Mekong Market Project

For our project, our group took an Uber to Mekong Market. This store is known for selling international foods primarily from Asia while also selling the typical vegetables, fruits, meats, and other common items found in all grocery stores. The store is small, has a small parking lot, and seems to be in a low- income neighborhood. The median income in the neighborhood around the market is $31,500. The ethnicity of the residents in the area are 38.9% Hispanic, 40.8% White, 16.6% Asian, 3.1% Black, and 0.7% Multi-race. The median resident age is 25, almost 40% of the residents are in poverty, and about 20% are unemployed.

Our Trip
Our trip took place on Friday the 8th, and we got there in an Uber which we all split the costs for. We drove for about 10 minutes through the neighborhood around the Mekong Market and then we got dropped off in front of the store. Getting there isn’t too hard, but, it would be hard to find if you didn’t know the neighborhood. The market was considerably full taking in consideration that it was the end of the week at 3 pm. The majority of the people were from Asian and Latin American ethnicities. It’s small in size and not in the most sanitary condition. At times it was difficult to find the foods we needed, however, there was a very wide variety of Asian and other International products that you could choose from.                   

Our Chosen Items

We choose out foods by buying food items in large quantities. These items weren’t always the cheaper alternative but they would last longer than the same foods that had a cheaper cost but a lower quantity. With 90 dollars, we limited ourselves to foods that were in the main five food groups: grains, vegetables, dairy, fruit, meat. With 150 dollars, extra food that we didn’t really need like different candies and cookies.

90 Dollar Budget food list ($88.28)

It is important to eat a variety of foods within each food group because different foods provide different types and amounts of key nutrients. Our list consists of 2 different kinds of meats, 3 different kinds of fruits, 4 different kinds of vegetables and 3 different kinds of grains. The international market didn’t offer a lot of dairy products so we only have soy milk for dairy.

150 Budget ($141.55)

Dietary Information

Luckily, our group was able to insure that our family had enough calories to sustain them on both budgets, even going over the recommended caloric intake by 1% on both budgets. We calculated the calories per person and the percent caloric intake based on the ages of our family members (a male in his mid-thirties needs 2400 calories, a female in her mid-thirties needs 1800, a child of age 8 needs 1400, and a child of age 6 needs 1200). To understand how we calculated the calories, feel free to look at the table at the bottom of the page. In the $80 budget, our family’s macro-nutrient intake varied. Each individual had 15% more protein than recommended, 3% less carbohydrates than recommended, and 2% less fat than recommended. On our $150 budget we were able to buy a wider variety of food and therefore were able to have a healthier meal plan. On this diet our family members had 12% more protein than recommended, 2% less carbs than recommended, and were right on the dot for the recommended fat intake.

Thoughts About Working as a Team

When we went the market, we did not pre-plan what we were going to buy from the store and feed our family with. This resulted in thinking on the spot what we should or should not have been buying. Our process worked, but this could have been more efficient and faster if we had previously discussed what we should buy or look to buy when we got to the market. For future team projects, I would suggest to our group that before we tackle an assignment, we should have a little discussion prior just to touch base on the matter and be on the same page so we do not start it empty handed.

Think back on your experience of planning the trip, taking the trip, deciding which foods to select and creating the tables for the assignment, preparing the content for this ePortfolio. describing something that they can take from this team experience and use to make the next team experience better. Make sure to include your name on your slide!

It was very easy for us to plan out the trip, we did not have any problems figuring out a time to leave, how to get there (we took an uber because I have a knee problem and could not walk), and how to get back. If I were to change anything on the pre-trip portion of our trip, it would be to talk a little about what kinds of foods we should look for. The actual market itself was not difficult. We all easily agreed on what to buy, we all pitched in ideas.

Having to work as a team on a project like this that requires organizing our time and efforts properly helps strengthen our sense of cooperation. To make sure we are all on time and also making sure that we divide the work load fairly amongst each other. The task itself helped show that you don’t necessarily need a large amount of money to live and take proper care of your body. Feeding a family of 4 for a week with a limited amount of money taught all of us that. Also, getting to see the various foods that different ethnicity groups consume was informative. Seeing all the variety in products and all the different nutritional values they have is a clear indication that you can find what you need for a healthy diet pretty much anywhere.

After our trip to the market, I looked over our foods and I realized that we didn’t include much dairy in our list since the store didn’t offer much dairy product. It made me think about how other aspects about the market, like the quality of most of the necessary foods, aren’t as good as they are in stores in wealthier areas. After noticing this, I discussed this with my group and we were able to make connections with what we were learning in class through the TEDx Talk assignment to what we experienced outside of class. They offered their perspectives and I think being able to collaborate and learn about your group mates perspectives on issues is important. It helped me get more out of this project and I hope to be able to do this with my groups in the future.