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food redefined

Austin’s best eats

Quick and convenient places to grab a bite for any meal

Dangerous desserts for chocoholics

Cake in a cup, plus more sweet recipes inside

Do you believe in miracles?

What scientists have discovered about miracle berries.

Freebirds or Chipotle: Which will win?

A fun way to eat local The dish behind Austin’s farmers markets

Plus, find out how girls feel about their butts

FoodJunki e meet the staff Michelle Z Delaney R. ~sushi Michelle has loved food for as long as she can remember. She was raised in a family of health freaks but never quite gave up on seeking delicious yet healthy foods. Michelle is vegetarian with a big appetite and openminded taste buds for international cuisine—anything vegetarian, that is. She seeks to make vegetarianism more than just tofu and plants. Michelle loves cooking, baking, dancing, writing, and singing.

~ice cream Delaney is a food fanatic who loves anything sweet or chocolatey. She thanks her lightningfast metabolism (as well as soccer) for her still slim figure, for otherwise all the sugar she eats would have made her quite morbidly obese. Despite this, Delaney loves to pig out with her friends, and sometimes looks to creative and healthy alternatives. She defines food as healthy, fun, and happy, just like herself.

Grace S. Narda S.


Grace has loved food ever since she was born. From then on she has experienced a wide variety of food from the spiciest to the sweetest. All this taste experience has pushed Grace toward a life of creating more deliciousness for the world to enjoy. She enjoys baking in her free time, along with pigging out on everything she bakes. Grace also enjoys playing soccer which helps her work up an appetite for new food to try.

~cucumber As a young girl, Narda was taught to love spicy food. However, that doesn’t mean her food interests haven’t expanded. She gives all types of food a chance. She’ll try eating everything and almost anything. At first she may be a little shy, but once you get to know her you’ll see a whole different side of her. As well as eating, Narda loves listening to different kinds of music, reading and partying with her friends.

Photo by: La Grande Farmers’ Market, annamatic3000, eszter, and lotusutol

table of contents:


Summer Snacks

15 Tripping Flavor 20 Chopsticks 101

1 05



Amazing Amy’s

07 Finding Edible Freedom 12 Organic: Healthier than Conventional?



The Best (Quick) 23 Eats in Town 26 Freebirds vs. Chipotle

39 40 41

4 27

Messing With Genes

30 Cake in a Cup 31 Sugar Mama’s 35 Pesticide Panic

Desserts From Around the World Baby Got Back An Outdated Diet Trend


Amazing Amy’s ON ANY normal day, Amy’s Ice Creams is filled with customers. Children are running around on a playscape and climbing on life sized painted cow statues as their parents chat casually with each other. Across the table thick creamy ice cream is dripping from a spoon, down the side of a purple cup. People sit at brightly colored tables all around. They are all eating different flavors of ice cream and, by the bulges in their cheeks and the smiles on their faces, it is easy to see that they are enjoying themselves. Amy’s Ice Creams has been attracting families as a place to hang out and have fun since 1984 and ever since then it has grown into an important part of Austins culture. This unique shop provides a family connection through ice cream but also gives the children in those families incentive to read and learn through participating in the creative contests that the shop comes up with. The shop has gone from being an idea in someones head to extraordinary shop that encourages creativity.

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Tessa Matus, a customer at Amy’s Ice Creams said “Yeah I think it’s cool when Amy’s comes to carnivals because its like they’re part of the community.” Amy’s Ice Creams has been doing this(carnivals) for a long time. Amy’s has organized events to get kids to read and write like the story contest where the kids with the best story got 25 free small ice creams with a crush’n. Amy’s also arranged a night where a percentage of their profits was given to the CASA kids of Travis county. “Well those little contests are good for young kids because it gives them incentive to learn and it’s like Amy is trying to bring everyone together.” said Matus. Even though Amy wasn’t always part of the Austin community, she quickly became one. The company started in 1984 when Amy came to Austin from Massachusetts, where she had worked at an ice cream shop while going to school. When she arrived in Austin Amy decided that she really

Photo Permission: Tammy Greene (aka Zesmerelda) Photo Permission: Robert Banh Photo Permission: WayTru

Written by GRACE S.

liked working at that ice cream shop and that Austin would be the perfect place to set up her own shop. In 1984 she wrote a hot check and started the first Amy’s Ice Creams. The first shop went well so she opened up more and now there are about 15 shops in Austin and surrounding areas like San Antonio. Zoe Whitworth, another customer at Amy’s, said “I like the shirt designs, especially the ones with all the tye-dye. And I like the ones with the slogans (“Keep Austin Weird”) on the back because they are eye catching.” Amy’s is a big supporter of keeping Austin weird and this is obvious because they have joined the group of local businesses that make shirts with that slogan to advertise their business. They help maintain Austin’s weirdness because their application process is unique, an applicant just has to do something creative with a paper bag and return it to the shop with their information on/in it. They are also weird because they can become an ice cream shop “on the mooooove.”

Amy’s Ice Creams was started by a person that wanted to become a part of the community. When she did, Amy decided to improve the lives of her customers. The ice cream shops were designed to encourage creativity in the employees and the customers that participated in the contests while they enjoyed their ice cream. n

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Finding Edible


Many things make up Austin’s uniqueness—the open-minded people here contribute to that. There’s one place that their ideas and their passion for “what’s real” come together. photographs by Scottish Government and pipnstuff/ article written by MICHELLE Z.

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Texas, is just one of many who makes up the spirit of the farmers market, and alongside the wide open air, the freedom can definitely be felt here. And it’s that freedom to choose a healthier, happier lifestyle that draws crowds to the market every week, rain or shine. “People want to eat local because everything is very fresh, and they still have their vitamins… or VIT-amins, as I like to say,” Davis says jokingly. Eating local is “also better for the environment,” says Rod Ardwin of Acadian Family Farms, “it’s not shipped from a long ways.” Eating locally grown foods not only supports local businesses—something Austin is very keen on—but it also reduces the carbon footprint of people who buy food that is grown two miles away, as opposed to 200. Sustainable farming practices are increasing in popularity because more and more people are recognizing the benefits for the Earth as well as for themselves. “People eat what’s in season right here,” Ardwin says. Eating local is about eating what’s growing in Austin right now, instead of mangoes in the winter shipped all the way from Chile’s summertime climate, or peaches, picked and frozen in spring and thawed for enjoyment the next winter. Ardwin harvests carrots and spinach in the early spring and squash in the

Photos by: Natalie Maynor, Steve Webel and Laura K. Gibbs

Farmers spend a lot of time “getting to know” their vegetables and tending to them. That’s what makes farmer’s markets so unique from the local supermarket.

JUST BEHIND the Dillard’s of Barton Creek Mall where people bustle in and out of glass doors with plastic shopping bags, lies almost another world. The white vendor’s tents are tucked neatly into the parking lot space, gleaming in the afternoon sun. No such plastic bags exist here unless absolutely necessary, as reusable canvas bags are the norm, stuffed with vegetables harvested just minutes ago. Here the widest varieties of Austinites gather, once a week on Saturday mornings, to enjoy some of the finest produce that local farmers have to offer. Occasionally shoppers will sit down for a rest, enjoying the live music resonating from the tent in the center. Others chat happily, pushing baby strollers or discussing in-season produce with the farmers. It’s hard to imagine that such a lively crowd could exist outside of such an urbanized mall, selling vegetables and honey like it’s out in the middle of the hill country. But upon stepping into this social gathering of sorts, it’s understandable why the material world right next door is so easily forgotten. “It’s the freedom to dictate your own life, and just being able to work with the land, that makes me want to do this,” says Ginger Davis, motioning at her wide array of vegetables proudly. Davis, who owns Hillside Farms in Stonewall,

“ The best part is interacting directly with your customers that way they can see where their food is coming from.”

summer, but there are many year-round crops as well. Shoppers at the farmers markets appreciate the fact that the food they consume is grown according to the seasons. Marie Case, who has been buying from farmers markets for over 10 years, says, “The nearer to cutting and picking you are, the fresher it’s gonna get. Also, food is safer when a smaller farmer manages their whole farm, as opposed to giant farm industries. Plus, [the food] simply tastes better.” There’s indeed something different about the way that local foods taste. The tomatoes, picked minutes ago, are soft and warm from the sun, not refrigerated and put in boxes at the supermarket. However, another important aspect of buying from the farmers market is clear, the relationship between farmer and buyer. “The best part is interacting directly with your customers—that way they can see where their food is coming from. It’s safer that way, makes the buyers feel better about what they’re eating, you know? It’s like everyone having a personal doctor—well, now you can have a personal farmer, too. Bet they don’t do that at H-E-B, huh?” Dale says. People love getting to know their local farmers personally, it makes the food seem that much more real. Dale Ringger, who owns a sustainable farming practice in Austin called Fruitful Hill, constantly waves at the passersby, who smile back at him with a friendly nod, occasionally stopping by to ask how his business is going. Many of Austin’s local businesses like Dale’s have flourished under the many farmers markets around town, and the Barton Creek Farmers Market isn’t the only place to go local; many other options are sprawled out all over Austin. The Austin Farmers Market is located on Guadalupe, the SFC Farmers Market is in Southwest Austin, and many new markets including Sprouts and Newflower have opened in recent years. Additionally, a wide variety of organic deliveries and sustainable

farming practices such as Greenling and Johnson’s Backyard Garden offer their produce to the public. Greenling delivers organic and locally grown fruits and vegetables. Johnson’s Backyard Garden does the same thing, but provides more interaction, allowing buyers to help harvest in the farm itself and take away a portion of what they helped harvest. Most of the larger local farming businesses are certified organic. However, being certified organic by the USDA or Quality Assurance International is not so easy, and most farmers instead stick to farming chemical-free. “We farm chemical free because we like to eat the stuff ourselves; it’s also better for our farmers to breathe air that’s chemical free.” Rod Ardwin says. The surprising thing is, most local farmers use organic farming practices; most are simply not certified organic because there’s too much paperwork in the process. It’s a thing called “chem-free” at the farmers market that attracts buyers. “Ev-

Angela Smith raises free-range chickens, taking pride in the natural, organic eggs they produce.

“It’s a great way of covering a lifespan, to go back and see that things are changing, but the people are the same. ”

Many local options are available in Austin, including Greenling, farmer’s markets, Sprouts and a unique place called Johnson’s Backyard Garden (a locally owned farm that invites customer interaction for harvesting season). Additionally, Newflower farmer’s market is a cheap alternative to the healthy but expensive foods offered by other local food stores.

erything is grown organically, or at least in the methods we consider organic. There’s a lot of paperwork that needs to be filled out, so we’re not certified…but eventually we’re hoping to get that worked out,” says Randy Graybill, who owns Lavender Farms in Austin. Farming without pesticides is important to both farmers and buyers at the farmers market, and for most, “chem-free” is just as good as “certified organic”. “I go to the farmers market to buy produce that isn’t covered in pesticides; I don’t really care about the other qualifications of being ‘organic’, it just has to be natural and pesticide-free,” says Tim Zhang, who loves to cook for his family using ingredients from the market. Like Tim, many people consider chem-free to be the most basic and essential form of organic, and the majority of farmers that sell at the farmers market are chemical-free. However, vegetables, fruits and prepared foods aren’t the only products sold at the market. Jean Davison, a local anthropologist and writer, comes to the farmers market to advertise her new book, called “The Ostrich Wakes”. “[The

book] is about a visit back to the area [in Kenya] where I’ve worked with tea and coffee farmers for the last 30 years. The women there began to trust me with their life stories, and this book is about their experiences. It’s a great way of covering an entire lifespan, to go back and see that things are changing, but the people themselves are the same. As I like to say, it’s ‘making that connection to your cup of tea’; or coffee, if you prefer; to enjoy it and know where it came from, the experiences behind it,” she says. Fresh ideas sprout from the open-minded gathering of shoppers through books, words and song. These ideas are exchanged around the market just as much, or perhaps even more so, than the groceries that people come to buy. Inside the world behind Dillard’s is a part of what defines Austin as a culture. It introduces unique ways of thinking, living and eating to the public, giving life to a new generation of Austinites and revolutionizing the way that the world eats, one person at a time. They feel that there’s a certain beauty in giving back to the “Keep Austin Weird” community and a certain freedom in eating healthy foods. And it’s that freedom—the freedom of choice—that keeps bringing people back. n

Photographs by timailius, davidsilver, and peasap

Organic: Healthier than Conventional? Written by NARDA S.

Every week a choice must be made between organic food and conventional food, but what’s the difference?

I WALK into the supermarket. On my right there’s a basket of shiny red apples, on my left there are the exact same apples but they say organic. Which do I choose? Is there a difference? Ever since the Passage of the Organic Foods Production Act (OFPA) in 1990, people have gone crazy. Organic farming has become one of the fastest growing sectors of U.S. agriculture, according to the USDA. You cannot even mention “healthy” without organic coming into the equation. Organic food has a different way of being processed than conventional food. According to the USDA organic regulations, irradiation, sewage sludge, or genetically modified organisms are prohibited in organic production. Irradiation is used for the sterilization and preservation of food through the application of ionizing radiation. However, it doesn’t make the food radioactive, instead it `kills bacteria and parasites that may otherwise infect the food. Sewage sludge is the end product of the wastewater treatment process (purification of our waste) and is used as fertilizer. Organic regulations also have a list of recom mendations on the national list of allowed synthetic and prohibited natural substances that farmers must meet. When it comes to organic livestock, antibiotics are prohibited and Food Junkie Issue 1


U.S. organic industry “ grew 27 percent in 2006

to reach the $17.7 billion in consumer sales.

100% organic feed is required. The system of farming also takes care of the soil without using toxics, pesticides and fertilizers. The Organic Trade Association’s 2007 Manufacturer Survey says that the U.S organic industry grew 27 percent in 2006 to reach the $17.7 billion in consumer sales. In conventional farming there are synthetic chemicals that increase the growth of the crops. Pesticides are used to control the amount of weeds and pests. Antibiotics are also given to animals to prevent disease. Organic food has none of that. Whenever the word healthy is mentioned to food enthusiasts, the first thought that comes to their mind is organic. According to an FDA policy organic is defined, as “the product does not contain synthetic or artificial ingredients.” Healthy is defined as, “the product must meet certain criteria that limit the amounts of fat, saturated fat,

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cholesterol, and sodium, and require specific minimum amounts of vitamins, minerals, or other beneficial nutrients.” When it comes to our body there’s no difference between organic and conventional food. There have been several researchers that are trying to conclude whether organic food has a larger nutritional value than non-organic, and some have claimed that it is. However the most recent study from The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition stated that organic food isn’t healthier. The authors from the London School of Hygiene & Tropical Medicine found that there was no statistical difference in 10 of the 13 nutritional content categories which were: Vitamin, Magnesium, Potassium, and Calcium among others. When eating organic, you have to keep in mind that you can’t just eat organic food and be healthy. The definition of organic differs from healthy. Basically, organic and healthy are two different things. Everyone has to realize that just because you eat natural or organic food doesn’t mean that we’ll be healthy. I could have ice cream that fulfills the organic rubric, but not the healthy because of its high cholesterol. I could eat organic Oreos, or some other junk food but it won’t make a difference because I won’t be eating well. To be healthy, you need to have a balanced diet that includes the five main food groups: whole grains, fruit and vegetables, protein, dairy, fat and sugar. Nowhere on the food pyramid does it say that it has to be organic. Being healthy does not only include the food you eat but the amount of physical activity you participate in. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention

(CDC), to maintain a healthy diet you need a balance between the calorie input and the calorie output. Not eating well can lead to several diseases. It can lead to obesity and that leads to chronic diseases including heart disease, diabetes, high blood pressure, stroke and some forms of cancer, according to National Center of Biotechnology (NCBI). Don’t just think that by eating organic, you’ll be healthy. It’s not the answer. Another thing that everyone must realize is that just because a label says that the product is organic doesn’t mean that it is local. That organic apple I may be about to grab could have been flown in from some other country, instead of the farm around the corner, and that comes with a large price. In 2006, according to the Journal of Food Science, organic products cost 10-40% more than conventional products. The time has come to choose. I reach out and grab the non organic apple. When there’s not much difference in nutritional value and the cost of organic is high (especially during this recession) it’s best to pick conventional over organic. It’ll be easy on your money and still provide you with what you need to get through your day. n

Quick and Easy Suggestions


Summer Snacks

fruit smoothie For your basic fruit smoothie you’ll need some strawberries, a banana, one orange/ peach/mango juice and 2 cups of ice.In a blender, combine strawberries, banana and peaches. Blend until fruit is pureed. Blend in the juice. Add ice and blend to desired consistency. Pour into glasses and serve.

Fruit Dip You will need a cup cold milk, 1 package of instant lemon pudding mix, 1 cup of sour cream. In a small bowl, whisk milk and pudding mix for 2 minutes. Let stand for 2 minutes or until soft-set. Whisk in sour cream. Chill until serving. Enjoy!

Fruit parfait You will need a banana, strawberries, chopped pineapple, and granola for this basic parfait. Toss fruits in a bowl and toss gentley.Into each parfait dish, layer 1/4 of fruit mixture, 1 tablespoon granola, 1/4 cup yogurt, 1/4 cup fruit mixture, 1/4 cup yogurt, 1 tablespoon granola and then garnsih with a strawberry.

trail mix When you’re on a trail or a long walk the best way to keep up with your protein and carbohydrates is with a trail mix. The usual trail mix contains a mixture of: • Dried fruit: raisins, dried apricots, dried cranberries, dried cherries. • Nuts and seeds: peanuts, almonds, hazelnuts, sunflower seeds. • Chocolate and more: M&Ms, chocolate chips, white chocolate chips, • Salty stuff: Pretzels,oriental rice crackers, salty “party mix” cereal. • Cereals: Any breakfast cereal, granola.

Written by NARDA S.

Picture by Mio-spr

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These are raving parties unlike any you have been to before. Here the guests are stuffing their faces with vinegar, sour cream, and bitter beer. Sound like some strange party trays right? Well, there’s a reason it’s called a flavor tripping party, and all guests are riding on the hope that the miracle berry works for them.

Written by DELANEY R. Art Credit: Forest & Kim Starr, Brandi Richey and Delaney R.

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“NO.” This is all freshman Emily J. can say when contemplating the lasting effects of the miracle berry. Reason why? She is tripping out on the seemingly-miraculous effects of the duely named miracle berry. She is unable to even form a coherent response during her first flavortripping party, where she has tasted a lime, lemon, and 90% dark chocolate. For her the miracle berry isn’t properly working for all the food she has tasted so far. “BAD worked for lime, no work for lemon or chocolate.” Emily has once again proved herself unable to think and make statements clearly. The miracle berry may not have met her expectations, but others were astounded by its effects.

Foods when under the effects of the miracle berry: Lemons- lemonade drenched in sugar Grapefruit- sweet and intense Kiwi-blueberry coated in sugar Tangerine- candied orange Honey- unbearably sweet 66% Dark Chocolate- less bitter but less chocolate-y Strawberry- strawberry jam Coffee- no change

Miracle berries are the star of flavortripping parties, a different sort of party that is spreading across America. These parties are most commonly found in cities such as San Fran and NYC. The miracle berry is a small red fruit produced from a shrub, which can alter the taste of foods and make sour foods taste sweet. Amber M., a LASA freshman, says that she can, “still taste the things, but it was like they had been soaked with sugar for a while.” The magic of the miracle berry presented a life where it can be used practically, as well as for simple enjoyment and entertainment. But there are some contentious views of Miracle Berries being used in our foods. The FDA has refused to approve the use of miraculin (the active ingredient) as a food additive, prohibiting its inclusion in food products. But there are those who still have faith in the miracle berry’s life as a sweetener. “I think that people enjoy miracle fruit. I’m sorry that the FDA drove miracle

fruit products off the market in the 1970s. People could have been enjoying miracle fruit all this time,” says Linda Bartoshuk from the University of Florida’s center for smell and taste. The miracle berry also has a traditional use in its native home in tropical west Africa. There it is used by natives to make their native diet (consisting of a few sour plants and fruits) a little more edible. This was discovered in 1725 by French explorer Des Marchais. In the U.S. its future was cut short by the FDA, but the miracle berry remains alive in the supporters of flavortripping. These flavor-tripping parties, according to the website mad flavor science, can be run by anything from a “loose-knit-but-alsobadass group of friends” to a group of scientists studying how the miracle berry can make “stout beers taste like chocolate milkshakes, grapefruits taste like pixie sticks, cheeses taste like frosting, it will make even the crappiest tequila taste like lemonade (and strangely enough, it will make all wine taste like Manischewitz).” Not that the members of this party are trying all of these. There are always those who try the miracle berry but doubt its power. “I was surprised that the sour foods actually tasted sweet,” LASA freshman Kevin S. said, “I didn’t think the tablets would work.” Despite his skepticism, he stands among his peers with a puckered face and eyes squinted shut while he waits for the tablet to dissolve. Many people at this flavortripping bash find the miracle berry (or

“ It’s like a candy Willy Wonka would have invented...” tablet) itself tastes much worse than the unaltered versions of the food they are consuming. The reactions to the tablet’s taste range from statements that, “at first it tastes like tree. like strips of bark or wood shavings,” to, “’twas disgusting like barf tablets,” and, “the foretaste was wretched.” But most find the taste of the tablet changed as the berry’s supernatural powers began to take effect. Emily believes the tablet tastes “like vomit and wood and strawberries and more vomit and ‘pasty.’” These LASA students, like Emily, may be mentally affected by the magic of the miracle berry. Then again, this is LASA, no one should be surprised. Since there are differing opinions of the “foretaste” of the miracle berry, it is expected that various aftertastes may pop up as well. Most people do not notice any lasting effects of the miracle berry, but some believe there is a “chalky aftertaste” and that their tongue feels “all tingly and swollen.” A few unlucky souls still have a “slight vomitish taste” in their mouths during the party, even 20 minutes after they took the tablet.

There’s before, after, and during. Most people who try the miracle berry taste a few basic foods, with some varying results. Straight vinegar is often said to taste like nothing at all, or at least “much less sharp.” A slice of lemon or lime tasted like lemonade, an orange, or a margarita. But not all the responses were positive; student Veronica B. believed that 90% dark chocolate “tasted like dirt.” It doesn’t get much more blunt than that. Whether it’s effective for everyone or not, the miracle berry has proven it does have a way to mess with the senses, specifically taste. Though this may come as a surprise, science is actually behind the miracle berry’s supernatural gift. The Miraculin coats the tastebuds and temporarily changes

Though Dr. Bartoshuk has never encountered any negative effects of the miracle berry, she does offer a word of warning: “They remain acidic in the stomach even if they taste extremely sweet!” LASA student Michelle Z. is experiencing a few issues during the party. “All that acid [isn’t] very good for my stomach... it [feels] really weird, and my teeth hurt because of the lemons. The probably eating my stomach walls right now!”

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their shape, causing the taste receptors to interpret certain flavors differently. It’s this one little component that can change so much. By now the party is over, and everyone files out the door. Shoes squeak when they pass over the lemon juice stuck to the floor. The hosts turn and face the disaster left behind. This may be a different kind of party, but one thing stays the same: the mess. For now this is as far as the miracle berry’s career has

gotten—entertaining at parties. Maybe in the future it will show up in the smallest print on the ingredient label that no one reads; or maybe it has reached its peak and it’s all downhill from here, and maybe Emily will find herself able to form a complete sentence (with correct grammar). Who knows what the future will bring... n

chopsticks 101

“The honorable and upright man keeps well away from both the slaughterhouse and the kitchen. And he allows no knives on his table.� CONFUCIUS

a sneak peek at Asian culture

The lonnnng history behind a pair of short wooden sticks Since the dawn of humanity, chopsticks have been an essential part of the Chinese empire, eventually spreading to other parts of the world. This simple pair of wooden sticks has played an important role in human development, human culture and cuisine. So next time you use a pair, take a moment to think about where it came from. Written by MICHELLE Z. Photos by OLGUCZ & JOE PITZ

the essentials Chopsticks originated in ancient China, as early as the Shang Dynasty (1766-1122 BCE), and may have been made of bronze. They are traditionally made of bamboo, but the dining utensils of emperors and other royalty were made of gold. They are now made with anything from stainless steel or porcelain to bamboo or palmwood, depending on the culture. They also come in various lengths and sizes, intended for different purposes such as noodles, soup, rice, or cooking. Most East Asian cultures use chopsticks, such as China, Japan, North & South Korea, and Vietnam. Most of East Asian cuisine is prepared with this utensil in mind (such as noodles), making chopsticks easier to use in Asian cuisine.

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chopsticks 101

chopstick etiquette

Knowing the basics of chopsticks is important, but at the same time it’s important to realize that chopstick etiquette varies from country to country. It’s not as simple as learning how to pick up food. In order to use them correctly, one has to know how to use them so as not to offend whoever is watching.

CHINA: In Chinese culture, it is considered polite to hold the bowl of rice while using chopsticks to push the rice into the mouth. It is improper to stab food with chopsticks (though there are exceptions such as kimchi and fish balls) and to make noise with them. Chopsticks should also never be left stuck vertically in a bowl, as this suggests death. KOREA: Unlike most East Asian cultures, in Korea it is considered impolite to pick the bowl up off the table to bring it closer to the mouth. This is why people in Korea rarely use chopsticks to eat rice, and they use the specially designed Korean spoon instead. Chopsticks must never be laid to the left of a spoon, as this is only done at funerals. In Korea, spoons are almost always used with chopsticks for eating food. JAPAN: Food should not be transferred from one pair of chopsticks to another, nor should anyone use their own chopsticks to grab food from a shared plate. Chopsticks should never be placed on the table crossed, and the pointed ends should be placed on a chopstick rest, because these also represents death and funeral rites.

VIETNAM: Rice is put in plates and eaten with chopsticks, because Vietnamese rice is usually quite sticky. Chopsticks should not be sucked on or bitten. HONG KONG: The elder of the family picks up his or her chopsticks first. Serving chopsticks are commonly used but don’t use chopsticks backwards. Placing chopsticks on top of the bowl means you’re finished while placing them to the side of the bowl means you’re just “taking a break” from eating. HOW TO USE THEM: Most of you, at some point in your lives, have probably attempted to use chopsticks. In case you still don’t know how, here are the basic steps: 1. Hold one chopstick like you would hold a pencil., pointer finger resting on top. 2. Put the second chopstick underneath the first chopstick, putting your middle finger slightly between the two chopsticks. 3. Use your pointer finger and ring

finger to move the chopsticks in a tong-like fashion. 4. Enjoy your meal...and don’t forget proper etiquette!

one more thing How to Say “Chopsticks” in Four Different Languages VERY TOP: The word on the tea cup, “fu”, means luck. ABOVE: Chopstick holders are found most commonly in Japan.

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...just in case you’re lost in some Asian country and there are no forks in sight (though that’s probably not the worst case scenario). In Chinese, chopsticks is “kuai zi”, “kuai” meaning quick. In Korean, “jeo” means chopsticks, and used in the compound “jeokkarak”. In Japanese, chopsticks are called “hashi”, but more commonly known as “otemoto”. In Vietnamese, chopsticks are known as “dua”.

pizza Numbers and facts on one of Awmerica’s favorite foods. Written By NARDA S. Photos by The Eggplant and Akuban

93% of Americans eat at least ONE pizza per month.


slices, or 23 lbs, of pizza are eaten by each person in the U.S. per year.


3 5 1987

BILLION dollars are made in the pizza industry.


pizzerias are located throughout the U.S.

October was inaugurated as the National Pizza Month in the U.S.


acres of Pizza are eaten each day by Americans.


Of the U.S. population eats pizza.

of Americans prefer meat toppings on their pizzas, and the other 38% prefer Vegetarian.


times as many women prefer vegetarian toppings than men The least-liked topping in the U.S is anchovies.


lbs of pepperoni are eaten annually in the U.S.


of all pizzas in the U.S. contain pepperoni, other major toppings are mushrooms, extra cheese, sausage, green pepper and onions.


topping in the U.S. is pepperoni. Toppings in other countries would include: Japan- Eel and Squid Russia-”mockba,” a combination of sardines, tuna, mackerel, salmon and onions. France-the Flambé, with bacon, onion and fresh cream Costa Rica- Coconut

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t h e b e s eats in towt (quick) n


It’s three in the afternoon and you want a breakfast taco. Or you’re feeling especially carnivorous and just want a piece of bread with a slab of meat on it—hold the lettuce. Where to go? Find the best places to eat without killing your wallet. HOW TO FIND...

Creative Sushi

The Perfect Breakfast Taco

If you want the cheapest, most delicious tacos with the fastest service, you might wanna head on over to Maria’s. The eclectic environent, saturated with lively music and a lively crowd, is a great way to enjoy a breakfast taco, whether for breakfast or not. You can get tacos for around $1.50 to $2, depending on what you get, and once you’ve tried Maria’s migas, you’re guaranteed to love tacos for the rest of your life. If you’re in for a more filling taco, Torchy’s is the place to go. Tacos are relatively cheap, as well as creative and delicious-sounding (some of them, anyway), from Fried Avocado to Build-YourOwn. Plus, they have great spicy tacos, so you don’t need to drown your tacos in salsa for great flavor.

Mmm, sushi, a whole new category of Asian cuisine. When it comes to sushi, there’s nothing more creative than Maki Sushi: How Do You Roll? This place is a Japanese-style Subway. The inventor of sushi would have been proud of this modern, bistro-like environment inspired by sushi. It’s not expensive, and you can have your sushi any way you want. It makes eating sushi even more fun than it already is.

Tasty & Healthy Crunchy Fries Fries are easy to find; good fries, not so much. Need a hint? Don’t go to McDonald’s. Hyde Park Bar & Grill is known all around the city for their crunchy, savory fries. Waterloo Ice House’s fries also make for great comfort food, and Austin Chronicle says that Mike’s Pub is a great place to get french fries as well, although I myself have never been there.

The Juiciest Burger Everyone is always screaming, “P. Terry’s, P. Terry’s, P.Terry’s....” Yes, P. Terry’s is spectacular, but I understand that sometimes you just want a taste of something new. To grab a great, juicy burger for a small price, go to Mighty Fine. Besides their burgers, they also have amazing fries and shakes. Been there, done that? Try Fran’s burgers; or, spare a cow and grab a veggie burger from Central Market Cafe. Waterloo Ice House has great burgers as well, and TerraBurger is also really good, offering 100% organic beef, fries and ice-cream.

Ever since Paul McCartney’s Meat Free Monday, vegetarianism has increased in popularity. For some reason, most of the veggie places here are Asian/Indian cuisine. We found the best and brought them to you. Veggie Heaven, conveniently downtown, is a little place tucked inside the hectics of Guadalupe, but the food is good and cheap. Another great place is Madra’s Pavilion on Research Blvd. Here they offer a wide variety of Indian dishes as well as great desserts.


Palatable Pizza

Savory Sweets This one was really difficult to pick; there are SO many wonderful places around Austin to get delicious sweets. For cheesecake, the Cheesecake Factory is always good, but that can be too upscale for some people. Instead, I chose Mangieri’s Pizza Cafe (who would’ve thought!). This place has some of the best tiramisu in the world (and their pizza is quite good as well). Want icecream? Better yet, want gelato? I highly recommend Teo’s. My last choice is Sweetish Hill Bakery & Cafe, which also offers a lot of fine pastries and cakes at a reasonable price. Visit their websites for more info on pricing and location.

Your Comfort Food It may come as a surprise, but there’s more to Panera Bread than just their bread. If you like soup, bread and macaroni and cheese, Panera Bread is a great place for you. I didn’t really expect much out of a bakery place, but Panera produces just about the best combination of pasta and cheese sauce there is. They also have a lot of soups, perfect for anyone craving their personal comfort food. There are four locations around Austin... yes, it’s a chain and doesn’t really stick to the whole “Keep Austin Weird” thing, but you gotta admit it, Panera is a whole different kind of chain.

Authentic Tex-Mex/Mexican

For those of you who are somewhat tired of Chuy’s (like me) but love Tex-Mex, we’ve got a whole list for you, starting with Maudie’s. For years Maudie’s has stood in the shadow of Chuy’s, yet everyone recognizes that it has better Tex-Mex and supposedly, better margaritas. Another great place is Flores in Oak Hill, which has amazing lunch specials and many authentic Mexican recipes. Of course, there is Julio’s Cafe in Hyde Park, which serves much of the same dishes at a great price. Breakfast, lunch, and dinner are served, and the food is suitable for anyone.

Five words: I like my thin crusts. If you’re like me, then deep-dish pizza just isn’t your thing. My family orders Papa John’s every other week, and I think I might just move out if that increases. Meanwhile, there are so many more wonderful pizza places in Austin, that you can’t even begin to name all of them. Going to school in East Austin acquainted me with an obscure but delicious pizza place, called Eastside Pies. It’s the best pizza you’ll ever get your hands on. A more convenient pizzeria is Niki’s Pizza, which I’ve also been to a couple of times. Now, if you prefer deep-dish pizzas, sorry about that—Mangia’s has some pretty good stuffed pizzas, though; also, try Conan’s: weird environment, but great pizza.

Just About Anything Edible If you crave something more random than what we’ve offered, something that doesn’t really fit into any of the specific categories, then I suggest Kerbey Lane Cafe. That place has everything from vegan pancakes to pork salad. (Don’t get me wrong—it’s really good, and they use all natural meats.) The original location is off S. Lamar, but this summer they’re planning to open a new Southwest location. Well...actually, let me correct myself. They have everything that isn’t Asian. If you want some yummy bubble tea (iced drinks with tapioca pearls), go to Coco’s for a wide variety. They also have some really wonderful snacks there.

Freebirds vs. Chipotle an epic battle... Story by Delaney R.

It has long been debated whether Freebirds or Chipotle has the better burritos. To give the world an answer once and for all, I set out to discover which burritos were preferred by LASA teachers and students of all ages. In the end, Freebirds won in a landslide— sorry, Chipotle!



Messing with


It’s in the genes. It’s always in the genes. All you are is a whole bunch of genes. So what happens when you mess with those genes...?

THERE ONCE was a day when you could walk out the door of your grandmother’s house and pick dinner from the garden. She always had a supply of handpicked fruits and vegetables for an after-school treat. On the weekends you could make orange juice after picking oranges fresh from the tree. Today too much of our food comes from the laboratory; oranges have been modified to grow larger and are no longer purely oranges. Their genetic content has been altered, and they sure ain’t the treats you used to get from grandma. Genetically modified (GM) foods plague our supermarkets and pantry shelves these days. They are unnatural and potentially dangerous, with the science still in its infancy. The risks outweigh the benefits and GM foods should not be consumed or produced. We need to keep the food we fuel ourselves with pure, as nature intended. Many religious and cultural communities see genetic modification as unnatural. Countries throughout the world, including the United States, don’t properly label the GM foods since law doesn’t require it. Companies fear it would be bad for business, forcing people who wouldn’t normally purchase GM food to do so unknowingly. Old Nellie who lived down the street used to tell me not to eat what I don’ know, and I think food with animal genes would fall under that category. According to the May issue of National Geographic, 60 percent of grocery food in the United States contains GM ingredients. Many Americans aren’t aware that this percentage is so high and that so much of the food they eat has been GM. This shows how unaware so many people are of the spread of genetic modification, possibly because of something as seemingly small as lack of proper labeling or something larger, such as the lack of Food Junkie Issue 1


Genetic Modification is the science of today and now. Companies are quickly coming up with new foods to combine and sell for an enormous profil. Featured here is a Grapple fruit, looks like an apple and tastes like a grape.

media attention that GM foods have received. We need reporters and news stations to tell us what scientists are putting into our food, when it used to be that the only time food drama drew the attention of the media was when the local Hilbert’s was out of fresh strawberries. For all that people argue that GM foods are the key to reducing environmental stress, they cause environmental damage their own way. The pesticides built into GM foods can unintentionally harm creatures such as the Skylark. The native farm bird of Britain, the Skylark, was affected by the introduction of GM sugar beets that had been engineered to resist herbicides. According to an Australian Gene Technology study, after planting this crop, the weeds reduced substantially. There was a negative effect for the Skylark, though, because the birds rely on the seeds of this weed in the autumn and winter. With their food source so greatly diminished, it is expected that up to 80 percnet of the Skylark population will have to find a different food

Photo by caseymultimedia

source or they will starve. This isn’t the only case of animals being indirectly affected by GM foods. Tests in the U.S. showed that 44 percent of the monarch butterfly caterpillars died when fed large amounts of pollen from GM corn. This shows that GM foods may pose a health risk to native animals. Though GM foods may reduce the amount of pesticides used, it can harm the creatures that live off the land. Many people also say that GM foods are helping us feed the growing starving population throughout the world. However, experts are of the opinion that with the increase of GM foods, developing countries will become more dependent on the industrial countries that are providing them with foods and paying for the GM food research. This would make it likely for food production to be completely controlled by the industrial countries in the time to come. This also presents the issue of the foreign exploitation of natural resources. With so many potential risks, feeding the world with GM foods isn’t the brilliant revolution that so many had hoped for. An associated argument is that GM

foods grow faster than foods grown in traditional manner, leading to increased productivity. However, another Australian Gene Technology research paper presented the possibility that we may not be able to control the GM crops that have spread to the environment. In Europe, a strain of sugar beet was modified to be resistant to a particular herbicide; however, it acquired the genes to resist another as well. When farmers attempted to destroy the crop in Britain, France, and the Netherlands, 0.5 percent of the crop survived, forcing them to use more noxious herbicides, which harmed the land even further. It seems that all technology has done for us is attack the land we live on. Scientists also say that GM foods have the potential to deliver vaccines and keep foods from causing food allergies. Everyone is excited for the bananas that have the hepatitis B vaccine and being able to eat their favorite cookies even if they aren’t gluten-free. But what if the science behind genetic modification that makes Written by DELANEY R.

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WHAT IT IS AND HOW IT WORKS Genetic engineering is when scientists change the DNA of living organisms. DNA acts as a blueprint and changing the DNA changs the whole life of the organism. Molecular biologists use enzymes to change the structure of DNA. Some enzymes can cut and join strands of DNA. Scientists use these to copy and paste specific genes from DNA to build a customized DNA. This procedure does not work on 100 percent of cells but it is one of the many methods used by molecular biologists to create “better” foods for the growing population.

these food miracles happen also causes disease? Some crops are modified using the DNA from viruses and bacteria, increasing the chances of new diseases emerging. Other crops have antibiotic-resistant marker genes, which are used by scientists to determine if their genetic modification was successful, but what if these antibiotic-resistant genes are transferred to microorganisms that cause disease? This would increase our already growing problem of ineffective antibiotics. There have also been studies that have shown that some animals who eat GM maize are at a higher risk for damage to the kidneys and liver, as well as levels of damages to the heart, adrenal glands, spleen and haematopoietic (blood) system. Why are we still eating GM foods and feeding it to animals when it can cause organ damage? But it gets worse, according to some experts: people who consume GM foods have higher chances of developing cancer. Sure, it seems like everything causes cancer these days, but when you’re mess-

ing with genes, you may get some dangerous and unexpected results. We have not evaluated the risks of GM foods sufficiently. There is a potential environmental impact through the unintended transfer of transgenes through cross-pollination and the loss of flora and fauna biodiversity. GM foods have not been around long enough for us to know the long-term effects that they can have on the human body. Good, pure, organic food has been replaced with GM food. Boy, what happened to the good ol’ days? n

Photo credited to Lori Ann and link to

5 MINUTE CHOCOLATE MUG CAKE RECIPE A dangerous dessert for chocoholics Written by GRACE S.

CHOCOHOLICS BEWARE: After this point, with the proper ingredients, you will forever be only five minutes away from a personal chocolate cake. It is important to keep control of yourself so you don’t missuse this information and end up with an unwanted outcome. Imgredients: 4 tablespoons of sugar 4 tablespoons of flour 2 tablespoons of cocoa 3 tablespoons of chocolate chips (optional) 3 tablespoons of olive oil (or 1 and a half tablespoons of applesauce and 1 and a half tablespoons of oil) 3 tablespoons of milk 1 egg A small splash of vanilla extract 1 large coffee mug





Mix the dry ingredients (sugar, flour, and cocoa) together in the cup.

2 Add the egg and mix thoroughly

3 Pour in the milk and oil then mix well.


Add the chocolate chips (if you are using them) and vanilla extract, mix again.


You can add fruit to the side and whipped cream on top of your finished product to make it tastier and healthier. You can either save the chocolate cake for yourself or share it with another person.

Put your mug in the microwave and cook for three minutes. The cake will rise over the top of the mug, but don’t be alarmed! Take it out and allow to cool a little, tip out onto a plate if desired. Enjoy!

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It’s just good for us to share the love,”

Picture by: Narda Salinas

Sugar Mama’s Bakeshop

With the nation’s increased love for cupcakes, several cupcakes have opened in Austin. One of the most recent and popular bakeshop is Sugar Mama’s and it has a story... Written By NARDA S. Photos taken by Narda and Rachel’s Cupcakes Take the Cake

UPON ENTERING the shop, people see black and white floors, two circular tables with red chairs on one side of the small place. Stacked in the corner are booster seats for little kids. Stacked in another corner right across from them is a red bureau with bakery books, cookie and coffee tins. A small table is lined up by the window with red stools an on one of the walls polka dotted pink and brown and red and pink aprons are hanging clotheslines with a sign “Aprons, ask for pricing”. People walk in and ask to join a table where one

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man is already sitting. A bit of soft up-beat music plays in the background. Pretty soon these strangers are smiling and laughing, having a conversation while enjoying their cupcakes. Now what place can bring people together like this? Sugar Mama’s Bakeshop of course. This small bakeshop offers not only cupcakes and other pastries, but also gives back to the community at the same time. It promotes its fellow local shop owners, and even donates to some charities through

Nevertheless, the stress has not gone away. The bakeshop has become a big success but some sacrifices have had to be made. Moneywise they’ve had to make adjustments at home according to their budget but that doesn’t compare to how it has affected family matters. Olivia has a little boy who was only an infant when they first opened the shop. She confides that there have been days when she regrets opening the bakeshop. Every night around seven when she wants to put her son to bed, there are always emails and phone calls to be made and phone calls coming from the shop. “It’s challenging to juggle the two things so but as I get more used to how things work here and become better, organize and implement better systems.”

Photograph by rkbcupcakes

sales. It also has special events just for the community, just to show how much the shop appreciates them. However, the shop wasn’t built overnight. Olivia had to do some careful planning. “I started working on my business plan three or four years before we actually opened. So I didn’t put up my business plans, really a working process may evolve over time so it was probably not a year until before we opened that it was actually finalized,” says Olivia. Opening up the bakeshop wasn’t easy there were money issues, paper work and even deciding the location of the shop. “I live right down the street and one of the criteria for opening something was that it be in the easy commute,” Olivia says. Once that was all settled though, they finally opened around the end of August 2009.

Even though there have been some stressful moments, there are also good times which remind Olivia why she opened up the bakeshop in the first place. “One of the things that they tell you that, the experts and people who own restaurants, and business consultants, is that as a business owner the first thing you should do is get out of the kitchen but it’s the one thing that I really love so it’s, I refuse to give it up,” Olivia says. “It’s my business.”

Sugar Mama’s Bakeshop : Small but homey. Located on 1905 South 1st Street with its brightly li lit cupcake sign.

Olivia loves to bake, but that doesn’t stop her from sharing her passion with the rest of her staff. When it comes to making new recipes between herself and the staff, Olivia explains, “Once you the basic fundamentals of what it takes to make a cake or a cookie, you adapt different ingredients, you add ingredients, you take away ingredients, you adjust measurements and that really can make a recipe your own.” After getting the general idea of baking they are able to come up with the recipes easily. Once these recipes are made, she and her husband have to come up with a name for it, or they have a contest with their customers, the prize being something like a free dozen of the new cupcakes.

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Olivia also likes to show her customers how much she appreciates them by organizing special events like cooking classes, decorating classes and free live music. However it’s hard to organize these types of events due to the small space but Sugar Mama’s also wants to respond to customer requests. One of their larger events was their birthday party last year, for being able to survive for a year. They shut down the parking lot and had something like a block party where everyone could participate. They’ll be doing the same this year, and every upcoming year as long as they’re in business. One of the biggest treats that the bakeshop had to offer was last year when a baker form Australia came and baked at the shop. She’ll actually be coming back this year during the summer. Not only that, but other well-known bakers from around the country may be coming to Austin to collaborate with Sugar Mama’s. Sugar Mama’s does so much more than just cupcakes and entertainment, but also tries to be involved with the community. They try to get the whole community involved with the shop and other local shops located in the area, by promoting the other shops. One of the first things that people see when they walk in is a shoe hanger with all of its pockets full with business cards from other shops and restaurants. While people are waiting for their cupcake, they can skim through the events directory, full of all the happenings in Austin. “Our neighborhood cross promotes so we can leave our fliers in “Thai Fresh” they can leave their flyers here, same goes for “Somnio’s” or “Bouldin Creek”. Everybody wants everyone to succeed because it provides a more prosperous environment for everyone. “It’s just good for us to share the love,” says Olivia.

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Olivia, and her staff have had a successful business but that doesn’t stop them from trying to share their success with everyone else. They try to give back to several organizations and receive at least 2-3 requests for donations every other day. “I would love to donate to everybody but we’re on the smaller side of a small business so it’s really difficult to say no to all the organizations, but we still support over a hundred organizations a year. And it’s just something that my husband and I love and we’re proud of.” Not only does Sugar Mama’s try to give back to as many organizations as possible, but they also leave a special place for other creatures. One of Sugar Mama’s specialties are pupcakes, cupcake treats especially made for the pets of pet owners, not only are they special in that way but also contribute to charities like the Austin Humane Society and Austin Pets Alive. “Its our way of really being involved with the nonprofits and giving back 100% of the proceeds,” she says. The environment is also a huge concern of Olivia and her staff. They try to

Display of Sugar Mam’s delicious cupcakes like the James Brown and The Pinup

Top Right: Sugar Mama’s large variety of sweets and drinks Left: Southern Bell cupcakesRed velvet with cream cheese frosting Bottom Right: Black and Tan Cupcake- Chocolate with Irish cream cheese frosting Left: Display of Carrot cake, Hula Cupcake and some pies.

do what they can to aid the environment. “There are different things we do here to lessen our impact on the environment,” Olivia explains. “Its just different facets of the business, we do what we can and hope that we lessen our carbon footprint” They contribute to this cause by buying as much as they can locally. They purchase their eggs in Lockhart and local produce like Texas pecans. They try to reduce a lot of the impact they impact they have in the environment because of shipping and ingredients like chocolate, being flown from all over the world. They also have recyclable bakery

boxes, compostable cups, spoons, cups and lids. Their equipment has been purchased second-hand; not only is it less expensive but reliable as well. All of the energy used in the shop is wind powered as well. At first glance Sugar Mama’s may just seem like a place where people can hang just out and eat some cupcakes, but it has a deeper purpose as well. It’s a place that tries to make a difference in its community, and tries to give back to all its supporters.n

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used in food is insignificant. Pesticides kill or harm more than unwanted insects, they harm other animals, people, and can damage the plants they are supposed to protect. Inorganic pesticides also pollute the environment. These people would say organic farming must be inefficient since organic food is more expensive than regular food. Organic food is only more expensive because the agriculture subsidies are given to non-organically grown, or conventionally produced, crops. Much of the agricultural infrastructure benefits conventionally grown foods and not organically grown foods. If these disadvantages were removed, the only price difference would be due to the costs of getting food to be organically certified and the cost of pesticides on human health and the environment. People that are against organic farming would also suggest that an acre of land used for organic farming couldn’t produce as much food as an acre used for inorganic farming. In the beginning when Written by GRACE S.

Photo found at: Quite Adept

FARMERS ARE risking people’s lives. When some farmers choose to take a chance and use chemical pesticides instead of harmless organic pesticides, they are risking the lives of their consumers, because some pesticides can cause cancer and disrupt child development. Around the world many farmers use them to protect their food from bugs that could damage the food and lower their yearly crop yield. Some of the pesticides used are organic, certain types of flowers spread on crops keeps some bugs away, but most of them are chemical and inorganic pesticides. These are bad for you and the environment, even if they are good for the food. They can cause a variety of cancers (including leukemia, kidney cancer, brain cancer, and non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma) and disrupt child development. Therefore, farmers should instead use organic pesticides. People in opposition of this view would say that organic farming is inefficient and the amount of pesticides

Pesticide Panic Pesticides are unhealthy for consumers and for the environment. Farmers should instead use organic pesticides or none at all.

Tomatoes are among the vegetables with the highest amount of pesticide residue left on them when sold.

an inorganic farm is converted into an organic farm the productivity is temporarily slowed down, but in just a few years the production rate is back up to normal and might even be better than before. Growing organic food is better for everyone in the long run. Some people might think the amount of pesticides in inorganic food is too small to make a difference but actually, pesticide residue in foods is limited by federal regulation. However, there was a study released in 2003 that showed that the children who ate normal diets had levels of organophosphate pesticide byproducts above the amount considered to be “negligible risk” by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and the children who ate mostly organic diets had levels below the negligible-risk threshold. Pesticides do more damage than weeds because over time they spread to the wrong areas. A Home Improvement article says that “pesticides are often spread further

than where they are sprayed and effect more than the designated area”. Over time they can spread further down in the ground and through soil movement, they can move to other fields. Pesticides may keep bugs away and let crops grow bigger and better, but they are unhealthy for the environment and the consumers. The same article says that “insects and weeds are destroyed using pesticides, but can also cause death to animals and crops”. The amount of pesticide residue left on food is limited, but eventually it all adds up and can be very harmful. Exposure to pesticides is harmful because it can interfere with child development and cognitive ability, cause neurological problems and disrupt hormone function. Excessive pesticides in the environment are bad because they can get to places they weren’t intended for. animals can ingest these pesticides and die; pesticides also kill certain species of plants. People should also be more careful around pesticides because they can cause big problems. Those problems include leukemia, kidney cancer, brain cancer, non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma and disruption of child development. Austinites that like to cook should be more careful when buying ingredients to cook with. They should stop by the farmers market and try some organic ingredients. When you go to HEB pick up some food with an organic label instead. Consumers should be especially careful around fruits which have the most pesticides on them because people are more concerned about good looking, clean fruit. Organically grown food is a healthy alternative to using food grown with chemical pesticides and it benefits organic farms and promotes more of them. Food Junkie Issue 1


ar o und e w orl




s e rt s f r o


chinese sesame balls Makes 10

indian rice pudding Serves 4-6

1/4 cup all-purpose flour 1/4 cup water 1/2 cup sweet lotus paste (or red bean paste substitute) 1/2 cup sesame seeds 7 cups cooking oil 1 cup sweet rice flour (available at Asian grocery stores) 1/3 cup cold water 2 tablespoons sugar 1/4 tablespoon baking powder

> Add rice, cardamom powder, raisins, and 1/2 of the sliced almonds and cashew nuts.

> Pour flour in mixing bowl. Boil water and

> Bring to a boil, then reduce to medium heat.

mix with flour. Add italic ingredients to the bowl and mix together. Form 10 balls of the mixture and pound flat.

> Place 2 tsps of sweet lotus paste in each flattened ball; roll into ball shape again. Roll balls in sesame seeds.

1/4 cup rice 1 L milk 4 tbsp sugar 1/2 tsp cardamom powder 1/4 cup sliced almonds and cashew nuts 2 tbsp raisins > Boil milk in heavy base saucepan.

> Cook until thick and creamy, stirring occasionally.

> Add sugar and cook for 5 minutes. > Put dish in a serving bowl, refrigerate and serve.

> Heat oil on medium-low in wok and place balls inside. Deep-fry for 4 minutes, or until outside is golden brown and balls float above oil.

> Remove balls and serve.

Photos by: Sara Maternini; Kent Wang; Sifu Renka; myrtlewood54; Cookieater2009; TheBusy rain; jumanggy; Nemo’s great uncle


chocolate banana flan

homemade german doughnuts

7 oz semi-sweet baking chocolate 2 eggs 2/3 cup crème fraîche (or heavy cream) 1/2 cup whole milk 2-3 bananas 1 tbsp butter (room temperature) powdered sugar granulated sugar

500 g flour 1 cube fresh yeast 200 mL lukewarm milk 50 g sugar 5 egg yolks 70 g butter salt oil

> Preheat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit. Chop chocolate into small pieces and put in a bowl. Heat up cream and milk (don’t let boil!), pour over chocolate pieces. Stir until chocolate melts and batter is smooth. Stir in butter until smooth.

> Sieve flour in large bowl, make well in centre and crumble in

Serves 4-6

> Once batter is cool, add eggs, and whisk well.Mix butter and sugar baking dish (or flan dish).

Makes 12

yeast. Add 3 tbsp milk and 1 tsp sugar, mix together. Dust over flour and cover with clean kitchen towel, let stand 15 minutes in warm place.

> Mix together the rest of milk, sugar, egg yolks, butter and pinch of salt. Add to dough mixture and knead until dough is elastic. Leave dough in warm place for 45 minutes or until doubled in size.

> Cut bananas into thick slices. Line the bottom of baking dish with bananas. Pour chocolate batter into dish, over bananas, and bake 15-25 minutes.

> Take out of oven and sprinkle top with powdered sugar. Put back in oven, best if right under grill, and bake for 3-5 minutes. Serve warm.

> Knead dough on floured surface and roll out until 2 cm thick. Cut out circles of 7 cm and leave for 10 minutes.

> Heat oil in large pan until it is 180° C. Add 3 doughnuts to oil, place lid on pan. Once 1 side is golden brown, turn doughnuts. Remove doughnuts with a slotted spoon and drain on kichen paper. Heat oil again and repeat the process.

Written by DELANEY R.

Photo credits: robad0b, Sara Maternini, Kent Wang, Purple Heather, and VeganWarrior


Baby Got Back Written by GRACE S.

NEW STUDIES show that a fat butt is better than a large stomach because it could help to prevent heart disease, especially in women. Fat in the butt releases hormones that reduce a person’s risk for heart disease. So, you shouldn’t be too bummed out when someone says that your butt looks fat in those jeans. There was a report on mice released in 2008 that showed belly fat increased imflammation and is linked with hardening of arteries. The hormones released by lower body fat reduce this inflammation and could, therefore, prevent heart disease. It is suggested that there is a mechanism for fat distribution in the body, and if we can find a way to control that mechanism, we can make heart disease less likely. This research could also lead to breakthroughs in research for diabetes. When a group of randomly selected 22 girls at LASA was asked if they felt comfortable about the size of their butts, the results were recorded as shown:

Are you comfortable with the size of your butt? 16

No 2 Maybe 4 This suggests that most girls are comfortable with their bodies and are not planning on losing or gaining weight. That could be a good thing for those people that are larger around the bottom because that lower fat could help to prevent heart disease so those people would be less at risk. n

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Photo credited to malias Photo credited to dariusmonsef


health “

One cannot think well, love well, sleep well, if one has not dined well.

Virgina Woolf, ‘A Room of One’s Own’

an outdated diet trend

People always eat whatever they think is the latest thing. From organic and vegetarian diets to Pop Tarts loaded with high fructose corn syrup, diet fads have either been very good for you (though a little expensive) or filled with additives that should never go near a person’s mouth to start with. Here’s a closer look at what America is eating today. Written by MICHELLE Z.

I’VE ALWAYS HAD a soft spot for lemonade stands; one of my earliest memories of summertime is sticking my puny arms in the coolers, ice coming up to my elbows and squeezing lemon after lemon—that was childhood in a nutshell. Thankfully, today the classic lemonade stands remain the same: sugar, lemons, and water (hopefully). But those "homemade" lemonade drinks they sell in the supermarkets claiming to be "country style" or "passed down for generations,” aren’t quite what lemonade used to be. If the recipe label of, say, Minute Maid, is closely examined, the second

ingredient found would probably be high fructose corn syrup. Oh, sure, you can still get the natural, real stuff with cane sugar and real lemons—but it comes in a glass container and costs more than what’s convenient. I find it ironic that organically grown, natural foods are considered gourmet now, especially since the assembly line was the hottest thing a century ago because of its groundbreaking efficiency. Now, no one really knows where their food comes from, and those cans of Del Monte green beans suddenly seem less appetizing than before. Food Junkie Issue 1


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extremely high levels of fructose; but until the 1970s, no one had really heard of HFCS and it was not widely used by food companies. Up until the 1970s, the main sources of sweetener for the food companies were sugar beets and sugar cane, both of which contain sucrose. However, sugar from corn such as dextrose and fructose has became more and more popular. Food industries recognized its convenience, that corn syrup was highly soluble, meaning it was easy to blend into all products. It is also much cheaper than natural cane sugar and has a longer shelf life. These benefits allowed corn syrup to replace sucrose as America's primary sweetener, and for a long time HFCS was a hero of the food world. After a while, people began to realize that high fructose corn syrup was not exactly the best sugar alternative in terms of health--its side effects were shocking to the mass public, but these sprouting rumors were, after all, only rumors at the time. There was no legitimate research to emphasize that HFCS increased risks of many diseases. The Corn Refiner's Association, in an effort to suppress the public reaction, set out advertisements to dismiss the rumors as mere, uneducated assumptions. The commercials told the public that HFCS was "just made from corn" and thus was harmless. The Corn Refiner's Association used these commercials

High fructose corn syrup is found in many foods targeted towards growing children and teens.


The problem with processed foods and drinks today is that, despite their claims that the recipe has been passed down for generations, the truth is that the actual products are probably made in a factory that also processes Heinz Ketchup for fast food chains, along with BBQ sauce and baby food. Gregory Dicum, who grew up next to the Leamington ketchup factory, confirms in his article “Snakes and Rats”, calling ketcup the “allpurpose mystery sauce”. And a familiar ingredient in breakfast foods, sodas and ketchup (yes, you'd be surprised) is high fructose corn syrup. I remember the last time I ate Jell-O, the label had mentioned: "Phenylketonurics: Contains Phenylalanine". That sounds like it could give you cancer just by reading it. And even though high fructose corn syrup isn't quite as frightfully hard to pronounce, the health effects are just as bad as aspartame, phenylalanine and other artificial sweeteners that foodies nationwide repeatedly shun; Huffington Post’s Leslie Hatfield says that “Foodies and nutritionists alike have been griping about high fructose corn syrup”, putting it in the same notorious section as hydrogenated oils and trans fats. Because high fructose corn syrup is now so widely used in the food industry, it is more dangerous than Sweet N' Low and Jell-O combined. The consumption of high fructose corn syrup (HFCS) is becoming an increasing issue, not only in young children but also in teens, largely because many convenience foods directed towards young people contain extremely high levels of fructose. Although HFCS is a cheap alternative to pure cane sugar, the high fructose content is dangerous to the human body and should not be used in processed foods. HFCS first made its appearance in 1957, when two scientists found a way to convert glucose into fructose. Regular corn syrup does not contain fructose and therefore isn't as profoundly sweet as this new corn syrup, which was converted from glucose into a sweetener with

Today over 25 percent of our daily caloric values come from sugar, with HFCS a large part of that sugar intake.

to promote the image of HFCS as an innocuous, plant-based sugar that contained the same amount of calories as sucrose and glucosebased sugars, and MSNBC even went so far as to say that HFCS was just "another dietary scapegoat". With so much press coverage on the pro-side of HFCS, many people began to believe that it was, indeed, harmless. The scientific community, however, was not convinced. A recent study tested the effects of high fructose corn syrup on mice, and the results showed that HFCS led to insulin resistance and other metabolic disorders. Fructose goes through a different metabolic process than glucose; while glucose is metabolized in and distributed to every part of the body, fructose is only metabolized in the liver. Fructose is also more easily transformed into fat in the liver, leading to fatty liver disease. Another study conducted showed that a high-fructose diet could be potentially harmful or fatal in people with copper-deficient diets, which includes a large fraction of children today. Furthermore, an even more shocking side of high fructose corn syrup was revealed; a

large percentage of foods and drinks containing high fructose corn syrup also had large, alarming quantities of mercury. 31 percent of the foods, most of them being Pop Tarts, Quaker's Oatmeal, and Hershey's Chocolate Syrup, all of which are mainly targeted towards children. Despite ongoing research confirming the evils of a high-fructose diet, the number of people who consume HFCS is increasing, simply because they don't know that this sweetener is in the foods they eat. With sugar such a large part of our diets—over 25 percent of daily caloric value—the health risks of HFCS are all the more dangerous. The majority of America is oblivious to the health risks which come with consuming large quantities of fructose daily—many aren't even aware that they are consuming so much HFCS in any one day. Increasing public awareness is necessary to prevent high-fructose diets from entering the busy lifestyles of not only adults, but children and students especially. Scientific research has only just began to shed light on this controversial subject, but one thing is clear: high fructose corn syrup is a trend that's got to go. n

All photos and creations by PetitPlat by sk_ on Flickr

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