Posts Tagged ‘health’

With lifestyle diseases so rampant today, shouldn’t we turn our attention to clean and safe eating practices, asks Geeta Padmanabhan

(Hindu Article)

Watch carefully what you eat, said Anantha Sayanam, coordinator, Safe Food Alliance and founder-volunteer, Restore — a not-for-profit organic retail outlet. That’s “clean eating”, right? Call it “safe eating”, he corrected me. But “clean eating” is the current buzzword — routinely tagged to tweets, found in blogs, posted on Instagram and Facebook, and seen on television screens. Is it a diet? A trendy lifestyle? A passing fancy?

Clean food is a simple concept; it’s what eating was always about, said Dr. David Katz, Director, Yale University Prevention Research Centre. “Food that’s clean is food that’s for the most part real, not encumbered with things that compromise health: artificial flavourings, artificial colourings, sugar substitutes.”

Eat locally-grown, organic food, says clean eating pioneer, chef Ric Orlando in his book We Want Clean Food. This food doesn’t need long commutes, so is less cruel on the environment. Look for natural chicken, sustainable seafood, grass-fed cow’s milk. Fry food with non-genetically modified oils.

Ingredient awareness

Clean eating is also seen as ingredient awareness. It is the antidote to the argument that population is increasing, land for growing food is shrinking; therefore walk into labs to “create” food, or “augment” food that is average in nutrients. So you have cornflakes with calcium, biscuits with protein, beverages with vitamins A-Z, bread with probiotics. We get packaged food with a list of ingredients we have no clue about. Books such as Michael Pollan’s The Omnivore’s Dilemma, the documentary Food, Inc. and the wide coverage given to Michelle Obama’s healthy eating campaign (grow your own food, buy food at the local farmers’ markets) have tried to check this trend.

You can’t deny clean eating equals good health. Heart disease, cancer, stroke and diabetes have all been traced to what goes into what we eat. Ivy Larson, co-author of Clean Cuisine claims her multiple sclerosis symptoms were lessened when she went on a clean diet of whole foods and no packaged items. Start with one “clean” meal a day, she writes. Stock fruits and vegetables — even frozen ones — for a quick and safe meal. Buy food that has the shortest “ingredients” list.

Not a new thought

“Safe eating is a lifestyle, rather lifestyle correction,” is Ananthoo’s explanation. New age, non-communicable diseases are called lifestyle diseases (NCD). Safe eating is correcting one’s alienation and understanding of food and food habits. It is getting close to the production, processing and consumption of food. When you do that, you automatically set right your diet. Not a new thought at all, he points out. Full-length epic books were written about safe eating 3000 years ago. Ashtanga Hrudaya by Vaag Bhatt was one. Ayurveda has dincharyam, ritucharyam and diets for various ailments. Treatment and medication through food was tried by our civilisation long ago.

For forty-five minutes this self-health promoter shocked the audience at a Residents’ Association meet with details of what goes into the processed foods we buy, what is done to keep imported fruits fresh, how fruit/vegetable growers poison their produce to increase shelf life. “I once distributed magnifying glasses,” he said, “and asked the audience to read the ingredients list on packaged food. I try to bring a quick insight into food, diet habits and how industrialisation of food is spinning out of control.” Safe food is a win-win proposition, he said. “Your insistence on healthy nutritious food results in best production practices and better livelihoods for farmers.”

Eat traditional food, go organic, do what you can to consume safe food, was Anantha’s mantra to the crowd. High residues of toxic chemicals in fertilizers and pesticides are left over in the produce. More harm is added through additives, carcinogenic colours and un-named preservatives. “Both sugar and jaggery come from the same cane, but the process makes one harmful, the other safe.”

At the end of the meet, a complete meal of millet dishes — Saamai Kootanchoru, Thinai sweet (jaggery) pongal, Varagu sambar rice, Samai curd rice, Keerai masiyal and paanagam — was served by Nalla Keerai volunteers. Yummy!


– Buy pesticide-free organic food in your locality.

– Understand the ingredients; reject food with ingredients you don’t understand.

– Avoid pre-processed/canned/frozen foods.

– Avoid refined products such as maida, sugar, refined oils/rice.

– Consume whole grains. Always opt for plant-based, low-fat food.

– Opt for traditional varieties of rice, eat them unpolished.

– Include millets (foxtail, kodo, barnyard, ragi) for balanced nutrition.

– Avoid all soft drinks. Go for fresh fruit juices and tender coconut water instead.

– Most toothpastes have nicotine and even SLS — a proven carcinogen. Move to herbal tooth powders and non-foaming pastes.

– Imported food stuff has genetically modified ingredients. Watch out!


                                 Are you trobuled by calls and sms requesting to take loans ? And do you wish to block commercial communications? You can register your preference with your Service Provider either by way of voice call or SMS. In either case, you can do so by accessing the number 1909. Please note that this number is TollFree, which means that the call you make or the SMS you send to this
number will not be charged.

In blocking the commercial communication, you have two choices. You can register either in the

(a) Fully Blocked category; or in the
(b) Partially Blocked category

If you do not to want to get any commercial communication on your phone either by way of voice or SMS, please register in the Fully Blocked category;

Please register in the Partially Blocked category, if you wish to get commercial communications in the form of SMS in respect of any or all or some of the following seven subjects:

1. Banking/Insurance/Financial products/Credit cards,
2. Real Estate,
3. Education,
4. Health,
5. Consumer goods and automobiles,
6. Communication/Broadcasting/Entertainment/IT,
7. Tourism and Leisure.
Please note that in the Partially Blocked category, you will not receive any commercial communications in the form of voice calls.

How to register?

Once you have registered, you should get, subject to the correctness of your request, a unique registration number by SMS within 24 hours of registration. Please keep this number carefully as this will serve as a reference for your registration of preference.

Your request for registration on the National Customer Preference Register will be given effect to in 7 days counted from the date of request for such registration to the access provider.

If you are already registered in the National Do Not Call Registry (NDNC) you do not have to re-register; your registration will continue under the ‘Fully Blocked’ category.

You may make a change in your preference at any point of time after expiry of three months from the date of registration or three months from the date of last change request. The service provider will confirm the registration of such a request within 24 hours to you through SMS, subject to the correctness of request. In case of errors in request, access provider will advise you to make a fresh request.

No amount shall be charged from you for registration or change of preference or de-registration.

In case you receive an unsolicited commercial communication after expiry of seven days from the date of your registration in the Provider Customer Preference Register, you may make a complaint to your Access Provider, through voice call or SMS. The complaint has to be registered from the telephone number on which the unsolicited commercial communication has been received. Your complaint should be made within three days of receipt of the unsolicited commercial communication.

Detailed procedure to register the preference in National Customer Preference Register, change in registered preference, de-registration and registration of complaint is given on website, tab ‘Information to customers’.

India has been ranked 67, way below neighbouring countries like China and Pakistan, in a new global hunger index by the International Food Policy Research Institute.

                                 India is at a crucial turning point with a few successes and some failures. Persistent inequalities, ineffective delivery of public services, weak accountability systems and gaps in the implementation of pro-poor policies are the major bottlenecks to progress.

                              State and Central Government are taking actions to reduce the hunger count at their own speed.Youngsters,NGO’s and volunteers have to contribute for the cause.Uganda,Namibia and Nigeria are ranked ahead of India.Our entire country should wake up on the alarming issue.

 If you can’t feed a hundred people, then feed just one.       -Mother Teresa

                             With just five years to the 2015 deadline for achieving the millenium development goals, the country as a whole will not be on track for a majority of the targets related to poverty, hunger, health, gender equality and environmental sustainability unless concerted national efforts are made by government and all sections of civil-society working in tandem.

                              This year’s hunger figure marked a nearly 10 per cent decline from the 2009 level, with the reduction concentrated in Asia, where 80 million fewer people are estimated to be going hungry this year.

According to the 2009 Global Hunger Index, India ranked 65 out of 88 countries.

                           India has been ranked 67, way below neighbouring countries like China and Pakistan, in a new global hunger index by the International Food Policy Research Institute.

                           The index rated 84 countries on the basis of three leading indicators — prevalence of child malnutrition, rate of child mortality, and the proportion of people who are calorie deficient.

                        China is rated much ahead of India at the ninth place.

                        The 2010 Global Hunger Index, released by the International Food Policy Research Institute in association with a German group Concern Worldwide and Welthungerhilfe, ranks countries on a 100 point scale, with 0 being the best score (‘no hunger’) and 100 being the worst, though neither of these extremes is achieved in practice.

                       The higher the score, the worse the food situation of a country. Values less than 4.9 reflect ‘low hunger’, values between 5 and 9.9 reflect ‘moderate hunger’, values between 10 and 19.9 indicate a ‘serious’, values between 20 and 29.9 are ‘alarming’, and values exceeding 30 are ‘extremely alarming’ hunger problem.

India: Rank 67
China: Rank 9
Sri Lanka: Rank 39
Pakistan: Rank 52
Nepal: Rank 56
Bangladesh: Rank 68

Interactive Map

Global Hunger Index – Full Edition