Around the World with Food.

Have you ever wondered how food tasted in different regions of the world? I certainly have! These past few weeks have been pretty stressful for the Association of International Students (AIS). Each year, the AIS hosts the International Dinner in the Kresge Dining Commons. It is that time of the year again. The dinner falls … Read more

Have you ever wondered how food tasted in different regions of the world? I certainly have!

These past few weeks have been pretty stressful for the Association of International Students (AIS). Each year, the AIS hosts the International Dinner in the Kresge Dining Commons. It is that time of the year again. The dinner falls on Saturday, November 10 this year. With only less than a week remaining, the planning committee is starting to feel the heat.

What is the International Dinner, you ask? The International Dinner is a themed dinner where guests get to feast on dishes from around the world, as prepared by our very own AVI. The dinner also features performances from Mount Union’s own international and local students. The dinner is a great opportunity for members of Mount Union and Alliance to experience different cultures from around the world.

The dinner menu is carefully selected by members of the AIS executive board and will feature food from different regions of the world. This year’s menu features dishes from East Europe, South East Asia, and the Caribbean. The international students will also be helping AVI prepare some of the ingredients before the dinner. But do not worry; it will be the chefs of AVI who does the actual cooking. I would tell you more about the food, but doing so will only ruin the surprise.

Some of the students will also perform during the dinner. I can tell you for sure, that there will be a traditional Japanese performance during the dinner. It is a great opportunity for students to showcase their talents and their native culture with the community. Did I mention that some of the international students will be dressing up in traditional outfits?

Even though planning this dinner is no easy task, I do enjoy doing it. Being one who is very proud of my foreign status, this is also a chance for me to create a platform for all international students to share their culture with the whole community. This is part of the “bridging the gap” goal that I had mentioned earlier in my introductory blog post. This being my last year at Mount Union, I also want to leave, as they say, “with a bang.”

Just in case you were wondering, you can reserve a spot for the International Dinner during lunch and dinner hours in front of the cafeteria or call the Center for Global Education at (330) 823-3296.

Tickets for adults are priced at $10, students at $8 and children under 12-years old at $5.

With all that being said, I guess all I really have to say is “SEE YOU THERE!”

Spanish Industries: A World Power

Spanish Industries: A World Power

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Despite the undeniable and many problems in the country of Spain, like needing a new economic model and having over 20% of unemployment, Spain has much to be proud. They are leaders in many different industries like olive oil, leather, renewable energy, desalinization and sports. The country ranks globally as well in sectors such as air transport, infrastructure development, tourism, banking, textiles, civil engineering, medical technology and aerospace, agribusiness and hospitality.

 

Renewable Energy

First, renewable energy is a market vastly improving. Spain is the fourth country with installed wind capacity in the world, only behind China, the United States and Germany, and the largest producer of wind power across Europe. Spain is also an exporter of equipment, services and technology related to this sector and has attracted a number of foreign investments. There are industrial companies such as Gamesa, the second world producer of wind turbines, and Iberdrola Renewables, the leading developer of wind farms in the world. For example, the United States accounts for one third of Iberdrola Renewables turnover.

When it comes to photovoltaics, Spain is the second leading country in Europe with photovoltaic power, Germany being the country that leads the list. In 2010 the installation market outside Spain grew by over 130%. In 2010 the photovoltaic industry exported more than 70% of its production. The leaders of all renewable energy in the world, according to the accumulated power, are Europe (most notably Germany and Spain, with more than 50% of world total), Japan and the United States. Also, Spain is a world power in solar thermal energy and has recently been positioned as the first in the world in production leaving the United States second. The conditions are very favorable country to install solar thermal plants, because it has abundant sunshine and large desert areas.

 

Aeronautics Technology

The high-speed train (AVE) is not the only means of transport where Spanish companies have carved a niche in the world. Three out of five flights in the world are controlled by Spanish systems of navigation, making them one of the first countries in the world in this technology. Indra is a world leader in high technology products such as three-dimensional radars, simulators, control systems, air traffic, and satellite communications. Another Spanish company GMV is a global leader in satellite control centers of telecommunications.

 

Health Technology

Spain has become one of the European countries most health technology exports. The keys to success of the Spanish label products have a lot to do with the heavy investment in R&D each year performing health technology firms, resulting in many new solutions. Grifols, a Spanish multinational specializing in the pharmaceutical and hospital industry, is the world leader in blood products, diagnostic systems and medical equipment. It has 77% of foreign sales, and in crisis just bought one of his main rivals to become the third largest manufacturer. The European Union and the United States are currently the largest recipient of Spanish products (75% of exports), but its presence in emerging markets (China, Middle East and Latin America) going through the roof.

 

Water Treatment and Desalination

Spain is next to Saudi Arabia as the largest power in desalination and water treatment technologies, and is the largest producer of desalinated water in Europe and America. There are several companies in the industry that are bringing in technology throughout the world. The most important of these is Spanish companies Acciona Agua, which has won countless awards such as  ”Best Water Company in the World” according to Global Water Intelligence.

 

Acciona Agua is a world leader in seawater desalination by reverse osmosis. It has built over 70 desalination plants, whose total production supplies more than 5 million people, with plants in the United States, UK, Italy, Peru, Cape Verde, Algeria and UAE. Furthermore, a desalination plant just opened in London and will supply drinking water to a million people, and one in Florida built two years ago is the largest of the United States.

 

Tourism

Tourism is the main source of income for the Spanish economy, and places Spain as the second country after the United States in tourism revenues, and ahead of France, Italy, China and Germany. On the other hand, it is the fourth country in the world that receives more tourists after France, the United States and China. Also good for tourists coming to Spain is that client loyalty, 80% of those who come, repeat.

 

Food Sector

In the economic crisis, Spain has managed to match Italy’s second largest producer of wine, behind France. Spain is the biggest exporter of olive oil in the world (accounts for 50% of the European Union and 35% of world production) and also stands out among the first countries in the development of technologies for improving crop. It is also the world’s fourth largest ham or jamón industry after China, the United States and Germany.

 

In recent years, innovation in catering services has placed Spain as the fifth country in number of Michelin stars (for restaurants), behind France, Japan, Germany and Italy. Spain is also on the list of the top 50 restaurants in the world, and in 2011 placed three of its restaurants in the world top-10.

 

Distribution and Fashion

A total of three Spanish companies are among the 50 largest retailers in the world including Inditex, Mercadona and El Corte Inglés.

 

Sports

Beyond the borders of Spain, one of the earliest references to the country would be about the excellent level of athletics. Spain is one of the two or three major world powers, talk about football, basketball, tennis, cycling, football and motor sports. In soccer, Spain holds the top spot in FIFA rankings and is the current World Champion, unanimously considered as the most powerful in soccer today. Also, Barcelona and Real Madrid are arguably the two teams on the planet with the greatest impact sports, economic and social development. In basketball, Spain has consolidated over the last decade as the second largest world power (after the United States of course) and the best European team. Without going any further in the last five years the basketball team has a World Cup, two victories in the Eurobasket and an Olympic silver medal. Other notable sports are tennis, with Rafael Nadal and cycling.

 

Life Expectancy

According to the latest study by the OECD Spanish women are the second longest-lived of the planet with an average life expectancy of 84.9 years, surpassed only by Japan (86.4 years). Also counting men attributing to the whole population, Spain is second only to Japan and Switzerland, being the third largest life expectancy of the planet. Pretty neat!

(All facts were taken from En que sectores es España una Potencia, a blog we went over in my Spanish for business class).

 

Hot Dog Eating Contest

Hot Dog Eating Contest

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Dinner is usually the same routine every night: swipe card, grab tray, grab plates of food, grab drink, sit with friends, eat and talk with friends, put tray away and leave.  Tonight there was the Ohio Platinum Chef Competition.  There were a few other schools around the area basically having a cook off.  I didn’t get to eat any of food they were making, but I did get a nice heaping pile of food on my plate.

I ate a hamburger first, then I heard that there was a hot dog eating contest about to begin.  I walked over because there was a good crowd gathering to watch and one of my teammates was in the competition so, of course I had to support him.  There were empty seats and I assumed it was too late to sign up.  It wasn’t, and the winner gets $50.  I could always use extra cash so I enter the contest.

The contest consisted of eating as many hot dogs as you could in five minutes.  I’ve always watched Nathan’s Hot Dog Eating Contest on television and I always see the winner eating 50+ hot dogs in 10 minutes.  This number obviously wasn’t my goal but as a smaller contestant, I hoped I could out-eat the bigger guys.  Considering I’ve been eating a lot lately and not been working it off, this was going to be challenging, especially since I just ate a hamburger not five minutes before.

I was getting nervous because cameras seemed everywhere, students, and people dressed nice, so this meant that they were here for business; this frightened me.  The contest began and I was keeping up with my teammate, dog for dog.  With two minutes left, I was at five, and the hot dogs weren’t settling well.  I kept eating, dipping the buns in water and trying to not even think about chewing, I just bit, chewed slightly and swallowed chunks of hot dogs and buns.  With two minutes left, I felt terrible.  I felt like the food wasn’t going to stay down, but I ended up finishing the sixth hot dog.  This didn’t matter because the first place contestant had eight hot dogs finished, my teammate had seven, and I had a respectable third place finish with six hot dogs in five minutes.

This was fun, but terrifying because of the amount of people, lack of training and all of my friends that I had let down (not really). Anyways, if you get the chance to go to the cafeteria on an eventful night, do it because it’s a great way to socialize and watching people suffer from eating mass amounts of hot dogs in a tiny amount of time.

There’s a New Food Love in Town!

There’s a New Food Love in Town!

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I can tell you that two simple words sum up this entire post: Panera Bread. If you have not heard of Panera Bread then you must not be living in the real world as it is one of the best food places ever. Panera Bread is an obsessive love of mine. The food is delicious times infinity, and it is one of my favorite places to eat! When I first heard the talk that Alliance was getting a Panera Bread, I thought it was crazy-talk. I did not believe it as many rumors had been circulating for months about what new food places were being built in the near future in Alliance. The talk, however, continued for weeks on end with the same story, and I finally realized that it was true. Alliance, Ohio was finally getting a Panera Bread! This was one of the greatest moments of the year! I was ecstatic and could not wait for it to open since one of my favorite places to eat would now just be a few minutes down the road from campus.

Now many months later, the Panera Bread in Alliance has finally opened and is ready for business. I know that I will be a frequent customer for the duration of my time spent here at Mount Union. If you are not sure where it is located it can be found between the recently-opened Chipotle and Giant Eagle on West State Street. If you have not eaten there before, definitely check it out and give it a chance. It is a quick, easy place to grab any meal of the day – breakfast, lunch, dinner or even a snack. There are many different foods on the menu, almost anyone can find something enjoyable that will crave his or her hunger!

Waffles or Pancakes?

Waffles or Pancakes?

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The age-old question must be answered. This is a very simple question. Which do you prefer, waffles or pancakes? I am a morning person, which means I love breakfast and everything about it. I love eating cereal, eggs, ham, bacon, yogurt and fruit, but when it comes to waffles or pancakes, I am not sure which I prefer sometimes.

My best friends and I cannot be better friends simply because we cannot agree on the biggest dilemma of them all. One day over the summer, we decided to go onto chatroulette.com and surveyed everyone to find out if they prefer waffles or pancakes. One rule of quick advice: go on that website during the day, it’s simply safer for your viewing. After around four hours of polling strangers, we came across a pretty even battle. It was like flipping a coin; you have the same chances every time. There are simple reasons why people like one or the other – sometimes the taste, sometimes it is easier to spread the butter or sometimes the pool of syrup or other fruit fits just perfect in those little pockets of the waffle. No matter what it is, people have a simple reason that forces them to choose one over the other.

We had to get more creative with this. We came up with a few other possible scenarios.

  • Best pancakes you’ve ever eaten VS. best waffles you’ve ever eaten
  • Frozen waffles VS. frozen pancakes
  • Kresge Court waffle maker VS. chef-made pancakes
  • Mother-made waffles VS. Mother-made pancakes
  • Gross waffles VS gross pancakes
  • Which one taste better at dinner?
  • Why isn’t French toast in this poll?
  • Why can’t I make two waffles with a pancake in the middle?
  • Well… why wouldn’t you make two pancakes with a waffle in the middle?

The list goes on, so much that you eventually get back to the same question, waffles or pancakes? I have to know everyone’s opinion on this important matter. Sometimes I can’t go to sleep simply because I can’t believe how even sided it is! There has to be a definitive one-sided winner.

Let me know what you prefer. Overall, I prefer pancakes.

What it really means to be Thankful

What it really means to be Thankful

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This past Thanksgiving, I was grateful for many things. My parents came from out of town to spend a weekend full of family, feasting, football (Go Packers!), laughter and plenty of turkey comas. I also got to experience my first Black Friday working at the Nike Outlet at Aurora Farms. This definitely didn’t help me get over my sickness, but at least I was able to make it on television on News Net 5! My friend sharing with me a great SNL video of Will Ferrell and Chris Katan singing as Air Supply about Thanksgiving time capped off the weekend. A definite great way to end the weekend!

I also came across a recent photo my brother shared with me, which he found on Deviant Art. This really opened my eyes about what you really should be thankful for. I hope you find some meaning in this as well!

“If you have food in the fridge, clothes on your back, a roof over your head and a place to sleep, you are richer than 75% of the world. If you have any money in the bank, your wallet and some spare change in a dish someplace, you are among the top 8% of the world’s wealthy. If you woke up this morning with more health than illness, you are more blessed than the million people who will not survive this week. If you have never experienced the danger of battle, the agony of imprisonment or torture or the horrible pangs of starvation, you are luckier than 500 million people alive going through this suffering. If you can read this message you are more fortunate than the 3 billion people in the world who cannot read at all.”

What are you thankful for this Holiday season?

College Eating

College Eating

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My cheat codes in life include winning the lottery and marrying someone rich who will cook wonderful healthy food for me.  Chances are those both won’t happen, so I guess I’ve got to learn to cook and choose the right food.  I took cooking classes in high school and that taught me how to read recipes and something about a pyramid.  But we are in college and there are so many options of where and when to eat.  Here are some easy tips on how to eat healthy.

1.  Ask yourself four questions.  Am I really that hungry? Will I regret eating that?  Do I need to eat that? Would a caveman eat that? Some of you might be confused by the caveman question.  Well, would a caveman eat deep fried food or would it just be cooked over a fire?  I think you know the answer to that and you can apply all of these questions to everything that you might eat.

2.  Taste the rainbow. Not Skittles, but a colorful plate means you are getting all different kinds of energy, vitamins, minerals and all that jazz.

3.  Eat balanced meals throughout the day. Breakfast should be the largest meal of the day.  After that, you can have anywhere from five small meals to two big meals at lunch and dinner.  For a faster metabolism, it is recommended you get six smaller meals throughout the day, but make sure they are balanced and it isn’t the same thing at every meal. Change it up.

4.  Limit your caffeine. Caffeine is a drug and you might be dependent on it if you drink it over and over.  Aim for a caffeinated drink once a week, not every day.  Too much caffeine dehydrates you and when you’re dehydrated, you’re tired.  Just drink some juice or water and if you get enough sleep, you won’t need caffeine.

5.  Avoid deep fried food. Fat may taste good, but it doesn’t look good … if you know what I’m saying.

6.  Eat fresh. If you are buying and cooking your own food, don’t buy microwaveable food just because it is easy.  Chances are it doesn’t taste as good as the real thing and it is full of preservatives.  We are in a time where we look to do things as fast as possible, but when it comes to cooking, slow down and take your time.  It is definitely worth it in the end.

7.  Pill popping. If you are lacking vitamins because you don’t like certain food or you are a vegetarian, then make sure you take the right vitamin pills.  A multi-vitamin can generally cover for the lack of vitamins you aren’t getting.

These are generalizations that I try to follow for cooking and eating (when I am not in season). When I’m in wrestling season, I have to be able to diet in a healthy manner to lose weight and still have energy to perform.

You must know your body and how it reacts to different types of food.  Everybody is different and eats different types of food and different amounts.  I didn’t even mention carbohydrates or protein or any of that, so obviously if you do a little research, you can find what is best for you.