Did You Also Believe These Myths About Organic Food?

Like everything else on the Internet, there are a lot of mixed feelings and opinions that people seem to have when it comes to organic food. While the benefits of choosing organic are crystal clear, it’s possible to stumble upon misconstrued information which may be false or manipulated. Such misinformation paints organic food in a negative light. In this blog, we do not wish to convince you that organic food is the best and the negatives you read about it are all lies, rather, all we wish to do is present you with the facts, the unadulterated truth, so that you can make an informed decision for yourself.

Myth #1. “Organic food does not always translate to healthy food”

If you buy a packet of organic urad daland decide to make deep-fried tikkisout of the batter, then it’s obviously not going to do much for you, nutrition wise. The high temperatures will destroy most of the nutrient value, the oil will be laden with saturated fat, and you will lose out on the health benefits. If you take the same urad dal and make a dosawith just a dash of oil on the pan, then you’ll have yourself a healthy meal! One of the biggest myths about organic food is that it’s not automatically healthy, but that’s more because of the way the food is treated, it has more to do with cooking than the food itself. So the health factor is really dependent on how you choose to make your food.

Myth #2: “Pesticides are only harmful to pests, not humans”

If you think that these chemicals are only effective on four-legged pests, think again. A study by the US Library of Medicine stated that pesticide residues have also been detected in human breast milk samples, which raise serious questions and concerns about prenatal exposure and the effects on children. People who work closely with pesticides have recorded suffering from respiratory issues, and also those also affect their reproductive and endocrine systems. High accidental exposures may even result in death.

Myth #3: “Organic food is simply unaffordable”

Of course, organic food can be affordable if you know where to find them. Try your local farmer’s markets, sustainability drives and online superstores to find genuine, organic foods. And if the price point is a marginally higher than generic brands, understand that you are paying for the assurance and safety of a certification. It’s far from easy to get certified by the USDA, but if a brand is certified, then you can rest assured that you’re consuming safe, hygienic ingredients.

Myth #4: “Natural and organic mean the same thing”

This is by far the biggest myth. Understand that what makes a brand organic is not the nature of food, but rather the processes of production, sourcing, and manufacturing. For example, doorstep delivered milk can be called “natural” because using that word requires no certification. But calling a brand organic without the certification can have serious consequences as well as legal ramifications. The certification is all about the processes, have the key ingredients been sustainably sourced? Are the cows healthy? Do they have space to roam? Are they grass-fed? Is the grass they are fed with chemical-free? Getting certified requires providing documented evidence for questions like this and more.

Myth #5: “Organic food is not sustainable”

A study conducted by the USDA Agricultural Research Service (ARS), which spanned over 9 years, stated that organic farming is better for the soil matter than conventional, no-till farming. To put things in perspective, just one teaspoon of compost rich organic soil can host over 600 million to 1 billion good bacteria from 15,000 different species. Compare that with chemically-treated soil, where one teaspoon can house barely 100 good bacteria. This is the most pragmatic way to understand the benefits of organic farming on the environment.

Myth #6. “Organic food is tasteless”

This is a common myth that mostly surfaces to organic newcomers. Let’s take an example of milk. If you find that your new brand of organic milk isn’t as rich as your previous milk, it’s because organic is as close to the real thing as it gets. Traditional cartons of milk use emulsifiers and thickening agents to make milk seem creamier and richer, but all of this takes an immense toll on the digestive system. Most people cannot handle such high levels of lactose, which is why organic milk reserves the best natural ingredients and preserves their nutrition through scientific processes.

#Myth #7. “Organic is just a buzzword”

By buying into this myth, you are not only denying yourself the opportunity to be healthier and make wiser health choices, but you are also robbing local, Indian farmers the opportunity to preserve their heritage and make an honest livelihood. India has always been an agriculturally rich nation, but after colonization, farmers were forced to stop the cultivation of indigenous local crops and replace them with cash crops. Now, our farmers are finally getting the support they need to grow local grains like red rice, millets and more. By buying an organic brand, you choose to shop local, to support local farmers and the community. By choosing organic, you are not helping a greedy corporate CEO to buy a fifth holiday home in France, rather, you are helping a local farmer to put food on the table and feed the family. So who would you rather support?

These are the facts about organic food, and we hope that this article has helped you better understand not just the benefits of organic food, but also the impact of organic farming on a holistic scale. Not only is it the best option for your health, but it’s also something that creates jobs and lessens the load on the environment. Remember, when you shop local or organic, you are not just benefitting yourself and your family, but you’re also benefiting the community and the planet as a whole!

15 Simple Ways To Embrace Sustainable Living

The ever-increasing human population and our untenable lifestyles have burdened the environment with a pressing need to switch to sustainable lifestyles. Our dependency on technology and non-renewable resources and non-recyclable products has added to the environmental woes.

Sustainable living is a lifestyle that helps people in reducing their dependence on non-renewable energy and non-recyclable products thereby diminishing the ever increasing burden on the environment. Sustainable living is all about choosing the products that felicitate sustainability of the environment. It can be done by bringing in some simple changes in your current lifestyles.

The depleting ozone layer has been a grave concern since last three decades now. The ozone layer has thinned substantially since the 1980s and the way we are headed, there seems a bleak hope of any respite. The ozone layer absorbs around 97-98% of the harmful UVB rays which, if reach the earth, can cause severe damage not only to the humans but also to the flora and fauna thereby making life impossible on the planet.

Simple Ways to Embrace Sustainable Living

By adopting sustainable living one can help in reducing their carbon footprint and other environmental impact. Start with bringing these simple changes in your routine:

  1. Plan Your Meals to Avoid Wastage of Food

The easiest and simplest way to avoid wastage of food is to properly plan your meals. The food waste dumped in the landfills becomes a source of production of methane which is far more harmful than carbon dioxide for the environment. Cook in small quantities and if you still can’t avoid or reduce food waste, compost it in your house rather than throwing it out in the trash bins.

  1. Conserve Energy by Saving Electricity

The most commonly said thing when talking about sustainable living is to conserve energy by reducing electricity consumption. More often than not, the argument is made that how can one live without electricity in today’s time. No, we are not asking you to give up using it altogether. Use it wisely is all we say. Turn off the lights, fans, TV and other electronic items when not in use. Use natural light during daytime. Buy electronics with 5-star rating for energy conservation. Set your AC temperature at 24 degree Celsius and above.

  1. Replace Old Lights with Energy Efficient Lights

Replace the old bulbs with CFL or LED lights. They are long-lasting and lighter on power consumption. The traditional bulbs consume more power and don’t last long hence creating electronic waste in the landfills.

  1. Give up on Disposable Cutlery

Buying takeaways add to the ever-increasing problem of plastic waste. If you are headed home then avoid taking disposable cutlery from the food joint. You can completely give up on disposable cutlery by getting into the habit of carrying a steel fork and spoon in your bag every day.

  1. Give up on One-Time Use Plastic

The recent plastic ban in Maharashtra state created a ruckus in the market. The non-decomposable plastic has created major environmental issues in the recent times. The sewages are choked and rainwater doesn’t recede thereby causing flood-like situations in cities. The soil is becoming infertile too. Say no to one-time use plastic like shower caps, poor quality polythene bags, packaging material etc.

  1. Use Public Transport or Carpool

Stop commuting to your office in your vehicle every day. Carpool with a few other colleagues or opt for public transport as much as you can. This will not only help you in saving on your fuel costs but will also help the environment by reducing carbon emissions.

 

  1. Cycling or Walking for Short Distances

You don’t need to take out your bike every time you go to the neighbourhood grocery store. Either choose to cycle or walk when it is a short distance.

  1. Use Natural Light

Build homes and create spaces that allow sunlight in your house and office. Using natural light will cut down on the usage of electricity. Unwind those blinds and curtains during the daytime. Built ecological and environment-friendly spaces.

  1. Use Water Wisely for Household Chores

In most of the houses, the household chores are taken care of by the domestic helpers. You need to educate them about the need and importance of using water wisely. Train them to use water efficiently while carrying out the mundane household chores like washing dishes and clothes, cleaning floors and cars etc.

  1. Buy Energy-Efficient Electronics

Nowadays, electronic products have ratings in the form of stars with 1 being the least and 5 being the highest. These star ratings are based upon the electronic product’s energy efficiency. Buying electronics with higher star rating help in cutting down the consumption of electricity. It is advisable to opt for 5-star rated electronic products.

  1. Reuse Polythene Bags and Other Plastic Products

If you cannot avoid using plastic products entirely then it is a good idea to reuse them instead of dumping them in the trash bin. Polythene bags can be reused for a very long period of time along with other plastic products like bottles and boxes. These bottles can be water bottles, cold-drink bottles, or your shampoos and conditioners. Reuse the packaging boxes after consuming the product.

  1. Give up on Paper Products

The increasing dependency on paper products is directly proportional to the decreasing number of trees. Giving up paper products like paper cups, plates, tissues etc. can help a lot in creating a greener and healthier environment.

  1. Create Community Gardens & Parks

Create green spaces in and around your locality. Rope in people who might be interested in the cause. Educate people about the need and importance of planting trees in open and unused spaces. Greener planet is one way of rescuing it from the adverse effects of our lifestyles.

  1. Reuse and Recycle

The best way to adopt a sustainable lifestyle is to practice the habit of reusing and recycling products. Think twice before dumping something into the trash can. Try and think of alternate uses for non-decomposable and non-recyclable products.

 

 

  1. Adopt Minimalist Lifestyle

Choose a minimalist lifestyle to help save the environment. At first, a minimalist lifestyle may seem impractical and impossible, but all it takes to practice this lifestyle is to live wisely. Choose products that don’t have a harsh implication on the environment. Buy things like cars and electronics only if you need them.

Sustainable living is the need of the hour. If we don’t adopt a sustainable lifestyle, in the coming years, we would be forced to live in a miserable environment. The environmental woes cannot be neglected any further. Scientific researches show that in the coming century, Earth will become unliveable with the rate at which the natural resources are depleting. So start small, but start now!

Here Is Why Organic Milk Is Better for You Than Regular Milk

The word organic seems to hold a halo of health around it, and for a good reason. More than just a buzzword, organic certifications require a lot of work, it requires implementation of processes that are in harmony with the governing body, and these standards and processes need to be maintained throughout. The stringent tests and monitoring make organic foods of any kind, safer and healthier for human consumption. So when it comes to milk, why is organic better than natural? Here are a few compelling reasons.

It’s better for your heart

Charles Benbrook is an extremely credible research professor at the Center for Sustaining Agriculture and Natural Resources at Washington State University. Researchers and students at WSU tested nearly 400 samples of organic and natural milk for a duration of 18 months. One of the notable results of these findings were that organic milk contained significantly higher levels of heart-healthy fatty acids as compared to normal milk.

Healthy cows = healthy milk

When cows are grass-fed, the milk they produce is all the more healthy. Think of it this way, if two human mothers are both lactating, one eats nutritious meals while the other lives on porridge and nothing else, which mother would have healthier milk? It’s the same with cows. Cows that eat more grass have a better fatty acid profile in their milk. Cows which are fed corn or cheaper grains produce milk that’s higher in omega-6 fatty acids. These are bad fatty acids that have been linked to cancer and autoimmune diseases. Organic cows are always grass-fed, making their milk much healthier.

Sustainable shelf life

Since organic milk is sterilized at extremely high temperatures, up to 280 F, the shelf life is significantly increased over standard, pasteurized milk. This is the result of implementing better production processes which are governed by external bodies. The shelf life of normal milk is barely a few days, which also results in a lot of wastage.

So much more than milk, nutrition-wise

Although exceedingly high temperatures have been proved to have a destructive effect on some of the nutrients found in milk, it’s also important to note that organic milk is fortified with added nutrients and minerals, from calcium to B-12, the nutritional value of organic milk is leagues apart from standard milk. There is a natural presence of omega 3 fatty acids which are the good fatty acids. These powerful nutrients work to reduce cardiovascular diseases, better the neurological development and also strengthen the entire immunity system.

Milk that’s free from evil additives

From harmful growth hormones to antibiotics, cows on normal dairy farms are pumped with chemicals to increase the production of milk. This is extremely harmful for human health. The addition, these chemicals have been linked to osteoporosis in women, menstrual disorders in women, and the premature development of the reproductive system in males and females. Organic milk is only infused with the good stuff, and the milk is only fortified after production. This means that the cows are fed on nothing but grass, as nature intended it to be.

Adulteration – a nightmare for milk consumers

If you’ve been following our blogs, you’ll know that the milk that’s delivered to your doorstep, at much lower rates than that of organic milk, is laden with chemicals. Sting operations have revealed that most of the milk in India is unfit for human consumption. From white paint to lead and even hydrogen peroxide, milk is adulterated with all sorts before it reaches you. What’s more is that most of the adulteration happens when unethical farmers try to water the milk down to increase the quantity. This results in the spread of water-borne diseases since the water used is not always the drinking water.

The fodder itself

On most dairy farms, cheap crops such as corn and soy are grown to feed the livestock. In an attempt to maximize the yield of crops, farmers make liberal use of pesticides and insecticides which enter the system of the cows. All of these ultimately trickle down to us, since these dangerous chemicals get poured into the lactation process for the cow. This is why companies that claim to be organic can only use a fixed set of harmless organic manure which is non-toxic to human health.

Last but not least, we would like to mention the packaging, often you’ll find that doorstep delivered milk comes in flimsy plastic packets that can be easily penetrated. Organic milk comes in tetra packs which use tamper-proof technology which means that adulteration is out of the question! In conclusion, when it comes to milk, the choice between organic and natural is fairly clear. For the health of you and your family, choose organic!

Common Food Allergies Among Kids and How To Deal With Those

In today’s time, parents are highly cautious about their kids unlike the generation of their parents’ when people never bothered about a mild rash on their kids’ body. The solution to every rash on the body was as simple as applying coconut oil! No, we swear, we are not kidding about it. And many of you can resonate with this. But, that’s not the case anymore.

Food allergies are very common amongst kids, but those can be detected only when the parents are well informed. Some allergies are symptomatic and can be easily detected. The real trouble is caused by the asymptomatic allergies.

“My daughter was detected with Celiac Disease at the age of 20! All these years we never found out despite her having mild symptoms like constipation and constant stomach ache complains. We always thought she is a poor eater and keeps finding ways out to skip her meals or to avoid food,” Veena Singh, a homemaker based in Nagpur.

Celiac is an autoimmune disease in which your body is unable to digest Gluten. Gluten is generally found in wheat, refined flour (maida), sooji and rawa. Consumption of gluten depletes the mucus layering of the intestine and gradually damages your body organs. If gone undetected, it can be life-threatening. Veena’s daughter was consuming a regular diet like you and me for 20 years. You can only imagine the damage it might have caused her in those two decades.

How to identify the symptoms?

It is essential to pay heed to every small little complain your kid has regarding eating, consuming or digesting his food. We don’t mean to suggest you to keep giving into every time your kid nags about food but more often than not, it could be something more than just simple nagging. Identifying symptoms can be tricky but it does no harm to be a bit cautious. You need to seek medical advice in the following cases:

  • Rashes on Body:

The most common symptom of a food allergy is body rash. If a body rash appears soon after your child has consumed something, take him to the paediatric.

  • Vomiting or Nausea:

When a child is unable to digest food, it will result in vomiting or nausea. This can be much more than simple indigestion which is not as serious as a food allergy.

  • Indigestion:

Indigestion is often overlooked as a food allergy symptom. More often than not, it is considered as a regular indigestion issue and both parents and doctors often fail to relate it with food allergy.

  • Constipation or Loose Motions:

Irregular motions or excessive motions can be more than just simple digestive issues. Keep a check on your kid’s routine. It can be some sort of food allergy in case of persistent constipation or frequent cases of loose motions.

Most Common Food Allergies

The most common advice and guidelines for childcare for the first time parents comes from their parents and grandparents. And, in our culture, we believe or are made to think that they know the best when it comes to taking care of a child. Well, to an extent they do but those desi nuskhey can’t help you all the time. These common food allergies are difficult to fathom for people of older generations because according to them they have been born and brought up eating all those ‘healthy’ foods and how essential they are for the baby’s health. Without much ado, here are the topmost common food allergies found in kids:

  1. Milk or Lactose Intolerance

Well, are we seeing you shocked with the first one itself? Yes, kids can be allergic to milk. Lactose is the sugar present in milk. Kids or even adults can have problems digesting lactose. Your kid can be intolerant to lactose since the beginning or it can be caused years later as well.

Symptoms:

  • Diarrhoea
  • Bloating
  • Gas
  • Abdominal Cramps

How to deal with it

You will need to replace milk in your kid’s diet with alternatives like soy milk, coconut milk or almond milk. Consult your paediatric before making the switch.

  1. Wheat or Gluten (Celiac Disease)

Wheat allergy can be of two types:

  • Regular wheat allergy
  • Gluten Allergy (Celiac Disease)

In regular wheat allergy, your body reacts to wheat food products in form of skin rash, vomiting or indigestion. It is a mild form of allergy as compared to Celiac disease which is an autoimmune disease and consumption of wheat if you are a Celiac patient, can be life-threatening.

Symptoms

  • Indigestion
  • Vomiting
  • Constipation or Loose Motions
  • Stomach ache
  • Skin rash
  • A headache

How to deal with it

Wheat allergy can be an initial trigger for Celiac disease. The symptoms for both are largely identical. The doctor would need to conduct certain medical tests in order to identify whether it’s a normal wheat allergy or a Celiac disease.

  1. Eggs

Eggs are a rich source of protein and everybody cannot digest such high levels of protein. Some kids can be allergic to egg white and some to egg yolk.

Symptoms

  • Skin rash
  • Wheezing or shortness of breath
  • Stomach ache

How to deal with it

You can replace eggs with other protein-rich foods which have milder proteins as compared to eggs. Foods like chickpea, broccoli, cheese etc. can be added to the diet.

  1. Nuts

Nuts allergy is quite common not only amongst kids but also in adults. You can be allergic to either the entire nuts family or to a specific nut which includes peanuts, hazelnuts, walnuts, cashew etc.

Symptoms

  • Skin rash
  • Swelling of tongue, lips or eyes

How to deal with it

You need to pay special attention to which kind of nut is causing trouble to your kid and then make sure to eliminate that particular nut from his diet. Consumption of food products containing that particular nut too will cause trouble hence it is essential to eliminate it entirely.

  1. Soy

Just like eggs, soy is a rich source of protein. Kids with sensitive or weak digestive system can face issues in digesting this protein-rich food.

Symptoms

  • Flatulence and bloating
  • Swelling of the hands and feet, lips or tongue

How to deal with it

Eliminate soy in your kid’s diet by replacing it with foods with milder and easily digestible quantity of proteins like cheese, animal meat etc.

Most of the food allergies are easily detectable and can be managed without much trouble until and unless it is some sort of an autoimmune disease like Celiac. It is essential to be observant about how your kid reacts to a new food in his diet. Skin rash is the most common symptom for most of the food allergies. Before jumping to any conclusion, always seek medical help and guidance from your paediatric.

 

 

 

 

Hair Fall – When To Worry And What To Do About It

How many times have you heard people, especially women, around you or you yourself complaining about hair fall? Numerous times, isn’t it? Hair fall is the most misunderstood and misquoted term in our lives. There are people who would scream hair fall after seeing 8-10 strands of hair on their comb. Eh, are you smiling at this? Are you one of them? Well, you need to read through this article to know when to worry and when not to worry about your hair fall. It is caused due to varied factors but not every factor needs to be worried about. Oh, by the way, worrying too causes hair fall. Okay, was just saying.

Common Causes of Hair Fall

Did you know that losing up to 50-100 strands of hair daily is normal? Yes, a hundred strands of hair is no pressing concern for hair fall. The causes of hair fall can vary from dietary deficiencies to stress. The reasons are more than what you can think of. Let us run you through the major reasons for hair fall:

  1. Dietary Deficiencies

Hair follicles and nails are the last ones to receive or benefit from the nutrients that your body consumes. Hair health can be a direct way of telling whether you lack nutrients or not. Poor nutritional levels are a result of poor eating habits. Add foods rich in nutrients like iron, zinc and folic acid for good hair health.

  1. Stress

The biggest contributing factor in today’s modern lifestyles is stress. It not only contributes to hair fall but also causes various other health issues. The more you will stress about it, the more hair you will lose. Do you see the irony there?

  1. Postpartum Hair Fall

Post delivery, many women go through a drastic hair fall. It is a natural phenomenon and can last up to 3-12 months post delivery. It is a temporary phase and the hair growth cycle returns to normal within a year’s time.

  1. Unhealthy Scalp or Dandruff

Maintaining scalp health is the first and foremost step to ensure healthy hair. When you don’t wash your hair at regular intervals, there’s going to be build-up on the scalp which results in flakes that can be either dandruff or flaky scalp due to dryness and exposure to pollution and dirt. The build-up makes your scalp itchy and stimulates hair fall.

  1. Medical Ailment and Medication

Medical ailments entail consuming strong medicines which more often than not result in hair loss. The hair fall can be due to the consumption of strong medications or due to the medical ailment or disease itself.

  1. Change in Weather and Water

This is one of the most common reasons which people often tend to overlook. You might have observed a change in your hair fall pattern with the change of season. The change in humidity levels and temperatures affect your hair fall and texture. Change in water also does that. If you are relocating to a new city, you can observe the change.

When to worry about hair fall?

Hair fall or hair loss is caused due to varied reasons and you don’t need to fret over every reason. More often than not, the hair loss is a natural phenomenon like during a change in weather or the postpartum hair fall. In such cases, the hair fall can be reversed. You should be concerned when you are unable to find a reason for your hair loss. In such a situation it is always advisable to see a dermatologist and run some medical tests to find out the reason.

If you are losing hair due to a medical condition, talk to your doctor about it and seek guidance in preventing the loss of hair. If you have a receding hairline or bald patches here and there on your scalp, it is an alarming situation. If unchecked, this situation can lead to baldness over a period of time.

Maintain a healthy lifestyle and good hair care regime to take care of your hair. Eat clean and healthy foods preferably rich in iron and folic acids. These nutrients are known to boost hair growth. Keep your scalp clean and massage your scalp daily to infuse blood flow.