Category: Uncategorized (page 1 of 2)

Pan d’arancia (Sicilian Orange Cake recipe)

As I research and dive into Sicilian recipes and food traditions, this simple cake recipe took me right back to Sicily. I feel so connected to the Sicilian way of life! It is simple but embedded with profound wisdom, as they truly integrate themselves with their land and what it produces. I hope you want a taste of it, by making this delicious cake that uses the entire orange and does not waste any of its rich flavor.

Podcast Assignment

Li Ziqi & Tampopo Reflection Podcast

Tampopo and Li Ziqi

Tampopo was an amazing movie that offered insight on Japanese culture, humor, and food establishments. I enjoyed that I was able to connect to the movie despite not being a part of Japanese culture, and the cinematography was also very intriguing and captivating. In all honesty, the story line did not make much sense, but that did not prohibit the movie from being amazing. An interesting point that I noted was the emphasis on noodles, and the main characters infatuation with ‘mastering’ how to make good ramen, or the best ramen in Japan. What does the climax, surrounding the trope of mastering ramen, tell us about Japanese culture and food? What should be the major takeaway from the movie?


Questions for Professor Ray Yang:

  1. What served as a catalyst for your interests in East Asian foodways?
  2. How has media influenced the way food is experienced in East Asian countries, specifically blogging about Chinese cuisine?

Questions on Tampopo and Li Ziqi

Prof. Bates, do you think that the expository scenes in the movie detract from the main plot line, and is telling the story of Tampopo the goal of the film?

Prof. Yang, with the rise in popularity of food videos globally, why do you think Li Ziqi’s videos are so popular and successful? Surely she is not the only one doing slice-of-life food preparation of family recipes.

Project Readings

Niñez, Vera, “Household-level food production”, Food and Nutrition Bulletin, vol. 7, no.3. 1985.  Retrieved from

This article discusses both the historical and cultural significance of home gardening, comparing it to other local methods of food production as a way of showing its necessity in terms of food security. This article will act as a great resource for my group’s project because it provides a background for why it is essential to growing food in small places. In addition, it discusses how smaller gardens fit into economics and nutrition.


Perini, Katia, et al. “Vertical Greening Systems, a Process Tree for Green Façades and Living Walls.” Urban Ecosystems., vol. 16, no. 2, Chapman & Hall, June 2013, pp. 265–77, doi:10.1007/s11252-012-0262-3.

This article takes a broader approach to our group’s topic by discussing the capacity for food production in a larger system such as a city by creating vertical greening systems. This article discusses the different applications of urban food production, discussing green roofs, façades and living wall systems. This article is helpful because it broadens the scope of the project. Although we intend to use Carlisle as the audience of our project, it is important to see how the concept of vertical food production can be adapted to a larger-scale system and the creative ways in which that is being accomplished.

Thoughts from Prof. Vooris Lecture

I learned more about the importance of lesbian potlucks in strengthening and expanding communities. Especially in the beginning of LGBTQ movements, when it was illegal to be open about one’s gender and sexuality if they were not within the heteronormative framework, it was difficult for lesbians in particular to find a shared sense of community. Whereas gay men often had access to higher income and faced less societal pressure, lesbian women were not only threatened by sexism, but by homophobia and other discrimination as well. Potlucks became and important tool for creating and strengthening lesbian communities in this environment, and became stages for political discussion as well. This was important in the ability of women to organize and plan resistance movements.

Notes from Professor Vooris Presentation

I thought that Professor Vooris’ presentation on Lesbianism, Food and Gender was fascinating. As a queer black person, I oftentimes reflect only on my experiences as being black in relation to food, but never to my queerness. So, I found it interesting that her work focused on this intersection. Lesbian food culture was not a topic I thought of, and it makes me think of ways I can include this into my project for the semester. I thought it was fascinating that food companies often target specific  genders through advertisement and production purposes. Specifically, meats are associated with masculinity and men. Also, the photos of women laughing while eating salad shows how diet culture targets women and can have negative effects on the psychology of food interpretation. She also talked on heteronormativity and did a wonderful job at articulating how this plays out in relation to gender and food. The assumption that people are straight, institutions uphold heterosexuality as the norm, representations of families/couples = straight, while different institutions that push for straightness. I also enjoyed understanding things through a queer and feminism framework that does not orient the discussion on the heteronormative framework that is overused at this point. I hope to find ways to incorporate many of these overarching themes in my final project, and this really helps put things in an interesting perspective.

Assigment 2a (2b posted separately)


These are the photos and a short video clip I took in real-time as I interviewed Raidel Mar from the Farmers Market (Farmers on the Square). What made this assignment challenging is that it was very spontaneous and loud because the market is indoor during the cold season. It was really fascinating to engage with Raidel and his coworker as they were working their jobs. Specifically, they focus on making a homemade recipes for salsa, guacamole and acai bowls. I found this to be an interesting combination of foods to sell at a farmers market, but I also found that as he shared his story this started to make sense to me more that he chose these foods to vend at the farmers market. He also mentioned that this was his main source of income, he works at other farmers markets around Pennsylvania and really enjoys what he does for a living. Raidel says that he is originally from Florida and moved to Pennsylvania for his family and business. For the 2b of this assignment, I chose to do a 3.5 minute video of the spontaneous interview I did with Raidel at the farmers market this week.


Interview Matt S.

Matt Steiman is the livestock and alternative energies manager at the Dickinson College Farm.

When did you start farming? Where?

“I started out in Colorado on an organic farm. It was my first experience in the food system, and it really made me fall in love with agriculture.”

What was it like living with people from different cultural and linguistic backgrounds during your time in Colorado?

So, I actually lived in a barn for the first year I was on the farm, with a man from Mexico. We became close through working together every day and he taught me a good bit of Spanish, which I still practice today. Overall, I learned that agriculture in the United States is dominated by migrant workers and that surviving in the fields requires a lot of will power and discipline.

Is there a psychological difference for you growing crops versus raising livestock?

Raising livestock is actually what I spend most of my time doing at the college farm. It is an intimate experience, more so than cultivating plants, because of the emotional capabilities of the animals. Raising an animal for slaughter is of course, sad, but it is also an integral part of the human experience. I see humans as a part of an ongoing cycle of birth and death, and animals are part of that same system. When we eat an animal, it literally becomes part of us. How intimate!

What are your daily responsibilities with the animals?

I make sure the cows and sheep have water and food, check them for disease and infection, and move the herds from location to location to protect them from parasites as well as to enrich the soil. We spend a lot of time together.

In your opinion, what is the greatest innovation in farming?

Biogas has become one of my main passions over the years, and I hope to expand it on the farm. It is a zero waste, completely renewable form of energy. You can even use human feces to make clean energy, although doing so on a farm is tricky due to the USDA. Biogas systems on every farm and in every house would drastically reduce the amount of carbon emissions released and natural resources burned.

Do you any trends in farming right now? Moving from traditional to modern method, vice versa? Less animals, more vegetables?

Out in Central PA, the focus is on soil health, acreage efficiency, and pest management. The trend is definitely going away from animals, but not very fast. People are getting real creative with vertical farming, like the folks over at Solar Cities. Biogas is big, but it is still considered a hobby in the mainstream. At Dickinson, I hope to incorporate both techniques into future farm practices and classes.


Me and Matt during a tube race this summer in Boiling Springs.

Lamb harvest organized by Matt this summer at the college farm. (We ate it!)

Assignment #1: You and the Food System

Oatmeal: rolled oats

Oatmeal manufacturing involves harvesting, washing, steaming, and hulling the oats. Quick-cooking oats are rolled between cylinders to produce a flatter flake. Once flaked, the oats are roasted and packaged for consumption. Energy, environmental, and human power are all required for this production.

Oats are best grown in geographical areas with cool, wet summers, such as Northwest Europe and even Iceland.

Oats provide excellent soil erosion control because of their dense coat. These outer coats also help prevent buildup of many destructive organisms (disease and pests) which reduces the need for the use of expensive herbicides. Oats also require less tillage/plowing for seedbed preparation, which further helps prevent soil erosion. For humans and animals, oats are a heart healthy, whole grain food that lowers risks for heart disease.

It takes approximately 5,000 miles for rolled oats to end up in my oatmeal bowl in the morning for breakfast.

Chocolate: sugar

Processing raw sugar into refined sugar involves a highly energy-intensive process, specifically with the use of boilers that use large amounts of heat to break down sugar cane juice.

Sugarcane is best grown in tropical and subtropical climates like Brazil, India, Thailand, and China which are located in the Northern hemisphere.

The cultivation and processing of sugar produces negative environmental impacts through the loss of natural habitats, intensive use of water, heavy use of agro-chemicals, discharge and air pollution. All of which leads to the decline of healthy wildlife, soil, air, and water in areas where sugar is produced. However, the World Wildlife Fund (WWF) is currently working with a wide range of stakeholders (farmers, processors, food and beverage producers, traders, investors, and industry specialists) to develop sustainable sugarcane cultivation and processing. Like WWF, General Mills is also dedicated to the sustainability of sugar production. Since 2014, they have slowly switched over to using sugar beets instead of sugarcane, and by the end of 2020 they hope to solely use sugar beets to sweeten their products. Sugar beets are resource sensitive and environmentally friendly in comparison to sugarcane. This switch will reduce greenhouse gas emissions, improve water quality, and contribute in positive ways to climate change. And the best contribution is that you can’t taste or see the difference.

It takes approximately 4,500 miles for sugar to end up in my afternoon chocolate bar.

BBQ Chips: potatoes

Potatoes are harvested using a spading fork, plow, or commercial potato harvester that digs into the earth, grabs hold of the plant, and shakes off the access soil. This process requires energy and human resources. In addition, in order to store the potatoes, refrigeration is required using more energy.

Potatoes are most commonly grown in the state of Idaho, followed by Washington. They seem to grow better in light soil, like volcanic ash because of its rich supply of minerals. Idaho’s rich volcanic soil is ideal for growing potatoes.

The production of potatoes involves a harvesting process called tilling or plowing. This process has great potential to damage the earths’ soil. The primary purpose of plowing is to turn over the upper layer of the soil so that fresh nutrients can be dispersed throughout the ground. However, plowing increases soil erosion and impairs water infiltration and soil health, ultimately impacting the environment.

It takes approximately 2, 294 miles
 for potatoes to end up in my BBQ chips at lunch.


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