Tuesday, November 25, 2014

Reading and Research homework for Tuesday, Dec. 2. From Mike Lohre


Sometimes in the consumer culture we can really lose the meaning of events and the past.  Is Thanksgiving about food?  Black Friday? The Michigan game?  Yes, it's become all these things.  But it has an original story.

Do a little research and try to answer at least one of these questions about the historical roots of Thanksgiving:

  • Why did the Pilgrims leave England?  Who were they?
  • How did they travel and what challenges did they face on the journey?
  • Where did they settle and why?
  • What challenges did they face in the first years here?  What was the famous starving time? 
  • How did Native Americans and settlers work together?
  • What conflicts did Native Americans and settlers both face? What conflicts happened between races?
  • What might have been the foods enjoyed in those first Thanksgivings?

Post your discoveries and share what you learned in the Comments section of this post.

My guess it that you won't be able to read this without being really moved.  It's an incredible and true story.   


Thursday, November 20, 2014

Comments for Nathan and Rishat: Brooklyn Bridge

For your comments on Presentations:

Write about something well done.  What did you learn from this group?  What part of the Presentation seemed the best?

Is there constructive criticism that would help this group?  What might have been more clear?  What part of the Presentation seemed the least polished?

Post comments for this group below this post, please, as we all need feedback, and it's valuable.

Comments for Bryson and Cameron: Thomas Jefferson

For your comments on Presentations:

Write about something well done.  What did you learn from this group?  What part of the Presentation seemed the best?

Is there constructive criticism that would help this group?  What might have been more clear?  What part of the Presentation seemed the least polished?

Post comments for this group below this post, please, as we all need feedback, and it's valuable.

Comments for Fathia and Asiya: Manhatten Project

For your comments on Presentations:

Write about something well done.  What did you learn from this group?  What part of the Presentation seemed the best?

Is there constructive criticism that would help this group?  What might have been more clear?  What part of the Presentation seemed the least polished?

Post comments for this group below this post, please, as we all need feedback, and it's valuable.

Tuesday, November 18, 2014

Comments for Caitlin and Amanda: California Gold Rush

For your comments on Presentations:

Write about something well done.  What did you learn from this group?  What part of the Presentation seemed the best?

Is there constructive criticism that would help this group?  What might have been more clear?  What part of the Presentation seemed the least polished?

Post comments for this group below this post, please, as we all need feedback, and it's valuable.

Comments for Chazz and Madison: Ernest Hemingway

For your comments on Presentations:

Write about something well done.  What did you learn from this group?  What part of the Presentation seemed the best?

Is there constructive criticism that would help this group?  What might have been more clear?  What part of the Presentation seemed the least polished?

Post comments for this group below this post, please, as we all need feedback, and it's valuable.

Comments for Jill and Courtney: Mardi Gras in New Orleans

For your comments on Presentations:

Write about something well done.  What did you learn from this group?  What part of the Presentation seemed the best?

Is there constructive criticism that would help this group?  What might have been more clear?  What part of the Presentation seemed the least polished?

Post comments for this group below this post, please, as we all need feedback, and it's valuable.

Comments for Benjy and Justin: Statue of Liberty

For your comments on Presentations:

Write about something well done.  What did you learn from this group?  What part of the Presentation seemed the best?

Is there constructive criticism that would help this group?  What might have been more clear?  What part of the Presentation seemed the least polished?

Post comments for this group below this post, please, as we all need feedback, and it's valuable.

Comments for Alexis and Liz: Jean-Michel Basquieat

For your comments on Presentations:

Write about something well done.  What did you learn from this group?  What part of the Presentation seemed the best?

Is there constructive criticism that would help this group?  What might have been more clear?  What part of the Presentation seemed the least polished?

Post comments for this group below this post, please, as we all need feedback, and it's valuable.

Comments for Colin and McKenzie: Louis Armstrong

For your comments on Presentations:

Write about something well done.  What did you learn from this group?  What part of the Presentation seemed the best?

Is there constructive criticism that would help this group?  What might have been more clear?  What part of the Presentation seemed the least polished?

Post comments for this group below this post, please, as we all need feedback, and it's valuable.

Thursday, November 13, 2014

Presenation groups and order

uTuesday, Nov. 18 (6 groups)
uColin and McKenzie: Louis Armstrong
uAlexis and Liz: Jean-Michel Basquieat
uBenjy and Justin: Statue of Liberty
uJill and Courney: Mardi Gras in New Orleans
uChazz and Madison: Ernest Hemingway
uCaitlin and Amanda: California Gold Rush
uThursday, Nov. 20 (3 groups)
uFathia and Asiya: Manhatten Project
uBryson and Cameron: Thomas Jefferson
Nathan and Rishat: Brooklyn Bridg

Brainstorm 3 ideas for Essay Three. From Mike Lohre

Please post your 3 good topic ideas for Essay 3 here in the Comments section, and tell us which of the three you are leaning toward doing or most excited about right now.


TED Talks homework, from Mike Lohre

Here is a link to the TED presentation we watched in class:


Here is a link to the list of TED talks so you can find one that you are interested in to watch/read this weekend.


Here's the prompt from your assignmetns for Monday:

Watch and actively listen to a Ted Talk presentation of your choice.  See links above.  In the Comments section, write a response:
First, summarize the main ideas and purpose in this talk so we know what it was about. 
Then analyze: how does the speaker use PowerPoint or other media?  What does this speaker do well to convince you?  What might have been better?

Exploration 6: Liz Williams

his documentary was very interesting and surprisingly gave me great insight on the food system and the kinds of food that I choose to eat. Living in a society that is obsessed with efficient results, we never stop to think about if the food we eat is good for us, or even healthy for us for that matter. I honestly have never stopped to think about this myself until Professor John Ikerd put it into perspective by saying, “Americans fear one thing, inconvenience.” This documentary did a good job of revealing not just how far Americans will g o for a quick bite, but also the demanding pressure that farmers feel to try and reverse this need for efficiency.

“Fresh” has shown that Americans do not care about where our food comes from or how it’s made; if it is ready to eat in five minutes we do not hesitate or ask any questions. Professor John Ikerd, and Agricultural Economist knows that in today’s society, we grow economies of scale and we begin to apply this together, however it does not work on everything. In recent years, our food systems have established what is widely known as monocultures which are species that are grown and raised together without much variation for the purpose of quicker production. Ikerd wants to shift for a different world view because Americans are constantly facing the consequences for buying “more and more cheap stuff”.
George Naylor, a conventional Corn Belt farmer, has tried to eliminate the risk for efficiency. He has realized that the big corporations have industrialized live-stock, raising what is like a small city of approximately 2,400 pigs. The need for a convenient lifestyle is further shown with the help of Joel Salatin, who believes as farming stewards of the earth, they need to respect the design of nature as it is and to help it grow. The corporations and food processing systems promote feeding dead cows to cows because of their lack of care for their well-being as long as it creates a faster production of food. Salatin believes if you “treat an herbivore like an herbivore first, then it will all fall into place”, referring to his farming philosophy. He follows an herbivores natural instinct to herd and move because he believes that is the best thing for them and for his production of food.
One enlightening story of the shifted view of a previous hog farmer who was hung up on efficiency was the one of Russ Kremer. He has since changed to a natural hog farmer whom previously jammed in the leg by one of his hogs and contracted a mutated form of strep due to the antibiotic injections he would inject his pigs with. His conscience caught up with him and terminated his herd. This example really brought out the sense of knowing just how caught up we all are on being blind about the issues of the food systems and monocultures. As we industrialize our food it becomes less nutritious by 40%. We all tend to think of fast food as being cheap, but what was really eye-opening was the fact that in the scheme of things we pay for more than what we get in some way because of the unhealthy toll it eventually takes on our body. We all would like to eat the locally owned and operated food that these farms supply; we just do not have the access to it.
Lastly, I’d like to review Will Allen, an urban farmer in Milwaukee who currently serves as the director for Growing Power who tries to grow agriculture that is sustainable. He tries to support the system in some way by growing agriculture that is sustainable. We all would like a chance to consume the fresh food that these farmers grow and raise for us, its just giving  us a chance that seems to be the hard part.

Wednesday, November 12, 2014

Asiya Exploration six

Fresh was excellent documentary that show us about our food industry good thing and bad things. I think this Documentary encouraging us to do better our environment. When I started first I did not know where it came from. What we were eating. After I watch I got many ideas.   I saw unhealthy food and we ate every day. But I did not care because I don’t have any knowledge. They were investing us crop, we will eat. Although they put some chemical it was making grow fast. They were trying to do better work to change America environment.  
            George Naylor was one of the farmers. He said “I've gotten a premium for non GMO corn and soy. With corn, I don’t actually need a premium to make ends meet. My non GM corn yields as good as or better than my neighbor’s GM corn.” So the premium does help with that. he was one of the famous farmer and his family. He grew up Lowe farmer. Iowa state is where the landscape is plastered with millions of acres of genetically modified corn, soybeans along with their poisonous herbicides, insecticides, fungicides and fertilizers pollution. When he explaining the different crops and how he used to grow so fast without putting any chemical.

Important Quotes were when George Naylor said, “Growing corn is the most efficient way to get energy calories from an acre of Iowa farmland.”  That corn made calorie can find its way into our bodies in the form of an animal fat, a sugar, or a starch; such is the protean nature of carbon in that big kernel.  He was hard worker and he wanted our environment good health food. I think this is my best quotation. Watching this documentary I noticed more about unhealthy food.

Sunday, November 9, 2014

Exploration Six

Fresh Review

     Fresh had many different ideas and factors within the film but the theme that stuck out to me the most was the negative side of  the convenience of cheap food. When you think about it, at least for me, I find myself going thru fast food drive thru's during a day where I'm always on a time crunch and have a budget. Farmers, who are on a budget and have a schedule to follow, make our food fast by using antibiotics on our animals, chemicals in fertilizers-- cheap and easy ways to keep their farm running and up to pace with their schedule. Although it comes natural for humans to want to save a buck with cheap things that we believe satisfy our needs, in some cases particularly food, sometimes going with cheaper meats and produce can hurt our body and not give our bodies all the nutrients it needs.. costing us more in the end. Joel Salatin helps us understand that "we can buy honest priced food or irresponsibly priced food".

      Joel Salatin had a lot to say (speaking on behalf of farmers) about the importance of dedicating oneself to the lifestyle of a farmer. "Respect the design of nature," Salatin said this and followed it up with an example of how herbivores should be taken care of, "they're always on the move, they never eat meat". Herbivore's naturally never eat meat, but the farming industry that believes in the food fast farming feeds their herbivore animals what they call cheap feed, in the video Salatin gives us the example "feeding dead cows to cows". Conducting a farm in this manner is where we see pesticides, and are put at a health risk when intaking produce from these farms. A healthy farm's farmers Salatin says, "needs to look at nature as the template. Treat herbivores like the herbivore first and other stuff will fall into place. Nature needs to re-sanitize for herbivores to stay pesticide free". The video mentioned that there are many farmers who have done things and continue to do things that they know they need to do in order to survive in the farming business, and unfortunately this is where our cheap and convenient foods come from. "Society doesn't think of the costs of H2O pollution, antibiotic resistance, food-borne illnesses--this is what makes cheap food seem cheap" said Salatin. This quote really grabbed my attention because so often we hear that many people think clean food is the most expensive food but Salatin was right when he said it's the cheapest you can buy.

     Overall this film was very informative over what goes on inside the farming industry.  Although I personally didn't find it very attention grabbing for those of us who aren't very interested in the agricultural world.

Exploration 6 Mackenzie

The film Fresh puts across a wide-ranged of reviews and emotions about the concept of Industrial farmers and how the produce and meat are taken care of.  The film gives me mixed reviews based on its almost incomplete looks from both sides of the spectrum.  Although, Fresh begins by getting our attention with a farmer, who later turns out to be, Joel Salatin; Salatin presents are clear look into the life of a farmer who produces healthy and chemical free based produce.  "Natures screaming to our industrialized culture, ENOUGH!", I took Salatin to heart because he was very informative of his information and made a clear point about his farming.  He showed how horrible the industrialized farming is by giving an example of cows eating dead cows as food, even though they do not eat meat.  "treat the herbivore like a herbivore and the others will fall into place."

While there were many informational and inspirational speakers throughtout the film, these speakers seem a bit biased towards the chemical free produce and meat.  They use of one couple as a speaker for the side voting towards processed, chemically induced produce presented in unsantitary factories.  While yes, I do believe that the side of freshly produced food is definitely something we should work to try to accomplish as a whole society, the producers should have used more people from the other side.

The couple presented from the opposing side, the industrial farming side, mentioned how the "health of the bird is better".  While I know that really isn't true based off of my own personal knowledge and let alone this documentary, this couple fails to mention any valuable information about the knowledge inside the factories which gives little to no insight about what is going on inside the plants.  While that is not completely their fault, I would have liked more information about what was actually being done in the inside of the factory so that I can be given the option to choose wisely about my "food" choices. 

The information that is presented throughout the film opens a wide variety of speakers about how organic food, is the best food, but in the terms of producing enough for the country and/or countries, this seems almost impossible.  I understand completely how industrialized farming began, simply they wanted to make food more convenient and more of an option to everyone, but by doing so they are harming the people they were trying to feed.  The people are unsure about what is being put in the chicken and cow feed, along with the plants as they are being induced fertilizers which carry lots of chemicals.  If people were really knowing what was concluded in the food that is being processed by the industrialized farms, I would hope many eating habits would change. 

So in conclusion, Fresh shows many informational speakers and produce a more biased view to the information being presented.  In other words, they would prefer you to chose just the side on eating organic and not purchasing any processed meat or plants, as they are harming our people and animals.

Justin Cygnor Exploration 6

In the documentary Fresh, country and urban farmers identify that there are still ways of producing healthy, fresh, organic food efficiently in a time where most food is being mass produced by corporations in unhealthy ways. For a person interested in what he/she eats and how to eat healthier, this documentary is great. For someone who could care less about their food and how it is processed, this documentary will put you to sleep. One of the opening quotes from the film was "Americans fear one thing...inconvenience." It is much easier for someone to go through the drive thru and get poorly made food than actually going to the store and getting dinner for the night.
The documentary clearly identifies both the poor and healthy ways food is processed. Watching this could easily change the minds of those who don't care what they put in their stomachs. Throughout watching, the scenes that changed my perspective on the food I eat were scenes such as how the animals are treated and how the crops are taken care of. The majority of the animals covered are chickens, pigs, and cows. The chickens are seen given antibiotic food to grow faster when more manual labor was needed back in the day before processed food was introduced. Pigs are stored in small areas and gather bacteria. Cows are fed dead cows. Crops are sprayed with chemicals. To me and most likely the majority of the population do not want to eat food that grew up in the conditions in which they were raised. Now, the documentary does highlight the healthy ways food can be raised as well. Farmers as said to "respect the design of nature." The procedures they use with their crops and animals are the right way food should be produced and distributed.
The documentary talks about monocultures which is an area where all species live together. It was said "nature doesn't have monocultures." Bacteria is gathered among the 2600 pigs in corporations, for example, and cause health problems. The animals are fed antibiotic food just to survive their living conditions. Farmers identify the healthy way of doing things. Some have a cycle involving plants given to animals to eat, the animals then produce manure, which then helps the vegetation. The animals are herbivores so they won't eat meat, especially meat from their own kind. Another cycle involves reenacting natural living of the animals and allowing them to follow in a path on the farm, allowing the vegetation to continue to grow. The document covers several farmer's stories. A hog farmer named Russ Kremer stated that he saved $14,000 by not using any type of chemical on his farm. He also started growing grain which was used as food for the cattle. Another farmer by the name of Will Allen identified his tactics on the farm as well. On his 3 acres,  he used fish waste to feed plants and also allowed for worms to live in the waste. He claimed that not using chemicals has never been a problem and has never had to deal with a disease.
A quote from the documentary stated: "Every disease is a scream of enough from nature." This was said by a corn farmer named George Naylor. The quote sums up the entire documentary. Using these chemicals and allowing for livestock to live in unhealthy conditions only to feed them to people is causing a lot of health issues. Not only does it affect the environment, but also the people living in it. The next quote I found important in the documentary was "The number of farmers in the US is dwindling." Farmers are producing the healthier kind of food. No one in a grocery store knows this or doesn't care. Food is food to the buyers. Soon, the farmer occupation could be completely eliminated and we may be stuck with eating food produced by corporations in which Fresh clearly identifies is a terrible way of producing.

Exploration 6- Alexis Evans

         Not only farmers but thinkers and business people across the world are reinventing the way food is made in todays era. The film Fresh most definitely lives up to one of it’s tag lines, “New thinking about what were eating.” This film shows you not only the rapid transformation of how people are eating today, but the horrible ways things are treated to get to the food we consume in our everyday lives.  
         In Fresh you see as the viewer how poorly the animals we eat are treated. They are treated with no respect at all and are shot up with all kinds of medicines for them to just be killed a few short months after. As viewers, we can listen to the many famers talk about which companies have to do to complete their average in the food business. This includes injecting the animals with different kinds of medicines and treating for many diseases they could potentially have. Viewers also get the chance to see graphic images in this film, one example being when they were just throwing baby chicks like they were peanuts. It was sad knowing that they were just something to grow up to eat in the end and being treated like some would say with abusive behavior.   

         The main theme of this film was how overall in todays society how food is changing. There are many ways of how people go about eating and many different things and ways to eat. You hear many opinions of different farmers and business men and how they go about still making a living with how they run their business. George Naylor, who is a farmer, stated that one of his friends from the middle eat said "Americans fear one thing and that is inconvenience”(Fresh). Sadly this is very true when looking at the view of things. The cheaper food is the food that is injected with many medicines and how they go about treating the animals in the process. Naylor also said "..us conventional farmers put the organic farmers on a pedestal”(Fresh). In my opinion, that is very true. Although organic is expensive, in the long run it is better for not only our health, but the health of the animals on this earth. The more organic and expensive food is a show how the company treats the animals as a whole and in a better way. It is an overall dilemma in todays society because many of us really don't think about what goes in to the everyday food that we eat. 

Exploration Six from Bryson

"Fresh" Review

"Fresh," a documentary pertaining to the food market and economy of the United States. The documentary is a well developed documentary with the intentions of informing, and advising the people of the United States to pay more attention to the consumption of their food and where it came from. The impact of this documentary is a positive impact with the intentions of educating our citizens.

With one of the purposes of this documentary to inform the people of the United States, the use of chemicals on crops and animals is mentioned and the negative influence that it can have on our health. The documentary does a exceptional job in explaining the negative uses of chemicals on our crops and animals along with an explanation as to why chemicals were used in the first place. In the documentary it is pointed out that chemicals were originally used for two major reasons 1.) that crops were becoming infested with too many pests and they needed to be killed. 2.) Chemicals allow the economy and government to produce crops faster with a lower quality of food but more quantity.

Chemicals are bad for the environment for many reasons, and traditional farmers are extremely against using chemicals on their farms in order to produce the highest quality of product possible. George Naylor a conventional farmer in the documentary had a very strong belief that chemicals were bad for farming all the way and they were in no way beneficial to the environment. For example; most farmers used to use animal waste in order to fertilize property and crops. With the use of chemicals on their crops and antibiotics and other chemicals injected into their animals, that animals waste is no longer worth anything it is toxic and cannot be used. The use of chemicals is also over used, and the environment then develops a "tolerance" to the chemicals and more and more chemicals must be used in order to maintain the type of result they originally did. Our economy and government has become too industrialized to maintain a healthy source of food.

Something that was brought to the attention in this documentary is what is called a "food desert" where fresh food and healthy food options do not exist. These food deserts are often found very industrialized cities where you can go miles without finding a place that sells healthy and un-processed food. With food deserts being such an issue, people often have no other choice than to stop and grab a bite to eat at a fast food franchise. According to the USDA: food deserts are often found in rural areas and urban neighborhoods. The lack of options forces a poor diets on people who live in these areas. Food deserts can often be identified with areas that have low income or a poor community (A poverty rate of 20% or greater), another characteristic is that most people live more than a mile away from the closest super market. 

This documentary is a well developed documentary with a positive impact on our community and tremendous intentions to inform our citizens and suggest that we should be more conscious of our actions when it comes to the consumption and production of our food. 

Exploration 6 Jill

     Fresh is a documentary about the food we consume. Through out the film we are shown the different ways that our food is being processed. Some ways are healthier than others. We are able to see where our food is coming from, what is going into our food and how our food is being handled. The documentary is a great way for one to get a better understanding on farming and agriculture while also learning the healthy ways our food is being processed and also the harmful ways.
     "Americans fear inconvenience." This was a great quote to start the documentary. It was very powerful and already grabbed our attention. The quote is true, Americans fear inconvenience. We come from a culture where when we want something we want it now. When we are hungry and want food, we want it now. That is why we venture to fast food chains. We want the food but we don't always worry about what is behind the food that we are putting into our bodies. Farms are using vast amounts of antibiotics on the plants to keep the them healthy and also it creates vast amounts of the product. Agriculture economist, John Ikered stated "We are obsessed with productivity. More, more, more." The farmers are finding ways whether they are healthy ways or not just to produce more so that they can ship it out and sell more and more.
     Feed lots are on the rise as a more suffiencent way to farm. But this way is also harmful to not only the animals but also us and the enviornment. Feed lots are a way of farming where the animals are raised in an confined area. These areas are usually small, and sheltered. Therefore the animals are forced to eat, drink, use the restroom and sleep all in the same small area. The animals food is delivered to them and they do not get the chance to graze outside like they were born to do. This situation leads to bacteria in feed lots and can lead to harming to consumers of these animals. The documentary states that these animals should be outside where they blond. Nature works together.
     Director of Growing Power, Will Allen shows us the healthy ways to farm. Will Allen works to educate others on how they can farm and have their on healthy food. He wants to change the existing food system. One of the visitors at Will's Farmhouse stated "The earth is his passion." While farming, Will does not use any chemicals on his plants and this has lead to the outcome that his plants have never had any diseases. He tries to use space efficiently as possible. Anyone who wants to eat a more healthy way can and that is what Will Allen helps people reliize and educates them.
    The documentary is very informative. At the beginning of the film, I thought I was going to be bored and uninterested. But I was exactly the opposite. The film documents the harmful ways of farming by showing us what exactly is going on and what the harmful ways can cause and then the film goes to show the more healthier ways you can farm and how easy it is and that anyone can do it.

Saturday, November 8, 2014

Exploration 6 - Chazz

     Fresh is a film documentary that takes us on an adventure behind the scenes of processed food, and how easy it is to access these products on a daily basis. The main point of this film was to show us how bad processed foods can be for us, how these foods are processed, and how we should start eating healthier and using better quality ingredients for the sake of our health and the environment. 

    The film opens up with a quote that says “Americans fear only one thing…inconvenience”. This quote explained that Americans are unconcerned if chemicals has been placed on food products. Just as long as the food they’re eating looks good, or taste good, either way they’re happy. I felt that this film was an eye opener to not only me, but many others who were once clueless about where their food is coming from. According to the film, many of these farms were monitored by companies who used chemicals, pesticides, and antibiotics on their produce and livestock. Diseases in the animals were said to be caused because of this, and that seems very unheathy for our sake. This documentary went on to show us things that we probably never knew about the foods that we may enjoy everyday. The entire first half of the film takes us deeper into the farms to see how bad they were, and then it shifts to show us how local organic farmers treat their products differently.

    The way that this film shows us a positive view to farm for the environment was by taking us through a series of organic farms, and showing us how they treat their vegetables, fruits, and animals differently. One of the farmers that stood out to me was Will Allen. Will Allen is a farmer who bought unused land in 1993 and transformed it into a farm . On this farm Allen states that everything is edible, and he uses as much space as possible for growing fresh produce, and producing fresh meats for the community. Allen has a system where he uses the farm as sort of like an ecosystem. He uses the water from the fish to fertilize the soil of the plants, and he let's the people see the worms that are in the soil to let them know that they are there to help remove dead and decomposing material. One thing that Allen says is "People learn how to eat healthy and know where their food comes from". I agree with him because the people seemed to like the hands on experience when touring through his farm. Everyone was interested in learning how the farm worked. Also, they got to see how fresh, and chemical free the goods and produce were.

    In the beginning of this film I wasn't exactly sure what this documentary was going to lead to. However, as the film went on I began to understand the point that it was trying to bring across. They wanted us to see the ways that some of our products that are convenient to us are truly made and the many risky ways that they are processed. This documentary showed us where and how most of the foods that are "convenient" come from, and tries to get us to see that local farm fresh foods are better for us and the environment in which we live in. Overall it was a great documentary. 

Friday, November 7, 2014

Exploration 6 by Amanda Bracey

Watching the film by Ana Sofia Joanes titled Fresh, at first, The title did not make me think that it was in reference to food. I thought it was going to be a new way of looking at the way that handle ourselves as people. Yet, I was pleasantly surprised that it was about the comparison and contrast about the way that the food from the supermarket and the way farmers grow the food are two completely different entities.  
We have stores like Giant eagle and Wal-Mart to name a few. With these mammoth stores in place, pushing the bigger, better cheaper mentality. I as a consumer feel that there is no other option. Supermarkets do not hide the fact that they are not worried about farmers taking their customer's away from them. Yet, more farmers are uniting together in order to have their voice heard. Which makes one think that there maybe more to our food consumption that we originally thought.  

As we were watching Fresh video, George Naylor, who is a graduate of the University of California as well the leader of the National Family Farm Coalition shared with us his story about his college roommate from Pakistan who said "Americans fear one thing and that is inconvenience. " It is a sad but true statement about our society.  Everywhere we look,  we are overwhelmed with idea of being fast is going to make it better and will result in a big pay off at the end of the day. No one cares about the quality so long as it looks good. 
Throughout the course of the movie, the basic premise of the movie was to open ones eyes to the truth of the difference of the kind of food that we buy in the store vs what we would have if we just went back to living off the land.  To show how these big food suppliers are able to produce much in a short window of time. I had no idea that the reason the cattle and chicken grow so quickly is because the amount of antibiotics and other dead animals getting mashed up into their feed and then they are forced to eat. I have one word to say about that "Yuck!"
Especially, when according to the food dive, the FDA and the government are starting to crack down on food suppliers like Predue to stop putting on their chicken labels that they are "humane grown" as there are certain standards that have to be met in order to have that label on the food that is being sold and apparently those standards were not being met currently. To this day, Predue denies any allegation that they did anything different to their product prior.    
I believe Diana Endicott, who is the president of the Rainbow Organic Farms as well as the farm to market coordinator of Good Natured Farms that has allied with over 150 local family farmers in order to help to build the understanding in others and allow them to make the decisions for themselves and their families brought the point home when she said " People should feel good about what they put in their bodies and w
e should have a choice on where our food comes from."  It's is a very true statement that resonated with me on a personal level as I like to pay for quality over quantity.

Thursday, November 6, 2014

Exploration 6 Caitin Mashhadian

Caitlin Mashhadian
November 6, 2014

Fresh is a documentary that takes us on a direct route to viewing the foods we consume. Through this documentary you are introduced to conventional farmers, organic farmers, and activists. Will Allen is an urban farmer activist who I believe is making headway to healthier food. He quotes "Food is at the foundation, but it's really about life." I believe that Allen was conveying how in order to have a healthy life you must take in good quality food. The documentary microscopes how difficult it has become to consume healthy food. Our society has managed to create food desserts. Instead of finding fresh produce we are finding processed foods. Will Allen has taken an alternative route to provide efficient growing methods and teaching the community how they are capable of doing the same.

Will Allen is an urban farmer activist who's created an ingenious way of growing many different greens with limited space in a greenhouse inside a town of Milwaukee. Allen uses Aquaponics to propel his greenhouses. Aquaponics is the method of growing crops and fish together in a re-circulating system. In the Growing Power aquaponics model crops grow vertically on raised beds, thus saving space for other greens to grow. Not only does Allen introduce efficient systems but he also introduces people to  tours and learning about growing power.  During the tour you will see growing methods at work; including worms eating waste, fish fertilizing plants, and honeybees pollinating the neighborhood. Allen is an educator and allows the tours to be hands on learning experience.

Allen has created “From the Ground Up” Workshops. From the Ground Up Workshops are extensive hands-on trainings offering diverse groups the opportunity to learn, plan, develop, operate, and sustain community food projects. Project participants leave the workshop with improved skills that they can take back into their communities and pass on to others. These workshops are for both rural and urban projects. I believe that when people know how to do things on their own they can spread their knowledge along to others and create a better community and food source. 

During the documentary Naylor had said "...us conventional farmers put organic farmers on a pedestal..." I believe that they absolutely should. Locally grown food and organic farmers work harder to grow healthy food for their communities because it in turn benefits everyone in the long run. 

Exploration 6 by Nathan N.

     Fresh is an informative documentary about the current food service that deals with farming produce and harvesting livestock. The film points out the problems with mass industrialization of farming and the solutions that can change farming to become healthier and better for the environment. I believe that Fresh was an interesting documentary that had both great ideas and obvious flaws that would not practically work.
     The film does a great job pointing out some great flaws with our current standings on handling livestock as well as mass industrializing crops. As the movie points out the health effects that are influencing us as a society and the environment as well. Farmers talk about how the pesticides and fertilizing of the crops leads to stronger bugs being immune to the pesticides attacking the crops as well as the American people not washing there produce properly and then consuming these pesticides and fertilizers. Fresh does a great job influencing the movie watcher about how bad industrialize farming is to a community and too America.
     The film's solution to this industrialize farming crises is a new wave of organic style of farming that is much healthier for the animals and crops, as well as the people and environment.  Joel Swalthorin , a Virginian farmer decries his way of organic farming as a way that "we have to respect the design of nature, it's our duty."  The style of farming seems like a cool new and environmentally friendly way of farming that could change the current method of farming.
     However this new style of farming does not seem very practical for the whole world as the movie might make you want to believe. Russ Kremer, a hog farmer that moved to a more organic style of farming made the claim "you can feed the world on  organic", however he gave no solid evidence of this claim by providing statics. This is the major flaw of the film, sure you can feed the world on organic, but looking at a practical sense it just isn't very realistic. The average organic farm produces less food than a conventional farm (Fox News). Organic farms also require much more labor as the movie shows. George Naylor an owner of a organic farm has to move his cattle and chickens to new pastors every day in order to maintain his farm. What this film implies is that many many many more Americans have to step up and become more organic style farmers like Will Allen, a urban farmer who grows everything organically and locally in the city. However this isn't a practically thought that Americans are going to drop their current lifestyles in order to become organic farmers. Even as the film points out "we [Americans] need more and more cheap stuff" and unfortantlly that can't happen with organic food.
     Fresh is a great documentary that shows some great styles of farming that can really change the environment and the American people in a better way, but the film is not without its flaws. I recommend people to check out this movie and come to support locally and naturally grown foods as the film suggests. Fresh is a great concept and maybe one day we can move to this style of farming, but unfortunately as of now it just doesn’t seem logical.