Want To Know? Should You Wrap Your Food Items In Newspaper or Not?

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Bhelpuri served in Newspaper, Wikimedia

New Delhi, Dec 10, 2016: Wrapping food items in newspaper is bad for your health as its ink has multiple bioactive materials with known negative health effects, FSSAI said on Friday.

Wrapping food in newspapers is an unhealthy practice and the consumption of such food is injurious to health, even if the food has been cooked hygienically,” the Food, Safety and Standard Authority of India (FSSAI) said in an advisory.

“Printing inks may also contain harmful colours, pigments, binders, additives, and preservatives. Besides chemical contaminants, presence of pathogenic micro organisms in used newspapers also poses potential risk to human health,” the advisory said.

The advisory also said that even paper/cardboard boxes made of recycled paper may be contaminated with harmful chemicals like phthalate which can cause digestive problems and also lead to severe toxicity.

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“Older people, teenagers, children and people with compromised vital organs and immune systems are at a greater risk of acquiring cancer-related health complications, if they are exposed to food packed in such material,” the advisory warned.

The advisory comes after Health Minister J.P. Nadda’s directions to the food regulatory authority against the practice of wrapping and covering food items in newspapers in India.

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Speaking in this regard J.P Nadda said: “It has been observed that vendors have been using newspapers in packing and serving food, which is harmful. I urge the public to dissuade the vendors from doing so.”

According to the advisory, the Commissioners of Food Safety of all States/Union Territories will initiate systematic campaigns for generating awareness among all the stakeholders to discourage the use of newspapers for packing, serving and storing food items. (IANS)

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Back to the Soil With Organic Farming

Here's the story of various people who have returned back to their soil, organically

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Many professionals have returned back to their soil. PIxabay

By Sukant Deepak

A banker from Canada, a resort director, a top executive in a leading IT company and a senior corporate communications professional with a major hospital chain. Defying all stereotypes and preconceived notions of farmhands, an increasing number of highly qualified professionals from both genders are quitting their lucrative professions and getting back to the soil in Punjab full-time,making responsible farming their way of life.

Using social media including WhatsApp to spread the word, participating in pop-up organic farmers’ markets across the region and organising day-long farm tours, these new-age farmers, compost kit makers and teachers are ascertaining that those wanting pesticide-free food grains don’t have to look too hard.

Rahul Sharma’s wife would always laugh when on a typical IT sprint meeting call, he would be discussing his project at Flipkart, and a few hours later, talking about manure collection with a farmer.

This organic farmer who now grows cereal grains, pulses, oil seeds, turmeric and garlic at his five acre farm in Kapurthala full time, insists that the ongoing lockdown has made people aware about the importance of growing their own food, and that too pesticide-free. “But yes, if the government is serious about providing nutritional security, then it must ascertain economic benefits to farmers so they can go in for sustainable agriculture,” he stresses.

For someone who started doing organic farming in 2016, the thrill that comes with growing safe food for others is unparalled.”The fact that there is a patch of land which is now free of poison, where life thrives, and that I am contributing towards healthy soil.”

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Rahul Sharma now grows cereal grains, pulses, oil seeds, turmeric and garlic at his five acre farm in Kapurthala full time. Pixabay

Not regretting his switch from a corporate IT job, which never allowed him to pursue his passions like photography, Sharma has now decided to streamline production and ordering process. “I have now a set rotation of crops which provide nutrition to the soil, as well as work well in the consumer market. I am also working on an online platform to make it easier for my consumers to order grains and be in touch with me,” he adds. He also lectures and interacts with school and college students at his farm about the importance of sustainable agriculture/lifestyle.

Shivraj Bhullar, who has a four-acre farm in Manimajra and grows a variety of seasonal vegetables, leafy greens and fruits left his cushy banker job in Canada to start organic farming on his piece of land in 2014 post volunteering at different farms across India to learn the ropes. “The organic farming convention that was held in the region in 2015 brought a lot of people together. Since then, the movement has been growing with greater awareness amongst consumers in this part of the country,” he says. For someone who has always been interested in Yoga and nutrition, one of the major factors that keeps him excited is the community around the organic farming movement in Punjab. “Farmers go out of their way to help each other out. It’s been a humbling and continuous learning experience for me,” he adds.

Planning to take his farm to the next level by installing a drip irrigation system and rain water harvesting for water conservation, Bhullar is all set to buy more animals so as to decrease his dependence on outside sources for manure.

Coordinator of the Chandigarh Farmers’ Market, Seema Jolly, who owns a five-acre farm in village Karoran in Punjab and grows vegetables,fruit, grains, oilseeds and pulses wants her farm to be a school for organic/natural farming, yoga and Ayurveda in the near future. One of the directors of the Baikunth Resorts Pvt Ltd, Jolly started organic farming in 2011 and there has been no looking back since then. “There is a certain joy in knowing that what you supply is not harming the consumer in any way,” she says. Instrumental in organising trips for school children to different farmers across Punjab and Himachal Pradesh, Jolly also helps small organic farmers with logistics and selling their produce. “The organic farmers market initiative, in July 2015 was a landmark in bringing relief to the marketing problems of organic farmers and encouraging more farmers to turn organic. Frankly, what is needed is small markets like these in all districts. It may take time, but people are bound to tilt towards organic if there is easy availability.”

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There are many people who own farms including Former National level hockey player Mohanjit Dhaliwal who has two farms. Pixabay

Former National level hockey player Mohanjit Dhaliwal who has two farms — one if Ropar and another in Fathegrah Sahib, the latter being part of permaculture food forest in ‘Sanjhi Mitti Food Forest Community’, has been involved in organic farmer for more than 10 years now. Talking about the roadblocks when it comes to shifting to organic, he feels, that the government’s policy of 100 per cent wheat paddy procurement has to change. “Farmers, who used to be entrepreneurs and solutions finders are now behaving like robots.Nothing is going to change unless policy makers get out of whole process.”

Besides holding regular workshops on permaculture which is attended by people from around the country, Dhaliwal, who is working on a forest therapy centre, adds, ” Our Eco library at the farm where anyone can read or borrow books on related subjects is quite a hit with both children and adults.”

Chandigarh-based Jyoti Arora, who supplies odour-free composters in Punjab, Himachal Pradesh, Uttarakhand and Chandigarh to houses, hotels, institutions, municipalities, and engages with Swachh Bharat teams of different municipalities, says, “I also do a lot of lecture demonstrations to sensitise people and encourage people to go green. In fact, my farming is a by product of the compost generated from my domestic waste in which the produce comes solely out of the compost.”

Also Read: Oglivy Launches Video Campaign Promoting Love of Couples in Lockdown

Everything changed for Diksha Suri, a former corporate communications head with a major hospital chain when she spent time at Auroville in 2004. “Being there and learning from experts started a journey of a more conscious approach towards the living greens and browns. I attended formal workshops and started experimenting an organic way of living,” says Suri, who, along with a friend set up Chandigarh’s first Nature Club in 2012.

From organising organic farm visits, forest walks and fossil sites for children and their parents, Suri says that she has been able to make hundreds of children conscious about what they eat. “A lot of them are now at ease with composting, growing vegetables, identifying birds, and more than anything, being in sync with nature. We now regularly hold talks and workshops on organic farming, composting, waste management, across schools, colleges and corporate offices in the region.”

Chandigarh-based Rishi Miranshah, who has made the nine-part docu-series ‘The Story of Food – A No Fresh Carbon Footprint’ which is available to watch online on Films for Action website and YouTube says, “Considering what chemicals have been doing to our food and the need to switch to organic, it was important for me to make this documentary which is an investigation, tracing the trail of devastations bringing us to the point where we are today. Food being the thread that connects us to life; and the way we obtain our food being that connects us to a way of life, the movie begins by examining our agri-culture, our very relationship with the land.” (IANS)

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Keep Your Nutrition and Overall Health Goals Spot On During Lockdown

Here's how you can meet your health goals while at home

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Keeping a check on nutrition can be tough during lockdown. Pixabay

By Aditi Roy

“Work from Home” during quarantine has changed our lifestyles; keeping a check on nutrition can be tough when our home is our office. A few Diet Tips can be helpful during this time.

Unlike at the office, here we have plenty of packed food in the refrigerator all to ourself and enough time to graze. We could be working long hours without having eaten a thing and then accidentally reaching out for an entire packet of chips.

However, this can not only sabotage immunity but also distort our waistline. While we have plenty of time to focus on our hobbies and going by the trend, for most of us it seems to be cooking, baking and filling our stomach with easy & unhealthy food. However, it is also important to break these habits and switch to something healthier.

Let’s see how a small switch can bring us back on track? Here are some tips shared by By Kimaye Health- INI Farms to keep your nutrition and overall health goals spot on.

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We have plenty of packed food in the refrigerator all to ourself during the lockdown. pixabay

Ditch the noodles

Did you skip breakfast again to spend hours on a project? Well, in that case, the onset of laziness will make you reach for a pack of instant noodles. But considering health as a priority, homemade oatmeal porridge seems to be a better option. Top it with a dollop of peanut butter and banana slices and voila! A great meal to start your day with!

Workout while you WFH

Making time to workout while you WFH? This new work trend may keep you glued to your screen and your couch. Taking breaks at regular intervals to ease off some stress while keeping yourself off the couch — walk around the house, do 50 skips or squats and you are good to go.

Plan your meals

Plan your meals throughout the day just like you plan your day at work. Set aside some time towards the end of the day to plan for the next day. This will not just boost your productivity but will keep you from being a hungry mess at 5 in the evening and draw lines of discipline.

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You should plan your meals a day prior. Pixabay

Read More: Here’s How You Can Tackle Obesity And Stay Healthy During Lockdown

Cut out on caffeine

Are you reaching out for a cup of tea or coffee during odd hours? Here’s a wakeup call — start your day with a fresh pomegranate juice or fresh fruit. This will ensure a healthy sleep pattern and will keep your skin glowing.

Still binge-watching?

Binge-watching and couch potato go hand in hand. With screen times shooting up for as long as 10 hours, it is essential to give yourself a break from excessive screen time. Begin with a minimum of 30 minutes, it’s time to focus on your inner-self and cut out the external noises. (IANS)

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Ways to Ensure Proper Nutrition in Your Diet

How to ensure adequate nutrition in your food

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You need to ensure proper nutrition in your diet. Pixabay

Monitoring whats on your plate is a good way to tell if you are just filling yourself up with empty calories or getting healthy nutrition that is good for your body and mind.

“The real essence of enhancing the nutrients of the plate is to add on herbs and spices. After focusing on just calories, one needs to really see the macro and micro nutrients of the plate.

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From selecting a dish to ingredients list including the food label reading is essential for making a healthy meal. Food combinations need to be followed to ensure better nutrients absorption. Pair iron with vitamin C such as any salad leaves with lemon or spinach with tomatoes. Increase your nutrients by adding herbs and spices like – cinnamon, garlic, ginger, fenugreek (methi seeds), basil, thyme, and black pepper in your everyday meals,” VLCC experts told IANSlife.

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Monitoring whats on your plate is a good way to tell if you are just filling yourself up with empty calories or getting healthy nutrition that is good for your body and mind. Pixabay

Take healthy and opt for natural alternatives rather than going for refined sugars used natural sources such as dates, fresh seasonal fruits, stevia, honey, jaggery or palm sugar. Focus on consuming high fibre foods like whole wheat added with bran,oats, black channa, all millets -Ragi, Barley or Jowar, the experts said.

One can also try, as far as possible, consuming fresh produce instead of canned or tinned processed foods. Not only you save a few quick bucks, it is a lifestyle modification that will keep your insides healthy.

Also Read- Find Out Why You Need Pulses and Legumes in Your Diet

For households where it is a ritual to fry foods in heavy oils, baking, roasting or grilling could be healthier alternatives.

Lastly, appropriate storage of food is vital for the nutrients, key is right temperature and avoid direct sunlight and usage of containers such as glass, steel and metal. Avoid using plastic containers. (IANS)