15 reflective journals, 200 words each

Food Science 11

Reflective Journal 1

Strategies to improve food security

  1. Use of technology to enhance food productivity. Research indicates that use of technology in farming can significantly increase food productivity by more than 50% especially in regions such as Africa where farming is still carried out through indigenous means. An example of a country where use of technology in farming can boost productivity by a significant factor is Somalia which is one of the leading countries with the highest rate of food insecurity (Redcross.org, 2014).

  2. Building communities/countries resilience. By enabling communities to have high threshold of resisting the effects of food insecurity, the potential adverse effects resulting from the same are greatly reduced. Resilience therefore helps to buffer communities against the adverse effects of food insecurity usually through these interventions; investment in the agriculture sector through tools and seeds, training on appropriate technologies and utilizing irrigation in farming (Redcross.org, 2014).

  3. Support local food systems. This approach will require strategies that support enhanced farming around all regions that surrounds cities. The intention is to ensure that every city is sustained by food that is grown in the surrounding farms, instead of having cities that depends on food that is often grown in faraway regions. This will reduce the price of food because of high access and low cost transport which are among the factors that contribute to food insecurity.

  4. Adequate global food reserves. This is an essential strategy that will help redistribution of food in case of food insecurity, from regions where it is in surplus to countries where it is needed most. The work of doing this is usually carried through institutions such as the World Food Program (WFP) and Aid agencies among others. But for this to happen, food provisions must be channeled to these institutions.

  5. Finally, government world over must put in place policies that promote food security and ensure an environment that support farming both small and large scale.

Reflective Journal 2

Healthy Food Connect

There are currently six initiatives that Victoria government applies in order to promote healthy eating. One of this initiative is referred as Healthy Food Connect which purposes to promote healthy eating through access to healthy diets, and limiting availability and access to unhealthy foods (Health.vic.gov.au, 2016). The purpose of this initiative is based on the premise that individual’s choice of consumption of healthy food is greatly influenced by the availability factor. Thus, if healthy foods were made more available than unhealthy food, then majority of persons will have access to healthy food which will influence their choice of eating healthy diets. This initiative is biased towards promoting of food types that primarily include vegetables and fruits to comprise a significant portion of the food serving.

The Healthy Food Connect aims to achieve the above objectives through use of three key strategies. (1) By facilitating an environment that promotes consumption and choice of healthy food, (2) ensuring that healthy food is available to all categories of people including marginalized and vulnerable persons and (3) promotion of policies and programs that enhance communities to develop healthy foods (Health.vic.gov.au, 2016). Basically, the Healthy Food Connect initiative is well summarized by this 5-step model;

15 reflective journals, 200 words each

Undertake a local food access needs assessment

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Identify and prioritize actions

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Form a local food network

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Implement healthy food access initiatives

Include healthy food access in local government initiatives, policies and planning

Source: (Health.vic.gov.au, 2016).

Reflective Journal 3

Food Labelling

From the Australian government website on food standards, I was able to watch three videos on the following topics; food allergens, nutrition panels and ingredients list, percentage labelling and additives.

The requirement by the Australian food standards to label packaged foods in order to indicate their nutrition, ingredient components and other types of additives present is very considerate and informed, and this information is very useful to a consumer (Foodstandards.gov.au, 2016). The importance of labelling the ingredients found in such processed food as well as the percentage is very important for people that have food allergies. However, I did not find the list exhaustive since there are other foods such as red or chicken meat that are known to be allergic to some people not mentioned. In addition, regarding food allergens I would wish to have more information provided in labelling such as a list of symptoms that can help one know if they are suffering from allergic reaction after consuming the product, and information on what to do.

In regard to the information on nutrition, I would like to see an indication regarding the source of the food product, particularly if it is grown through Genetically Modified Organism (GMO) or if grown organically. This information is relevant in this section since GMO foods are not the same as organic foods in many ways and will help the consumer to make healthy choice. Finally, in regard to ingredients list I would wish to see an overall indication of the product in terms of its recommendation as a healthy food source or not. This is because, even though the ingredients are listed, a consumer might not be able to process this information quickly enough to determine whether the product is under the category of healthy or non-healthy food. Therefore, giving an overall mark of rating such as green to indicate very healthy and amber to indicate for instance not very healthy will help consumers make more informed choices on their food based on ingredients.

Reflective Journal 4

Privatization of retail sector. During this phase the retail sector that were previously single-operated started merging to form brands that would later become renowned national brands (Dries, Reardon, and Swinnen, 2004). This phase also involved domestic restructuring. In Australia, among the first Supermarkets brands to amalgamate from retail businesses were Coles drive-in supermarket, Woolworths and Myer’s among others in the 1960’s (Aph.gov.au, 2014). During this phase supermarkets started introducing sale of products such as fruits and vegetables that were previously not sold on supermarkets.

Globalization phase. This stage saw rapid expansion of the supermarkets due to huge investment in this sector occurring in the 1990’s. The rise of modern supermarkets started taking shape during this stage. Also international multinationals started expanding across regions through franchising. In Australia during this phase, the major leading supermarkets such as Woolworths, Franklin’s and Coles supermarkets expanded rapidly to most cities. As the expansion continued, the supermarket industry continued their innovation on the list of items added to their products such as meat, pre-prepared meals, magazines and beauty products (Aph.gov.au, 2014).

The rise of modern retail. This phase marked the rise of supermarkets in many cities and towns world-over with emergence of huge supermarkets described as hypermarkets. The purchasing power of consumer rose spurring the need of products that caters across the emerging social-classes in the society which led to production of single products of different varieties and flavor. This phase is also characterized with simplification of shopping tasks with adoption of online marketing. In Australia, leading supermarkets expand further and in order to raise capital are listed in public stock exchange as was the case with Woolworths in 1993 opening its doors to shareholders. Leading supermarkets in Australia start franchising globally and continue to expand further thereby creating a supermarket culture in the country where majority of the food and non-food items are sold through a supermarket outlet.

Reflective Journal 5

Difference between canned and frozen foods

Canned foods

Frozen foods

Canned food do not lose as much nutrition compared to freezing because oxygen is excluded during storage.

Frozen food lose more nutrition over time because of the oxidation process.

Foods with Vitamin C when preserved through canning loses between 10%-90% of the vitamin but still maintains some form of vitamin

Freezing of food with Vitamin C completely destroys the vitamin when vegetables are blanched prior to storage

Foods with vitamin B loses nutrition value because its they are sensitive to heat and light

Freezing of food with vitamin B leads to a loss of 20-60% of this vitamin due to the blanching process prior to freezing

Canned food that has beta-carotene such as cooked green beans have more loss in nutrients than similar frozen foods.

Frozen foods with fat soluble nutrients such as cooked green peas with beta-carotene have minimal loss in nutrients than in canned foods

Up to 80% of the nutrition value in vitamin C is lost during the process of canning

77% of vitamin C is lost in vegetables when frozen for a duration of one week in temperatures below 4 degrees centigrade.

There is no significant loss in nutrition in many types of foods during storage after canning has taken place

Much erosion of nutrition in frozen food occurs during the storage period.

There is no change in nutrition content once food has been canned

There is significant change in nutrition during the duration of storage once food has been frozen

Canning lowers nutrition value of protein foods by 6-9%

There is no significant loss in nutrition through freezing of protein foods

Thermal processing of food prior to canning contributes to significant loss of nutrition for most foods

There is usually no prior processing of food prior to freezing, hence no nutrition loss happens at this stage.

Canning is a suitable preservation method for foods that are not significantly affected by heat

Freezing is a suitable preservation method for foods that are not significantly affected by light, and oxidation process

Source: (Rickman, Barrett, Bruhn, 2007).

Reflective Journal 6

Heterocyclic Amines (HCAs) is a term that describes chemical composition of compounds that include at least one heterocyclic ring, it is usually formed through cooking of meat especially by grilling at high temperatures (Preventcancer.org, 2014). There are at least 17 variations of HCAs that have been analyzed so far (Preventcancer.org, 2014).

The effects of HCAs among humans has been found to be relatively low in content to be attributed as a significant causative factor of cancers. Most of the data regarding the carcinogenesis of HCAs has been obtained from lab experiments using rats as target species. However, it is clear that HCAs are carcinogenic and contributes by compounding the risk of cancer among humans. One of the ways that HCAs causes cancer in humans is through proliferation of tumors that occur through mutations of Apc and β-catenin known to cause colon cancer (Sugimura, Wakabayashi, Nakagama and Nagao, 2004). In addition, HCAs have been seen to cause liver cancer and formation of tumors in prostate and mammary glands in humans consistent to laboratory findings. Finally, HCAs are known to target humans DNA by modifying them in a way that they are translated as precursors of cancers.

Prevention of HCAs in food

There are several ways through which HCAs levels on food can be reduced or prevented when cooking food. There are three major factors that significantly influence the levels of HCAs in food; the duration of cooking, meat water content and the temperature levels (Sugimura et al., 2004). Consequently, one of the most direct and simple strategies of reducing HCAs in food is by cooking food in moderate indirect heat, reducing duration of cooking and turning over the meat as often as possible when cooking to avoid charring. Another way to lessen HCAs in food is through use of suitable cooking options such as microwave instead of naked flames. When cooking food on direct heat, it is essential to ensure that meat is not burnt/charred on the surface since this significantly increases the level of HCAs.

Reflective journal 7

GFD foods for person with Celiac disease

  • Vegetables

  • Dairy products

  • Legumes such as beans

  • Sea food such as fish

  • Oat (with no contamination)

Reference: (Kupper, 2005).

Example of a GF meal

Chicken Soup


  • 1 tablespoon cooking oil

  • 1 onion (chopped into thin pieces)

  • 2 medium size tomatoes (grated)

  • 1 garlic onion (mashed)

  • 2 carrots, cut into equal small sizes

  • 1 red pepper (not to be cut into pieces, cooked whole)

  • 2 thyme sprigs

  • 2 chicken broth (we use low sodium)

  • 2.5 cup of water

  • 1.5 cups shredded cooked chicken breasts

  • Pinch of salt


Put a soup pot on fire and add 2.5 cups of water wait for the water to almost boil then add the following ingredients; olive oil, sliced onions, tomatoes, mashed garlic, whole red pepper, carrot, thyme sprigs, salt, cover with lid and wait for 8 minutes. Then add the grated chicken breasts and allow to continue boiling for 15 minute until it forms a uniformly mixed broth of heavy soup. Remove from fire and serve hot.

Reflective Journal 8

Basic Meal plan for sedentary 45 year old male

  • 1 slice of bread (80g)

  • 1 medium banana


  • ½ medium sweet potato

  • 100g of cooked fish fillet

  • ¾ of Yoghurt

Drink plenty of water

Visual meal chart

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Source: (Eatforhealth.gov.au, 2016).

Reflective journal 9

Reasons for iron deficiency

  • Among children and infants, breast milk is not a sufficient source of iron since it’s very low in quantity requiring supplementary sources of iron through other foods.

  • Due to age the demands of iron in the body surpasses the supply as is the case in puberty years among girls where high levels of iron is needed due to menstruation. Among elderly, iron is poorly absorbed and high content is needed to match the demand.

  • During pregnancy huge demand on iron is required by the body which cannot be met by available iron in usual dietary intake.

  • Pathological conditions, especially when endemic in particular regions such as the case with intestinal parasite infestations e.g hook worms makes a person to be more susceptible to iron deficiency conditions. In addition, conditions such as sickle cell disease predisposes one to suffer from iron deficiency.

  • Developing countries are most affected when it comes to iron deficiency conditions because of their socio-economic status which has been found to influence the access to iron among people.

Category of persons most affected by iron deficiency are;

  • Children below 14 years (20-48% of the population depending on country)

  • Pregnant women (up to 22% in industrialized nations and up to 52% in developing nations)

  • Elderly (12% in industrialized nations and 45% in developing nations)

  • Women (10 to 42%)

  • A significant number of men (between 3% and up to 30% in developing nations)

Source: (WHO, 2016).

Symptoms of iron deficiency

  • Pale eyelids, nails, tongue and palms


  • Health education

  • Poverty reduction

  • Access to improved health services

  • Promote access to food rich in iron

Source: (WHO, 2016).

Reflective Journal 10

  • The report indicate that significant number of young people in all age group met the estimated average requirement for protein and vitamins intake.

  • The report documented high ignorance for dietary rules relating to vegetables, soaked fat and sugar among all age groups.

  • Underweight and obese children reviewed had a tendency to have lower physical movement indicating sedentary lifestyle than children with ordinary weight.

  • The findings indicated that the more the child is active, the higher the need of energy which translates to higher consumption. In any case, the relationship between reported vitality admission and level of physical movement was observed. Young ladies accomplished lower levels of physical action than young men.

  • The study observed higher likelihood that overweight people are likely to under-report consumption. The analysts noticed that obese kids tended to report lower consumption of energy than those kids of ordinary weight. In spite of Australia having a world class nourishment supply creating a wealth of wholesome nutrition, the report show few kids’ intake of organic product, vegetables, grain and dairy items is below dietary standards (Australian.gov.au, 2016)

Reflective 1

During this week, I have learned the purpose and importance of having counselling skills in my field of specialization. One of the concepts that have stood out for me during the learning modules of this week is ‘empathy’ as a desirable characteristic of a counsellor. To learn that empathy can be learned and to understand what this concept entails has been eye-opening for me since it has made me realize I can actively work towards achieving this characteristic.

Learning about this concept of empathy has made me desire to have it as opposed to just being sympathetic to people. I believe that every person and not only health practitioners should have and demonstrate the ability to be empathetic instead of just being sympathetic. This way I believe they will be more efficient in their workplaces since success at workplace will significantly depend with how well a person relates to others and empathy is one of the best approaches that one can use to cultivate good relationships with other people. I also found the concepts of emotional intelligence and self-awareness handy in fostering counselling skills, besides helping one to be more empathetic. Finally, the Egan’s three stage model is an essential tool for a counselors in helping their clients.

Reflective 2

During this week I have learned important skills in obtaining information from a potential client through questions. The type of questions and how to frame questions when dealing with a client is highlighted in this case as an important strategy that needs to be structured in a certain way. I found this module on questions very informative as I reflected on the skills of asking questions that a counselor needs in order to obtain as much as possible information from a client regarding an issue. In particular I found the ability to identify verbal and non-verbal communications as a very essential skill for any counselor since one is able to obtain information from a client that they are not keen on sharing.

I believe, an experienced counselor ought to have the skills to frame questions to a potential clients in a comfortable way that will make the client feel at ease and must have the ability to recognize incongruence of verbal and non-verbal communications. This week’s learning has made me to focus more on empowering myself to be an active listener who can be able to apply these learned knowledge in order to improve the way I interact with other people and the quality of my advice when needed since it will depend on my listening skills and the information that I can obtain from another person through asking of relevant questions.

Reflective 3

During this week I learned important concepts of Normalising and Reframing, in context of counselling as important skills for a counselor. The concept of Normalising was particularly interesting to me because I was able to learn techniques that one can use to comfort people of their situation without having to pretend and lie to them, and thereby accomplish an important objective of any counselor which is to comfort a client. I particularly like the concept of Normalising since it has empowered me with strategies that I can use to provide quality advice to persons since I realize that majority of the times in which I am solicited for advice by friends is when they are facing difficult choices or situations in their life.

Indeed, I believe that majority of persons who eventually seeks counselling services is because they are going through difficult situations in their life, this means that they eventually need someone who can help them ‘normalise’ their situation and comfort them by making them understand that their situation is not as bad as they think. I found this to be one of the top skills that any counselor needs in addition to Reframing skills.

Reflective 4

During this week, I learned an important step in the counselling cycle of helping the clients to finally overcome the challenges facing them, described as moving forward. It is imperative for a helper to be able to offer practical solutions to a potential client once the process of the assessment of their situation and challenges has been finalized. The ability of a counselor to offer solutions that can be effective in helping a client overcome their challenges is dependent on this critical process of guiding the client to agree to participate to a healing strategy that is meant to overcome their challenges. This require working with client to identify the desirable goals that needs to be achieved in order to overcome their problems.

Moving forward therefore entails capacity building the clients usually by helping them to look at their challenges in different perspectives and motivating them enough to have them commit to undertaking activities towards overcoming their challenges. Learning how to help a client achieve success is a delicate exercise that requires skills, patience, tact and understanding the personality of the person who needs help.

Reflective 5

During this modules I have learned an important aspect in client counselling which is referral. The concept of client referral stood out for me as an important process in client management because it allows a helper to opt out from giving care for one reason or another through acceptable channels. The provision of a helper to opt out is a well thought out idea since there are many factors that can arise during counselling sessions that can necessitate the need for a counselor to terminate the engagement with a client. This provision also enables a counselor to opt out of giving help in a respectable manner without having to lose face or appear incompetent.

It also enables the counselor to accept when their experience and skills are limited to offer the help that is needed by a client when a case it is too complicated. I believe knowing about exit and referral options available helps a counselor to accept their limitations and avoid engaging in situations that can also be stressing to them career-wise. The referral options and opting out situations therefore is mutually beneficial both to the client and to the helper.


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survey. Retrieved from www. Australian.gov.au

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Dries, L., Reardon, T., and Swinnen, J. (2004). The Rapid Rise of Supermarkets in Central and

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Retrieved from http://www.foodstandards.gov.au/consumer/information/Pages/Default.aspx

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canned fruits and vegetables. Part 1. Vitamins C and B and phenolic compounds. Journal of the Science of Food, 87:930–944.

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Mutagens/carcinogens produced during cooking of meat and fish. National Cancer Center, 104-0045.

WHO. (2016). Iron Deficiency Anemia. Retrieved from www.who.org