Category Archives: Reflection

CP & R: Prompt 1

After reading and studying 3 resources that are either trying to help public health or help public safety, I decided to write about frozen foods and how they effect us as the consumers. As a college student on a budget I can’t always have the luxury of buy fresh produce like meat, poultry, fruits and vegetables. Obviously there is a lot more to fresh produce than what I have named but thats mainly what I would buy as fresh produce. If you’re like me, wanting to eat either on the go to class or quick meals because you have homework to do and practicals to study for, frozen foods are an easy option. But are they the right option? Let’s find out.

According to a four minute read on curejoy.com, frozen fruits and vegetables are ok because they are picked and froze while they are still ripe and so all of the nutrients is still locked inside the fruit or vegetable. Since all the the nutrients is still able to be salvaged, frozen fruits and vegetables are a good alternative especially when your favorite fruit or vegetable is out of season. Frozen foods and meals (such as tv dinners and frozen meats) on the other hand are not a great substitute. Not only are they pack with sodium but they are also at higher risk for food pathogens that can be extremely deadly. Not all frozen foods are spoiled with pathogens but if they are and you do not take the time and care to reheat properly or even have the right watt microwave, you could be effected by the invisible pathogens with out even knowing it.

My advice to you, do your research. If you are like me and after reading the article (I have provided it for you at the bottom) you still are convinced that you don’t have the time to cook a homemade meal every night, read up on your favorite frozen foods and find out what you should and shouldn’t be consuming. While you are at it, you might find a few new ones you would like to try too.

https://www.curejoy.com/content/are-frozen-foods-bad-for-you/

 

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CP & R Promt 1: What’s in the package?

Food labels are supposed to tell you what is in a product, but instead labels always seem to mention what it does not contain. This seems counterintuitive, as the main goal of a label is to tell you what is inside.

The FDA has a list of approved natural (things like wood chips count as a natural ingredient) and artificial chemicals. Frequently these are undertested, based on outdated research and/or have been exposed as harmful. For example:

Artificial Sweeteners: are tied to weight gain; the opposite of what they are marked for. Aspartame is particularly controversial. Though there are mixed opinions on its safety, some evidence suggests that aspartame is a neurotoxin and leads to negative neurobehavior effects (Lindseth, 2014). It is also the most common artificial sweetener.

Trans Fats: the evidence that trans-fat caused to increased low-density lipoprotein cholesterol levels. Higher levels of these contribute to heart disease and increase the risk of heart attack and stroke. Also linked to cancer, diabetes, immune dysfunction and reproductive problems.

Those are approved substances by the FDA. The regulation is worse when looking at food additives, which do not even need to be labeled. GRAS (Generally Recognized As Safe) essentially lets food companies set their own standards for “safe” without outside regulation or influence. There has been a recent trend demanding for more transparency in the food industry. People have slowly started to pay more attention to certain ingredients (which is great!) This has caused the food industry to be more creative with “clean labeling” practices. This basically means removing known bad additives and replacing them with substitutes which sound better. For example, antioxidants (E300-21) such as butylhydroxyanisole (BHA) and butylhydroxytoluene (BHT) which are used to improve shelf life have been relabeled by some brands as “rosemary extract” (Blythman, 2015)

The FDA needs to conduct its own testing on these chemicals and additives; it should do this for everything it regulates. Consumer Reports National Research Center found that 77% of respondents believed that GRAS were evaluated by the FDA and thought to be safe. 66% believed that the FDA monitors GRAS safety and use (Butler & Kelber, 2016). Neither is the case. I can’t get past the fact that additives are not required to be labeled, let alone untested by the FDA.  I can’t believe ingredients which are known to cause disease are still allowed in our food. I believe everything added to a food item, should be required to be labeled. A consumer cannot make an informed choice with only part of the information available.

 

Works Cited

Blythman, J. (2015). Inside the food industry: the surprising truth about what you eat. Retrieved from m https://www.theguardian.com/lifeandstyle/2015/feb/21/a-feast-of-engineering-whats-really-in-your-food

Lindseth, G., N. Coolahan, S., E. Petros, T., V. Lindseth, P., D. (2014). Neurobehavior effects of aspartame consumption. Research in Nursing & Health. Retrieved from https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/24700203

Butler, D., Kelber, K. (2016). Consumers Union: New FDA Rule on GRAS Unacceptable, Fails Consumers. Retrieved from http://consumersunion.org/news/consumers-union-new-fda-rule-on-gras-unacceptable-fails-consumers/

Health Care Prompt 2

To be completely honest, government is one of my worst subjects. Probably because I don’t fully understand it but I am willing to learn. I have never read a CBO report and with that being said, if anything I say sounds off or totally wrong please correct me because I would like to get it right. I read the article An Amendment in the Nature of a Substitute which talks about the “Better Care Reconciliation Act of 2017”. When I read this article the first time I was very confused so I read it again, slowly. What I learned from this resource that other may not know is that in 2018 there will not be a penalty for not having insurance. But there will be way more people who will not have insurance.

What I would like to know more about in coordination with this report is what the government will do with all of the extra money that will be left over from cutting back on health insurance. I don’t think this is the type of information the government will release to the public until it actually happens, but if I had to name a place that I could find this information I would say it would be most likely to be heard over the news or www.usa.gov .

Prompt 3: Birth Slides

When I think about being “informed”, it has a lot to do with what you are being informed about. But when it comes to being informed about pregnancy, there is a lot of information that is vital, from contraceptives (avoiding pregnancy) to wanting to start a family or your own (getting pregnant.  Not only do you need to be informed about how you treat your body during your pregnancy, but before and after care is also very important. Caring for yourself before, during and after will make your pregnancy less stressful and your child will most likely be healthier (if all goes as planned). Before pregnancy you need to be informed of the diet you need to have, what you can and cannot do, and the care that you put into your body (once again you are not only caring for yourself but also for your future child), the health risks for you and your future child, and obviously how much all of this will cost. There is a lot more that can be added to this list but those are some of the most important concepts that you need to understand and be informed about as a future parent.

With all that being said, planning is also a very important aspect of a pregnancy. Being informed and planning are tied very close together in pregnancy (and a lot of other subjects as well). If you are planning on having a child, you will most likely be informed on what you need to do prior, during and after. Planning for a pregnancy can go a long ways and can take a lot of time. Not only do you need to be ready financially for a child but you need to be responsible in a maturity sense as well. If you are not planning on becoming pregnant, planning is still crucial.

Being responsible fits right in with being informed and planning. If you are responsible, you will plan and get informed. It is as simple as that. Responsibility is where it all starts. Seeking care is a great way to start being responsible, even if you are not pregnant, but planning on being pregnant or just would like to avoid getting pregnant. Asking your doctor for guidance and asking about risk is a great place to start. Discussing contraceptives with your doctor or even just asking someone that you trust is also something that you should consider. Even if you don’t plan on being sexually active because being informed of all the ways to avoid pregnancy is a must when you don’t plan on becoming pregnant.

The consumers of a pregnancy are the mothers to be, fathers to be and obviously the fetus. Pregnancy is not something that should be taken lightly, not only for your sake but also for your future child. The health of the consumer is very important in pregnancy! If the mother is not healthy then that potentially means that the fetus could become unhealthy. When the fetus becomes unhealthy, it can cause an assortment of issues ranging from minor birth-defects to losing your child prematurely. Which is why we need to take all of the necessary steps before hand.

 

*I understand that there are situations where people are misinformed or even uninformed and I am not judging you in any way, I am just speaking of my ideal pregnancy that I would want and what I think would be best. I also think this is what most doctors would recommend.