Sustainable Food Systems Paper: Bozeman Farm to Restaurants

 

Bozeman restaurants serving local food

 

Introduction:

            Most people do not make a conscious chose about what food they eat, based on location.  Due to new farming technologies, and research, humans have evolved to be able to grow food in mass quantities throughout the world, and are able to supply the wants and needs of billions. After the industrial revolution and the new advances in agriculture, human population has been doubling.  Never before have so many people been oblivious about where their food comes from, how it’s farmed, and who farmed it. People do not have to worry about where they will get food, because farmers have mastered the art of large-scale production; food is so abundant and available compared to any other time in history. Only one percent of the people in America farm, this is also a new fact in history, never before has the responsibility of farming been in the hands of so few people. 

            With these new farming technologies, comes new food products.  Cheaper farming has reduced the price of certain items, such as corn, soy, and wheat.  Because these products are cheaper, food producers can add more ingredients to plain foods to increase calories.  Bread for example, which has been a fundamental staple food for the past ten thousand years, is now being associated with rising levels of obesity because of the sugars and new ingredients being added. (Fresco)

            These new farming and food technological advances are not a bad thing; humans are using the available resources to the best of their ability to provide food to billions of people.  This is wonderful, and really shows the power of humans, and the impact on the world.  But a counter movement has risen, and it is growing in numbers every year. This new movement is interested with small-scale farming, sustainable or organic farming, local farming; the ability to grow or raise food in a way that doesn’t impact the environment in a negatively. These people in this “counter movement” would like to see food production switch from large scale monoculture farming to a smaller scale of farming, in which farmers in surrounding communities would provide the food in a general area.  This idea comes about from the traditional ways of farming, when people either had a direct relationship with the farmer and or farmed themselves because it was the only way to eat food, to survive.  But, one must remember that those ideas are from the past, human’s existence now cannot survive without large-scale farming.  Yet, there can be a way to do both.  The idea of implementing small farms around the world to feed local communities and ignoring large ones is a fallacy, it is not possible, there are 3 billion people living in cities throughout the world, there is no way to feed these people through farmers markets and such. But a mix of both small and large scale is good, and what is even better is regional farming.  Farmers growing food and selling it to near by regions, for example, Montana customers buying apples farmed in Washington instead of the East Coast and Washington customers buying Montana beef instead of beef from the East Coast.  Regional farming is in-between local and large-scale farming, different regions benefit from each others different growing season, and work with one another to provide food while lowering shipping costs, and keeping the product fresh.

            It seems a lot of new food business such as restaurants and grocery stores are focusing on these new ideas.  There is a nitch market that is growing, and these people are demanding food that is grown sustainably, and close to home.  Many restaurants in downtown Bozeman Montana are doing just that.  These restaurants are trying to source local as well as regional ingredients to cut down transportation costs, and increase the quality of the food.  This has given rise to new farmers and new markets for farmers to fill; this is how local farming can work. 

 

Methods:

            For this research project, I wanted to focus on the benefits and disadvantages of restaurants supporting local agriculture.  I myself am studding Sustainable Food Systems in college, and found this topic very interesting. The way I conducted this research was by interviewing different restaurant owners and managers in Bozeman that I knew supported local agriculture.  I wanted to find out why they followed this traditional idea of sourcing their products locally, and if there were any drawbacks or fallacies within this unique and unfamiliar specialty business. I came of with a list of questions that obtained the most useful information for my project.

           

  1. Do you support local agriculture? (Montana)
  2. Who do you buy your products from?
  3. On average, how much of your menu consists of local food annually?
  4.             During what time of year are you able to purchase the most local food? What made your decide to support local agriculture?
  5. What are the benefits of supporting local food for your business?
  6. Have you had any problems with local farmers? As far as supply and demand, price, or lack of professionalism
  7. What is your highest selling local food item?
  8. If you have just recently started buying local, have you noticed a change in customer satisfaction, an increase in sales, or just the type of customer visiting your business?  New Target market
  9. Do you wish you could buy more local food?            Different varieties?
  10. What are the drawbacks of purchasing local food?
  11. Have you done any cooperative work with local farmers to help keep your relationship strong and consistent? Contracts?
  12. Do you go to the farms, or do the farms come to you? Network?

 

            As the interviews went on, I would change some of the questions to best suit whom I was talking to. For instance, when I interviewed Mason, the manager at Ted’s Montana Grill, I immediately found out they only buy local meat, and only buy it when prices are low.  But Mason had actually started 2 sustainable restaurants that sourced local food in Vermont before moving to Montana.  One of his restaurants was using 97% local food, so we ended up just chatting for a half hour on that topic, and it turned out to be very informative. 

            My original goal was to interview every restaurant in Bozeman, but turns out there are over 100 of them, then I decided I would try to interview every restaurant in downtown Bozeman, there were 40 or so of those.  I decided I did not need to interview every restaurant, because I figured I would hear the same reasons of supporting local agriculture, it would be redundant.  So what I did was call every downtown restaurant and asked if they used any local ingredients in their menu, simple yes or no answer.  Then I went to as many of the restaurants that bought local food as I could and interviewed the owners or managers.  I wasn’t able to interview all the places I wanted to, but the ones I did were very informative and helpful.  Here is a list of the people and places I interviewed.

 

Mason at Ted’s Montana Grill

Matt Muth at 406 Brewery

Serena Rundberg at The Nova Café

Kevin at Cat Eye Café

A brief interview with Alba at La Tinga

 

            I visited other restaurants such as Plonk, Ale Works, Sola, and Black Bird but was unable to meet with an owner or manager because they were either closed, not in town, or to busy.   Turns out, of the 38 restaurants in Bozeman, 14 supported local farmers.

 

Results: Environmental

 

            Many of the restaurant owners/ managers had many different reasons why they supported local agriculture.  One of the topics that they all shared was the environmental benefit.  Now I want to make it clear that local does not mean environmentally friendly.  Anyone can call himself or herself local if they grow food for their community, but the farmers that practice sustainable farming methods usually receive a higher demand for their products.  Serena at The Nova told me that she takes here employees and chiefs out on field trips to the farms she supports, this way the workers get to see how the food their serving is grown and prepared.  Serena is aware of the farmers growing techniques, and is sure not to support anyone practicing harmful farming.

            Another environmental aspect of supporting local food is the reduction of shipping costs, which reduce the amount of gas used and CO2 pumped into the atmosphere.  For instance, the average carrot travels 1,838 miles before it reaches a dinner table.(sustainable.org)  Ale works created a contract with Gallatin Valley Botanical in which the restaurant bought the farm a root vegetable cleaner, and harvesting attachment for their tractor, and in turn, the farm has agreed to supply the restaurant with a consistent supply of carrots.  It’s a win win situation, the farmers get new tools they can use for crops other than carrots, and the restaurant now has a consistent fresh supply of carrots at a reasonable cost. 

            Supporting local agriculture does reduce environmental impacts byusing less fossil fuel to transport food.  And if your supporting your local sustainable farmer, then the use of synthetic pesticides, and fertilizers are reduced, which are harmful to ecosystems.  All the meat farms that Nova supports minimize the use of hormones and antibiotics which also help the environment because when those antibiotics are released into an ecosystem, they can create super bacteria that could cause a much bigger problem then anything we have seen today.  There are a lot of bacteria resistant to the antibiotics we use today, and if we keep giving livestock huge unnecessary doses of antibiotics then a bacteria could evolve and wipe out entire herds of animals.

 

Results: Social

 

            One of the biggest reasons why restaurants buy local food is because it creates a sense of relationship between the customer, chief, and farmer all at once.  This bond brings communities together in a unique way.  It brings people back to that traditional lifestyle that I mentioned before, where everyone knew who was growing their food.  Knowing the farmer can give people knowledge about growing food that they may have never known before, things like when certain foods are in season and how it can affect price.  Or how the weather can determine if certain crops will be available.  It also opens people’s eyes about our current food system, and how things can and should change.  Supporting local gives people that extra sense of knowledge, and respect for farming, which is really lacking in today’s society. Its great when a customer can approach and chat with a farmer at a farmers market because he or she tried their food at a restaurant.  When a chief prepares a delicious meal with local ingredients, it can per sway the customer to support those farmers’ products in the future.

            Building relations ships between the restaurants owners and chiefs and the farmers help create affective networks where restaurants get their product consistently, and farmers have a consistent market to sell to, and less food goes to waste.  Mason at Ted’s Montana Grill mentioned that setting up local networks is one of the most important things to do as a restaurant owner, it takes more time compared to dealing with FSA or Sysco, but in the end you have a fresher, tastier product that keeps the customers coming back for more.

 

Results Economic

 

            The most critical reason I found why restaurants support local agriculture was because of the money that could be made and saved.  There is a growing market of people who want to support local food, most of the time these folks are willing to spend a bit more money for it.  This works in favor for restaurants because sometimes certain products are cheaper when purchased local and in season.  When food is in season, it is fresher and tastes better making the chiefs job easier, and if the food tastes good then customers will always come back for more. 

            When a restaurant buys directly from the farmer, then the farmer receives more money because there is no middleman.  So the farmer is making more profit on his or her product than if he or she was to sell it to a distributor.  Also, like I stated before, buying local reduces transportation costs, which restaurant owners must pay when buying from FSA or Sysco.  This makes the cost of buying local comparable to other conventional food distributor prices.

            Finally, when a restaurant purchases food from a local farmer, the money stays within the local economy.  Jobs can be created within these economies that support these farm to restaurant relationships, such as the Western Sustainability Exchange, which helps publicize farmers who practice sustainable farming methods.  New small sized distributors can be created such as Field Day Farms.  Field Day Farms purchases food from surround farms at a fair price, and sells the food online to grocery stores, restaurants, and anyone who is interested.  Serena at The Nova mentioned to me that she deals with Field Day’s website a lot, and has made her life easier.  Small distributors like this help by creating more time for farmers to farm, and more time for chiefs to cook. 

 

Disadvantages

 

            There is a reason why not all restaurants support local, and why no restaurant in Bozeman is 100% local.   One main reason is due to the short growing season in the surrounding area. Mason from Ted’s told me his restaurants he started in Vermont at one point were using 97% local food.  No one comes close to this in Bozeman because Vermont has a longer growing season, and different mixes of microclimates in the area.  An example Mason explained was strawberries for instance were ripe in different areas of Vermont throughout the year, so when one farm was out, a farm up the road would just start its harvest.  Restaurants need quality products on a consistent basis, unless they build their menus as the seasons change, like Blackbird’s kitchen.  It is not possible for a restaurant in Bozeman to have local tomatoes all season long.  But there are certain products that are constantly available in Montana, such as eggs, beef, potatoes, and bread.  The Nova cafe does just that, if you purchase their standard breakfast for around 6 dollars, you get eggs and toast from Bozeman, sausage from Big Timber, and home fires from Whitehall.  For some restaurant owners its just easier to deal with big distributors like FSA, Alba at La Tinga mentioned that she tried to buy some local produce for her business, but it was to time consuming, she needed a consistent product at a reasonable price.

 

Conclusion

 

            Supporting local food takes more time and effort to establish networks between farmers and restaurants. But in the end you’re given a higher quality product, which tastes better, and is sometimes cheaper than the conventional competition.  Supporting local helps build local economies, and keeps money within the community.  Buying from local farmers allows them to make more money from their work, and reduces environmental impacts of transportation.  I feel as this new “traditional food movement” grows, we will see more local farmers starting up, and give rise to a more regional food movement, because some states just cannot grow certain things that neighboring states can.  This will create more jobs, and may increase the amount of people growing our nations food, which would be a good thing. Not everyone will jump onboard this idea, but that’s the beauty of living in a country where you can choose what to eat.  I hope this paper opens people’s minds to the benefits of supporting local food, and keeps the ball rolling.  One day, I want a farm of my own, and I want to feed my surrounding community with fresh food at a low cost.  This research has helped me realize the possibilities of future food production, and the path in which the world must take to feed the growing population. 

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LAST BLOG… for class

I grew up in a household with many different biases and values.  My father grew up in a tough side of town, my mother grew up in a nice part of town, both in Massachusetts. This gave me perspectives on both sides of the spectrum of social, and behavioral values.  I feel like I grew up lucky, my family has never had to worry about putting food on the table, money for school and other benefits.  But I feel like I don’t take things for granted as well.  I really appreciate the things I have, and I also feel like I make strong investments, and I don’t waste my money on things I don’t need.  I also grew up with a lot of animals, all the time. My mother also gardened every year, and made her own jams, sauces, and salsa.  Food was always an important part of my life. These mixed multicultural values and biases paved the way to my future, and what I am studding in school.  I’m very interested with the food system, and growing food.  I’ve seen how food can tighten relationships, and bring people together.

            Growing up in the sticks in New Hampshire, it pretty much pushed me away to find new places, and meet new people.  Having family and friends in Massachusetts made it possible for me to visit the city of Boston all the time.  So this mix of multicultural areas really opened my eyes.  Eventually I would like to have a farm and be able to sell my food to a big city, and neighboring towns.  I want to educate people on the benefits of eating local food.  Food is something that should never be taken for granted, and I feel a lot of people do. 

SNAP needs to change

Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) provides low/no-income people/families living in the US assistance with food purchasing.  The average person gets around $133 per month.  There were 46,224,722 people on SNAP as of October 2011.  This costs taxpayers $65 billion in 2011.  And the amount of people joining this program is only growing. So, one would think, there must be a lot of hungry people in the US; the strongest country in the world.  But, there is also a rising obesity issue spreading throughout our country. Obesity is constantly rising as well.  So as SNAP usage increases, there is a direct correlation to the rise of obesity.

The reason for this odd correlation is due to the types of food people are buying while on food stamps.  There is direct evidence linking strong sugary drinks with obesity.  And yes, you can buy soda with food stamps.  Taxpayer’s money is being used by a large parentage of US citizens to consume free soda, which increases the change of becoming obese, which also leads to health problems such as heart attack, diabetes, cancer; which then causes more tax payer money to be used to help these individuals fix their problem through Medicaid.  One study pointed out that Medicaid kids are 6 times more likely to be treated for severe obesity compared to kids with private insurance.

SNAP needs to be reformed.  Items like bubble gum, soda, pork rinds and other unhealthy foods should not be available through SNAP.  Not saying that people on SNAP can’t buy these foods, it’s a free country, everyone is granted the freedom to purchase what they want in a free market. But money from taxpayers, 65 billion of it, should not be used to purchase these insanely unhealthy foods.  If someone wants a soda, or a candy bar, let him or her pay for it themselves, with their own hard earned money.  Another study examined the percentage of SNAP purchases were conducted at convenience stores; a whopping 15%=$11.6 billion dollars annually. That’s the problem with SNAP, its free money, and people are more prone to purchase unhealthy food with free money.  Heck, ill have a soda if it’s free, but I never buy the stuff at a store.  People make different purchasing decisions when shopping with their own hard earned cash, usually more strategic, trying to make every penny count.

A cheap way of living consists of buying the most energy rich food at the lowest cost.  And if this is what you have to do to put food on the table, then have at it.  But if someone or a family is receiving supplemental food assistance, which allows them to shop for themselves, there needs to be some regulations as to what foods can be purchased with taxpayer money.  Because when a SNAP recipient buys soda, or other unhealthy foods, it affects society as a whole in a negative way.

Being hungry is very normal; everyone should feel hungry every day.  But there are people/families that go hungry without choice, for long periods of time.  These people need assistance, and if the help is coming from taxpayer money.  Then foods that cause more harm than good should not be available for purchase through SNAP.  People can buy junk food with their own money.  Fresh fruits and vegetables, whole grains, and local foods should be at the top of the list. There are direct correlations with counties throughout the US with high percentages of SNAP users, and high obesity rates.  This is a serious problem, and things need to change.

SNAP has lead to fraud as well. People sign up with fake names, and can sell the cards, or food for cash, and sometimes drugs.  One year 2.7 billion dollars in SNAP funds were the victim of fraud.

Yet some people think everything is just fine, like this guy.

Aside

Chapter 14 bog

World Hunger vs. USA Hunger

 

How does world food security differ from United States food security?

 

            The difference between world food security is huge compared to food security in the United States.  There is not nearly as many starving people in America compared to the rest of the world.  There are 963 million people on this earth that are not getting enough to eat.  That’s more than the US, Canada, and European Unions combined.  An as food prices increase, this number will only follow. One other crazy stat is every day 25,000 children and adults will die from hunger related issues.

            Having large populations with malnutrition leads to other very concerning issues.  For instance, iodine deficiencies have caused mental retardation worldwide, around 780 million people. 2 billion people are estimated to have anemia, which is caused by iron deficiency.  Anemia causes decreased cognitive ability, reduces a persona ability to resist diseases, and impairs mental judgment, and can cause death to young pregnant women. When countries are not only dealing with food accessibility issues but sever health related issues, its very hard to be a successful developing country.  People are not focusing on school, or work, rather they are preoccupied with survival. 

            It is scary to this as the world population grows; more people are threatened with food insecurity. I know that NASA has been working on a seaweed cultivar that can grow on land.  This special plant can be grown in deserts, with little to no fertilizer, and the kicker… it can be irrigated with salt water.  So huge plots of deserts in Africa can soon be farmed for this seaweed.  This is just one plan going into effect to help with food shortages.  Yes, food insecurity in America is a big problem, but worldwide, it’s a disaster.  As the population increases, new sustainable farming techniques and policies need to be followed.  An example would be to give starving counties the education, technology, and tools to grow their own food. 

Chapter 10 blog- How can the food insecurity problem change in America?

            Food security means that one has constant access to enough food for an active, healthy life.  Nearly 49 million people in America are struggling to put food on the table.  That’s close to 1 out of every 6 Americans. Since the downturn of our economy, this number has only rising, and keeps on rising every year.  This is a problem in America, and there are great programs intended to help people in need, but more must be done. 

            This is not an issue to turn your head at. People are starving in this country, the most “powerful” country in the world.  The US is the biggest food exporter in the world.  It’s difficult to think, as I go through college and learn about the food system, and these flaws that seem to slip by with no repercussion or change.  The three main crops grown in America for food are corn, soybean and wheat. We produce ALOT of corn, and we use a lot of corn in our country.  About 15% of the corn produce in this country is exported, which I do not think is a bad thing, (Free Market) but when you look at the numbers, that 15% of corn equals 50,000,000 tons of corn, meaning we are keeping 85%.  That 85% is being used for thousands of different things, some not food related.  But most of it is being used for animal feed (58% in 2005), 17% goes into ethanol, and the rest is either processed into corn syrup, kept for seed the following season, or sold at the grocery store.  Back to soybeans and wheat, America exports 45% of the wheat grown, and 34% of the soybeans grown. The fact is that we are shipping food away to other countries when people are starving in ours.

            Now, I’m not saying people need to be eating more corn, soy and wheat.  The majority of the average American’s calorie intake is from these three foods, up to 67%.  This is shocking as you look at the history of the humans diet, based on the 10’s of thousands of years we have existed that percentage has risen from 1-5% to 67%.  This is why there has been a spike in obesity, and health related problems caused by diet. Humans are not supposed to eat high amounts of corn, soy and wheat (neither are animals but that’s a whole different topic).

            So how can food insecurity be fixed, well it’s a very complicated issue.  The government could fund more money to the Food and Nutrition budget, raising it from its 2% of total federal budget expenditures, and maybe dropping some funds to, well I don’t know, the National Defense (World Defense) which compromises over 20% of the federal budget. This money could be used to subsidize farmers who grow healthier food, and allow them to sell it at a lower cost.  Or the money could be used to reform SNAP, the biggest program used to feed low-income families.  More fruits and vegetables could be added to the list.  Free transportation of food could be applied to low-income families living in food deserts with no source of transportation.

            50 million people should not be worrying how to feed themselves in the richest country in the world. If you choose to be a bum, and go living the free rider mentality, go ahead, but don’t ask for help.  The fact is that most food insecure people are honest hard working individuals; the elderly, the working poor, children, and even farmers.  Yes, even the farmers are going hungry.  As the cost of farming rises due to rising costs of oil, fertilizers, pesticides and new genetically modified seed, crop prices have dropped leaving the people growing Americas food FOOD INSECURE!  Is it me, or does something need to change. 

$3/day

Part 1: Planning

Before you begin the experience, reflect on how do you think it might feel (physically, emotionally, and mentally) to be food insecure?

Being food insecure will definitely talk a toll on me.  Physically, I know I will be more tired and weaker than usual, especially after doing activities like snowboarding and basketball. Emotionally, I’m sure I will miss the foods I usually buy, and will probably become cranky at any given moment.  I’m not sure how this will affect my mental abilities; maybe I will become smarter or dumber, I don’t know.  I know at some points this will be difficult because I do have other food at my house, and I work at a pizza restaurant, but hopefully I will succeed.

Before you go shopping, what kinds of foods do you think you will buy with your $15?

-Rice and beans, because they are a staple food for so many people around the world.

Im deciding upon…

-Soy milk

-Vegetables like broccoli, potatoes, sweet potatoes, greens, carrots

-Fruit such as bananas, apples, oranges

-Bread

-Ramen noodles

-Tuna fish

-Sunflower seeds

-Eggs

-Butter

     – This is what I bought         

 

 Part 2: Purchasing

Describe your shopping experience. Where did you shop, what did you buy, and how much did each item cost?

           

            The shopping experience was fun and interesting.  It took me more time weighting the food and doing the math to buy $15 worth of food than it did buying $50 worth of food.  I had a list of all the items I wanted to buy, made some changes while shopping.  I bought a ½ gallon of soymilk, a loaf of whole wheat bread, 4 packages of ramen, a 12 pack of eggs, some butter, 5 yams, 2lbs of black beans, and about 2 lbs of brown rice.  I shopped at Town and Country.

 

What strategies did you use to maximize your allotted money?

 

            I knew that purchasing the rice and bean in bulk would be most cost effective.  I did a little research before shopping, as to which foods would provide the most nutrients.  Other than that, I was looking for the cheapest foods possible.

Part 3: The Experience

 

Day 1 3/13/12

Breakfast: 1 cup soy milk, 1 piece of toast, 2 fried eggs (cooked in butter), 1teaspoon butter

Lunch: Pack of ramen, 1 cup soy milk, 1/4th cup dried beans, 1 piece of bread

Dinner: ½ cup dried rice, ¼ cup dried beans, 1 piece of bread with butter, 1 yam

How I felt- Today was not that difficult, I wasn’t very hungry throughout the day except at night before bed.

Observations and insights.  With the rice and beans, I cooked half of what I bought and set in Tupperware for easy access.  My meals are not very colorful and look boring, but seem to be filling. I wish I had some salt, pepper and ketchup.

Nutrient Average amount % of recommended daily value
Calories 2637 86%
Fat 38 g 59%
Protein 72g 130%
Fiber 41g 110%
Vit. A 351ug 39%
Vit. C 14mg 16.6%
Vit E 9.75mg 65%
Calcium 940 mg 94%
Iron 7.12 mg 89%
Zink 7.59 mg 69%
Folate 632 ug 158%

Day 2 3/14/12

Breakfast- 1 cup of soy milk and 2 pieces of toast

Skipped lunch- snowboarding

Dinner- 1 boiled yam, ½ cup rice, ¼ cup dried beans, 1 fried egg (cooked in butter), 1 piece of bread and butter.

How I felt- I was in a rush in the morning because I went snowboarding.  I started to get hungry at the mountain around noon, and was starving by the time I got home around 4.  I wanted to eat more food, so I distracted myself by watching a movie.

Insights- Drink lots of water.

Day 3 3/15/12

 

Breakfast- 1 fried egg (cooked with butter), 2 pieces of toast, 1 cup soymilk.

Late lunch: 1 pack ramen, 1 fried egg (in butter), 1 boiled yam, ¼ cup dried beans, 1 teaspoon butter,

Late dinner: ½ cup dried rice, 1/2 teaspoon butter, 2 pieces of toast with 1/2 teaspoon butter, 1 cup soy milk.

How I felt.  Again today I went snowboarding, but left the mountain at around 1 to run some errands. Today I tried switching it up and eating a bigger lunch than dinner, which seemed to help.  I was hungry throughout the night, and drank a lot of water. I feel more tired than usual, but mentally and physically I feel fine.

Observations-  Again, my meals are very plane, the butter helps butter I cannot wait to eat something with seasoning. Tomorrow I’m going fishing.

Day 4 3/16/12

 

Breakfast- 1 cup soy milk, 2 fried eggs (butter), 2 pieces of toast with 1 teaspoon of butter.

Snack- 2 pieces of bread

Lunch- 1 pack ramen

Dinner- 1 trout that I caught baked with butter.  1/4 cup dried rice, ¼ cup dried beans, 1 piece of toast with 1 teaspoon butter, 1 boiled yam

How I felt- I was very hungry this morning, so I ate a filling fried egg sandwich, pack some bread for a snack and went fishing. I actually felt as like a true hunter and gatherer. I caught a few trout, but only kept two, I figured I would have one today, and one tomorrow.  The fish was a nice change of taste, and went well with my rice and beans. My dinner filled me up, but some lemon with my fish was missing.  I’m getting sick of ramen but so far oriental is still my favorite flavor.

Day 5 3/17/12

 

Breakfast- 2 fried eggs in butter, 2 pieces of toast, 1 cup soymilk

Lunch- 1 pack of ramen, 1 fried egg in butter, ¼ cup beans

Dinner- 2 pieces of toast with 1 tsp butter, ½ cup beans, ¼ cup rice, 1 teaspoon butter, 1 baked trout with 1 tsp butter, 1 baked yam, and 1 cup soymilk.

How I felt- I was very tired from snowboarding today, even though I only rode for about 4 hours. I ate my lunch and ended up taking a nap.  I woke up at around 8 and cooked a big dinner with the rest of my food.  I ended up not using all my eggs and bread, but I won’t be touching those for a while. The trout I caught really saved me by adding something different to my plate.

Insights- I’m going out to eat tomorrow morning at the western café. And then I’m going to make a corned beef with cabbage. This was a eye opening project, and taught me a lot.  I will be more cautious of overspending at the grocery store.

Part 4 Analysis

Considering nutrients, food groups and other important food components, how well did you meet your nutrition needs?

I was low on Vitamins E, C, and K and Folate, but other than that, I was fine.

How could your diet have been improved (within your budget)?

I was lacking in vitamins so I could have substituted the yams for other fruits and vegetables.  Oranges, carrorts and apples could have been an option.  Also, if this was summer time, I could have picked vegetables from my garden.

What did you eat that you normally do not eat?

I do not normally eat yams, or black beans on a regular basis. I eat ramen from time to time, but not day to day. Other than that I usually eat the other foods.

What foods do you normally eat that you have avoided?

I usually use spices while I cook, but they are expensive. I usually eat more fruits and vegetables.  I also usually cook pasta once a week. Of cource I eat more meat than I did for this project, but usually its venison I hunted.  Plus I love beer.

Did you have any difficulty complying with the conditions of the assignment?

At times it was tough, especially when my girlfriend cooked a meal, and I couldn’t eat her left overs.  Also it was tough while working at a pizza shop and not being able to eat.

Could you continue to live on $3/day?  How would doing so change your life?

I feel like I could live on $3/day if I needed to.  But I’m going to choose not to.  If I did continue to eat like this, I would have to be more aware of the nutritional facts of food, and I would probably loose a lot of weight.


PART 5 FOLLOW UP

During the five days of the experience visit the county assistance office or other resource and obtain an application for food stamps.  Examine and complete the application. Describe this experience.  How difficult was it to obtain an application?  How difficult was it to complete the application?  Consider how the experience might have been different if you had poor reading or writing skills?

Getting the SNAP application was easy, they have them stacked in a pile in the waiting room at the county assistance office.  Filling out the application was simple as well, although there were some interesting questions in the back regarding previous SNAP recipients trading food for drugs, guns and ammo.  The application would have been harder to finish if I lacked reading and writing skills, but someone would be able to help you fill it out.

What are your overall conclusions about this experience? Describe what you learned, your observations and insights.

I really enjoyed this project, probably one of the most interesting assignments I have had in college. I learned that I take a lot of food for granted, such as salt, condiments, and even fruits and vegetables.  This project has changed the way I shop and eat, and I think everyone should try eating off 3 dollars a day.

What are the important things you learned during this experience that would benefit you as a food and nutrition professional?

After finishing this project, I feel that people with low income need nutritional assistance if they are going to try and fill their daily nutrient requirements.  A nutrition professional would find this project informative because it shows that most people with low income are lacking essential nutrients, and one could find tips on how to eat healthy and save money.

Best Manager Ever

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I have been working at the Bozeman Tarantino’s for 3 ½ years now.  Since I’ve been there, I have seen many managers come and go.  One truly stands out to me, and to this day she was the best manager I’ve ever had.  Her name was Jo, and she was managing the restaurant when I was first hired.  She knew the restaurant like the back of her hand, and was one of the friendliest people I’ve ever met.  Not only did she have a wonderful relationship with everyone that worked there, she was also very tight with the owner, Paul Tarantino.

There are four steps to becoming a respectable manager.  It starts with planning, Jo was always on top of things, for instance, when we would have a 20 pizza order due the next day, she would be prepping for the order a day early, and was the first one at the restaurant pressing pizza skins in the morning.  She was also in charge of ordering the pizza ingredients every week, which took plenty of experience because pizza was sold differently every day.  This also took organization skills.  Sundays through Wednesdays were normal 10:00 am to 10:00pm days.  Thursdays through Saturdays we stayed open till 3:00 am for the late night crowd.  The late night shifts were the busiest shifts by far, so Jo always made sure that the dinner shifts would prep for late night properly.  Everything was organized so that the late night cook was fully prepared.  Because Jo was such a great manager, everyone seemed to want to follow her footsteps.  She led everyone to be the best worker, but did it in a fun laid-back way.  For instance, if someone was working exceptionally well, she would take them out for drinks after their shift, or buy them dinner.  Finally, she controlled all of us respectfully. She knew that most of us were students with lots of other important things going on, and she was very fair when it came to scheduling.  But she would get on your ass if you were slacking at work.  Jo was the best manager I have ever dealt with, and I’ve worked many different jobs.  I’m happy I have met her, and hope to one day be able to manage a business like her.