day 3 (today): I told my coworker that I was proud of her for accomplishing a project that she had been working on for a very long time and it was very difficult. She went silent and then smiled and thanked me and said “that really means a lot.” She was doubted a lot as a child and by her peers so I think that telling her that I was proud of her meant a lot.