The Candid Eye

September 19, 2010

Antibiotics in most honey brands: Study

NEW DELHI: If you have been giving your kids honey bought from the market in the hope that it will help boost immunity and fight bacterial infections, this could come as a shock. According to a study carried out by the Centre for Science and Environment, most honey brands being sold in the country contain varying amounts of antibiotics and their consumption over time could induce resistance to antibiotics, lead to blood-related disorders and injury to the liver.

CSE said the study busts the myth that commercially produced honey was a ‘natural’ and ‘pure’ product. For the study, 12 samples were picked in Delhi, all well known brands including one each from Australia and Switzerland.

“Other than a single brand, Hitkari Honey, all were found to contain multiple antibiotics. While there are no standards for antibiotics in India, the honey samples would have failed the standards set for export by the Export Inspection Council. The two foreign brands also do not meet their own domestic standards,” said Sunita Narain, director, CSE.

Antibiotics are widely used by beekeepers. In 1965, an Italian species was introduced in India by Punjab Agriculture University due to its better yield. But it was frail and needed heavier doses.

Oxytetracycline, an antibiotic, is widely used by keepers to get queen bees to lay more eggs. “While no checks are prescribed for antibiotics in honey, when we procure our stock we do not know whether it contains the drugs. The industry has been aware of the problem for several years. Most big industries are not concerned with manufacturing and only sell packaged honey. It is only a question of knowing the areas where such methods of bee-rearing are not used,” said Nitin Malhotra, general manager, Hitkari Pharmacy, manufacturers of Hitkari Honey.

Hitkari does not have a huge honey business and only operates in the field seasonally. “We get our honey from small bee owners, those not operating commercially. They work on such a small scale that they couldn’t think of using antibiotics or pesticides,” added Malhotra.

Narain says since there are no domestic standards, no monitoring is carried out. Honey meant for international markets, meanwhile, goes through stringent checks. “That stock which gets rejected for export since it is considered unsafe for consumption finds its way back to the domestic market. A total of seven companies own all commercial bee farms in India. The European Union has rejected Indian exports on several occasions. For this, India set up export standards but doesn’t seem to care about what Indians are consuming. However, we have found a lot of the honey is actually coming from China where costs are comparatively quite low,” she said.

Honey in India is regulated under three legislations that include prevention of food adulteration rules, 1955, Bureau Of Indian Standards and AGMARK. Anuraag Sharma, director, Shree Baidyanath Ayurved Bhavan Pvt Ltd told TOI: “We do not manufacture honey. We subscribe to AGMARK and carry out all checks. However, no specific parameters have been set for antibiotics so we do not check for those. Checks should actually be carried out at the beekeeping level.”

From: Antibiotics in most honey brands: Study – The Times of India

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April 10, 2010

Ayurveda cooking new buzz in moms kitchen

Ayurveda cooking new buzz in moms kitchen

The Forgotten Ajwain Is Getting A New Lease Of Life As Antacid

Nandita Sengupta | TNN

New Delhi: Its back to the spice route in more ways than one. Taking grandmas gharelu nuskhe (home remedies) to a grander level, ayurvedic cooking – all about the right mix of spices and foods is the new buzz in the kitchen.
Cooking the ayurveda way is sheer chemistry: Food properties, what type goes with which spice, how to snap the time, temperature and mix right and mapping all this to a persons constituency . Its about rediscovering basic principles, says 27-year-old Kaushani Desai, a Mumbai SNDT Food & Nutrition graduate, now ayurveda cooking instructor with Art of Living.
Wrong combinations counter foods good properties while right combinations nullify the bad ones, says Desai. For instance, adding methi to pumpkin can kill its tendency to trigger acidity. Fruit-milk combines are a complete nono , replace cheese with grated mix of potato, nutpowder and salt; replace meat with a combination of root foods like potato, jimikand and sweet potato: for the same satisfaction are some quick tips.
Eating opposite to your nature is key, says Desai. So, a hot, light and dry diet is for those on the heavy and oily side. Desai also sees the time a person has for cooking and whats available (you cant have a grocery in your kitchen) to prescribe the balance.
With wrong cooking techniques, the healthiest diet wont yield any result. Recent convert 45-year-old Sangeeta Anand, for instance, always believed she ate right. A persistent back problem troubled despite a diet of of fruits and nuts. I had to sort out what was going wrong with me, she says. Healthier for having switched to holistic eating , she says, I never realised that my simple milk-tea and rusk in the morning were bad. Milk-tea takes a day to digest while the soda bicarb in rusk triggers acidity, says Anand.
She was comfortable with cheesy stuff, instant noodles and the like, says Shatakshi Chaudhry, 32, but everyday pains nagged. She never believed the way she cooked or when she ate would be as important as what she ate. Its about using spices intelligently, she says. Having once gone into the kitchen with newfound zeal, she says she needed no special diet. Her aches and pains disappeared. I’m not overeating or craving the wrong food, she says.
Realising the need for people to snack, Smita Naram started Swadshakti in Mumbai’s Malad an ayurveda restaurant , one of a handful. But with growing interest in holistic eating, more restaurants are on the cards.
Modern-day nutrition paradigm is fundamentally flawed, says Desai. It categorises people on the basis of their disease. So all diabetics are clubbed together , as are heart patients. But thats not how it is in real life. Ayurveda works on the principle that every individual is unique in how he/ she responds to food. Thats realistic, she says.
Finally, the acid test for any cook is to have boys sampling the wares. My sons loved it, says Tripta Dhawan, of tawa-fried cutlets coated in magaz , a powdered mix of melon, pumpkin, cucumber and sunflower seeds. Her kitchen now is an ayurvedic lab of sorts.

Busting Ayurveda Myths

Its banal |

No, its not karela juice and lauki. Its all foods and spices normally used. Funda is to cook right food at right time with right spices

Takes hours, kitchen has to be rejigged |

Same spices, same foods, only cooking techniques change

Individual body types/doshas of kapha (earth & water), pitta (fire) and vatta (air) cant be catered to |

Ayurveda a holistic approach, a balancing act. A meal caters to all

Spice Route

Cardamom, cumin, ginger, cinnamon are good for all

Vatta |

Go for cloves, mustard seed, small quantities of black pepper

Pitta |

Go for fennel, ground ginger, spirulina, coriander, dill, parsley, mint, cardamom, anise, basil

Kapha |

Go for dill, clove, basil, sage, curry, parsley, oregano, pippali, black pepper, ajwain, fenugreek, cayenne





April 18, 2009

Mc Donalds’ yummy French Fries & Burger – I’m Lovin It!!

I have recently put on weight and have been trying to find ways to shed that extra flab.Apart from routine exercises and Surya Namaskars,I tried to find a healthy proper nutritious meal and their calorie content so that I can possibly succeed in my effort in shedding that extra weight.So I started looking for Diet Secrets,Food and their Calorie content,then I stumbled on to this stunning video.Watch it yourself.

As she said IT CAN’T BE REAL FOOD!!!But it is too late, I had already eaten one burger few years ago and that explains me why that extra thingy(Misnomer : Flab) is not easy to get rid off.May be I need to born again in a place where there are no Mc Donalds!Mc Donalds – I’m hating it!!

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