Friday, April 30, 2010

Response to Lisa's Analysis Of Celeb Endorsments

After reading Lisa Ruff’s analysis of a celebrity endorsement, I learned a lot of information that I didn’t know about the Olsen Twins. Lisa begins her post by saying how our generation grew up watching the Olsen twins on various television shows. After becoming popular later in their careers, Lisa claims that Mary-Kate were admitted to rehab in 2007 for their eating disorder, which jeopardized their endorsement with the Got Milk campaign. In my opinion, Mary-Kate ruined both of their careers because the two twins are associated together all of the time. Also, I truly believe that the Got Milk campaign was not affected by Olsen twins scandal, simply because they got nearly every celebrity to endorse their campaign. However, I do think that this is a serious problem, because it shows kids that you need to be skinny in order to famous. The main reason for eating disorders, specifically anorexia, is because people are so concerned about their image. Almost every instance of anorexia involves beautiful, celebrity women. What is this teaching little girls around the world? This is teaching them that they need to watch their figure by starving themselves to stay skinny. This website reviews a list of celebrity women that have all had eating disorders that have affected their careers. Now a lot of celebrities are more associated with their eating disorders rather than their actual careers. They are literally starving for attention.

Thursday, April 29, 2010

Opposing Articles: Abortion

One significant topic of controversy that has engulfed the media in the past decade has been the issue of abortion. Many people who support the right to abort a fetus believe that they have a right to terminate a life because it is their choice. Others feel that abortion is the murder of a small child. After searching online, I found two articles that discuss both sides of the issue. The first article by the supports why abortions should be abolished. The article begins by arguing that the bible claims, “Thou shalt not kill,” and that this commandment includes all people, despite their age. The article also argues that doctors take an oath to save lives and not kill defenseless unborn children. In addition, this article provides the shocking statistic that over 1.5 million abortions were performed the year they were made legal. Overall this article was extremely convincing and the arguments stated were very thorough and reasonable. The second article by favors the pro-choice side, which supports the legalization of abortions. This article mainly argues, “if a pregnant woman has dominion over life, why should she not also have dominion over not-life.” Also, the author presents a very good argument that is is a mother’s moral duty to not bring the life of an unwanted child into the world. After reading this article, I was also convinced that abortion should be legalized. I do believe that the first anti-abortion article has many more arguments, making it much more convincing. Overall, after both arguments were presented, I am still neutral. I honestly feel that abortions are wrong and should be illegal, but if someone was raped, that child should not be brought in to the world unwanted. I am glad I’m not making the laws!

Wednesday, April 14, 2010

Response to Tom's Meal Preperation

After reading Tom’s blog post on preparing a meal, my stomach grumbled because of the scrumptious ingredients that were used in the recipe. Personally, I love Mexican food because the ingredients are usually not processed or expensive. Also, Tom makes a great point by saying that Mexican Skillet is very quick to prepare. Basically, all you have to do is chop up the ingredients and mix all of them while the rice is cooking. In addition, the meal is decently healthy if you use fresh tomatoes, lettuce and onions. After giving instructions on how to prepare Mexican Skillet, Tom discusses how Pollan claims that low fat processed food have actually caused more harm than good in America's food system. This statement couldn’t be further from the truth. Americans have turned to processed foods because of their relatively cheaper prices. I truly believe that Americans do not make a conscious effort to purposely eat processed and unhealthy foods. I believe that the convenience of canned vegetables and fruits almost force America’s fast paced society to choose the cheap and easy method to eat. Also, if farmers are receiving government subsidies to produce large amounts of corn for corn syrup and starches, there will always be an incentive to create cheap, processed foods. Organic farms struggle because of their relatively high costs for their fruits, vegetables, and meats. This website explains why organic foods are fairly expensive. Until organic farmers find a cheaper way to produce their foods, America is forced to choose the cheaper, unhealthy, and canned versions for dinner.

Real vs Fake Food: Peaches

In Michael Pollan’s In Defense of Food, Pollan believes that we can improve our health by eating “real” foods, such as fruits and vegetables. He claims that many of the things that we eat today are “fake” foods, which consist of anything that is highly processed. When I was a kid, my mom would bring home a bag of peaches from the market at least once a week. Now that my mom does not take care of me anymore, I resort to getting my peach fix by buying them in canned form. The “fake” form of peaches actually taste sweeter than the normal peaches from the market. They also have a more slimy texture, as opposed to the fuzzy skin of the normal peach. In addition, canned peaches smell the same as the normal peach. The major difference between the two is that the canned peaches have less nutrients and essential vitamins than a fresh peach. With the addition of preservatives and other sugars, canned peaches have less nutritional value and are not nearly as healthy as people believe. However, I will admit that canned peaches are more consistently sweet than normal peaches because of the corn syrup and other added sugars. Also, I eat canned peaches more often for several reasons. First, canned peaches are more available than fresh whole peaches. Second, canned peaches are always sweet, whereas normal peaches aren’t always in season. Third, canned peaches are much cheaper than normal peaches. I will switch back to normal peaches when I have the time and money to grocery shop. I still would rather prefer a sweet market peach than canned peaches because they have more nutrients. Canned fruit in general definitely lacks nutritional value, as seen on this website. This website describes the benefits various fresh fruits and vegetables as opposed to their canned form.

Friday, March 26, 2010

Demonstration Speech Self-Evaluation

After viewing my video, I took the time to review the negative and positive elements of my demonstration speech on how to ask a girl on a date. My self-evaluation began on the assessment of my informational content. I thought that I did a good job of explaining the relevance of my topic and gave several reasons supporting my topic. In order to maintain organization, I presented my speech in a series of 6 steps, really stressing the first step. I did not do a good job of spending the same amount of time on each step because the beginning of the presentation of the speech had more detail than the end. As far as my physical presentation, I did not do a good job of speaking clearly, and at times my volume was a tad low. I also could have done a better job of making more eye contact, but anyone watching the speech could tell that I reviewed the speech beforehand. I did a good job of bringing energy to the speech, and I engaged the audience by being entertaining and enthusiastic. I also did a decent job of using hand gestures and body language when presenting my visual aids. As far as my visual aids, I was somewhat limited as to what I could use. However, my various assortments of hygiene products and clothing were visually appealing and enhanced the quality of my presentation. If I could improve any aspect of my speech, I would have lowered my notecards from my face a little more and made more eye contact. Also, I would want to increase the volume of my voice. Overall I am glad that I choose my topic because it was unique and I had fun planning out the speech; therefore, I would definitely do this again.

Thursday, March 25, 2010

Peer Response #2

In response to Austin’s post about Tiger’s Gatorade Endorsement, I agree with his views that Tiger has made a plethora of money thorough endorsements. Austin talks about Gatorade’s new line of sports drink called Tiger, which promotes hard work and focus to athletes. He continues to discuss how Tiger Woods is the optimal example of a hard working athlete, despite his recent affair. Since Tiger’s affair Gatorade has dropped him from the campaign, but he had a successful run while it lasted. I agree with Austin when he states that Gatorade was just one of the brands on Tiger Wood’s list of sponsors.

Due to his popularity and success in the sports world, Tiger shows how his athletic ability can be marketed to endorse products to people across the country. As a matter of fact, Tiger Woods has the potential to become the world’s first billionaire athlete according to this article. His sponsers include major companies such as Buick, Nike, Gatorade, American Express, Rolex, and General Mills. People such as Lebron James, Kobe Bryant, Serena Williams, Michael Phelps, Alex Rodriguez and others have made millions of dollars advertising major product brands such as Nike and Gatorade. Athletes such as Tiger have made more money endorsing products than their actual salary to play the sport! Marketing firms use the player’s popularity to associate their product with excellence and quality, which is a very smart strategy. This technique has most famously been associated with Wheaties cereal, which features star athletes on the front cover of the box.

Analysis of a Celebrity Endorsement

Shaquille O’Neal, an NBA superstar center for the Los Angeles Lakers, can be identified as one of the leading spokespeople for Nestlé Crunch. Due to his numerous endorsement deals, Shaq was the fifth highest paid athlete in the world in 2004, making over $31.9 million. The “Nestlé Crunch” is a chocolate candy bar blended with rice crisps to give the bar its unique crunch. I believe that Shaq is definitely an appropriate choice to endorse this candy bar. “Crunch” symbolizes something powerful and dominant in my opinion; therefore, I believe that a strong and dominant player in the NBA should endorse a product similar to his characteristics. Also, according to Nestle Crunch marketing Manager Brian Owens, “crunchy” means confident, lively, witty and entertaining. Shaq encompasses all of these characteristics and shows all of these attributes on the basketball court. This endorsement deal began in 2001 and both parties have made extreme profits. As a matter of fact, Shaq endorsed the “Crunch Bar” for about 9 years and continues to do an excellent job. Over 20 different commercials have been created and the Nestlé crunch bar has been one of the most popular candy bars for the past two decades! Due to the cooperation and success of Shaq’s advertising with Nestlé, the Nestlé Corporation created the “Shaq Size Bar” that weighs in at a whopping 9.25 lbs! I think that Nestlé’s success simply comes from the quality and popularity of their product. The candy bar is unique from most others and most significantly- it tastes great. Also, unlike many other candy bars, the Nestlé Crunch offers many different varieties with different ingredients such as caramel, dark chocolate, white chocolate, and peanuts. In addition to success with just the candy bar, Nestlé has improved their marketing campaign by adding their bar other products like ice cream, as seen in this article.

Monday, March 8, 2010

Preparing a Meal Response

In response to Justin's post, I definitely agree when he states that we have shifted to a point where food is only seen as nutrition and not as a social event. Although we are two completely different ethnicities, we share similar backgrounds when it relates to the thoughts of food. As an African-American, sitting down and eating at the family table was the highlight of the day, as well as a time to bring the entire family together. We weren't concerned necessarily about the nutritional value of family dinner, whereas society is starting to lean more towards enhancing the healthiness of our food. I'll admit that traditional African-American food, which includes soul food, may be high in cholesterol, fat, and sugars; however, the preparation of the meal and the conversation at the family table is what really matters.
Also, I found Justin's point about finding authentic Italian ingredients very interesting. As we become a more and more fast-paced, people believe that they don't have time to search for fresh ingredients at the local supermarket. Instead, people will look for something quick, in which most cases results in the purchase of fast food or something processed in a can. In addition, home cooked meals simply taste better and usually end up even healthier. Chef Boyardee, as Justin stated, may be a simple and quick version of an Italian dish, but it takes the fun out of preparation. Fresh ingredients such as homemade pasta, fresh mozzarella cheese, fresh tomatoes, and fresh italian sausage will always taste better than something out of a can. Processed meat overloaded with preservatives and artificial tomato sauce with additives like corn syrups and glucose does not promote a healthy diet either. Preservatives and chemicals are simply added to the canned food to make it have a longer shelf-life. I would rather have my food freshly prepared than canned food that has been lingering for months. This article describes the dangers of eating processed foods and how certain chemicals can give rise to certain health problems.

Wednesday, March 3, 2010

Post #2: Prepare a Meal & Summary of Pollan Chap.7

Welcome back to my Life Science Blog ladies and gentlemen. Today, I will describe how to prepare one of my personal and family favorites- southern style fried chicken. Passed down from generation to generation, the recipe for the "Feaster Fried Chicken" was taught to me when I started to cook at the age of 10. Frying chicken is quite simple and I will reveal the process in several steps. First, you must gather the ingredients such as flour, pepper, salt, cayenne pepper, paprika, garlic powder, vegetable oil, and a package of chicken (preferably chicken legs). Second, you must rinse the chicken in cold then hot water to eliminate the possibility of salmonella and other germs. Next, dry the chicken with paper towels. Meanwhile, fill a cast iron skillet about 1/3 full with vegetable oil and preheat the oil to 375 degrees. While the oil is heating, find a container to mix all of the dry ingredients (flour, pepper, salt, etc.) together. Next, you take each piece of chicken and place it into the flour mixture, making sure each piece is completely coated. When the oil has reached the optimal temperature, gently place several pieces of the coated chicken into the hot oil. If you drop the chicken in and create a splash, you will burn yourself. Next, cover the pan and let the chicken fry for about 8 minutes. When the chicken has browned, carefully flip it over and let it fry for another 10 minutes. After, the chicken has been cooked, place all of it in some paper towels to remove some of the grease. In order to complete the meal, you can cook some vegetables and some mashed potatoes. Then pour a nice tall glass of lemonade to wash it all down. After you have finished, properly dispose of the grease by pouring it into your grease can. Then take paper towels to wipe the excess grease off of the pan before washing it out with soap and water. Also, after washing all of the dishes, make sure that you wipe off the counter and stove. Leaving grease on the stove is unsanitary and simply unclean. Even though you believe that you kept the flour mixture in the container, you most likely spilled some. You don't have to mop, but I would definitely wipe the floor down with sometime of cleaner. Overall, the preparation and clean up takes a while, but the taste and full stomach is completely worth the work.
After reading pages 54 and 55 of Pollan's In Defense of Food, I agree that Americans have a problem taking pleasure in eating. Americans have definitely preferred to eat and run rather than actually sit down and savor their food. The innovations such as low-fat processed food have prevented Americans to care about what they are actually putting in their bodies. Processed, cheap foods have flooded our diets simply because American society is fast paced, meaning we don't have time to take the time to eat slowly. The meal that I prepared completely defies the fast-paced characteristics. I took the time to prepare my food, rather than go buy a meal from KFC. Eating processed food does not define the idea of "nutritionism." In this article, the author supports Pollan's argument that we need to slow down and appreciate the food the we eat instead of trying to alleviate our hunger with unhealthy, processed foods. If we cook with healthy, fresh ingredients, our diets will naturally lead to a healthier lifestyle.

Thursday, February 18, 2010

Response to Pollan's 'In Defense of Food'

This weekend, I had a chance to sit down and read the first half of Michael Pollan’s book entitled In Defense of Food: An Eater’s Manifesto. In the first chapter, Pollan discusses his first main point and talks about how supermarkets have been switching to substitutes for real food, such as margarine, powdered eggs and others. Also, he claims that the new substitutes, which contain bunches of artificial ingredients and chemicals, advertise low-fat and low cholesterol. In the second chapter, Pollan stresses his second idea of “Nutritionism”, which states that foods are grouped into subcategories such as carbohydrates, fats, proteins and vitamins. This enforces the belief that processed foods with specific nutrients are healthier than normal whole foods themselves. The third chapter discusses the history of “Nutritionism” and how the government promoted substitutes nearly 60 years ago. He begins with the specific example of how butter was replaced on the supermarket shelves with margarine. Believing that butter, which contains a fair amount of saturated fat and cholesterol, caused too many health problems, margarine became the “healthier choice” and filled the shelves of supermarkets throughout the country. The Food and Drug Association created the idea that food with saturated fat was terribly unhealthy and would lead to heart disease. Currently, the idea of low fat diets has swept the media and marketing firms for food companies. An article on the FoxNews website discussed how we are being pushed by the FDA to consume only low trans-fat foods. For example, Lays Potato Chips has made a conscientious effort to eliminate trans-fats in their chips. Lastly, Pollan discusses another point in chapter four. He claims that we have been manipulated to purchase foods that have labels such as “low-carb” or “whole-grain” instead of buying normal fruits and vegetables. Overall, I definitely agree that Pollan’s first four chapters in his book In Defense of Food: An Eater’s Manifesto has given me a new outlook on nutrients and healthy foods.

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Sunday, February 14, 2010

Welcome Post

Welcome to My Lsc Blog, where we can talk about anything. . .