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SOC271 (32)
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University of Alberta
Amy Kaler

NUFS ASSIGNMENT #1 Zigeng Gong 1306118 1) I define myself as a Chinese. 2) Yes because I am a first generation immigrant from Mainland China. My parents and I were all born there, and I have lived there for over a decade before our family immigrated to Canada. Additionally, we are still Chinese citizens with a permanent resident status. 3) Our family moved to Canada early 2005, and I was eleven years old at the time. We were living in Daqing (a city in northern China with a climate similar to Edmonton) prior to settling here in Canada. 4) At home I eat similar food with my parents, but in recent years, our eating pattern as well as the food we eat have diverged quiet a bit. My parents are really good cooks and they make decent traditional food on a daily basis. However, upon coming to university, I find it more difficult to eat at home as I have a busy schedule, night classes and all the other obligations to fulfill. As a result I do not have the opportunity to eat dinner at home every evening. I frequently eat fast food on campus, however, I try to stay healthy by opting for eating sandwiches with fresh vegetables, salads and avoid deep fried food. It is also important to address the food my family consumes is relatively different from my grandparents’ diet. My grandparents on my mother’s side are devout Buddhists and therefore they follow a strict vegan diet and do not consume “pungent food” such as garlic and onion. My grandparents from my dad’s side had a relative low socioeconomic status and therefore they consumed a lot of unrefined grains and only had meat on special occasions. Here in Canada, meat is readily available and they are usually offered at reasonable and affordable prices, which influenced the type and frequency of meat consumption in our diet. 5) The main source of grain product we consume is rice and what products which are considered our core food. Some of our favorite ways of cooking rice includes steamed rice, stir fry rice and rice porridge (congee), and sometimes my mothers makes steam buns, pancakes (leavened dough on frying pan with a little oil). However, with the lack of microwave available and for convenience purpose (meals on the go) I sometimes just have bagel or bread for lunch. Usually for dinner, my parents cook three to four dishes depending on how busy they are. They dishes usually consist of at least one or two stir fry vegetables dishes with sliced or diced meat as garnish, and the other ones are usually meat/ fish dish or soup. The vegetables we choose are rather traditional as well. We like cauliflower, Chinese okra, Chinese eggplants, bok choy as my parents are more familiar with cooking these vegetables. However, I have noticed that my Canadian siblings do not enjoy these foods as much as my parents and I do, and that could potentially be attributed to the fact that young children do not like the taste for vegetable in general, let alone the unfamiliar ones that they are not exposed to a lot outside. Our cooking styles are rather traditional as well. We rarely deep fry, roast of bake. Most of the time we stir fry our vegetables and steam fish or making dumplings and boil them. As snacks, I usually eat westernized food such as crackers, granola bars, etc, as those are readily available in the market and I really enjoy the taste. However, I choose to stay away or rarely eat chips or cookies. When my father is cooking, he likes to use a variety of seasoning. He likes chili peppers, cilantro, whole pepper kernels, soya sauce, dried up shrimp and a variety of tradition ingredients to enhance the flavor and bring our the umami taste of food. 6) I am usually conscious about what I eat as some of my immediate family members are overweight/obese and sometimes I think of myself as having the “bad genes”. However, as promising as some of my friends diet suggestions sound, I chose no opt out of the “no carb” diet not only because it is the most important part of my meal and I cannot live without It, also because having the basic understanding of nutrition, I know if it not healthy exempting myself from a entire food group that provides me with energy and vital nutrient such as fibre and iron. I believe in eating healthy and when I have the option to (at Subway, Tim Hortons), and I always opt for the whole wheat bread instead the white. At home my mom and my like to mix our steam rice with a variety of lentils for all the other nutrients those have to offer. We rarely eat out as family, however as a part of my social life, my friends and I tend to try all the different restaurants around town, a couple of our favorite include Mexican, Greek, Vietnamese and Japanese. There isn’t a particular food that we feed people when they are sick traditionally. However, being sick does increase my craving for warm fluid such as tea and soup. I am not much of a physically active person either, as I have never played
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