Author Archives: foodfordummies

Point Of Participation: Twitter

Twitter is an online social networking service that enables users to send and read short 140-character messages called “tweets”. Registered users can read and post tweets, but unregistered users can only read them. download (4)

My Personal Use for Twitter: local and national news, daily thoughts, campus happenings, slight stalking

My Twitter Routine: click the app on my phone, scroll through my timeline to read all the tweets I might have missed, check my regular pages, post a tweet

Pros of Twitter: local news information, get the latest gossip, learn about food advocacy

Cons of Twitter: misspelled tweets, satire news posts, stupidity


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PP Food Distribution!

Wednesday, September 18th was the first food distribution that I attended for the semester. I arrived at about 8am to find a line outside with people waiting to get in. Registration began shortly after 8am. When registration was over, volunteers waited until about 9am for the food to arrive. It took approximately about 30 minutes to unload the truck and arrange the food on the appropriate tables. Residents are able to get either one back of lemons, lime or carrots, one tomato, 2 cantaloupes, 3 packages of bread, 2 desserts, and one whole chicken. There weren’t enough chickens for everyone so only the first couple of people were able to get one. There were about 150 people that had to be fed for the day. I really had no idea that I would enjoy the food distribution so much. It so humbling to see people who literally have no food. It makes you appreciate everything you have and try to do more to help in any way that you can.


My ideas for team building are eating pizza in the  commons, studying in the library, and exploring the campus.

We chose eating pizza in the commons because one or two or our team members have swipes and dining dollars. I chose the commons because we can all sit at a big table and either talk about our blog or just get to know each other. Most college students love pizza, so I guess if were eating good food and we get happy the good thoughts will just flow! :)

Studying in the library is probably the best team building exercise. With student taking credit loads varying from 12-18, there is so much to study for and so much time. We got together in the library, first on the second floor to brainstorm about studying, then we all went to the fourth floor and got our own table. We stayed roughly around 2 hours, and left energized and well-connected to each other.

Exploring the campus was something that we did together all while doing the other exercises. We took each other to our buildings that we are usually in on campus, and talk about our school. I am in the School of Business on Main Street right across on Belvedere. I took them to some of my old classes, and walked past some of my old professors. There is also a great restaurant in the building that we have agreed to go on another location.



Tiara Darden is a senior business marketing major graduating in December 2014. Currently, she works at a local hotel as guest service representative. Upon graduation she wishes to advance within her company and either become the sales manager or a part of the marketing team. By taking this class, Ms. Darden hopes to learn more about the culture of food and other aspects of the food industry.


Aster is a senior majoring in Graphic Design in the VCUarts program. She has interned at Red Chalk Studios (based in Virginia Beach) for two consecutive summer semesters and later plans on working at a design studio after graduation. She plans to graduate in May 2015 to obtain her BFA. She also enjoys cooking, baking, and food photography. Aster hopes to gain more knowledge of the cultural aspects of food through this class.


 Keondra is a senior Psychology major. She is from Nottoway County Virginia. Her main interest with her major is to work with children, their development and possibly research the effects certain situations have on their behavior.


 Taylor Verne is a Junior studying psychology here at VCU. She was born and raised in Caroline county, by her mom and dad. Her ultimate goal is to go to grad school, and get a PhD in clinical psychology. Her dream job is to work with geriatrics who deal with anxiety, PTSD, and clinical depression. She is an active member of the National Coeducational Honor Fraternity, Phi Sigma Pi, along with her social sorority Alpha Sigma Alpha. In her spare time she likes to de-stress, by hanging out with friends, working out in the gym, and watching Netflix.

 Grettie is a Jersey girl who is now a Junior majoring in Gender, Sexuality, and Women’s Studies. She recently interned at a local non-profit, Feedmore, which works to feed children, families, and the elderly who live in food deserts. She loves trying new foods, and new experiences in general. Grettie is also a member of VCU ASPiRE, a service learning TA, Recruitment Advisor for Phi Sigma Pi, and an RA in West Grace South. She is excited to see what her junior year has to offer.


Liz is a senior majoring in Biology and graduating in May 2015. She hopes to attend vet school to obtain her dreams of becoming a veterinarian. She is currently a dog groomer, but enjoys interacting with any kind of animal. She loves the outdoors, trying new things, and being with her family. Liz hopes to learn more about different cultures of food throughout this class.


 Laura is a senior majoring in Fashion Merchandising with a minor general business. She is graduating this December and hopes to work at Disney after she is done with school. She currently works at Nordstrom in short pump. Laura loves kids and is very excited to work with the PPDC and to help the Church Hill community.



Meeting with Peter Paul

My group meeting with  Peter Paul was pretty splendid. We met with a coordinator, Rosemary, who gave us a tour of the building. Peter Paul Development Center is located in the Church Hill section of Richmond, VA. They serve as an after-school facility for neighborhood children, and they offer free tutoring, mentoring, and meals. Currently, they are understaffed as far as volunteers, so a couple of members from my team might be trying to volunteer or mentor. The ideas that we came up with for PP were to get more involved with social media, and starting a cookbook to incorporate healthy meals when the children leave. The first idea, social media, was basically shot down. They currently have a twitter page, but it is in dire need to some TLC. As a group we thought of the idea of making an instagram, but since the children are all under 18, everyone would need permission stating that it would be okay. The recipe book idea is probably one of the things that we’ll be doing this semester. Along with the recipe book, we were also thinking about incorporating different foods from around the world. Each week we could sponsor a different country and have the children taste food from the country or culture, since most of the children at PP have never been out of the inner-city. So far, I am pretty excited to be apart of PP and ready to get the ball rolling on our wonderful ideas.

Fears In a Hat

Fears: spiders, drowning, failure

Spiders: I mean really who isn’t afraid of spiders? They’re black, creep, crawly, and the pop up out of nowhere. Since they come in different sizes, you never know what you’re getting yourself into if you decide to kill a spider. It could be a vicious monster spider that just might not die and kill you back. Scared?


Drowning: I might  be super adventurous and willing to try anything once, but water is the only thing that I will not play around with. I will even skydive before I take a leap or dive into a pool. Maybe its because I never learned to swim. Growing up I never wanted to get my hair done, so as a result I never learned to swim. I guess I should learn considering swimming is one of thee most basic life skills and people kinda swim in the summer, so I guess is should learn..


Failure: What college student hasn’t thought about failure at least once? Im pretty sure everyone has that thought of what if I dont get a job when i graduate, or will my degree even mean anything? I think the main reason we don’t want to fail is so that we done upset our parents. They have such high hopes for us so of course we do everything in our power not to let them down.


I think that the best way that we could possibly get over our fears together is to conquer them together. Go outside grab a spider, and then head over to Cary Street Gym and take a dive in the pool. By doing these things we would have all gotten over the last fear; failure!



Arsenic Use in Food Animal Production

So is Roxarsone is the poultry form of steroids for humans? Its used to increase weight gain and improve feed efficiency. It makes the meat plumper and pinker and improve infections by a digestive-tract parasite called coccidia. Does this not sound like steroids? I guess Roxarsone is somewhat okay because its less toxic and organic. It may cause cancer and you might eventually die, but hey its organic right? I would have no problem paying for chicken that was naturally grown and not given any additives. Why would I want to expose myself to cancer of the lung, bladder or skin, or cancer or the liver or prostate? Just to have chicken that could possible be detrimental to my health? It could also lead to diabetes, immunological effects, and adverse pregnancy. Im sure I dont need food that make me go crazy. Are you not convinced that organized is the way to go?


Antibiotic Use in Industrial Food Animal Production

“Over administration of drugs can lead to drug residues in food animal products and clinical toxicity in animals”

“Under administration can lead to genetic mutations that allow resistance to emerge”

“Hospital stays are increased for resistance infections”

These three quotes alone caught my attention. The first two statements really contradict each other. So basically, if you administer too much antibiotics it can lead to drug residue in food animal products? I guess its like you’re putting yourself at risk when you eat any type of animal, because you never know the history; who administered the drugs or how much was used. On the other hand, under administration can lead to genetic mutations that allow resistance to emerge. Once again, how is this legal? Who knew administering antibiotics could be so complicated? The fact that hospital stays are increased for resistance infections is enough info I need. From here on out, i’m only eating organic!


why is it okay to feed our animals antimicrobialS and synthetic hormones, but we still thinks its okay to eat them? there are about 9.1 billion food animals in the world, and now i completely understand why Americans are now switching to an organic lifestyle. animal was produces about 287 million dry tons of waste per year and nearly all of it is applied to agriculture. human waste is treated to remove metals and pathogens. who knows whether its effective, but at least its treated in some way. on the other hand, animal waste contains bacteria, protozoa, viruses, animal dander, heavy metals, and hormones. most animal waste is applied to agricultural land as fertilizer, so in a way it could be getting into the food that we eat. Untreated animal waste can get into the water systems and contaminate those who drink it. workers in animal waste production facilities have a great risk of being contaminated by animal waste pathogens. they usually can’t decontaminate during shifts, so there are germs everywhere and they often are not offered access to decontamination facilities or personal protection equipment while working. since most workers go home and spend time with their families, they are also at risk for exposure. animal production facilities greatly affect rural areas in many ways. they cause residents to require more hospitalizations, eye, nose, and throat, irritation, studies have shown that anger and anxiety are linked to these living conditions, and it bring the property value of nearby houses down. With so many problems, isnt there another alternative to animal waste? it seems to cause more problems than its worth!