Tag Archive: food

Are You Too Chicken?

Most people say “ew” to soy before they even try it.  They think soy meat is gross tasting and weird, but I would say that factory farmed meat is gross and weird.  I try to convince people that veggie burgers taste just like meat, but they don’t believe me.  I recently just started buying Quorn meatless, soyless chicken products and trust me when I say this—it tastes like chicken! But Quorn isn’t even made out of soy; it is made from mycoprotein, the main ingredient in all Quorn products.  Made from the same family that mushrooms and truffles come from, mycoprotein is high in dietary fiber and has essential amino acids and no trans fat whatsoever.  Plus, you get all the protein of real meat without the fat, cholesterol, and other unknown products that can find its way into the meat during factory production. In addition, since it has no soy in it, you don’t have to worry about stomach problems, which can happen if you aren’t used to eating soy.

Quorn tastes like the good old chicken nuggets you had as a kid.  And since most of us worry about our weight and nutrition more than we did as kids, it’s a good thing that Quorn is a lot healthier than regular chicken nuggets.  Four Quorn chicken nuggets has 180 calories, 8 grams of fat, 1 gram of saturated fat and no cholesterol. On the other hand, Tyson chicken nuggets’ serving size of five has 270 calories, 17 grams of fat, 4 grams of saturated fat and 40 mg of cholesterol.

For some extra protein in my lunch, I usually top my salads with Quorn chicken nuggets.  Instead of defrosting them, I just place the frozen chicken nuggets in a container, and by the time I eat lunch (about two to three hours later) they are fully thawed and ready to put on top of my salad.  Because they are meatless, I don’t have to worry about the meat getting all funky if it sits out in tupperware for a few hours.  It is nice to have that same chicken taste on my salad without worrying about health scares.

I dare you to try these chicken nuggets out, along with all other Quorn products: meatless meatballs, chicken patties, garlic and herb chicken cutlets, turkey burgers, chicken tenders, turkey roast and cranberry and goat cheese chicken cutlets.  All meatless, soyless, low calorie and low fat.  I even served my friends these chicken nuggets and didn’t tell them they were meatless.  They thought they were real chicken nuggets and loved them. When I told them what they were, they said they were definitely buying those from now on instead of the Tyson nuggets.  Hopefully this will convince others out there to try this great chicken nugget alternative!

Eating Disorders Awareness Week

This is for all the people who have ever looked in a mirror and listed off numerous flaws with their bodies.  This is for every person who strongly believes he or she is not good enough.  This is for anyone who feels that the world would be better off without his or her body “taking up space.” This is for me and for you and for everyone else who does not believe they are perfect enough.

We live in a society that pushes perfectionism, and an extreme perfectionism at that.  For women, the ideal beauty is a thin but curvy frame.  For men, their ideal figure is strong, masculine and tan.

The South Carolina Department of Mental Health estimates 8 million Americans (7 million women and 1 million men) suffer from some form of an eating disorder.  From anorexia nervosa to bulimia to binge eating disorders, eating disorders have the highest mortality rate of any mental disorder. Despite popular belief, eating disorders are about more than just the desire to be thin.   They are an all-encompassing illness that stems from low self-esteem and the desire to be perfect.

It is a heartbreaking disorder, one that some people don’t understand unless they have been personally affected.  As someone who suffers from an eating disorder, I have experienced the consuming cycle of eating and not eating as I try to achieve perfectionism. I have lost friends during my battle, and I have lost time. I have skipped parties because I was concerned with either not eating anything or eating everything in sight.  So much energy and time have been wasted over the past five years.

National Eating Disorder Awareness Week starts today, February 20, and goes on through February 26.  It is a time for light to be shed on an mental disorder that many people do not fully understand.

A few events are being held this week at UNC.  The movie Thin, a documentary about eating disorders, will be shown in Room 3411 at the Student Union tonight at 5:30 P.M.  Viewers will also be able to ask Dr Anna-Bardone Cone, a UNC psychology professor specializing in eating disorder research, questions.

On Monday, February 21, McAllister’s Deli on Franklin Street will donate 10% of its revenue from 5 P.M. to 9 P.M. to Carolina House, an eating disorder treatment center located in Durham.  Make sure to print off the flyer. Interactive Theatre Carolina will also be performing skits on eating disorders in the Union Cabaret on Tuesday, February 22, from 6 P.M. to 8 P.M.

Even after Tuesday, bringing awareness to eating disorders should not end.  If you have friends who are suffering, let them know that you are there for them. And if they don’t have treatment, help them find it.

If you are currently suffering, please seek help.  There are people out there that care for your well-being.  Even I am here to help support you, so don’t be afraid to contact me.  I have been in your shoes, and I still am.

There is one last thing I want to leave.  You are beautiful or you are handsome just the way you are.  You have been shaped into the way you were meant to be. You were given a unique body and your own mind.  Perfectionism is just an idea. It is never tangible.  Accept yourself and others for who they are, and remember that imperfections are what is truly perfect.

-Hillary Rose Owens


National Eating Disorders


Something Fishy

Facebook Event for Eating Disorders Awareness Week

Fitness Lines

I’m starting to think so. Potato chip companies around the world are trying to become the next Bertie Bott’s, creating flavors that have never been seen before by the sliced potato industry. Instead of just bland cheddar cheese or boring barbecue, there are now chip flavors that transcend all food groups. From sausage to seaweed, and bacon to beer, there is almost literally something for everyone.

I did a little research on the vast variety of potato chip flavors sold worldwide, and from it I generated a list of the top five chip flavors known to man:

1)      Cajun Squirrel—I don’t think this one is on the market anymore, and I don’t understand why! Nothing tastes quite the same as spiced squirrel tail. Having it in potato chip form means you don’t even have to scrape it off the road first! Brought to you by Walker’s.

2)      Builder’s Breakfast—Looking for a hearty, well-balanced breakfast without making a big to-do? Well, this potato chip may not do that for you, but at least it will taste like it did. This chip, introduced in the same competition as Cajun Squirrel, combines the flavors of buttered toast, bacon, eggs and tomato sauce. Also brought to you by Walker’s chip brand.

The next three are brought to you by Lay’s.

3)      Mayonnaise—Were you that creepy kid that stuck your hand in a jar of mayo when you needed a snack? Well, now you have a socially acceptable outlet for your strange fetish! All the great taste of mayonnaise without any other flavor hindering it!

4)      Chinese cuisine—There are apparently a lot of flavors within this category, ranging from roasted pork to Beijing duck, that are mainly sold in China. Now you can chow down on chow mein-flavored chips without even climbing into your Chevy


5)      Filet mignon—This chip may not be accessible to the common man, but for you elitists out there, you’ve found your munching Mecca. Dining classy has never been so easy. Plus, you don’t have to deal with pesky waiters, or go through the tedious bustle of making reservations at a five-star restaurant.

Inspired by the genius of the ideas above, I have come up with three of my very own chip flavors! What do you think? ‘Cause I think I have a future in this biz:

1)      Veggie burger—I am a man sensitive to the needs of the few. For the vegetarians out there who feel antsy about eating chips that taste like regular cheeseburger, I have created a comfortable alternative for their snacking enjoyment.

2)      Mint chocolate chip—One glaring omission I noticed as I perused the different flavors out there was in the category of ice cream! Not only would this chip be just as delicious as its frozen counterpart, but it would be invulnerable to melting!

3)      Coffee—With beer already taken, I had to dig deep for a choice that was a good candidate for mass consumption and also altered human brain function. Why not coffee? They could even have different flavors for different preferences. Black, double sugar or cream… without the burned tongue. The business sense is undeniable!

-Tim Freer

Chicken and Leek Soup

Senior Anne Kreuser is spending her fall semester studying abroad in London and working at a PR firm.

I’ve left my squishy queen sized bed behind.  I’ve forgotten about the way the crisp, autumn air makes Polk Place smell on a morning walk to class. I’ve turned in the familiar for an exciting semester studying and interning abroad in London.  And after being here for only a week, I’m missing all that is home in North Carolina.  A venture to the expansive Borough Market under the London Bridge brought me home with a bag full of groceries, and I ran to the one place that will always make me feel at home: the kitchen.

Here’s a recipe that reminds me of my mom’s home cooking, and is easy enough to whip up in about 30 minutes.  Make sure to have some reusable containers handy; the longer this soup sits, the better it tastes!

Chicken soup with leeks and potatoes

2 chicken breasts with bone and skin
4 leeks, cleaned and sliced
5 yukon gold potatoes, cut in half inch cubes
1 carrot, chopped
1 yellow onion
2 garlic cloves
4 sprigs of fresh thyme
2 quarts of chicken stock
1/4 c. of crème fraiche or heavy cream
2 T. olive oil
Salt and Pepper

Slather the chicken with  1 T. oil, salt and pepper, and roast in a 350° oven for about 25 minutes, or until the juices run clear.  When cooked, remove the meat from bones and discard skin. Chop into bite sized chunks.

Fill a pot with cold water and add potatoes.  Bring to a boil and cook until tender, about 15 minutes.

In the meantime, place remaining oil in a large stock pot over medium heat.  Saute onions and carrots for about 5 minutes, until softened.  Add garlic and leeks and season generously.  Sautee until soft, about 10 minutes.  Add chicken stock and thyme sprigs and bring to a boil.  Let simmer for about 5 minutes.  Add chicken and potatoes.  By this point, the leaves of the thyme should have separated from the woody stems– remove them.  At this stage, you can transfer to reusable containers or right to a bowl.

Just before serving, stir in a dollop of crème fraiche or heavy cream to add richness.  Pair with a slice of crusty bread to mop up the goodness, and you’ll be transported back to home in no time!

For vegetarians: Simply nix the chicken and substitute vegetable stock.  For a more filling soup, consider adding egg noodles or cous cous.

– Anne Kreuser

The Fresh Market

organic: produce grown without conventional pesticides, artificial fertilizers, human waste, or sewage sludge, and processed without ionizing radiation or food additives; animals reared without antibiotics and growth hormones (Wikipedia)

local food: a “collaborative effort to build more locally based, self-reliant food economies – one in which sustainable food production, processing, distribution, and consumption is integrated to enhance the economic, environmental and social health of a particular place” (Wikipedia)

If you’re shopping for organic or local food, any farmers market or grocery store is a great place to start. But my recommendation is The Fresh Market — an innovative grocery store modeled after a small European market. The low-lighting, open layout and friendly, accessible staff create a most pleasant shopping experience.

Yet, it’s the variety of fresh products that really make this store a stand out. District Manager John Craven said at least 10 percent of Fresh Market’s products are organic. And the store definitely makes an effort to label it’s food. You’ll find signs that read grown locally, organic or conventional; organic is written on packaged items, and some foods like apples have small individual labels on each fruit. In addition to a great selection of food you will find other special items, like a fabulous assortment of well-priced flowers or a delicious collection of tasty wines.

Chapel Hill residents can find a newly opened store on 1200-A Raleigh Road, just down the street from campus where South Road becomes Raleigh Road in Glenwood Square.

When you step through the doors you’ll find yourself browsing and taking a little more time then usual. Your weekly visit to the grocery store may just become something you look forward to.

By Nora Jorgensen

Move food up on the priority list

I am lying prostrate on the sidewalk outside my house, and I hate my life.

No, I am not in the midst of passing out from binge drinking. I have just finished my routine Sunday run, but instead of feeling rejuvenated and strong like usual, I feel like I’m going to puke.

There is an obvious explanation for this health conundrum. My stomach is seeking its revenge for the all the crap I forced into it over the course of the weekend.

Ah yes, road trips are great. Get all your best friends and favorite music in a car for five hours, and you’re bound to have a good time. You’re also bound to eat the finest gas station cuisine for the majority of the weekend — white cheddar popcorn, peanut M&Ms, Diet Coke, Doritos — the works.

For many college students, this diet may not sound so far off from their typical dorm room smorgasbord. Whatever the excuse, be it lack of time or lack of money, most undergrads are quick to categorize food as their lowest priority.

I always harp on my friends about eating unhealthy food or, in many cases, not eating at all. Most shrug off my motherly comments, and dig into a container of cake icing without a second thought. “I like junk food,” they say, or “I eat chips all the time and I feel perfectly healthy.”

But then the same friends complain to me about their acne, their exhaustion, their inability to sleep, their irritability, their restlessness and their bad hair days.

No one realizes that these problems are directly connected to food and nutrition—yes, even the bad hair days.

It is impossible to lead a healthy lifestyle without good food. You may feel fine now but what you put into your body affects your health now, weeks from now and even years from now.

Skin problems? You’re not getting enough essential fatty acids. Always exhausted? You’re not getting enough protein. Restless? You’re ingesting too much caffeine and sugar. Really dry or really oily hair? You’re not getting enough Vitamin E, or you’re eating too much greasy food.

The saying is true — you are what you eat. So put down the cookie dough, and do a little research on how to get the nutrition you need. It’s not nearly as hard as it seems and your body will thank you.

By Mary Lide Parker

How I, a die-hard steak-lover, became a vegetarian

Every time I bit into a nice juicy steak, or had some bacon with my eggs, I used to say I had an image of hippies running around in Birkenstocks spray painting women in fur coats.

Now I am a vegetarian. How could such a hater like me have a change of heart? Well, it all started with a divine massage from a hot guy. One day over two years ago I went into have a massage, and ended up dating the therapist, an extremely in-shape guy. He told me he abstained from beef and pork, and I wondered why. He didn’t seem crazy, and he wasn’t wearing Birkenstocks. He recommended the book Fit for Life by Harvey and Marilyn Diamond.

I realized that I had no idea how food is produced and how our bodies digest it, a scary thought since I make decisions about what to eat multiple times every day. I found out that the Diamonds were vegetarians, and decided to head in that direction based on their nutritional know-how. I started by eliminating beef and pork, the two hardest meats to digest, from my diet. After a few weeks, I stopped eating chicken and fish. Finally, I stopped eating milk, a highly mucous producing food.

This would have been unthinkably difficult for me before I had done all this reading. But because I knew the whole picture, it wasn’t hard for me to say no to a piece of fried chicken. I knew the antibiotics and cruelty that had gone into that piece of chicken, and I knew it would take my body hours to digest, using energy with which I could have played tennis, done homework or made out with the massage therapist.

People always ask me why I’m a vegetarian and I give three reasons. Primarily, I do it for health reasons. Animal products are more difficult to digest than plant based foods, and they offer no nutrients that can’t be easily obtained from vegetarian foods.

We all think that the doctors and the government, with the USDA and FDA, are looking out for the health of American consumers. Nothing could be further from the truth. Doctors simply don’t know anything about nutrition since they receive only about three hours of instruction about it in medical school. They’re trained to help you when you have a heart attack from eating tons of burgers, not before. The government organizations that oversee the meat and dairy industries are in bed with these industries; lawyers and officials are working for industry one minute and the government the next minute.

The only thing that matters here is money; and the way to make the most money is to do whatever it takes (antibiotics, inhumane slaughter practices, etc.) to produce more meat and milk at the “quality” that consumers demand. Even if I were to eat meat, I would only consume organic meat or meats produced in a country like Argentina where cows eat grass, as opposed to a corn and antibiotic mush.

Secondly, I eschew meat for the environment. According to the U.N., the world’s livestock produces more greenhouse gas than all forms of transport put together. So you’d be doing more for the environment by becoming a vegetarian than you would by driving a Prius for the rest of your life.

And thirdly, I do think about the cruelty of the industry. Though we have humane slaughter laws in place, they are routinely broken in favor of speeding up the line, by producing more, faster to make more money. I feel for the animals who go through this, and also for the people who work in these slaughterhouses. There is an unusually high rate of alcoholism, drug abuse and domestic violence among these workers.

I don’t have a problem with meat eaters though. I was one before I found out about all this stuff. Most of the American public is ignorant with regards to food and it’s not their fault. The government and the doctors are supposed to protect us, but they don’t. Everyone in my family eats meat, though my mother has since gone organic.

My advice above all is not to become a vegetarian, though I think it’s a wonderful choice if you decide it’s right for you. Rather, find out about the food you put in your body. Find out how it’s produced, and how your body deals with it. Then you can decide what you want to eat.

By Sarah Wetenhall