http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2dS8qjJ4lQ0

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2dS8qjJ4lQ0

HOW MUCH FOOD CAN YOU BUY USING $5 AROUND THE WORLD

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Mask made with food

Mask made with food

This might not be a course related blog but I really want to share it. I am a big fan of skin care products because they make me look less like a zombie( I stay up very late), I ve collected tons of skin care products and this is my favorite! I really like their idea that they make their most of products with food, believe it or not, they even have garlic mask! It makes me feel safer to put them on my face instead of tons of alcohols and preservatives! This very cool food mask need to be stored in the fridge, and only have a 15 days of life.

WEEK 12 SECONDARY

TOP 5 SUPERMARKET I USUALLY GO.

1) Costco:

Although I haven’t shopped there for a while since I moved to toronto, it’s still ranked #1 on my list. When I was in Vancouver, we go there every week. I live in West vancouver, and the Costco is in richmond (The one in downtown is smaller, and need to pay for parking). It’s a very long distance to drive there, but my mom like Costco, and she believes we could get high quality food with a cheap price. My mom did an experiment before, she bought beef from T&T, whole foods, Costco, and walmart  on the same day, She told me if the beef turns brown, that means its no longer fresh. the beef from T&T only lasts one day, Walmart, 4 days, Costco and Whole foods’ beef lasts really long( can’t exactly remember). However, the beef from Costco is way more cheaper than the whole foods’ ones.

2) T&T

I dont really want to rank T&T as my second favorite supermarket.  But…since it has all the asian snacks I can’t find elsewhere, fine, I will put it at the second place.

One of my mother’s friend works for T&T as a department manager, and he told my mom never purchase anything from T&T. I am not sure if I can write about it or not, but since I didn’t write his name, I think its fine to tell you guys. I can’t exactly remember, but basically, for example supermarkets like costco, superstore, T&T, they all purchase beef from one place, Larger supermarkets like costco, they have the priority to choose the beef at first place, T&T picks the left overs, which is no longer that fresh. T&T sells the beef at a higher price. What’s mean about T&T is they scalp the ground beef in a really nice shape and put the ‘red beef’ (fresh) that customers can see out, and hide the brown beef inside. Customers only get a thin layer of the fresh beef, and they could only discover it when they got home.

3) whole foods

I am a big fan of organic food, I do not care whether it’s really good for our health or not, I like the word ‘organic’ because it makes me feel less guilty when I eat. There’s nothing negative I feel about this store, it’s very expensive, but we could get very high quality food there. 

4) Metro

I didn’t find any metro in vancouver, maybe its only for toronto?

Metro has been my main food source since I moved to toronto, it’s only 200 m away from where I live. Everything is expensive in downtown while metro have a reasonable price. The food quality is not competitive at all comparing to Costco and whole foods. Once I want to buy some apples, and all the apples in Metro looks so bad that I had to end up buying oranges instead. but it’s close to where I live. 

5) RABBA

I got the bad milk from there, it’s only 50m away from where I live, but I choose to go metro more often because I don’t want to get any bad milk anymore. However, it’s the most convenient supermarket for me, and opens 24/7, I do not have any option if I want to buy some food in the late night. 

 

Week 12 main: the end comes to another start.

Time flies, I can’t believe i am now writing my last main blog entry. I’m feeling a little sad right now because I’m really gonna miss this class.  I could still remember how hard I was struggling during the first week when I was writing my first blog entry, now all the ideas come up to my minds as I sitting in front of my laptop.

I learnt that there lies huge social inequity that rich people get richer, poor people becomes poor. The things I thought was justified is actually not after my studying and reading. Urban social justice, public space and food insecurity, and many other social justice issues are all hard cores that can’t be resolved or cant be resolved easily.

For these 3 month of studying in this social justice course, it makes me open my eyes to look at a wider world. I have to say that I’ve missed lots of interesting things happened around me in the past 18 years, it is not too late that I recognized them now. When I walking around this city, I have realized there’s so many meaningful things to blog about. I’ve gained more than I expected from this course. This is my favorite class this year, and I never missed any of the lecture even if I was sick. I’m sure I will be continuing on my blogs, although not that frequently. I really enjoy the time when I was writing the blog that I could sit comfortably in my living room in the late night, everything is peaceful and nice, all the ideas just come to my mind very smoothly. It also helps me develop my critical thinkings that I could think deeper, not just stay on the surface. I have a very great experience after all. My favorite thing about this course is actually to see how others’ thinking about the same problem, I’ve never got a chance before that I could read the whole class’ ideas just through the screen of my laptop. It is really interesting that everyone has their different thoughts and experience, and we could share between each other!

Although this is the end of this course, I believe it is not the end to me of exploring the social justice in our city. Urban social studies, public space, food inequity… I believe there are many more issues out there in the city to blog about which I will find them out in the future of my study.

http://www.mississauga.com/news/article/1598909–victim-named-in-yorkdale-shooting

http://www.mississauga.com/news/article/1598909–victim-named-in-yorkdale-shooting

Yorkdale shooting.

I had never heard any news of shooting the any city when I was living there. After the eaton center shooting at the food court last summer, I had to go to other shopping mall with my friend for a while. The safety on the public space is now a concern to me. I am so lucky that I did not experience this although I go shopping very often. 

I’ve also heard that last year there was a shooting at a elementary school, and many students were killed. School is also a relatively semi-public space because literarily anyone can access the school.

Looking at our shopping mall or other public space, honestly, there should be more protection there, however, it is very hard to protect a public space because it’s for the public.

The only thing we could do about it is be careful ourselves.

Week 11 link

http://www.thestar.com/news/gta/2013/04/01/cars_not_condos_are_torontos_biggest_threat_hume.html

The subway from union to St.george shutdown almost every weekend, therefore, I have to take the shuttle bus last weekend. It was a very terrible experience, i was thinking I would get St.geroge station faster if I walk there myself.

My friend drive me to markham for food twice a month, and that every time it took us an hour to get there, and it only take us 20 minutes to go back. We go there around 5pm, and come back around 10p.m.

I already considered the condos are a disaster for our city, because the developer already built as many as they can, condos are everywhere while many people can’t afford to buy them. There’s lots of people living in richmond hill or north york, purchase a condo in Downtown, and rent it out, then after several years, they can sell it at a really high price.

The transportation system scars me, I live on Yonge street, and I can observe a traffic Jam in very late night. Meantime, as the development of the car rental company, such as zipcar and cartogo, the situation only becomes worth.

But there’s still many needs for cars.

Week 11 secondary: (event summary) field trip to metro.

Last week’s class, we were asked to go to the supermarket, and think about what can we buy if we only have $5 for food for one day. This was quite a challenge, with only $5 per day, what can we buy? Honestly, I rarely look at the price when I do the grocery shopping, I just grab whatever I need and want. 

Let us assume we have a  $20 budget for 4 days for meal, because we can’t finish one bag of rice in one day.

Because we have a really tight budget, we can not afford my favorite category throughout the grocery shopping—Snacks, which is actually a good thing because it only makes me fat and unhealthy.

Things I would probably consider:

  1. A pack of 6 eggs —$2.99
  2. A bag of pasta—$0.99
  3. pasta sauce—$3.99
  4. banana per pound—$0.99
  5. chicken legs per pack —$3.99
  6. broccoli—$0.99
  7. A slice of beef steak —$3.50
  8. Oranges per pound —$0.99
  9. tomatoes per pound—$0.99
  10. Potatoes per pound—$1.69
  11. Milk per box—$5.69
  12. one small bag of rice—$3.00 

It wasn’t a nice experience because I need to calculate everything I look at, and need to look for the brands such as ‘selection’. I’m sure that those people who only have $5 budget on food everyday must feel depressing. They can not choose to buy what they like, they can only buy the one can fill them up the most. Milk and eggs are expensive, and it’s almost not possible to afford them, the price of chicken was fine, but one tiny slice of beef costs $3.50 which makes beef not an option for them. Pasta is a good option, but only for those pasta recipe without cheese—5 slices of cheese will costs $3.

I feel really back on the way back to the classroom, I have to think about what can people eat with only $5 everyday plus people have to pay hydro for cooking those food, so it turns out to be less than $5 everyday for a person. On the other hand, i feel graceful for myself because my family can afford my living here in toronto. I can choose to eat what I want, what I like, I can dine out with my friend in a nice restaurant whenever I don’t feel like cooking. 

Food is an important factor for our health, it is really important to have a regular 3 meals with balanced nutrition. There’s lots of consequences for not having enough nutrition, the poor people suffers more from the illness than the rich people. It is really sad, because we can’t really do much things about it. Since the rent is a large portion for those people, I really hope the government would probably provide a low rent housing in an convenient area for those people.

Week 11 Main: We all have food insecurity, it lies in every single person and family.

Week 11: We all have food insecurity, it lies in every single person and family.

  1. True fact:

#1: I bought a box of milk, which its expiry date says best before March 30,  I still remember on March 18th, when I drink it, the milk has already gone bad. I stored the milk in the fridge 24/7, why?

#2: A 24 hr grocery store near my place called RABBA, still the milk story, I bought a bag of milk ( it has 3 small bags inside), which on the tag it says best before April 30th, I was happy because it was the last bag of milk with the expiry date till the late april, When I got home and hope the bag, and I noticed on the small bag, it says the expiry date is March 30th. Although I swore to myself at the moment that I would never go to RABBA again, the next day, I went there to purchase fruit. Because it is the most convenient supermarket near my place.

2)The movie we watched during this week’s class impressed me a lot. ‘Food Source’, if we go back to the origin to a huge piece of chicken breast at metro, we might not want to eat any meat anymore. In the movie, one of the owner said “ these chicken has never seen the sunlight till they die” Also when talking about McDonald’s as one of the largest beef consumer in the world, they guaranteed “100% angus beef” I don’t know if that is true or not, but the big mac these days doesn’t even taste like beef. I do not want to trace back to any food source, because that would only disguise me. What can we do? we can do nothing about it. The food system has been running like this for many years, it has been a format that with a limited resource, those firm has to create enough food to make money and fill people’s needs.

3)Costco, as one of the largest wholesale supermarket in the world, has been reported that their beef steaks has bacteria may cause serious life-threatening illnesses. My family happened to do some grocery shopping there on the next day when we see this report. I thought there should be a huge line of people return the beef, and the beef would not be allowed for sale anymore. Surprisingly, I still see there’s a lot of people purchasing beef in the supermarket.

Looking at these fact of our food system, I feel very sad when writing this blog. I’ve never think about that the food in such a developed country has insecurity issue. I trust the food system, and never thought about what I eat, where it is come from, is it healthy…I’ve never thought about why the chicken breast is so huge, I’ve never thought about why the milk has gone bad way before the expiry date.

Well, When I start to think about this issue, what can we do? We still need to eat, food insecurity lies everywhere.

Week 10: secondary.

http://earthsky.org/human-world/2008-milk-scandal-a-new-twist-in-chinas-toxic-tale

I still remember when I tasted the first sip of milk in Canada, I was so surprised because I was drinking a completely different kind of ‘milk’ in the past 14 years. Physical appearance and description?Something white, more like water.

As we move our topic to the food insecurity, it made me think of this huge scandal happened in china five years ago, someone did a calculation and the results showed that with the milk cows we have in china, it was not possible to make that much milk we currently have on the market. Where does the extra milk come from?

I’m not a huge fan of milk, but I had to drink milk because everyone else was drinking. Elementary teacher told us milk is an important source of protein and it would make you smart. I had to admit when I first saw this article I felt pretty sad because I felt like that I have been poisoned since I was born.

Now the food insecurity issue is everywhere, I felt a little crushed after I know how a chicken was raised. Global north and south, the firms are all making the food that is unnatural, because their eyes’ are more on the profits. We know it, so what? we still need to eat.

week 10 main

When people talking about africa, the first image jumps to my mind is not the lions or leopard, it is actually the poor kids. With so many population and limited resources, the global south is always an area catches people’s attention when talking about the food insecurity in Africa. ‘In urban areas. the main characteristic of food insecurity is not food production but access to food. Accessibility hinges primarily on the individual or household’s ability to purchase foodstuffs, which in turn depends on household income, the price of food and the location of food outlets. Food may be economically accessible but spatially inaccessible. On the other hand, it may be spatially accessible but economically inaccessible.’ (Crush,2011, P.781) In the article, Crush states a fact that the people in the global south uses informal food economy more often than the global north,  I haven’t use any other forms of food source since I was born. My family purchase food from 3 supermarket, Costco, T&T, and Walmart. When the summer comes, we go to one of the local farm and pick up the blueberries, cherries, and strawberries. And that is the only time we do not get food from the supermarket.

Supermarkets play a huge role in my life. It is my main food source, I get most of my food from metro on Yonge/College. If there’s no supermarkets around where I live, honestly, I do not have any idea what to eat, I must ended up eat in the restaurant everyday. Although the food in the supermarket is more expensive than those informal food economy, I would rather pay more to get the food from a formal supermarket. It is safe, well, it is ‘safe’ to most of people in the global north because in our mindset, we are taught that these food are safe. My mom is a huge fan of Costco, she buys almost everything from there, beef, chicken, fruits, eggs, bread, blender, handsoaps, mops, cups…I still remember every weekend, I had to go to costco with her and work as a construction worker to move all the groceries to our fridge. Urban life makes us a believer of the supermarket, therefore, we would only consider supermarket as our only food source, we trust the supermarket, rely on it, and always believe it will have the best quality.

I still remember when I was in China, every morning on my way to school, there’s always lots of street venders selling fruits and vegetables. After moving to Canada, I ‘ve rarely seen it. I know there’s some in the Chinatown, but I never purchase any food from them.

The informal food economy is a main trend in the global south, it is cheap, people with low income would rarely think about what they eat, the first thing they are thinking is how to fill the whole family. The people in the global north purchase everything from the supermarket, they believe its quality because they were taught so.

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Sources:
Crush, J. and Frayne, B. 2011. Supermarket expansion and the informal food economy in Southern African cities: Implications for Urban Food Security. Journal of Southern African Studies, 37 (4), 781-807.