Food Justice Assignment

Introduction

The paper analyzes the preparation of food types and how the food impacts on our lives. Food or different types of food are integral and fundamental to life. Humans have a special connection with food, and it is essential to a better understanding of people. For generations, food brings humans closer and creates memorable moments and bond. The connection between food and humans is immense and integral in life as it creates identity, culture, and heritage. The examination of different food types is associated with different people and cultures being a part of a peoples’ heritage. For example, Shushi is a Japanese recipe and type of food that is part of their cultural heritage and identity as a people. Lasagna has its roots in Italy and is part of their culture. Mexicans are corn people and form part of their staple food, giving them deep roots to the culture and heritage. African communities pride themselves with a variety of different types of food and are primarily associated as part of the respective culture for different communities. This is just to mention but a few as an illustration of the deep roots and connection that food has on people and different communities. The paper will describe my favorite food which comprises of Lasagna and ingredients used in its preparation. As well, the paper will assess the dimensions of the ways the food connects you with others. Therefore, the primary thesis of the paper focuses on analyzing how food connects me (you) to the world and in what aspects it impacts on making life more fulfilling and enjoyable.

Description of My Favorite Food: Lasagna

My favorite food entails a lasagna casserole, which I truly enjoy eating. Lasagna is a traditional Italian type of food that traces its origin in the 14th century and ascribes to the city of Naples. In the contemporary world, Lasagna is a popular meal due to its tasty nature and exquisite feeling of enjoying the food. As my favorite food, Lasagna can be prepared at home for family, friends, relatives, and brings people together. The sharing of a lasagna meal creates an immense sensation as everyone in the family loves and values the product. Lasagna is made of stacked layers of flat pasta, which is alternated using fillings of a variety of products such as meat and Italian sausage, ricotta, and parmesan mixture. Also, the fillings can comprise of ragù, vegetables, and mozzarella cheese seasonings. The layers of Lasagna can be made up to three depending on the size of the baking tray and is cut into single-serving square portions (Figure 1).

Figure 1: Lasagna.

(Source: Myrick, 2020).

Analysis of the Primary Ingredients of the Meal

Ingredients

The key ingredients used in the preparation of Lasagna as illustrated in Figure 2 include, lean ground beef, sweet Italian sausage, white onions, garlic, crushed tomatoes, tomato paste, tomato sauce, water, white, salt, fennel seeds, black pepper, oregano, fresh parsley, and fresh basil used for the preparation of the filling mixture. The ricotta cheese, parmesan cheese, and an egg for the preparation of the alternate filling. The mozzarella cheese often sliced and lasagna pasta noodles for creating different layers.

Figure 2: Lasagna Ingredients.

(Source: Ratfink, 2020).

Preparation

The preparation of Lasagna follows a few basic steps to create the most aromatic and pleasurable taste. The preparation of a lasagna recipe is essential to have a sweet and amazing product that can be consumed by the entire family (Figures 3 & 4). Depending on the size and quantity of the Lasagna, the specifications of the quantities of the ingredients differ accordingly. The basic preparation procedure to follow can be analyzed as follows. Step one involves the preparation of the lasagna filling mixture. This is done by first boiling ground beef and sweet Italian sausage over medium heat. This is followed by adding minced white onion and garlic to the meat and Italian sausage mixture. This is cooked until the meat is well browned. Additions of white sugar, oregano, freshly chopped parsley, freshly chopped basil, salt, black pepper, fennel seeds, crushed tomatoes, tomato sauce, tomato paste, and wine (white or red) to the mixture. The mixture should be stirred well and brought to simmer in 1-4 hours. Occasional stirring of the mixture is necessary to ensure the best final product and taste is attained.

Step two is executed while waiting for the mixture to simmer, immerse the lasagna pasta in warm water, and wait for them to soak for about thirty minutes. This should be followed by draining and discarding the water from the lasagna pasta. Step three involves the combination of ricotta cheese with the egg. Fine parsley and salt should be added to the ricotta cheese and egg mixture, which should be refrigerated in readiness of assembling of the Lasagna. Step four entails preheating the oven to 375 degrees. Step five comprises of the different layers of the Lasagna. This involves spreading the meat sauce mixture in the bottom of the prepared baking tray. On top of the meat sauce mixture, cover with the lasagna pasta noodles. After that, spread the ricotta cheese mixture and top with mozzarella cheese slices. On top of the mozzarella cheese slices, a sprinkling of the parmesan cheese should be done to complete the first layer. This should be repeated for the next three layers. The last part of the procedure in readiness for baking involves covering with an aluminum foil to bake for 25 minutes in a preheated oven. Additional baking of 25 minutes uncovered is necessary to allow the cheese to turn brown. The Lasagna is ready for serving.

Figure 3: Classic Lasagna.

(Source: Bauer, 2020).

Figure 4: Lasagna Bolognese.

(Source: Bauer, 2020).

Sourcing of the Primary Ingredients

The primary ingredients used in the preparation of Lasagna comprise ground minced meat, sweet Italian sausages, and lasagna pasta noodles. In addition, cheese is an integral ingredient used in the preparation of Lasagna. The cheese is used in making the layers of the Lasagna to stick while separated by the flat lasagna pasta noodles, meat sauce mixture, and the ricotta mixture. The sourcing of lean ground meat is produced by beef farmers and companies that process the meat on a large scale (Speer, Brink & McCully, 2015). The variety of meat products differs for different usage options. The lean ground meat is processed and packaged to be accessible in local supermarket stores and other retail shops that sell a variety of meat products.

The sweet Italian sausages are made from coarsely ground pork, which is mixed with a variety of seasonings that comprise of fennel seed. The sweet Italian sausage is fresh and requires to be well cooked in readiness to eat—the sweet Italian sausage is accessible in supermarket stores. The sweet Italian sausage traces its origins in the United States precisely in the region of New York City. The lasagna pasta noodles are made from the durum wheat, which is mostly grown in the Middle East. The durum wheat is also referred to as the pasta wheat or as well as macaroni wheat. The durum wheat differs from the normal wheat, as it is the hardest type of all wheat. Key countries such as China, Russia, India, the United States, Canada, Turkey, Pakistan, Australia, and countries in the European Union are known producers of durum wheat.

Roles of Different People Involved in the Production of Lasagna Ingredients

Farmers. Farmers in different countries responsible for the production of beef, pork, and durum wheat play an integral role in producing quality ingredients. The farmers maintain the necessary standards for consumable products that are healthily produced. This is critical to ensure the ingredients meet the necessary standards.

Farmworkers. Farmworkers in livestock rearing are required to perform various tasks such as the feeding of the animals, maintaining the facilities, administering medication, and monitoring the herds for signs of illnesses (Speer et al., 2015). The pork and beef production requires farmworkers’ commitment impacting to ascertaining of the quality of the products. The farmworkers in durum wheat fields in areas such as Punjab and Haryana in India are involved in the cultivation of the plant. The farmers coordinate the primary activities in the production of the yields of the livestock and plants that produce the primary ingredients.

Cooks. Cooks are skilled with the knowledge and understanding of preparing and making Lasagna. Competent cooks play an integral role in the preparation of the best Lasagna that everyone can love.

Packaging and Packaging Workers. The beef, pork, and durum semolina pasta companies must involve packaging workers in different levels of the process. These involve the processing of the products in the right manner and quantities. In turn, these comprise of the products found in the supermarket stores for purchase by consumers.

Slaughterhouse Workers. The slaughterhouse workers are responsible for the slaughtering of the animals for commercial purposes. The slaughterhouse keeps the facilities clean and separates the necessary animal products from the waste products. This is readiness for packaging to different specifications used for different purposes (Speer et al., 2015).  

Grocery Store Workers. The grocery store workers are responsible for making available the necessary additional products such as garlic, fresh parsley, and basil leaves. The grocery store workers source additional products and keep them in the right conditions ready for consumption.

Food Transport Workers. The food transport workers are responsible for linking the supply chain of different ingredients. For instance, production of beef products from the slaughterhouses are transported to supermarket and retail stores for the accessibility of consumers and end-users. Also, food transport workers move the food ingredients and products from one country to another, one continent to another, and from the production point to various destinations around the world. Thus, they ascertain that consumers can access different ingredients easily.

Dimensions of the Ways the Food Connects You with Others

  • The Industrial Food System

The preparation of any food type comprises an industrial food system that brings a variety of different entities together to produce one common product. For instance, for the production of Lasagna as the final product, the industrial food system involved in the process comprises of livestock farming (both pigs and cows used for the production of pork and beef (Speer et al., 2015). Also, the farmers in the durum wheat fields in different countries around the world. The raw products are moved to processing facilities for durum wheat and slaughterhouses for beef and pork. The transportation of the ingredients to retail stores where end-users can access is fundamental. This presents the connection of an industrial food system from production to the consumer point of sale.

The capacity to make any food ready for consumption in different destinations involves a long industrial system which comprises of different activities and actors (Foer, 2009). The industrial food systems, such as industrial meat-production, animal production, dairies, slaughterhouses, agriculture, processing plants, and farms, are vital entities of the supply chain (Pollan, 2007). To consume that Lasagna and enjoy it brings into understanding the variety of activities and persons involved in making it possible. This creates a deep connection with the understanding of the standards and quality of the production process. In turn, touch on the health benefits that the food induces on an individual (Foer, 2009). Therefore, the deep understanding of the sourcing of the ingredients and their origins creates a connection to the long history of different people around the world.

  • The Use of Non-Human Animals

The question of the use of non-human animals involves the omnivore dilemma that assesses the morality of killing and consumption of animal products. The preparation of Lasagna is heavily reliant on the use of animal products in its preparation. The moral justice in the food revolves around the usage of animals as crucial ingredients for the preparation of Lasagna. Pollan (2007) asserts the raising of animals is a profound phenomenon in the production of food. Vegetarian Lasagna is not as common as the one produced using animal products. This presents a direct violation of the food justice and omnivore dilemma leaning more to the consumption of animal products that adopting the vegetarian component. The consumption of meat makes humans more prone to the desire for animal products.

The use of non-human animals examines the processes of the production of the key ingredients used in the production of food products. Industrial mechanization is critical for the removal of the human factor in the production process (Foer, 2009). However, lasagna ingredients highly revolve on the human aspect for the production of the key ingredients, especially beef, and pork. The non-human animals can only prevail in the production of durum wheat, which is also eroded by the small scale fields. This culminates in humans being more prone to being more carnivore than herbivores. In turn, culminates in the classification brought by the food to vegetarian versus non-vegetarian consumers. Therefore, Lasagna is more non-vegetarian, classified for the vast majority of the food’s consumers (Petrini, 2005).

  • Food as an Expression of Your Culture (or Subculture)

Foer (2009) draws a close connection between food, his life, and his grandmother how she survived on scarcity. Growing up, food was necessary to stay alive. This prompted one to eat whenever an opportunity arose until the next one came to be in the unplanned date. Also, eating was carefree, and all foods were healthy. In a context of amusement, Foer (2009) orates having witnessed his son breastfeeding seconds after being born. The stories that people share during the family dinner or food time are crucial as they bring people together and help them bond. They conform to the context of enabling people to build certain cultures as a family, group, or community (Clark, 2008). Lasagna has been a part of my family’s culture for a long time, and it is an expression of our love for each and the best food for the family to get together (Petrini, 2005). The sharing of the Lasagna helps bring our people closer and together on the same table to share that large meal.

From generation to generation, food recipes have been passed within the family. Mothers teach their daughters how to cook and share their secrets of cooking a family meal. In contemporary society, boys have broken from the culture of being excluded from cooking, becoming a part of the family history that anyone can cook (Roseberry, 2008). The preparation of the Lasagna is critical for our family as it is part of our culture where we bond and share many stories and memories.

  • Ways to Build a Better, More Just Food System

The evaluation of the type of food and sourcing of the ingredients impacts the ways to build a better and more just food system. From time to time, an emphasis on the production context and how different products are produced is critical to ascertain humane and moral actions (Bordo, 2005). For a food life lasagna, humanely produced pork and beef are essential to building a more just food system. Durum wheat production requires humane labor laws that protect the rights of the workers in the fields. This raises the ethical and moral aspects of the food we consume (Bolek, 2020). This forms an integral part of the world and the food we consume. Thus, it is paramount to consider the processes and procedures endured in the production of the ingredients used for preparing our best food (Nemeth, Rudnak, Ymeri & Fogarassy, 2019).

Conclusion

In conclusion, the primary thesis of the paper focuses on analyzing how food connects me (you) to the world and in what aspects it impacts on making life more fulfilling and enjoyable. This is fundamental to impact on producing the best food that we can genuinely enjoy, bond, and create memories. As a lover of Lasagna, the production of the ingredients helps create a better understanding of the humane and moral approach to the practices involved in the production of pork, beef, and durum wheat. The food impacts connecting me to others through the sharing of a meal and bonding through stories and food. Food plays an integral role in forming and expressing culture or subculture for the community, group, or family. Therefore, the value of life is integral in life and helps make it more exciting and worthwhile as people share a meal together.

References

Bauer, E. (Jun 2020). Lasagna. Simply Recipes. Retrieved from: https://www.simplyrecipes.com/recipes/lasagna/

Bolek, S. (2020). Consumer knowledge, attitudes, and judgments about food safety: A consumer analysis. Trends in Food Science & Technology.

Bordo, S. Anorexia Nervosa: Psychopathology as the Crystallization of Culture. In Watson, J.L. & Caldwell, M. (Eds.) (2005). The Cultural Politics of Food and Eating (pp. 162-186). Malden, MA: Blackwell Publishing.

Clark, D. The Raw and the Rotten: Punk Cuisine. In Counihan, C. & Van Esterik, P. (Eds.) (2008), Food and Culture: A Reader (pp. 411-422). New York, NY: Routledge.

Foer, J.S. (2009). Eating Animals. New York, NY: Little, Brown.

Myrick, R. (2020). Lasagna Fun Facts. Mobile-Cuisine. Retrieved from: https://mobile-cuisine.com/did-you-know/lasagna-fun-facts/

Nemeth, N., Rudnak, I., Ymeri, P., & Fogarassy, C. (2019). The Role of Cultural Factors in Sustainable Food Consumption—An Investigation of the Consumption Habits among International Students in Hungary. Sustainability11(11), 3052.

Petrini, C. (2005). Slow Food Nation: Why Our Food Should Be Good, Clean, And Fair. New York, NY: Rizzoli Ex Libris.

Pollan, M. (2007). The Omnivore’s Dilemma. New York, NY: Penguin Books.

Ratfink, J. (2020). How to Make a Basic Lasagna. Instructables Cooking. Retrieved from: https://www.instructables.com/id/How-to-make-a-basic-lasagna/

Roseberry, W. The Rise of Yuppie Coffees and the Reimagination of Class in the United States. In Counihan, C. & Van Esterik, P. (Eds.) (2008), Food and Culture: A Reader (pp. 122-143). New York, NY: Routledge.

Schlosser, E. (2005). Fast Food Nation. New York, NY: HarperPerennial.

Speer, N., Brink, T., & McCully, M. (2015). Changes in the ground beef market and what it means for cattle producers. The Angus Foundation, St. Joseph, MO.

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