There comes a time when every Tufts student recognizes that the campus has everything one needs to survive. And this is more likely to happen when wind chills get nasty and the frost begins to bite. One asks, “Am I silly to search for food beyond this hill that is Tufts when I have 9 diverse & convenient on-campus dining locations?”, or “Aren’t endless plates of frosted eclairs/vegan craisin nut bars/zucchini bread/purple cupcakes the epitome of diner’s delight?” Sometimes, the answer to both is No. Because the tongue wants what the tongue wants, and sometimes, it just needs an off-campus bakery to ease the responsibility that Hodgdon/Carmichael/Dewick has, regarding your satiety. Read more
On the days when the weather forecasters predict inclement weather, students universally anxiously wait and pray to the snow gods for a snow day. Whether the snow day is wished for by the procrastinator crowd or by the hopelessly sleep-deprived student, it is loved and cherished by all. Sleeping, cramming and sledding can only be topped off by delicious snow day food or as I like to say, the literal “cherry on top.” Read more
On this Friday, March 7th, Tufts will be hosting the first of a series of events aimed to bring together food-related activism and academic study at this university and local organizations. The event will begin at 1 PM, featuring an expo of local food businesses, organizations, and activist collectives. So far, the confirmed groups who will be tabling are Groundwork Somerville, Equal Exchange, Shape Up Somerville, Union Square Main Streets, MF Dulock Meats, Aeronaut Brewing Company, New Entry Sustainability Farming Project, Dining Services, Food for Thought, Real Food Challenge, and Tom Thumb Student Garden.
The event will continue with a cheese tasting from 2 to 3 PM of Vermont Shepherd and Cabot Clothbound Cheddar, among others. The tasting will be followed by keynote speaker Heather Paxson, an anthropologist from MIT, who will be discussing small-scale cheese-making and the politics surrounding raw milk. This talk will be followed by a panel of professionals, including a Tufts anthropology professor, a Bauer fellow, the executive director of Union Square Main Streets, and an associate professor from the Friedman School of Nutrition.
Heather Paxson: Raw (Milk) Politics: Safety and Skill in Small-Scale Cheesemaking
A lead organizer of the event, professor Alex Blanchette of the Tufts Anthropology department, comments on the event: “Organized by faculty in Anthropology and Environmental Studies, we intend this event to the be first in an ongoing series that brings together the rich array of faculty research and student work already happening at Tufts around the politics of growing, distributing, and eating food. Looking at food helps us ask new questions across diverse domains including human health, ethics, environmental sustainability, and social justice. This particular event is centered on the broad question of what kinds of work are needed to make local food systems flourish.”
Again, this event will be Friday, March 7th and take place from 1 to 4:30 PM in the Coolidge Room of Ballou Hall. Hope to see you all there!
Cover Photo Source: The Kitchen Skinny
Tufts sits comfortable at the edge of Medford, MA. And yet, Davis Square of Somerville features so much more in our consciousness, for reasons like the Joey route, the T station and Freshman orientation events that lure wide-eyed freshmen to Mr. Crepe, Orange Leaf, and more. If you’ve never been to nearby Medford Square, this guide will help you resolve to explore it.
Getting there is easy: hop on the 94 or 96 bus from Davis Square, College Ave, or Boston Ave, or simply trek the 0.8-miles from Gantcher, down College Ave, before continuing on Main Street. Walking may seem intimidating—if not for of the icy sidewalk, then because of a particular pedestrian crossing where the Mystic Valley Parkway churns out a steady stream of fast-moving cars. But, try not to let these small obstacles faze you; it is entirely worth it! Because on the other side of Mystic River, lies a plethora of restaurants catering to many tastes.
Here they are, grouped by genre:
Thai: Tom Yum Koong
Chinese: Chili Garden
Mexican: Tenoch Mexican
Korean: Chung Ki Wa
Italian: Salvatore’s Restaurant
Seafood & Subs: Alamo’s Roast Beef and Seafood
For the two establishments I’ve personally been to, Carroll’s is fancy without any compromise on taste or affordability, while Chung Ki Wa provides sheer authentic deliciousness for any group, large or small. And while I haven’t tried Sei Bar, I’ve heard only pleasant things about it. Ebisuya is also one of Boston’s only and certainly the most comprehensive all-Japanese grocery store–and Tasty Tufts editor, Gabriel Spieler, says their sushi is among the cheapest and best in the city.
Wait no longer, explore our community!
- Min Yi Tan
Cover image source.
As we approach the third month of the New Year, we all try and hold onto our New Year’s resolution of staying fit. What some may not realize is that, regardless of how much you exercise, much of the determining factor in reaching a healthy weight comes from the food you eat. There is this belief that as long as you are eating “good” food, (in the socially constructed divide between “good” and “bad”) that your body will magically shape shift into those skinny jeans you have dangling from your closet door as inspiration. Yet, there really is such a thing as eating too much of even the healthiest of foods. I am here to be your guide through portion sizes so that your next New Year’s resolution is not to lose weight, but maintain it.
Tasty Tufts Tip One: Portion Comparison. Sometimes all it takes to eat a proper portion is a shocking comparison. For example, when you order that 12 oz steak at your go-to restaurant, you probably are thinking, “Not only am I trimming all of that excess fat off, but I am getting the protein my body needs.” Depending on height and gender, you may be shocked to know that you are ingesting two to three times your daily-recommended amount of protein. By tripling up on your daily protein, you will not be able to capture and release all of this energy in a day, so what happens? Storage. When proteins, fats and carbohydrates are not used, they are stored. It is a system your body uses to fall back on, but that triple amount of protein intake day after day leads to your storage bins getting full (a nicer way of saying, “You’re getting fat!”). Your New Year’s resolution is already dissipating, and it’s not even March. So, if you want to eat a piece of red meat, I am not trying to tell you that you will inflate faster than a startled puffer fish; all I am saying is that you should eat the right sized portion, which happens to be 3 ounces, (compared to the 12 ounces you are generally served at most steak houses.) To know how much of this oversized steak should be consumed, you need to think of 3 ounces as the size of a deck of cards. By envisioning this comparison, you will not only be getting the proper daily intake of protein, but also have a consistent assessment for portion size. If you are not an abstract thinker, you could always keep a deck of cards in your back pocket. While this concrete comparison may look funny to other customers, you will have the last laugh when your New Year becomes a new you. While WebMD is not always the most reliable at diagnosing illnesses since somehow all symptoms converge to cancer, it does a solid job with all things compared and portioned.
Tasty Tufts Tip Two: Serving size. When eating packaged foods or drinks, be sure to read the labels; a package or bottle may very well contain more than one serving, perhaps more than two. Did you know that the serving size for those Frosted Flakes that you dumped into your cereal bowl this morning is a measly one cup? I say measly because, if you actually measured what you put into your bowl, it was probably more like two or three cups! So, those 147 calories quickly become 441 calories, and your jeans are getting tighter by the day. The same goes for spaghetti. A serving size is also a cup (which is the same as 2 ounces dry.) Try actually measuring out one cup of cooked pasta; you are sure to be surprised (and not in a good way). When cooking from recipes, always be mindful of serving sizes and how many servings a recipe actually makes. According to Lisa Young, PhD, RD, adjunct assistant professor at New York University, portion sizes have never been bigger. Young’s research reveals that fast food, restaurant and prepared food portion sizes are 2 to 5 times as large today as they were in the 1970s.
Interestingly, our own Dewick-Macphie Dining Hall has started to display portions for each meal served. Everyone in college worries about gaining the “freshman fifteen,” but Tufts is doing its duty to combat these filthy fat cells with portioned plates in front of every station. While the food is normally on a baby plate squished under saran wrap, Tufts dining is still doing its job to demonstrate proper portion sizes in order to help maintain a healthy and fit student body. Yet, maybe Tufts only wants downhill students to be fit? Carmichael, Tufts dining option uphill, interestingly does not implement portioned plates in front of each meal selection. Additionally, while that Hodgdon burrito may be a delicious substitute for a substantial sit-down meal, wouldn’t it be nice to know how much of that burrito you really should be eating at once, and how much you should save for a later date? If Tufts would display concrete examples of portion size at all of the dining halls, the “freshman fifteen,” would not have to turn into the “senior seventy.” I am not saying that everyone or anyone should limit him or herself to what is said to be “portioned,” because let’s be honest, we are all guilty of excessive indulgence, but those who want to be aware should be able.
Yogi Berra clearly did not understand the concept of portion control when he said, “You better cut the pizza in four pieces because I’m not hungry enough to eat six.” Armed with an abstract guide of portions and the tangible display at Tufts Dining, you will no longer fear those skinny jeans dangling from your closet or that body-con dress that you bought on a delusional whim.
Eat (right-sized portions). Pray (that you fit into your skinny jeans). Love (the new you in the New Year).
Cover image source.
I’m going to hit you all with two heavy facts. These two sentences aren’t very pretty and they’re definitely not going to make you feel good. But listen, I’m not spewing this out to guilt you—or me, as I have just as much blood on my hands—I’m just hitting you all with two heavy facts because without facts there is no perspective, and without perspective there’s little change.
Fact One: 842 million people in the world do not have enough to eat.
Fact Two: Approximately half of all food is wasted worldwide.
To list off the reasons for this would be like trying count the number of stars in the sky. That being said, some of the greatest contributors are the gross consumerism culture of supermarkets, the lack of knowledge on how to properly store foods, the seductive lure of impulse shopping, and so on, I’m not here to lecture anyone on why this crisis has gotten so out of hand. Truly.
But, I would like to bring to your attention a debate going on among those working to eliminate waste. Namely, should more be done to prevent food waste, or collect and use what is wasted?
Obviously, both are of huge importance to controlling this situation. This is why I believe that composting is hugely vital and should continue to be encouraged, set up, and taught—particularly to the younger generations. What kids learn in school, they’ll bring back home; prevention is of absolute necessity.
Okay, so that’s pretty vague Laur, what are we preventing? How do we prevent? Who are you to tell me to prevent? Honestly, I’m a girl who’s had more than her fair share of spoiled food and I’m just learning how to prevent now, but if I can do it so can you. While there is little you alone can do to prevent the institutionalized waste that is pervasive in this country, there are some simple changes you can make in your everyday life to greatly reduce your personal waste. For some quick tips, keep reading.
Step #1: Plan ahead.
Grocery lists are for wimps, huh? If you ask me, falling into the trap of a seductive box at the supermarket or a flashy sale is far wimpier. Why? Extra cost aside, because you and I both know that not even half of those impulse purchases are getting consumed fully. When you get exactly what you need, particularly if you have the luxury (and yes, I acknowledge that it’s a luxury but if you have it use it!) to buy in smaller quantities, you end up avoiding that bummer of a situation when you have to throw out half of your Costco purchases.
Step #2: Store correctly.
Know which fruits and vegetables to keep in, which to keep out. Refer to the chart below or just flat out Google it, no shame, most people don’t know these things because, hell, nobody told us!
Step #3: Cook what you need.
I can assure you, the kids, the housemates, whoever! They won’t go hungry. You don’t need to make enough for seconds… or triples… You don’t need to even make enough to store the next day because leftovers never get eaten with the same vigor as food fresh off the pot – any disgruntled mother can tell you that. Play it safe, and in the end your wallet and your world will thank you.
Step #4: Eat up! (Or store leftovers, but come on, you’re cooking what you need right?)
Step #5: Recycle/compost whatever’s left
Hopefully there’s nothing left over, but it’s actually a pretty hard feat because it involves changing everything we’ve been raised to think in regards to food: more is better, have seconds, eat what you like, love what you eat, etc. And those mantras are well and fine but if these four steps (and this final step) could just remain at the tip of our conscience every time we went to the grocery store or even just the dining hall, I think we could make a pretty drastic change…
A simple effort, that’s what it’s all about—and remember: love food, hate waste.
Cover image source.