Future of Food Blogging

Flying cars, robots, flights to the moon and- food blogging?

The future of the food blogosphere is looking bright. The current advancements in technology are only helping bloggers around the world. I think the biggest developments in journalism as a whole will be wearable technology like the Apple Watch. This makes news even more accessible. Bloggers can really take advantage of this.

Independent bloggers will need to keep up with the times technologically speaking. If they don’t, the readers won’t follow. They need to have every social media platform available to them. I’m talking Facebook, Twitter, Tumblr- all of it. This is how you get the most followers and a greater audience. With these social media networks, it is easier to get a more focus audience/following as well. With hash tags and trends, people can follow their favorite bloggers who write about their favorite topics.

This is so important in the world of food blogging specifically. Instagram is vital because of food photography. It is what brings in so many viewers and makes people interested in the blog itself.

Without such technology, the blogs would fall behind and be stuck with traditional media outlets like newspapers, magazines and television. These outlets will most likely not play much of a role in the future of journalism because they are not keeping up with the readers. Blogging will be the main focus, along with any internet-based media outlet. Accessibility has become the most important aspect of how people get their news and these traditional news outlets just don’t have that aspect.

Some food blogs that have become successful because of their ability to keep up with technological advances are:

http://iamafoodblog.com/

At the top of the home page of this blog, there is a bar of social media options. Instagram, Pinterest, and Twitter are all options to click on to follow and explore.

http://www.plantempowered.com/

This is a website that actually started as an Instagram page. It focuses solely on plant-based foods. The Instagram got many followers because of good use of hash tags and following similar food blogs. This is what led to the successful development of a website which will most likely lead to some form of income for the bloggers and developers.

image

Image from plantempowered.com

The future of food blogging looks strong because it thrives on the ever-changing technology in the world around us. Instagram, Pinterest and Twitter all play an integral part of the success. To be a successful food blogger in the future, he/she needs to keep up with the people.

Advertisements

Arsenic in Wine: Why the FDA Needs to Take Action

After a long week of school and work, the last thing on a college kid’s mind is a fancy, expensive glass of wine. Instead, we tend to opt for the cheaper wine, like Franzia or Trader Joe’s Two-Buck Chuck, to satisfy our weekend thirst. Though the price is good, the consequence that comes with consuming such delicious cheapness could be potentially deadly.

Believe it or not, the consequence is not the extra calories, but instead it is the carcinogenic chemical, arsenic, that you are consuming in amounts that are way above the legal.

Now, what exactly is arsenic? It sounds kind of scary, but it’s actually found in a lot of the things we eat and drink every day. Low levels of it are found in soil, water and in the air. Foods such as fish and rice also contain arsenic.

Even at low levels, arsenic can be potentially dangerous. Long-term exposure of these lower levels can play a role in diabetes, cancer, vascular disease and lung disease. The FDA says that long-term exposure of high level arsenic is associated with skin, bladder and lung cancer, and even heart disease.

The problem with the high amount of arsenic in cheap wine is that college kids aren’t consuming it in small servings. When a college student buys a box of Franzia, they aren’t putting it in the center of the dining room table for everyone to have small glasses of wine at dinner. Instead, these boxes are getting finished by a single student in one weekend. Binge drinking has always been an issue among colleges in the nation, but the fact that there is a high amount of a carcinogenic chemical in this alcohol makes it just that much worse.

hero-image01-960x628

TaintedWine.com is a website that attorneys have created to inform people about which specific wine brands contain way too much arsenic. Wines such as Franzia, Korbel, Two-Buck Chuck and Charles Shaw have up to five times the amount of arsenic that’s considered safe. According to the Tainted Wine website, some wines have up to 500% or more than what’s considered the maximum safe daily intake limit for arsenic.

Now the biggest question here is: how the heck did it get to this point? If there are legal limits on the level of arsenic in our water, how did the level of arsenic in wine get so out of hand? According to modernfarmer.com, the FDA does not test for arsenic in wines. They are only in charge of monitoring how much is in our drinking water. Since they don’t check these levels in our cheap wine, they are technically not breaking any laws.

The fact that the FDA can overlook such a thing is outrageous. Long-term consumption of even low levels of arsenic can lead to health problems, while some cheap wines have 500% more than what’s considered safe, should be enough to get the attention of the FDA. Laws need to be made and standards need to be set so we can safely consume our favorite beverages.

It is great that winemakers are being brought to court for a recall or labeling that informs customers of the high level of arsenic, but is the focus should be on the FDA. They have the responsibility to keep the people of the United States safe. This needs to change to prevent major health issues across the country.

Sources:

http://www.livescience.com/23304-arsenic-rice-fda-health-effects.html

http://www.buzzfeed.com/azeenghorayshi/the-arsenic-in-your-two-buck-chuck-is-not-going-to-kill-you#.fyLdMabKM

http://www.taintedwine.com

http://modernfarmer.com/2015/03/sure-your-cheap-wine-may-have-high-levels-of-arsenic-but-is-that-dangerous

Rice, Corn, Asparagus- Oh My!

This is the perfect example of using what you have to create a meal. I scavenged through my fridge and cupboards around 5 o’clock today looking for something filling to eat for dinner. 

As college kids know too well, I’m trying to use up all I can before I go grocery shopping again. 

I grabbed some frozen asparagus and frozen corn from my freezer while I started boiling water for my brown rice. 

OKAY- time for a pet peeve. Brown rice takes forever to cook. Like 45 minutes. So if you have patient, do the brown rice, but if you’re like me, do white rice when you’re in a hurry. 

After waiting for what felt like hours for my brown rice to cook, I cooked my corn and my asparagus which took 10 minutes tops. I popped my asparagus in the oven on broil to crisp it up a bit. I chopped up some onions to put on top of the asparagus. 

When I took it out, I covered it with olive oil and vinegar. My meal was finally ready to go. 

 
I mixed the corn and rice together- adding some garlic, Italian seasoning, butter, salt and pepper. The meal is easy, cheap and delicious. 

The only thing I hate about this meal is that you can’t make it in a hurry, though that’s easily fixed with using white rice instead of brown. 

Enjoy!

Time to Get Vegucated

Many people seem to be scared away by the term “vegetarian”. They think that vegetarians and vegans are a different species with bizarre cultural values. The documentary Vegucated, directed by Marisa Wolfson, is determined to change that point of view. It does just that and more. It evokes feelings you may have never felt before while it informs you of current practices that you may have had no idea about. The persuasive documentary leaves you touched, tearful, horrified and a little more “green”.

The film focuses on three people who volunteer via Craigslist to go vegan for six weeks. These people love meat. The journey is hard for them all at first, especially for a college student named Tesla. Her family is from Honduras and she is used to her father’s meat-filled dinners. Brian, a 27-year-old bachelor, seems to be on the same page. His fridge is full of ribs and burgers. Ellen is the third volunteer and she has two children of her own. They have a lot of meat and dairy in their diets. The transition these three individuals go through is extraordinary.

With little knowledge of a vegetarian diet, the three volunteers are taught the ways of finding the right food in the grocery store. Surprisingly, there are many options at regular grocery stores that aren’t like Whole Food or Trader Joe’s.

The volunteers seem to struggle with this very different diet through the beginning. This all seems to change right in the middle of the film. We are shown actual footage from factory farms showing the horrendous treatment of farm animals. The three volunteers are shown the same footage. Cows and pigs being castrated without anesthesia, piglets being tossed through the air, and chickens living in crammed spaces next to other dead chickens. If you don’t have tears during this part of the film, you may just be the strongest person alive. I never once thought I would be so emotionally distraught seeing how birds are treated in factory farms, but I was wrong. All three of the volunteers feel this way after watching the footage. Tesla, with a look of disbelief, furiously asks, “How is this allowed?”

After this scene comes the part where Tesla and Brandon travel with Marisa Wolfson to a sanctuary for farm animals. The animals are safe at this farm and will not be slaughtered or mistreated. This is a great moment for the audience as well because it creates an emotional attachment to these farm animals. When I saw a pig on the screen, it was like I was looking at my own puppy. Why would anyone want to hurt, or even eat, such a harmless, friendly creature?

A sanctuary worker brings both Tesla and Brandon to an abandoned slaughterhouse from the 70s. She gives them a tour and walks them through each part, detailing exactly what was happening to the animal at that particular point. At each stop, footage is shown of exactly what she was describing. It gives the audience a vivid picture to go along with an awfully vivid description.

“If slaughterhouses had glass walls, everyone would be vegetarian.” – Paul and Linda McCartney

As they are all driving home from the abandoned slaughterhouse, they decide to stop at a farm that they have been talking about all along. Though they could not go inside, they take a look around the outside of the farm. They make gruesome discoveries of dead pigs, rotting and covered in flies. This is not even a slaughterhouse, it’s a farm. It proves how animals are now seen as numbers and not living, breathing creatures.

Vegucated is absolutely touching and extraordinary. There are so many facts and actual footage that make the documentary’s point so clear and strong. At the end, we see that all three volunteers continue to have either a vegan or vegetarian diet. It gives people hope that they too can follow through with such a diet. It gives them hope that they can change and save innocent animal lives.

519Q9TknGNL._SX940_

Check out Vegucated on Netflix!

&

Check out the website http://www.getvegucated.com

Keen Wa

As I continue my exploration of all things veggie, I stumble upon many new discoveries. My most recent discovery has been Quinoa. I literally had to look it up on YouTube to see how it’s pronounced. The answer: “keen-wa”. 

I bought a package in the frozen food aisle.  

It was super easy to make. I put a tablespoon of olive oil in a skillet on medium heat. I dumped in the bag of quinoa and 1/4 cup of water. I covered the skillet and let it cook for about 8 minutes while stirring it occasionally. 

While this was going on, I prepared myself a cute side salad to go along with it. 

  

After the 8 minutes were up, a scooped some quinoa onto a plate and topped it off with some Italian blend cheese. I’m pretty sure I put cheese on just about everything.

  

The result was delicious.The mixture with barley, red rice and sea salt gave it so much flavor that I did not put any added spices in the mix. 

Quinoa is now a kitchen necessity. 

Easter Appetizer: Creamy Spinach Dip

Easter was, of course, an absolute blast with my family. It definitely isn’t the same as when I was a kid, but I enjoy it just as much. My mom still makes me an Easter basket full of goodies, but I do miss decorating eggs and going on a search throughout the house. One of my favorite parts of this particular holiday, if you haven’t guessed, is the food. Mashed potatoes, green beans and ham create the perfect holiday dinner.

I was starving by 5 p.m. and couldn’t wait for food any longer. I had to make a delicious appetizer for us all to munch on before our meal. I decided to make a creamy spinach dip, which is basically a whole lot of melted cheese. It’s insanely delicious.

You’ll need:

2 cups Italian blend shredded cheese

1 10 ounce box frozen chopped spinach

2/3 cup sour cream

1 cup cream cheese

1/2 cup mayonnaise

2 teaspoons minced garlic

  1. You’ll want to preheat the oven to 375 degrees.
  2. Thaw out the frozen spinach in the microwave. 7 minutes on high, covered, then take out and mix it around. Put it back in for another 2 minutes.
  3. Dump the spinach into a bowl and mix in the Italian blend cheese. Once this is all mixed together, combine the rest of the ingredients into the bowl.
  4. Pop this into the oven for about 25 minutes, maybe even 30.
  5. Take it out, mix it around, and top it off with some more cheese.

FullSizeRender (7)

If you can’t tell, I’m obsessed with cheese, and you will be too after this app.

You can really use anything to dip into this creamy spinach dip. We used tortilla chips, but you can also use crackers or toasted bread.

The dip is to die for and it will hold you over until your big holiday meal. It was the perfect touch for Easter dinner.

Don’t Fear the Fu

Many people run away in fear of the word “tofu”, but I’ve found the best way to get rid of the taboo. 

The recipe is my father’s. I’ve grown up eating this meal every other month or so. I didn’t actually know what was in it until one day he unveiled his secret. “So this isn’t chicken… It’s tofu.”

Luckily I didn’t have a heart attack from the shocking truth. And fortunately I’m here to share this wonderful secret with you.

You need:

Extra firm tofu

Fettuccine (or really any type of pasta)

Minced garlic

Olive oil

Italian seasoning

 

  

Start by chopping up the tofu into little cubes. You’ll probably only be using half of the block so grab some Tupperware to save the rest for later!

Put a good amount of olive oil into your skillet on medium heat. Toss in your cubes. 

I need to emphasize “good amount” of olive oil. Pretend you are an Italian grandmother and overdo it on the oil. It is necessary for this dish. 

  

After they’ve been cooking for a couple minutes, start boiling your pasta.

When the tofu browns and firms a little bit, dump in your fettuccine. Mix this all together while putting a teaspoon of minced garlic in the dish. Make sure this is mixed in well so you don’t get a mouthful of garlic. Sprinkle in some Italian seasoning along with salt and pepper. 

Top your plate off with some Parmesan cheese and you are ready to eat. 

  

This dish is the best surprise for anyone who is afraid of tofu. It will change your mind forever.

Thanks, Dad!