Sunday, June 19, 2011

Turn Back The Clock – Antioxidant Best Food That Slow The Aging Process

As we grow older, we often wish we could turn back the clock and have the vitality of your younger days. In this article you will learn what is the best food that slows down the aging process, but first you have to learn what happens to your body when you grow older. Free radicals pose one of the greatest threats to our health, as we grow older. Free radicals are renegade, unstable oxygen molecules that collide with other particles and tissues in our bodies. When there are too many free radicals in your body, they run wild attacking not only unhealthy but also healthy parts of the body. This causes such diseases as heart disease and cancer. Antioxidants have been found to be a successful shield against these free radicals. They alter cancer growth and act as anticarcinogens. Antioxidants are chemical substances that donate an electron to a free radical and convert it to a molecule that is harmless. Antioxidants intercept free radicals to keep them from damaging blood vessel membranes. This helps the flow of blood to the heart and brain and can against cancer causing damage. Now to the good news - the best antioxidant food is normally consumed for enjoying life. So why not get started today with a healthier eating lifestyle. There are various types of antioxidants. So it is important to balance all the following foods to reap the healthy rewards as part of your everyday diet. Two glasses of red wine a day provides a great source of antioxidant. If you don’t drink vine you need to drink 7 glasses of orange juice to get the same effect. Dark chocolate provides one of the richest sources of antioxidants. What you must not forget is that chocolate is high in fat and if you are on a diet – bee careful. Apple juice is rich on antioxidants and has some pleasant side effects. Apple juice helps prevent against heart disease, as it helps stop fat turning into cholesterol. Many people eat carrots. What they don’t know is that carrots are a valuable antioxidant. Five or more servings on a week is recommended to take the strain of the immune system. Green tea is a much healthier choice than black tea. Drinking green tea is can cut hypertension by 65% or more. You have in this article learned about some of the best antioxidant food that slows the aging process. You have no excuse not to start today. Make smart food choices while still enjoying your life and your family.

Saturday, June 18, 2011

When I Fell In Love With Caramel (And Other Things)

I am one of those people for whom decision making and life direction has always come a little slower. One of the biggest decisions that took me a while to figure out was what I wanted to be "when I grew up." Keep in mind that I had been grown up for quite some time when I finally figured out how I wanted to spend my days and hence my life. I was nearing my thirties when I finally decided to go to culinary school with the hopes of becoming a pastry chef. So I entered a two year culinary program having no idea that I'd learn to love caramel and many other things as well. In some ways, deciding to go to culinary school was a very random decision for me and in other ways it made total sense based on what I wanted to do. I have always loved food and I helped my mother in the kitchen from the time I was able to be of any help (and perhaps long before then). My jobs in the kitchen were usually something glamorous like washing the potatoes or stirring the soup. But I loved it. I loved every moment that I got to be in the kitchen helping my mother prepare good meals that people would enjoy. I especially loved helping my mom prepare desserts for our family and guests after we finished with dinner. I loved helping her make her now-famous caramel apple pies especially. For me, culinary school was a time when I fell in love with foods like caramel, fruits and certain vegetables even more than I had before. I guess I just became more and more fascinated by everything that could be done with food the more I worked with food. I did well throughout the program, but I began to excel around the time that we began focusing on desserts and pastries. I'm not sure what it is about preparing desserts for people that excites me, but it does. My dream quickly became to be the head dessert and pastry chef for an upscale restaurant in my town. By the time the second year of culinary school began, I focused all of my efforts on specialty desserts and pastries. I loved the freedom my professors gave me to work independently on recipes of my own. I was busy coming up with an even better caramel glazed pastry and with perfecting my late mother's famous caramel apple pie. I loved it. I truly learned to love caramel and other foods in culinary school. If you have any amount of fascination with good food like I did, then I suggest you head off to culinary school as soon as possible.

Friday, June 17, 2011

Whisky UDV

One of the Scotch whisky industry's greatest secrets sits at the foot of the Ochil Hills. You may notice some warehouses close to the road as you drive past, but it's more likely that your eyes will be drawn to Dumyat's crags or the phallic thrust of the Wallace Monument on the near horizon. UDV's Blackgrange site does not draw attention to itself, there's nothing to indicate that there's close to 3 million casks of whisky quietly maturing in 49 blocks of warehouses. The scale is awesome. You are dwarfed by the massive black warehouses, your imagination struggles to picture what a billion bottles of whisky looks like. Whisky is big, we know that but you onfcr realise how big when you drive down the avenues of Blackgrange. In the disgorging plant they are emptying up to 10,000 casks a week, at times the components for five different blends may be going out the same day. Now imagine being in charge not just of all this maturing stock, but also in charge of the new make coming out of UDV's 27 malt and 2 grain distilleries. That's Turnbdi Hutton's job. If you want to understand how a major blend is put together, ask Turnbull (UDV's operations director) and UDV's inventory and supply director, Christine Wright. For Turnbull, putting together a blend doesn't start with assembling components in the lab or the disgorging hall, it begins when he gets the sales projections from UDV's sales force. Every salesman expects brand to grow, he's staking his career prospects on it. Thankfully, the production side have seen it before and temper their enthusiasm, 'fuelled by many years of cynicism' as Turnbull puts it. No wonder he has a reputation for irascibility. His job is to balance the sales forecasts, set production levels to supply the fillings fa all the blends and work out the demand in terms of stock requirements. The whisky trade is always flying blind to a certain extent. The whisky you make today can't be used until it's three years old, you may be storing some to be used in 18 to 25 years time, as blends contain whiskies from a large range of ages. The aim is to get as close to a balance between supply and demand as possible. Get it too short and you have to Johnnie Walker Red Label The nose mixes light toffee peat smoke and fresh wood notes. Fresh and vivacious, it packs a crunchy, lightly peaty punch on the palate. ***(*) Black Label 12-year-old Gorgeously complex: perfume, peat and peaches in honey, soft grain and leather all in harmony. Silky and multi-layered on the palate, it balances a huge range of seductive flavours beautifully. * * * * * Gold Label 18-year-old 43%ABV Another stunner: richer than Black, with a hint of sea air and honey/beeswax. A complex palate of iced biscuits, ozone and rich malt. * * * * * Blue Label Peat fires smoulder in the glass and lead to a slowly unfolding palate, with all manner of dark truffle flavours: smoke, orange and bitter chocolate. Deep and profound - but is it worth the money? * * * *

Thursday, June 16, 2011

Tips for Selecting the Right Beef Cuts for Your Meal and Budget

When we stand at the butchers counter, most of us may wonder what is the difference between a top sirloin and a porterhouse. If you ever come across a good beef cookbook, you will be able to appreciate a good diagram of beef cuts. Beef is the widely consumed animal protein through out the world when compared to any other meat. Hence it is important for a good steward to select a good piece of beef for his wonderful recipe. Grading of beef cuts The beef is usually graded into three categories based on its quality by the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA). Grades are specified after taking into consideration the color, appearance, meat’s consistency and last but not least the amount of marbling in the beef. The Graded beef is classified as follows: Prime meat Choice meat Select meat Prime Meat The meat, which is having more marbling, is termed as Prime meat. This is usually found in fine restaurants. Select Meat The select meat consists of less marbling, which means low fat and less calories. But it won’t be as tender as that of prime and also contains less juice and flavor. Choice Meat Choice meat consists of more marbling than Select meat but less marbling than Prime meat. But it is somewhat tender than Select and also juicy and flavor than select. Beef Cuts The names of the beef cuts vary between countries. Sometimes it varies within the regions of the country also. The rear section of the carcass is termed as Rounds in US, but in Canada it is called hip. Here is a break down of some common cuts of beef: Rib eye This is the top cut preferred by most of the beef connisieurs. This is characterized by abundant marbling. When you cook this beef cut, the rib eye gets melted into the meat and produces a juicy tasting recipe. The Rib eye steak is called an Entrecote in French. Top Sirloin Lesser grade cut but this is the largest beef cut when compared to other beef cuts. In layman’s terms, a family of four can complete their dinner with one top sirloin. Always prefer to buy prime grade rather than choice and select grades. Porterhouse As the name suggests, it is not concerned with any kind of house. This beef cut has ample marbling. It is a top loin with good flavor. It has the largest eye and tenderloin. This is being usually used in restaurants with challenge for their customers. They will give entire meal free for those who took all of their 26-ounce steak. Chateaubriand This has been cut from the butt end but should weigh around 24 ounces. A six inches long chateaubriand will weigh around 24 oz. A chateaubriand with Bearnaise sauce served in a dining table is a wonderful delicacy. Filet Mignon A well worth costly choice beef cut, if you cook it with pot-roasting. This is most soft with less water beef cut. This don’t have intense flavor as that of rib eye and porterhouse. New York Strip This is one of the cost-effective beef cut parts. This cheap cut is a t-bone with the tenderloin and also a good quality cut. T-bone This is also one of the cheapest beef cuts. This consists of a full loin eye and medium sized tenderloin. A couple for few delicate bites always prefers this. This smaller tenderloin is not always suitable for heavy meals. For heavy dinner, the customers usually prefer New York Strip. Ground Beef Ground beef should not be less than 70% lean. The package will usually indicate whether it is from ground sirloin, or ground round. Suitable cooking methods Loins and ribs are the most tender cuts of beef. The loins and ribs should be cooked with high heating methods to improve its taste and tenderness. Broiling, grilling, roasting, sautéing, and frying are the common methods employed for cooking the loins and ribs. Pot-roasting, stewing, and steaming are the most preferred methods of cooking the cuts from the round, plate, brisket and flank. Selecting beef cuts based on cooking methods Apart from selecting a good beef cut from butcher shop or grocery store, the beef cuts can also be selected based on the method of cooking you preferred to perform. If you want to cook the beef on a grill, it is always advised to go for tenderized meat rather than tougher cut from the rounds. A beef with minimum of 2 inches thick may require oven roasts. A very tender cut such as loin and rib primal cuts can be oven roasted for better results. If you want to do Pot roast, it is always to select the beef cuts from round and chuck. Pot roast is the method of boiling the beef in a pot containing liquid in the stove. Standing rump, eye roast are the best pot roast products. Tips to select better beef cuts Before shopping for a good beef cut for a particular recipe, you should learn about the various cuts available in the market. The following tips may help you in selecting good beef cuts: 1. Try to locate the origin of the cuts from the body of the carcass. 2. This will help you to identify the names of the cuts. 3. Look for the tenderness and leanness of the beef cuts before procuring it. 4. Inspect the "Sell-by" date in the packaged beef. You should buy your beef cut either before or on the "sell by" date. 5. When selecting the beef cuts from cold storage cases of the grocery stores, the packages chosen for your use should have no excess liquid at all. If it is not too cold, then it has been stored above 40 degrees and taste may be questionable. Inspect thoroughly the coolness of the pack and ensure that it has not been damaged. 6. Firmness of roasts and steaks should be checked. Avoid the purchasing of soft roasts and squishy steaks. 7. Always select the beef cuts that are bright red in color with thin creamy white fat evenly distributed throughout the surface. But if you are selecting veal, the color should be either white or light pink. 8. Beef injected with flavorings should be avoided because flavoring makes your beef break down and may be easily overcooked. 9. Always try to avoid buying tenderized beef because during the procedure, the butcher pierces the beef to push the juices and flavor out of it and produces tough and bad flavored beef. 10. Be friendly with the butcher to get ideas about the perfect beef cuts and sometimes he will offer you fantastic recipes too!

Wednesday, June 15, 2011

Will the Democrats be able to Reverse the Online Gambling Ban

Many people were hoping that if the Democrats won control of Congress they would reverse the online gambling ban, but experts doubt they will even try or that if they do that the will be successful. Once the bill was passed and signed into law by the president, it became much harder to reverse the law. The democrats would need to bring up the law and get it to a vote, then after the vote passed it needs to go to the president for his signature. The problem with this is that the current president is the one who signed the bill into law in the first place. Another problem is because the gambling ban was attached to another bill, it means that to reverse the law the entire bill needs to be reversed, but the other part of the bill is for an increase in port security, so any congressmen who recommends reversing this law, will be going on record as trying to reverse the increase in port security. Because of this trying to get the law reversed could ruin a congressman’s chances of ever getting elected to public office again for the rest of their lives. It is more likely that it will have to wait till the end of George Bushes term in office and then get an amendment to the law that reverses only gambling ban part of the law. So if you are on Online Gambling enthusiast and you were hoping that after the election the online gambling ban would just disappear I am sorry to say you were mistaken and that you are going to have to wait a little longer, but that does not mean you need to sit quietly by. The key is to make sure that you are heard, write letters to congressmen, and attend protest rallies anything that will keep this issue in the front of the minds of the politicians so they know that just as the Republicans lost the house so can they. The republicans used the online gambling ban to try to gain votes for them in the last weeks before the election, but it backfired on them and lost them more votes then it brought in. Hopefully the Democrats will learn from the mistakes of the Republicans and will understand that banning something never works, and that it is only thru regulating the online gambling industry that will ensure that it is safe and honest to play and that no underage children manage to play. Other wise I am sure that the Democrats will also see the wrath of the American voters when it comes time for the next elections. The American people are tired of having the government controlling every aspect of their lives and I think this election may have made their point for them. So if the question is will they try to reverse the law I am sure they will try, but how successful they will be is still up in the air, and no one can really know what the outcome will be.

Tuesday, June 7, 2011

Using Fresh Herbs In A Variety of Ways

Herbs are fun and easy to grow. When harvested they make even the simplest meal seem like a gourmet delight. By using herbs in your cooking you can easily change the flavors of your recipes in many different ways, according to which herbs you add. Fresh herbs are great in breads, stews, soups or vegetables. Every time you add a different herb you have completely changed the taste. If you are a beginner start slowly, add just a little at a time adjusting as you go along until you have it just right. You will see in most instances that an individual herb is associated with a particular food item. Basil is paired with tomatoes, Oregano with sauces, Rosemary with lamb and Chives with butter or cream cheese. Of course, none of them are limited to these items, but you will see them paired most often with that particular food. Use your imagination and experiment, experiment, experiment! You can make herb vinegars for salad dressings, marinades, or soups. Herb oils are very useful in cooking whenever a recipe calls for it. Fresh herbs as garnishes dress up any dish making it look truly spectacular. Lay individual sprigs of rosemary over broiled lamb chops. Chop fresh parsley and sprinkle it over the top of your potato salad. The combinations are endless and the outcome delicious. Fresh herbs will keep in the refrigerator for several days but then you must freeze them. They can be frozen by laying them a paper towel and putting them in a plastic bag. Once they are frozen only use them in cooking not as garnishes. A friend of mine washes them, puts them an ice cube tray, covers them with water and then freezes them. When she needs them for soup, stews or sauces she just drops a cube in. My favorite herbs to grow are basil, oregano, lemon balm, parsley and mint. Mint is great but be careful, mint can over run your garden. A tip here would be to bury an empty coffee can and plant the mint in it. The can prevents the mint from “creeping” all through your garden. I love to make herb butters. Take a half of a cup of softened butter and mix in about 4 tablespoons of a fresh herb. Lay out a piece of saran wrap, place the butter in the middle roll the saran wrap up to form a “log” out of the butter. Put in the refrigerator and anytime you need a pat of butter just cut it off the “log”. (Hints for “log” butter: potatoes, bread, steaks, noodles or any kind of sauce). A fresh herb in any salad dressing really makes it sparkle. You can use any herb or a combination, be creative. I learned a trick a long time ago using basil, lemon and avocados to create and instant natural face mask. Put a big handful of basil in a blender and run it on high. Once the basil has been pulverized, throw in a half of an avocado and a large teaspoon of lemon juice, mix until smooth. Wash your face, pat it dry and gently rub the avocado mixture on. Leave it on as long as you like, then use warm water to it wash off. These are just a few ways you can use fresh herbs from your garden. I am sure you will come up with many more. Happy planting. Copyright © 2006 Mary Hanna All Rights Reserved. This article may be distributed freely on your website and in your ezines, as long as this entire article, copyright notice, links and the resource box are unchanged.

Monday, June 6, 2011

Yixing Chinese Teapot: The Original Teapot Revealed

The art of drinking and serving tea, which many call as “Chinese tea ceremony” plays a very vital role in China. In fact, the ritual of preparing tea has held a special place in the hearts and minds of the Chinese. Although the ceremony emphasizes the tea, the overall style of tea drinking is still of great importance. Chinese teapots and tea cups are highly needed and each piece plays a role distinct from the other. Speaking of Chinese teapots, I guess nothing is more suitable for a wonderful tea experience than the original Chinese teapot – the Yixing. Usually pronounced “E-ching”, these collectible pots are so charming and can be starkly simple with designs that are thousands of years old. Many people even claimed that these teapots are whimsical, being shaped like lotus flowers and with Buddhas and pre-Majolica subjects like vegetables, fruits or animals. The contemporary Yixing Chinese teapots come in different shapes. The most common shapes are chairs, wheelbarrows, and other unusual styles that never fail to bring smile to one’s face. What’s interesting to know about Yixing teapots is that its primary importance lies in its special, red clay, which is only found in the Yunnan province of mainland China. As noted, this Chinese teapot is porous and absorbs odors easily. It is even unglazed. I think this is the main reason that people are suggested to only use one variety of tea in the pot. But, after a time, the Yixing teapot will take on the character of your favorite Chinese tea. The Yixing Chinese teapots are now everywhere and I think this is due to their “collectibility”. However, it is somewhat critical to deal with a vendor who really knows their merchandise to avoid machine-made Chinese teapots or perhaps poorly made knockoffs of traditional shapes. Like ay other product, a finely made Yixing teapot holds the heat longer and will pour better. Now, if you are thinking of buying a Yixing Chinese teapot, then you should read on for I have mentioned below few qualities that a finely-made Yixing teapot should possess: 1.The cap of the pot must be firm and should not move around easily. 2.The body must not feel grainy. 3.The knob on the cap must be in sync with the rest of the body. It must be ergonomic. 4.It should be able to hold substantial water. 5.The Chinese teapot which is artistic and valuable usually but not always contains enough tea to serve 2 to 3 persons and not masses. 6.When water is poured out of the teapot, it should come out in a beautiful stream. 7.The handle should enable one to handle the teapot firmly. 8.Look for Chinese teapots with net on the mouth to catch unwanted tea leaves. 9.The hardness of the body should be just right. 10.The color should not be dyed. 11.The shape should be flowing and there should not be awkward proportions. 12.The pot should have unusual shapes for it indicate craftsmanship. 13.A good Chinese teapot should be made of purple clay or zhu in clay. 14.The bottom of the teapot must have a name of the artist engraved onto it. 15.Good Chinese teapots tend to have skin that feel brittle. Its walls are thinner than the inferior teapots. Just note that Yixing Chinese teapots possessing the qualities I have mentioned above can be very expensive, so you may want to experiment first with one of the machine-made ones. If, however, you just want to buy these pots for their aesthetic appeal, then buy what really attracts you.

Sunday, June 5, 2011

Wedding Cakes

When planning a wedding reception, be sure to give special attention to the wedding cake. There is, of course, a certain chain of events and best practices that are good to follow. When you are ready to select a wedding cake, you should arrange to meet with three bakers and taste their products. If you have attended or are planning on attending a bridal show, you can easily and quickly take care of this task at the show. If you have a certain look you are going for with your wedding cake, be sure to bring a picture of what you would like when meeting with bakers. It is also a good idea to bring along your cake topper if you already have it as well as fabric swatches of the bridesmaid’s dresses. Also, be prepared to give the baker an estimated number of guests that you are expecting. When you meet with the baker, be sure to ask to see a portfolio of pictures that have been taken of the baker’s previous work. In addition, always check references before making a final decision. When you are interviewing the bakers, ask each one the same questions so that you do not forget anything and so that you can make an accurate comparison. Some things to inquire about are the set-up and take-down of the table where the cake will be, who will put the cake topper on the cake, who will place napkins, plates, flowers, etc. on the table, and who will direct the cutting of the cake. Also, find out where the cake will be stored (it must be out of direct sunlight), who will be in charge of boxing up the cake top and giving to a previously designated person, what arrangements will be made for the left-over cake, and who will cut the cake and distribute it. Cutting a wedding cake is much trickier than it looks and must be done by someone who is familiar with the process. When you are reviewing a baker’s contract, be sure to note several things. For instance, you should immediately see the name, contact person, location, and phone numbers for the bakery. The cake size, shape, and number of tiers must be on the contract. Be sure that the cake flavor(s), fillings, and icing are noted and that returnable items are clearly stated. Be sure that the number of guests the cake is to serve is on the contract as we;; as when the cake was ordered, when the cake will be delivered and assembled, what the set-up fee is if applicable, and the due dates for deposits and balances. For more information on wedding cakes and other wedding ideas, be sure to go to In closing, choosing a cake can really be a lot of fun. You have the chance to sample some goodies and make some light-hearted decisions about fillings, flavors, and decorations. However, in the process, make sure you are noting all of the details that need to be covered so that you are confident in your baker’s ability to deliver the product that you are expecting.

Saturday, June 4, 2011

The Many Benefits Of Using a Swivel Bar Stool

Bar stools are manufactured in various different styles and designs. When you are buying a bar stool or bar stools you should look out stools with swivel seating. Depending on how you would like to use you new bar stools, having swivel seats for a number of reasons a better choice. The largest motive for choosing swivel bar stools is ease of use. A swivel bar stool will in most instances beat a static bar stool hands down for comfort and versatility. However, when you really want to use bar stools with swivel seats, you're stuck if you only own those with stationary seats. In bars and restaurants, swivel bar stools make good business sense. You want everyone who visits your bar to be as comfortable as possible and to feel very relaxed when they are in company or entertaining. Placing the swivel bar stools with stationary bar stools forces them to physically turn round in the stool in order to converse with people in their company sitting in all direction. A swivel bar stool makes life easier and at the end of the day keeps your customers very happy and everyone knows that when a customer is happy they will return time and again. For those people who work sitting in stools a swivel seat is a very good idea. Not only does it provide extra convenience when reaching for stuff and equipment, it is far more comfortable when sitting for great lengths of time. When sitting on the same stool or chair for any length of time we tend to move about a lot, this is what is called a conditioned response (something we do without even knowing it. This is far harder in a static bar stool, and can even lead to aches and pains especially in the back. Smaller swivel stools are an excellent addition to an office environment. If you are in an area of the office that is easy to put your hands on everything then it would be far easier to just slide over or use the swivel motion to grab what ever you need. Likewise, using the phone, fax, or printer will no longer require standing up and moving. The name of the game with swivel bar stools is handiness. Swivel stools or swivel bar stools make a lot more sense for many of the uses you face at work or for your business or even at home and most of the standard swivel bar stools cost more than those ordinary bar stools with standard seats.

Friday, June 3, 2011

Why Do People Gamble? Reasons to Gambling Popularity

Gambling in its various forms has been popular for centuries in different cultures all over the entire world. Whether through the national lottery, in horse racing tracks or in casino table games, people are wagering their money hoping to win big time. Although the number of people who go home with life changing winnings is much smaller than the number of people who have left their money in the casinos, race tracks or bingo halls, the popularity of the pastime has not been reduced through the years. Despite the low odds of stepping out as winners in most popular forms of gambling is a well known fact, even though gambling suffers from a bad reputation and even when it is illegal, gambling is still one of the most popular pastimes in the world. So, why do people gamble? The most obvious answer would be money, but it will not be a full answer. There are many other reasons that drive people to the nearest gambling facility. Here we will try to offer an answer to this disturbing question. Luck: the irrational believe in luck is engraved in most of us. These unexplained gut feelings that a special day or a certain number is luckier than the others are sends a lot of people to gamble or even gamble on the same numbers over and over again. Social Purposes: have you ever wonder how can a group of people beat the pants off someone in a poker game and remain best buddies? You can see it in bingo halls, casino bars and friendly poker games: many people see gambling as an opportunity to make new friends or spend time with old friends in addition to the chance of earning additional money. Entertainment: many people visit casinos and play their favorite casino games simply because they love it and they are having a great time. In Las Vegas casinos for example, you will meet more recreational gamblers who see gambling as part of their vacation activities than professional gamblers who take gambling as a serious source of income. Excitement: the act of gambling apparently can give you quite an adrenaline rush. Regardless of the money aspect, the anticipation of the outcome of the game while still not knowing whether it would match your bet is what makes all forms of gambling so thrilling and exciting. Relaxation: as opposed to the accelerated adrenaline rush described by many gamblers, many gamblers find the gambling experience relaxing. When you think about it, what can be more relaxing than ending a busy work week in the comfortable casino atmosphere, playing your favorite game and served free drinks? Boredom: whether exciting or relaxing, when the daily lives become an unbearable routine, gambling can serve as a way to escape reality. Money: in addition to all the reasons mentioned above, gambling allegedly provides an opportunity to can earn unbelievable amounts of money within short time and minimum investment. Even if you are aware to the exact mathematical odds of beating each and every gambling game, if you are an optimist by nature, this slightest chance would nevertheless drive you to a casino, a bookie, a lottery terminal or a bingo hall.

Thursday, June 2, 2011

What Are The Benefits Of Organic Food?

There is much discussion today about the pros and cons of organic food. People want to know whether organic food is better than non-organic food. They wonder whether the term “organic” is nothing more than the latest money-making marketing term being thrown about. They question the regulatory oversight bodies that determine whether the food that’s labeled organic really meets all of the criteria. These are difficult questions to answer with certainty especially since the answers often depend on who is asked. Regardless, there are several very real benefits of consuming organic food. Here is an overview of the most common. Organic Food Tastes Better The people who eat organic food claim that organic food is more flavorful and studies have actually been conducted that confirm this belief. The chemicals that are used in the production of non-organic food definitely affect flavor. Organic Food is Better for the Body The United States Environmental Protection Agency now lists many of the chemicals used in the production of pesticides and fungicides as potential cancer-causing components. It makes sense then, that when non-organic foods are consumed, so too are these cancer-causing ingredients. Since these types of chemicals cannot be used to grow organic foods, they simply are not present and therefore, they cannot be ingested. Eating organic foods won’t unfortunately prevent cancer because there are plenty of genetic and environmental factors that can cause it to develop. However eating organic food greatly reduces the chance that certain cancers will develop. In addition, organically-grown produce contains up to 50% more of the vitamins, minerals and antioxidants the body needs to stay healthy and perform at optimum capacity. If you’re trying to add more fruit and vegetables to your diet, you can double the benefits by eating organic ones. You Can Feel Good about What You Eat When you eat organic food, you know what you’re not getting. You know you’re not eating food that’s been genetically altered or shot up with growth hormones and antibodies. You know that the skins of your fruits and vegetables aren’t a thick covering of chemicals and other harmful ingredients. The bottom line: You know that you are fueling your body with healthy fuel. Centuries ago, people did not have as many health-related issues as they do in these more modern times. Plenty of people feel it is our food that is killing us. You Help Protect Environment When pesticides and fertilizers are applied to plants, there is no way to keep the chemicals used in their production from covering the ground. Rain and irrigation cause these chemicals to be absorbed into the ground. As they absorb into the ground, they percolate down to the underground water tables. Ultimately, the chemicals leach into nearby water bodies. The soil as well as the water begins to be contaminated. Over time the birds, fish and other animals living in these environments become affected. Since organic foods are grown without using these dangerous chemicals, their growth will never impact the environment in this manner.

Wednesday, June 1, 2011

What the Heck is Organic Food, Anyway?

“Organic” has of late become such a catchphrase that it has entered the vernacular of the everyday American to almost everyday use. It’s a word of which many people believe they know the meaning, but few do. A few seconds of hard contemplation produces a myriad of questions: What is unique about organic food as opposed to the garden-variety supermarket wares? And what about organic baby food? Is it significantly different or superior? What are the benefits? Can I trust the labels? Below run some frequently asked questions and brief answers; just doing my part to assist in your education… What is unique about organic food as opposed to the garden-variety supermarket wares? Essentially the differences on your plate take place in two spheres: additives and preservatives. The former can mean anything that changes the quality of the food in color, consistency, taste and characteristics. The latter is anything that keeps food fresh for longer amounts of time and is typically some sort of sodium product. Many additives, particularly food dyes, have been attacked as toxins. A handful of dyes have been made illegal on the American market due to reasons of human health. As the American diet is already dangerously high in sodium, there is no need for the consumption of further salts as preservatives. On the farm level, the differences become even more dramatic. Organic food contains no genetically modified organisms, has no trace of poisonous pesticides and in grown in environmentally safe soil free of chemicals. And what about organic baby food? Is it significantly different or superior? Organic baby food boasts all the same advantages as regular organic food listed above. Since baby’s body is much more sensitive to toxins than is an adult’s, the benefits of avoiding additives increase substantially. The elimination of additives and preservatives in organic baby food also quite simply means that there are fewer ingredients to which baby may develop allergies and that digestion of organic baby food is easier. Organic baby food is quick-cooked so that fewer nutrients will be lost, an unfortunate by-product of cooking food in general. Most organic baby food is salt- and sugar-free, and what baby needs more of either? There have been recently claims that organic baby food is lacking in iron at a 20 percent clip. This can be reduced, however, by making your own or feeding baby more iron-rich food. What are the benefits? Well, this is the selling point of organic product. Less salt means smaller chance of kidney, liver or blood pressure problems. Fewer toxins in your diet mean avoidance of certain industrial maladies. Preservatives have been shown to be dangerous (even potentially lethal) to your health, but only after occupying space in products for decades. Organic ingredients make it possible for the average consumer to understand exactly what they are eating. And, once you’ve experienced this phenomenon, you are unlikely to look at non-organic food labels the same way again. Can I trust the labels? This one is tricky. Just as there are zillions of lobbyists and concerned citizen action groups, there are zillions of corporate employees and attorneys finding ways around existing law. Simple research helps a lot to cut through the claims and counterclaims. Some information may surprise you. For example, if a baby food label is marked “chicken,” this means that chicken must comprise as little as forty percent of the ingredients’ total mass. If two ingredients are listed, the first need only make up ten percent and in the second less is allowable. It can get depressing. The way I figure it, check the website. If it’s loaded with flash, slippery promotional promises and a dearth of solid information, become suspicious. In general, small is better. With babies of six to nine months, a few vegetables and simple grain products a week suffices in tandem with breast milk or formula – a very small amount of organic product to find. Plus, a large supply is made up in little time at home. Does organic food taste better? Yes.