The Ethics and Chemistry of Food and Cooking
In this project we had to make a four course meal with four or five peers. This project represented not only our ethics, but the chemistry in food preparation and cooking. In Jessica's class we focused on our own personal ethics and discovering our own opinions on food. This also lead to discussions in class analyzing others views and professional opinions. In chemistry we focused on the chemistry of food and how this can change texture, taste and other noticeable variables.
Our meal was a bit disorganized but was enjoyable for the guests. The food all came out good, but we didn't have enough people to evenly give out food. The reaction was positive I believe and it stimulated conversations with parents and other adults.
I'm not very interested in chemistry, so the interdisciplinary action in this project was not completely enjoyable personally. I liked, however, that we had freedom to choose foods and menus. For me, it was tough to come up with an experiment that involved chemistry in salad. I ended up messing with the dressing and oils in the salad but it wasn't interesting.
Everything we learned in this unit I already had knowledge of, but it was interesting hearing other points of view . I got interested in food, most likely in a negative, obsessive way, at a young age. The documentary we watched I had seen and a lot of information was not new. This is probably only me as I had more knowledge of food and the industry that I believe is important to know. Having these conversation had made me loose a bit of hope in the future though, as my classmates and friends seem to not care about the animals or environment they're impacting. This has made me look at everyone differently and realize how selfish humans really are, and it seems this generation is the same. These discussions also made me realize the bias that people have to being vegan,vegetarian or even environmentally conscious, from the passive aggressive comments I've gotten in class, mostly from males.
Life over Taste
My personal ethic is the concern for not only life, but the life that exists and thrives on the ground of Earth. People are historically selfish, the need for food has always been important for the human race. Food has been a problem for humans since they populated Earth, as without food, there is no hope for life. Meat has never been delicious to me personally, so becoming a vegetarian around thirteen wasn’t accepted in my family, making me eat meat. Meat is very important to Americans in particular, and eating meat seems to be a masculine characteristic portrayed in society.
Growing up, I ate processed foods everyday and for every meal. Fast food was a common occurrence in my household, and I was overweight most of my early life, moving permanently to Colorado at eleven and consequently losing a lot of weight. I was commonly bullied in my early elementary school years, but moved to Sunnyside and only experienced a small amount. My relationship to food turned negative and I became almost disgusted by food, especially meats. Due to OCD as a child, I could not handle being near someone who chewed loud, as well as specific textures, taste, appearance,other food touching it and smelly food nearby . Both my mother and my biological father would shame me for my OCD and social anxiety tendencies I presented at an early age, especially toward food. I ate a lot of meat, but only a few home cooked meals at that age. My parents were both overweight, and peers would remind me along with the fact that I was. At the elementary age I had commonly mistaken vegan for virgin, so I was not educated about food health or other dietary preferences. When I moved to Colorado I was also gifted a laptop from a grandparent. Through the internet, not only did I find the vegan and vegetarian lifestyle but also documentaries and early youtube videos. This influenced me to think about the ethics in the food I was eating, and how it affects your body.
After about a year of fighting with my parents about my new found ethics and being force fed meat, I became a vegetarian. After this switch, my body seemed lighter and I was rarely uncomfortable from food I had eaten. If you have ever gone off sugar, this light and uplifting feeling is very similar. Shortly before I had become a vegetarian, I had raised pigs for slaughter on behalf of 4-h, and sold her to the Durango Herald. My mother always reminded me that I humanized the animals, which never made sense. They have a gender and a mother, but it seems most Americans prefer to not to think of the origins of food. I don’t judge individuals for their choices in food, but I wish people would become environmentally friendly and more thoughtful
b. When substances are cooked with certain ingredients, this can change the color, texture, appearance and much more in food. We know this is a chemical process as this reaction only happens with certain combinations, similar to a chemical reaction. With knowledge of what is in certain foods and the reactions caused between certain chemicals, this can easily be explained.
In my experiment, I combined olive oil and apple cider vinegar to cause a separation. I wanted to see if mixing these ingredients aggressively, not at all and with an emulsifier would change the taste,texture and appearance. I also wanted to see peoples opinions of the best method over a simple salad. Unfortunately, I did not perform my experiment on my peers, but instead my family who are known to not enjoy salads often. The non mixed dressing was the least favorable, while the textures were the same in the others although the taste was off with the emulsifier. This was a chemical reaction as you could see how the liquids mixed after adding an emulsifier and when one was not present.
d. With both cooking and science, one must experiment to achieve a goal, as well as hypothesis what will be the result. Both also must have an understanding of chemicals and how they react to each other, as well as knowledge of elements. Cooking involves more of a taste and texture importance in people while science usually doesn't involve ingesting chemicals.
A cook would work to prepare food as well as being creative with ingredients and chemicals to make a correct product, a food scientist is no different. A food scientist most likely works in a lab while a cook may work at a restaurant or private space. Food scientists usually also work for large companies who are looking to mass produce a product at the cheapest price. Cooks may vary, and can make the same foods in a different way or with a different amount of ingredients, but also usually work for a company.