The future holds great promise for the innovation of delicious, nutritious, sustainable and ethically produced proteins as technology advances to support these products. Beyond Meat jerky, vegan eggs and cell-cultivated sashimi-grade salmon are just a few of the new products to the ever-growing line of meatless products that are stocking shelves around the world.
It is time that I admit the truth. In front of my friends and family, I want to share that I have recently indulged in eating salmon. I, who so proudly was vegetarian for years and years, gave in earlier this year at the sight of Emily Mariko’s salmon-rice-kewpie mayo-sriracha dish. For more than half a decade, I had staunchly committed myself to the vegetarian discipline. I’d learned to forget about the taste of Korean BBQ and learned to cook (and like) alternative forms of protein. Zeus’s BLTease in my opinion, was better than whatever turkey ham option they could have offered.
Along with the majority of young drivers, I have long held a deep affinity for drive-throughs. After all, there’s nothing quite like sipping on a refreshing Dunkin’ iced coffee on the way to class or balancing a carton of piping hot french fries in your cup holder. During the first year of the pandemic, as restaurants remained shut down and we were all prevented from socializing, I would often find myself coasting through the Taco Bell line just to feel some sort of human interaction. Drive-through fast food became both a social activity and an appetite-quencher when my friends and I needed a quick snack or just an activity to fill our time.
I did not grow up with fast food as a large part of my diet, but many Americans did. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, over 36 percent of children and adults eat fast food everyday.
One of my favorite daily activities is checking the Eatery app to scope out the various dining hall menus. Somehow, there is nothing more exciting than investigating which dining hall has the best dinner choices that day. I always start the search with high hopes and then end up circling back to my go-to’s: Risley and Keeton. As a vegan, I have never had trouble finding delicious, satisfying and healthy food within Cornell Dining. However, sometimes it takes a keen eye and some good luck to get it.
For the first installment of a Moosewood Mess, I started out with dessert because it seemed like a relatively easy first step — something very much within my comfort zone. I invited my friends for the inaugural Moosewood Meal, which only ramped up the pressure. I felt like I couldn’t disappoint them, but I also didn’t want to make something overly complicated and ruin everything before it even started. That brought me to Chocolate Cranberry Crunch bars and chocolate sugar cookies.
When I first looked at the recipes, they seemed to be idiot-proof. However, it appears I’m an idiot.
ByBenjamin Velani, Amelia Clute and Melanie Metz |
COVID Safety Report:
I was a little nervous going down to the farmers market this past weekend, as I have actively been trying to avoid public places since March (grocery stores and other necessary stops being the exception). But, when I got there, I didn’t see nearly as many cars as I have in past years, not to mention that it seems much of the foot traffic was locals. This apparent emptiness proved a fallacy as Amelia and I approached the entrance. Stretching from the front gate and all the way around the bend in the road was a line of market-goers, young and old, local and semesterly transplants. We walked to the end of the line, a good 250 yards long and for which it took us nearly an hour to get through.
As the rate of positive COVID-19 tests rise again, we must consider the source of the virus and how to prevent future pandemics. The New York Times referred to the coronavirus as a wave that will “be with us for the foreseeable future before it diminishes” and will take more than one round of social distancing. We cannot depend on the warmer weather to diminish the number of cases or hope that a vaccine comes quickly; we must face the grim reality that the pandemic may persist into the next year. First, we need to educate ourselves on the nature of zoonotic diseases, which the Center for Disease Control defines as being caused by “germs spread between animals and people.” According to One Health Commision, in the past three decades around 75 percent of all emerging infectious diseases originated in animals. These viruses are brought to humans by wild animals, whether humans consume them, capture and cross-breed species or increase encounter rates by destroying natural habitats.
Significant changes need to occur to move towards an anti-racist society. One small, but impactful, step we all can take is to support Black owned businesses. According to a study by the Stanford Institute of Economic Policy Research, Black owned businesses have not only had a more difficult time accessing capital, but they have been disproportionately impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic. The Washington Post noted the “number of working Black business owners fell 40 percent amid coronavirus.” As many small, Black owned businesses are struggling, it’s important to seek out and support them now and in the future. Numerous Black owned plant-based restaurants exist throughout the country.
My first Gimme Coffee experience was in November of my freshman year. A friend suggested we meet at Gates Hall to do work and get caffeinated, and I instantly became a fan. In fact, that friend and I proceeded to create “Gimme Coffee Fridays” for the rest of the year. We began to explore Gimme’s other cafes around Ithaca and appreciate the differing atmospheres of each and the consistently high-quality beverages. Gimme Coffee really cares about the quality of their coffee beans, the presentation of their drinks and the satisfaction of their customers.
Disclaimer: While I believe it’s important to find humor in even the most challenging circumstances, I do not want to diminish the severity of the COVID-19 pandemic. Food service workers are risking their lives to feed others, people are unable to access needed nutrients and some with eating disorders are suffering due to changes in their routines. Here are some ways to support those affected. While I’m not at “home home” making wholesome dinners with my family, I am having a blast eating popcorn all day long here in Ithaca. I’ve also had more time than ever to experiment with new recipes.