99% Food 1% Skin

Fed Up with lunch and Fake Cheese

In Books, Food, Food Media, Food Product for Home on March 6, 2014 at 11:20

Doof Media

Fed Up With Lunch Book Cover

Finally got around to read Fed Up with Lunch — and what an additive book!

The book documented the journey of the author, a speech pathologist from the Chicago public school system, secretly and diligently blogging about her consumption of school lunch for a year.

She accidentally stumbled into school lunch and realized how bad the quality of foods were, and decided to take pictures of the food she consumed every day.

The book included some of the pictures of these foods, and I was at awe: mysterious formed meat, fried food, frozen desserts high in sugar (high fructose corn syrup!) and lack of fresh fruit and vegetables.

A lot of the food served in the author’s school district were frozen foods and it was difficult to find the list of ingredients for these foods.

USDA’s guideline did not help children’s cause either as the guideline allow fries to be counted as vegetables, fruit juice was counted as a fruit requirement.

She also found out that children at her school did not even have enough time to eat lunch even if they wanted to.

The author concluded that both low nutritional value of the food and lack of time to consume lunch contribute to the reduced learning ability due to lack of energy (or hyper when too much sugar was consumed).

Her blog was very successful and created tremendous amount of discussions and brought school lunch program to the limelight.

She went from anonymously blogging about school lunch to becoming an advocate for better school food for children.

She was interviewed by TV, radio shows to spread the word of her cause.

The book included how everyone could get involved, and become more educated about the food that was served in the school system.

I found this book very inspiring and it showed the potential of grass root movements.

To folks with children, this book brought awareness to the food children were consuming at school.

To educators, this book brought awareness as how nutrition might be affecting the way children learn.

To the rest, I believe this book was still relevant as it tied into health care reform and economic productivity.

If children did not have good examples on how to eat well, they would likely carry the habit throughout their lives.

Potential health issues down the line and increase amount of people dependent on drugs and health care.

The potential reduced learning ability put us behind in this competitive world, and needless to say actual drop in productivity if the children continue on with the poor eating habits as adults.

I believe this topic touched on everyone whether or not we are directly involved with children.

Doof Home

The challenge I found cooking vegan or vegetarian without dairy was mouthfeel.

Shy of making cashew cream/cheese, there really was not many substitution.

When I saw Daiya, I caved.

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A vegan cheese that claimed it would melt and stretch.

The food science training had kicked in and I was very curious about this product.

I bought their cheddar cheese and mozzarella cheese.

Ingredients was not simple, which was to be expected.

It was mainly made with starch and oils, along with pea protein etc.

Initial observation: it did look like shredded cheese.

I only used the mozzarella so far, and once opened, the aroma was a little off.

The mozzarella smelled buttery, and not in a good way; it reminded me of the microwave popcorn, but weaker.

I proceeded to used it in my baked pasta, anticipating the melty cheese that I had so much longed for.

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The above picture depicted the baked pasta being in the oven at 380F for 20mins.

Upon looking at their website, the company said that their cheese held their shape so they would not look melted but it was indeed melted.

My experience was that it did not melt enough to produce the same effect from cheese.

The buttery flavor of the mozzarella still bothered me a little as it did not seem natural.

All in all, I was disappointed with my first go.

Perhaps I would try it in different application with larger amount next time.

There was also hope with the cheddar cheese.

Verdict on the mozzarella: I would not buy it again.

The product being “unnatural” and did not mimic mozzarella enough (which was a tall order), it was a poor substitute and I would rather skip the cheese.

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