Ever wonder what’s in Hot Pockets? What is imitation mozzarella anyway?

You can buy the poster from boingboing website.

This can teach us how to read ingredients on packaging. Did you know that enzymes can mean monosodium glutamate (MSG)? (And that spices can mean enzymes and therefore MSG?)

Look how many kinds of sugar there are in this product: sugar, corn syrup solids, modified food starch (OK, corn but sugar just the same).

See how many salts are in here….

Then, oh joy! reduced lactose and reduced iron! How healthy can you get? I mean “reduced”!

And what is in “imitation mozzarella”?

An interesting media literacy lesson would be to find out what each of these ingredients are.

Bones TV Show last night: The Tough Man in the Tender Chicken


Last night’s episode of Bones (Fox), though on the light side, packed a serious message. Here’s a recap from www.TV.com:

“Remains of a chicken farmer are found on the bank of a nearby river, and Booth and Brennan are called in to investigate. The farmer, who was an animal right activist, was about to inherit a chicken factory and had many enemies with motive to kill him — leaving the team with a lot of murder suspects to sort through.”

A film released earlier this year, Food, Inc., was a documentary that has almost turned me into a vegetarian – and even then, as the film points out, watch out for bioengineered corn and soy. The October 20 episode of CSI Miami, Bad Seed CSI Miami, dealt with this theme and challenged viewers to question where our food comes from – and who has the power to mess with it.

Now Bones is dealing with animal rights but also on the mass production of chicken meat ; true it’s a murder mystery played on the light side, but it carries through the theme of Food, Inc. Big corporations are producing food for profit, not for health.

Here is my review of  Food, Inc.; if you missed it in theaters be sure to see it on DVD.

You can watch the episode here Tough man in the Tender Chicken

CSI Miami “Bad Seed” Episode October 20


Did you catch the October 20th episode of CSI Miami? You can watch it online at  Bad Seed CSI Miami

After seeing the film “Food, Inc.” earlier this year, I found the plot of this film, about genetic messing with corn, a little challenging to follow from the science angle, but I liked it because it dealt with something consumers need to be aware of: agribusiness is messing with our food supply and we do not know the long-term consequences of this on human beings or the environment.

The response of the business owners in the episode is an indictment of consumers: we don’t ask questions; we don’t care where our food comes from; we just want it.

Do you agree?

I found an interesting website when looking for  information for this episode: Agriculture in Popular Culture. The blogger takes on this episode, but I found his critique confusing as well and asked him to break it down for us pop culture consumers with high school science backgrounds. Check it out…

James and the Giant Corn Blog

PS I am not happy that they wrote Eric out of the show.

Movie Reviews Food, Inc., My Sister’s Keeper, Harry Potter & Half-Blood Prince, etc.


My reviews for St. Anthony Messenger, September 2009 are online now.

After the road trip my sister and I took these last couple of days from Half Moon Bay to Marin County, CA, organic takes on a whole new “feel”. In case you haven’t been to Marin County lately, it’s one big celebration of organic edibles. The film Food, Inc. will make you evaluate the source of everything you put into your mouth, and the consequences of not questioning and speaking up about corn-fed and syrup-ed processed and genetically manipulated food and what it means for people. The health care reform debate in the US has to start with food: corn and sugar. How different is the relationship of corn and sugar in all our processed food (and supposedly hot off the hoof meats)  and nicotine and cigarettes? If we are addicted to sugar, from cane or corn, any health care reform that does not start with food reform, is going to be severely challenged. Then let’s talk about the relationship between processed fast food and urban geography, education, employment, and health/health care. PBS ran a highly informative series on this topic earlier this year. Check out http://www.pbs.org for information.

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