Author Archives: Cathryn Williams's Blog

Final Reflective Essay Blog

Reflecting back to the beginning of the semester much like my classmates, I had no idea what to expect when signing up for this class. My assumption when signing up was that the course was something along the lines of unveiling facts on miscellaneous topics (of course only taking into consideration the title) Little did I know how much the class would actually entail involving service learning, blogging, social media, and quite a number of makes (food related activities) to be completed.

At the beginning of the semester we all had a choice of three non-profits to work with, the most unfamiliar to everyone in our class was the nonprofit, ReEstablish Richmond. Originally, I volunteered to be a part of the Peter Paul group because it seemed the most straightforward as to what they do and I also was interested in working with kids. However, no one had volunteered to work with ReEstablish Richmond and that was when my group members and I volunteered to work with them. Throughout the semester we ran into several halts from moving forward with the nonprofit because of limited jobs for the nonprofit to assign us as well as consistent change in projects given to us.

food for thought4

(this is a photo of our first meeting with Kimberly Compton from ReEstablish Richmond and the link provided is a blog entry on the details of our first meeting)

For example, when we first met with our client it was understood that we would be interviewing the refugees on matters relating to where they came from, what their favorite food in their home country was, what their favorite food in the United States is, and their overall transition. We as a group were actually really excited to meet the refugees, conduct the interviews, and to understand their perspectives on coming to the United States. We had considered videotaping the interviews as well as documenting our interviews in still shots. Then later two-three weeks after this was established and waiting on dates for us to interview the refugees, we were informed that we were no longer conducting the interviews.  Similar to this scenario where plans had changed is similar to our overall experience with the nonprofit for the entire semester.

(the links provided below are in chronological order of how often plans had changed for us)


However, towards the end of the semester we were able to help out during one of their fundraiser events where we all mingled among the patrons of Baker’s Crust and let them know about ReEstablish Richmond, what they do, how they can have fifteen percent of their meal order donated to the nonprofit, and sold raffle tickets for a purse made by one of the Burmese refugees. During this event and with the different components we were assigned to regarding the event (e.g. creating a flier, facebook page, sharing the page, and promoting the event as a whole) is probably the one time of the semester where we felt remotely useful to the nonprofit. Our group members were always present at every meeting we had with ReEstablish Richmond and of course our touch base meetings—which indicated that our group was reliable and willing to help with all aspects relating to the nonprofit and our class. Myself personally, I love doing volunteer work and working with nonprofits and I really wished we could of gotten more involved with the nonprofit and had been able to do more for them. Although, despite the difficulties when working with our client it was neat to learn that a nonprofit like ReEstablish Richmond existed and to learn all aspects of what they do to help the refugees get established in the United States.

Within this class we also did a lot of blogging, we blogged about videos, readings, and our progress with our clients. I myself have never been much of a “blogger” although I always had the desire to be decent at blogging one day. There are many photographers I really admire who are fantastic at blogging and I follow them almost religiously. A lot of the blogs we had to keep up with mostly seemed tedious however, I understood the purpose behind the content of what we were asked to blog about as well as why imagery was so important. Another component of our class involved becoming familiar the various social media sites and brainstorming ways select social media sites could benefit our client. Our client ReEstablish Richmond however, was not interested in us helping them with any of their social media sites without strict overview and confirmation. During the semester we had an in class assignment called “Tool Presentation” where we split in teams of two and each team had to do a presentation on a social media site (e.g. Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, LinkedIn, Reddit). From each of the teams presentations I learned a lot about the many social media sites I no acknowledgement of how they worked such as LinkedIn, after my classmates presentation on LinkedIn I signed up for an account myself. I found that having a LinkedIn account is great for professional networking and that I could easily find employers I may be interested in working in LinkedIn.



(This is example of what my Blog looks like)

Another component of the class was doing different, “Makes.” Makes in this class were different activities related to food. Our Midterm and Final Midterm consisted of us completing a number of makes by a certain date. The Makes were also a part of our blogging so as we completed the makes we were expected to document and blog about the process of doing these makes. The amount of makes that were required of us definitely seemed overwhelming and stressful primarily because of time and obtaining select resources. For me myself all the makes I needed assistance (e.g. someone to film me because I didn’t have a tripod) so because of that I wasn’t able to complete my makes as soon as I would of preferred. Although, the makes almost seemed unbearable to complete once I finally got to doing the makes I really enjoyed doing them and appreciated my results. When I finally completed all the makes for the semester I really enjoyed looking at numerous blogs on each of the makes.


(this make was my personal favorite) “How to Make Strawberry Shortcake in a Martini Glass”

Link Provided Here:

video video 7


(this is another make that I am pretty proud of) Uncharacteristic Photography | “Food Problem”


With taking Food for Thought this semester it truly was not anything that I had expected and I honestly took it mainly because I needed an elective. However, I feel like I benefitted from this class in various ways. I learnt about several nonprofits I wasn’t aware of before this class, more about social media sites and how they can benefit my needs, I became better at blogging, and the different concepts of food became more interesting (e.g. how much research actually goes into the food industry and new creative food ideas I never thought of). The only thing I wish could of gone differently within this course was my group and I’s relationship with our client, I really wish that we could of gotten more involved and didn’t feel so useless to them. Although, overall as a whole I did enjoy taking this class.

Make #6: Food Bin Designers

Make #6: Food Bin Designers


This is an image where I have pieced together aspects of fruit that I thought were interesting and that I also thought would look awesome if painted by the right person for a Bin Design.

I think a light blue base color for the bin will be nice, keeping things mostly simplistic and to me aesthetically appealing. The actual artists if interested in painting this onto a bin can of course be creative and add other fruits and/or vegetables. However, I thought definitely they could have that string of water coming from the top of the bin trickling down and “shooting” as it looks like in the photo. And also adding the fruits along with it. As well as the cut up fruits creating a full fruit (an apple shape in this case)

However, I thought it was pretty simplistic and would be an awesome Food Bin Design if anyone was interested in painting it.

Use of Antibiotics in Industrial Food Animal Production



logic transition- shift of infectious disease being leading cause of death to non-infectious chronic disease as leading primary cause of death among our population

Advances: Development of vaccines, basic sanitation, clean water, Development of antibiotics to treat infections

  • Antibiotic resistance:

o   Use antibiotics as feed additives

o   Usage estimates of 27.6 for animal not therapeutic purposes

o   More human medication is used for animals than humans

Use of Antibiotic and Resistances

Antibiotic uses:

-Clinical medicine

-Animal agriculture

  • -terrestrial
  • -aquaculture

-Other uses

  • -crop production
  • -ethanol production

*All uses contribute to resistance to resistance development

-some contribute more


*The extent of the problem of resistance that can be blamed on antibiotic use in IFAP is unclear

Antimicrobial Use:

  • Multiple purposes (FDA)
  • Treatment
  • Control
  • Prevention
  • Production => growth promotion

o   Growth promotion(speed growth to bring to market size more quickly)

o   Feed conversion (use of antibiotics maximum amount of growth per unit of feed administered)

Prevention and Growth Promotion:

  • Lower dose
  • Longer duration
  • Feed and water
  • Limited veterinary oversight

Antibiotic Resistance:

Primary Mechanisms of Development and Dissemination of Resistance

  • Natural selection
  • Sharing of resistance genes
  • Mutagenesis
  • Reservoir of resistance

Recent Findings

  • Community dynamics


Horizontal Gene Transfer:

  • Bacterial transformation
  • Bacterial transduction through phage virus infection
  • Bacterial conjugation

Reservoir of Resistance

  • Resistance (reservoir of resistance)


Dose Imprecision:

  • Most antibiotics in IFAP are administered through feed or water
  • Numerous factors influence precision in dose delivery

-feed quality control

-behavior of animal production facility workers

-animal/herd dynamics

-drug absorption, pharmacokinetics

  • It is unlikely that antibiotics can be delivered at predictable or intended doses through feed
  • Over administration can lead to drug residues in food animal products and clinical toxity of animals
  • Under administration can lead to genetic mutations that allow resistance to emerge
  • Intermittent dosing in which variability can lead to over and/or under administration that can lead to antimicrobial selection pressure and/or disease treatment failure
  • Manure made from animals from animals receiving antibiotics thus having crops subject to carrying bacteria resistant to antibiotics and chemicals


Consequences of Resistant Infections:

  • Resistant infections respond poorly to one or more antibiotics and increase mortality risk
  • Hospital stays are longer and more costly for resistant infections
  • Multiple estimates of societal cost of resistant


The Danish Experiment:

-denmark passed legislation to restrict the use of non-theraputic antimicrobials in swine production (elimination of GPA used in finishing pigs in 1998, and in weaners in 2000.

Animal Drug User Fee Act 2008

-FDA use of “medically imp” antibiotic in food animal production

STAAR (strategies to address antimicrobials resistance act) — limited political viability



*antibiotics are a critical tool in clinical medicine

*same antibiotics are used in animal agriculture for non-therapeutic purposes

*antibiotic use in animal agriculture promotes the emergence and propagation of resistant bacteria

*many environmental pathways exist for the spread of resistant bacterial from animal production site to people

*domestic policies have been proposed to address use of antibiotics in IFAP



Insight on Video:

Before watching this video I had NO IDEA that antibiotics were used in animal production to speed to growth of animals to market size. I was always aware that hormones among other things were injected in animals for that reason. However, I would of never imagined one of those components to be antibiotics. It also is actually pretty scary to imagine because of this more resistant bacteria is being formed making antibiotics less effective as far as medical uses in humans. (I for one know for a fact that if I lived in a time where antibiotics weren’t available I would die out for sure) Being that nothing else can help me out and I have never been someone who can just “get better” from a sinus infection or bronchitis on my own, lol. It also concerns me that if this is continued for people who aren’t vegetarian and eat meat such as chicken and cow on a regular basis. With enough exposure they may become immune to antibiotics themselves. Thus decreasing their options when encountering infections of any sort.

Team-Building Exercise Research

I recently did research on different team-building exercises and of the several that I found I came across two team-building exercises that I felt our group would enjoy.

One was “Poker Deck”


Poker Deck is similar to the team building exercise we all did in class recently. Similar in the sense that we were given a limited amount of supplies to construct the tallest tower within 18 minutes.

However, in the team building exercise the only supplies given to a group are a deck of cards and scissors to do just that (construct the tallest tower). Groups should consist of 2-5 people. And time to construct the tallest Poker Tower is (15-30minutes)

I thought this would be a challenging and fun team building exercise for our group because it would aid both creativity and teamwork. Since our group ReEstablish Richmond consists of 5 people. Our groups/teams for these exercises would be 2 per. So it would really aid the two team members to communicate and work together in constructing a plan to build the tallest tower. And because everyone enjoyed the team building exercise we did in class, I figured my group would enjoy this team building exercise as well.

The Other Team Building Exercise I found was “The Mine Field”

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The Mine Field is sort of an imaginary exercise where team members are paired into teams of two. The idea behind “Mine Field” is that within the teams of two people one person would be blind folded and the other would be directing their team member to avoid the “mines” (which could be really anything you have on hand bottles, paper balls, cones, etc;) The “mines” would need to be placed haphazardly around the area and of course the team member whom would be blind folded can’t see the placement of the mines.

I thought this particular team building exercise would be fun to do being that communication in general can be challenging and confusing. I thought the idea of there being a “Mine Field,” and your only way of refraining from being blown up is in the hands of how your team member guides you and how you interpret their guidance. So this team building exercise in a sense can enhance our team member’s trust in each other and their relationship. However, over I feel like it would definitely be a fun exercise to conduct.

My third Team-Building Exercise I felt my team member may enjoy doing was to make sushi together:

Just a year and a half ago I learnt how to make sushi with a very good friend of mine. I have always LOVED sushi but never imagined sushi to be something easy to make. She had researched how to make it beforehand and also watched youtube videos on how to make sushi. The day she taught me how to make sushi she had already had her trial runs with making sushi and was successful. When she showed me photos of the sushi she had made herself I thought it was awesome and was immediately excited for her to show me. The preparation, rolling, and ingredients with making sushi had never been something to cross my mind before making it and it was very intriguing to me how easy making sushi actually was. And especially knowing how much we would typically pay for a roll at a Japanese restaurant.

I think making sushi as a team building exercise would be a great team building exercise because it really is a great experience learning to make sushi and I would think it would aid bonding among anyone. Also, in general it is a fun process.

These are some photographs of sushi I have made in the past


Our team discussed at our last meeting when meeting Kimberly Compton the team building exercises we would each perform:

Cathryn (myself) – Poker Tower

Jason – Balloon Challenge

Haley – Back-back drawing

Kelly – Candy Exchange

Meaghan – The Mine Field

We have our next meeting set for Wednesday Evening where we hope to perform a majority of our team building exercises.

Fears in a Hat

food for thought 1

During our first meeting we went ahead and played “Fears in a Hat.” Each of us had similar fears but different descriptions. These fears were: distribution of work, commitment, slacking, communication, and, not getting everything done.

We all discussed before playing “Fears in a Hat,” that from just getting to know each other in class and the fact that everyone in our group showed up to our first meeting. These weren’t necessarily concerns directed towards our group but rather general fears when doing group work. However, each of us took turns picking from the hat and discussed our interpretation of these fears and how we can avoid these issues.

food for thought6

Haley was the first to choose and the fear she chose from the hat was [Distribution of Work]

Discussion on fear: unfair distribution of work, maybe one or two members of the group would do most of the work while others let them.

Ways to avoid the issue: delegate, communicate, and voice concerns when they arise

On Jason’s turn he chose [Commitment]

Discussion of the fear: flaking (not showing up) and wasting everyone else’s time.

Ways to avoid the issue: communicate if something changes or comes up don’t just not show up

Kelly’s fear when choosing was [Slacking]

Discussion of fear: people not putting forth effort

Ways to avoid the issue: all of us will motivate each other and be persistent on completing our delegated roles

Meaghan’s fear read [Communication]

Discussion of the fear: group members may be weary of having an opinion or may be afraid of confrontation

Ways to avoid the issue: involving everyone by using google doc, group text messages, and group e-mails. Becomes comfortable with each other to have discussions without fear of conflict.

 I was the last to choose and the fear I chose was [Not Getting Everything Done]

Discussion of fear: procrastinating, not having structure, not delegating, people not committing

Ways to avoid the issue: setting goals and deadlines. Not procrastinating.

I feel like this exercise was a good way for us to find out a little more about each other. It was nice to find out that we all had similar fears and had the same opinions. Even though we all felt pretty confident that we would work well together in the first place doing this exercise in a way solidified those feelings for us.

Our meeting with Kimberly from ReEstablish Richmond

food for thought7

Today we met with Kimberly Compton, director with ReEstablish Richmond to learn a little more about ReEstablish Richmond and how we could help. We met in the garden (photo above) at Westminster Presbyterian Church of Monument Avenue.

We learned that ReEstablish Richmond helps newly arrived refugees from different countries gain life skills and knowledge in the U.S. as well as provide housing for them. And that we would be working with these refugees during workshops in the future. (Kimberly has yet to give us the dates for these workshops) There are two different types of workshops we will be helping with.

  1. Community Lead (nutrition) Workshop
    • Informational knowledge on nutrition
    • Different cultural perspectives
  1. Refugee Lead Workshop
    • Meant to reduce isolation
    • Networking

Kimberly informed us that primarily what she would like to us to build relationships with the refugees and interview them and tell their story. An assignment she gave us was to come up with different type of interview questions and she would go over them and give feedback on interview questions we may want to ask them.

However, we were happy to have a better idea of what to expect when working with ReEstablish Richmond. I think we are all pretty excited to get to know refugees and learn their stories. We all will be sending her our availability and our ideas for interview questions.

“Power at the Table: Food Fights and Happy Meals.”

Actual sit-down family meals within my family are definitely an occasional thing. Since my brother and I have moved out or even when we were still in high school family meals didn’t happen that often. Our family meals have also never really been “formal” since I was little everything in our family was pretty much casual.  However,  with everyone’s schedules within my family having everyone at one place at one time is definitely a rare thing. With me living in Richmond, going to school, and working. My brother living a couple miles away from my family with his own life. My father working 9-5 Monday-Friday. And my mother’s 4 days on and 4 days off schedule with transitioning night and day shifts. It is very difficult for us to all sit down as a family. Although, when we do it is always nice. My brother and I have always had a relationship with my parents where hiding things from them was never an issue. Meaning there was never really any reason to.

However, regarding the article I would agree that family meals together are healthy and promote better relationships. Even though it is only on occasion where my family and I will sit down and have a dinner I feel as though it helps us maintain good relationships and creates positive energy for all of to be together all at once.

An Introduction to Industrialization of Food System

Rational/Mindset towards Industrialization of Food System:

  • “free” Americans from farm labor
  • Make food and farming cheaper
  • Encourage consumerism


  • Specialization
  • Mechanization
  • Standardization
  • Technology inputs
  • Economies of scale
  • Consolidation
  • Consentration

Pesticide Exposure Risks:

  • Cancers
  • Reproductive harms
  • Endocrine disruption
  • Nervous system impacts
  • Acute poisoning
  • Death

Pesticide Ecosystem Impacts:

  • Declining pollination populations
  • Compromised immune system in dolphins, seals, whales
  • Deformities, sex reversals in amphibians

Synthetic Fertilizers:

  • May deplete organic matter
  • Dead zones

Resource Depletion:

  • Topsoil
  • Groundwater
  • Fossil fuels
  • Mineral fertilizers


Of all of the overall issues regarding Industrialization of Food Systems I think the most surprising to me are the degrees of Pesticide exposure risks.

Team Building Project

Our team won! Despite in the “TedTalks” video where it mentioned that undergrad business students tend to do the worst with this particular team building project. All but one of our group members are business majors, lol.

Time: 18 minutes                                                                                               Supplies: dried spaghetti, tape, and marshmallows.

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