Vegetarian Pizza

vegetarian pizza
Serves: 2 ; Preparation Time: 10 Min

Sometimes on a slothful day we don’t feel like cooking at home and if we do, it definitely ends up flat and flavorless 🙁 Hmmm…Yes….:) Vegetarian Pizza is a handy option with the ready base from the frozen section of any supermarket! You can simply order this online from any Pizza hut or Domino’s Pizza, but with this homemade pizza there is an option of adding as many veggies as you like without spending $1 on each veg ;-P (it always happens with vegetarians)! Also to cut on fat you can always add less cheese ! of course, it’s up to you 🙂

thin crust vegetarian pizza
Veg Pizza

Vegetarian Pizza with thin crust base Ingredients :

  • Thin crust pizza base – 12″ or large base
  • Pizza sauce – 2 tablespoon
  • Capsicum (green) slices – 1/2 medium capsicum 
  • Tomato slices – 1 medium size tomato 
  • Red Onion slices – 1/2 medium size onion
  • Jalapeños – 6-7 slices
  • Olives green / black – 8-10 No.s
  • Choice of any cheese grated – 1 full cup
  • Basil – 2-3 leaves for flavor
  • Rocket leaves – 5-6 No.s 

Procedure:

  • Spread the pizza sauce evenly on the store-bought thin crust pizza base
  • Arrange the sliced veggies, jalapeños, olives.
  • Add grated cheese, basil and rocket leaves.
  • Bake it in the oven for 8-10 min on 250 Deg C (OR) Follow the instructions on the pizza base pack! 
  • Enjoy the delicious Thin crust and low-fat Vegetarian Pizza 

Fusilli Pasta

Vegetarian pasta
Serves: 2; Preparation Time: 20 min
 
Introduced by Italians and followed by rest of the world – Pasta has gained a broad attention of people across the world today. Different tastes and versions of Pasta is being served around the globe. But, traditional pasta in Italy is definitely something else with a kick of it’s pristine taste. In supermarkets, we can see a number of pasta shapes known with their unique names “spaghetti, Penne, fusilli, rigatoni, farfalle, fettuccine, and so on. On the streets / country side of France and Italy, authentic handmade pasta shells are made freshly by the local people and sold. Of course these handmade ones are even found in supermarkets these days.
        
          I had experienced the actual taste of pasta in Venice, Italy. One of my favorites “aglio olio pasta” that I had eaten there was remarkably delicious the sting of which I still have on my tongue. 
 
The recipe I have here is a regular tomato based Fusilli pasta :
 
vegetarian pasta
Fusilli Pasta
 
Ingredients:
 
  • Fusilli pasta shells – 1 Large cup 
  • Water – 2 large cups (to boil pasta)
  • Tomatoes  chopped – 3 No.s medium sized
  • Garlic chopped – 1-2 garlic pods
  • Parsley chopped – 1 table-spoon
  • Cheese grated – 1 small cup 
  • Olives – 1 table-spoon
  • Basil leaves – 2-3 no.s for aroma
  • Olive oil – as per requirement
  • Salt – as per requirement
  • Pepper powder – 1/2 teaspoon
 
Procedure : 
 
  • First take a bowl of water and start boiling. Add little salt and 1 teaspoon olive oil. Once the water starts boiling add fusilli pasta shells. Boil the shells until it is cooked soft. Once the pasta is cooked completely, drain the excess water and wash the shells under cold running water. Drain off all the excess water. Keep the cooked pasta aside.
 
  • Heat olive oil in a pan. Add chopped garlic and sauté for a min. Once the garlic turns slightly brown, add 1/2 a teaspoon of pepper powder. Immediately add chopped tomatoes and cook well until a smooth consistency is formed. Add salt as per requirement. Turn off the flame and add finely chopped parsley. 
 
  • For plating the pasta, take the cooked fusilli pasta on a plate add the prepared tomato sauce and toss it to just combine. Decorate with olives, grated cheese and basil leaves. Basil leaves adds an extra aroma. It’s not over yet -———drizzling little olive oil on top boosts it up!!! so don’t forget to add it 😃 
 

Mysore bonda

mysore bajji
It is highly recommended to balance the diet proportions that our body needs in order to function perfectly. Always the bad fats ( some fried snacks) must be compensated with fresh fruits / fruit juice / lots of fresh veggies / butter milk. Also, liters of oil goes in for the deep-fried snacks, which is not at any point reusable. (Do not store or reheat or use the oil which has already been used once). Once in a while our body can accept these fats but not good if consumed in regular intervals. So, we can eat the fried snacks once in a fortnight which is very reasonable way to have a grip on our diet. 
 
“Anything and everything’s good as long as it is in the limits.”
 
The recipe of Mysore bonda / Mysore bajji is very easy. If you are expecting some guests and you want to make something instantly of course a very tasty one, then “Mysore bonda” is the one you are looking for. Now, this could either be made instantly or even the batter could be stored to use it after an hour or two.  
 
Mysore bajji
Mysore bonda
 
Main Ingredients:
 
  • Plain flour / All purpose flour / maida – 1 cup
  • Rice flour – 2-3 tablespoon 
  • Baking soda (or) Fruit salt (ENO) – 1 teaspoon
  • Salt – as per taste
  • Cumin seeds – 1 teaspoon
  • Green chili chopped – 2-3 No.s depending on level of spiciness
  • Pepper crushed – 6-7No.s ( optional )
  • Ginger grated – 1 teaspoon
  • Butter milk – (to make a thick batter) – 1 medium size glass 
 
Ingredients for frying:
 
  • Oil – for frying bondas
 
Procedure:
 
  • Mix all the Main ingredients in a bowl. Make thick batter by slowly adding the butter milk. Once done, keep aside for 10-15 min so that the baking soda / Eno salt makes the batter fluffy enough for making soft bondas. 
  • Heat oil in a deep bottommed pan on a medium flame. Once the oil is hot, drop the batter using a round ladle. As a practice, generally I use my palm and fingers so that I can push the batter with my thumb to drop a small ball-shaped batter into the oil. Fry on a medium flame and it might take few minutes for the bonda to cook. 
  • Bonda gains shape and becomes fluffy. Eventually it turns to brown color. Take the bondas onto a paper towel to dab out extra oil. Fry the bondas in batches to avoid them sticking together. 
  • Crispy from outside and soft inside -“ Mysore bondas “ are ready to serve. 
  • Serve them with any variety of chutney like I did, with Coconut chutney.
Mysore bajji
Mysore bonda
 
In some parts of India, it is a very popular Morning Breakfast / tiffin. In tiffin centre, Mysore bondas are served with coconut chutney. But, the street shops serve them with a whole green chili fried, chopped onions, little dry mango powder (Amchur) sprinkled on the bondas. They taste really good with all those additives.  

Bisi bele bath

Bisi bele bath recipe
BISI BELE BATH : (Red gram & rice boiled and mixed with whole spices)
 
Serves: 3; Total Time: 30 min
 
A traditional dish with many assorted veggies and clarified butter added on the top makes it an authentic “BISI BELE BATH”. It is a famous food of karnataka state, India. Large number of ingredients works on the taste of this amazing rice dish. Bisi bele bath is healthy as it has a large quantity of red gram ( great source of protein mainly for vegetarians). It serves a great feast as it has approx. 199 calories for 1 bowl of bisi bele bath.
The exact karnataka style of preparing Bisi bele bath has no veggies. It is made with spices, red gram and rice. But to make it more tasteful, try adding vegetables such as potato, carrot, beans, etc.
 
Bisi bele bath recipe
Karnataka special – “Bisi bele bath”
 
Ingredients:
 
  • Red gram (Tuvar dal) – 1 ½ cup
  • Rice – 1 cup
  • Assorted sliced vegetables: (beans, potato, carrot, green peas) – 1 ½ cup
  • Tamarind paste – small lemon sized ( soak in hot water until the juice is released for about 5 min)
  • Groundnut – 20 to 30 or ½ cup
  • Asafoetida – A pinch
  • Curry leaves  – 15 to 20
  • Coriander leaves chopped  – 1 cup
  • Mustard seeds – ½ teaspoon
  • Turmeric powder – ½ teaspoon
  • Grated fresh coconut – 1 cup
  • Bisi bele bath powder – 3 tablespoon
  • Salt – As required
  • Clarified butter (ghee) – 2-3 teaspoon
 
Ingredients for bisi bele bath powder :
 
  • Cinnamon whole stick  – 1 No 
  • Mustard seeds – 1 teaspoon
  • Poppy seeds – 1 ½ teaspoon
  • Cloves – 5-6 No.s
  • Cumin seeds – 2 teaspoon
  • Fenugreek seeds – 1/2 teaspoon
  • Bengal gram (Chana dal) – ½ cup
  • Black gram sabut (urad dal)  – ½ cup
  • Coriander seeds – 1 cup
  • Dry red chillies – 15-20 No.s ( As this is a karnataka special dish, I like to use the “byadgi” variety of red chili – 20-25 No.s )
  • Oil – 2 teaspoon
 
 – Heat oil in a pan, roast all the ingredients mentioned, until light brown and grind them into a fine powder in a blender.
 – Store this powder in a container and use as and when required.
 
Procedure:
 
  • Cook rice and red gram (tuvar dal) together, along with  4-5 cups of water in a pressure cooker. It might take 6-8mins. Remember, the consistency must be soft & mashy type (well cooked). Boil the veggies separately. Once done, keep it aside.  
 
  • Blend the grated fresh coconut, soaked tamarind along with its juice to a nice and soft paste.
 
  • In a pot, mix the cooked (mashed) rice & red gram with boiled veggies. Add the coconut and tamarind paste, a cup of water, turmeric powder. Mix them well until combined. Turn the stove on and cook until the smell of raw tamarind goes off. 
 
  • Add 2-3 table spoons of Bisi bele bath powder depending on how spicy you want it to be. If your Bisi bele bath seems to dry out and start sticking to the pot, then you can surely add some water. Keeping the flame low, allow it to cook for 4-5 min until a desired consistency is seen. Add salt and mix well.
 
  • For tempering, heat clarified butter in a pan on a medium flame. Add mustard seeds, groundnuts, asafoetida, curry leaves. Once they splutter add it to the prepared bisi bele bath. Garnish with coriander leaves. Serve hot along with Raitha (flavored yoghurt) and some papads.
 
I served Bisi Bele Bath with my favorite “Khara Boondi Raitha” 
 
 

Hara bhara kebab

veg kebab
I can still remember the day when I was searching for this delicious appetizer “Hara bhara kebab”. During a long weekend me and my husband planned a trip to Indonesia (Bali) a very lovely place filled with beautiful nature , well-built temples, beaches and mountain range. It was 5 day tour. We organized our day visits to places there accordingly. The hotel we stayed in, the driver (friendly person) who drove us to places all 5 days, local food and of course people, were all good. But, by the end of second day I was craving for Indian food and mainly for some kind of spicy appetizer particularly “ hara bhara kebab”. I know it sounds weird to have such a specific craving. We googled and found a good dhaba style restaurant. It was a punjabi restaurant. We were soon in the restaurant holding menu. My eyes could not wait longer to catch a glimpse, my mouth started showing the signs, my tongue moved restlessly, all my senses were in perfect condition when I was going through the menu card. Finally I found “hara bhara kebab” on their menu and without second thoughts I ordered it. It was authentically tasty and we gave honest feedback for serving such delicious dishes that is homogeneous to what we get in India. 
 
I have made this appetizer a lot of times but there wasn’t a chance to click a photo 😛 as you all know a recipe is incomplete without a crisp photograph. This time I captured a step by step picture which I think would be helpful for all the viewers. 😃
 
harabhara kebab, veg kebab
hara bhara kebab
 
Ingredients:
 
  • Spinach leaves chopped- 1/2 cup 
  • Mint leaves chopped – 1/4 cup
  • Basil – 1/4 cup
  • coriander leaves – 1/2 cup
  • green chili chopped – 2 no.s
  • green peas boiled- 1/2 cup 
  • Potato boiled and mashed- 2 No.s
  • Capsicum (green) chopped- 1/2 cup
  • Coriander powder – 1/2 tablespoon
  • cumin powder – 1/2 tablespoon
  • Dry mango powder – a pinch
  • Red chilli powder – 1 teaspoon
  • cumin seeds – 1/2 teaspoon
  • Garam masala powder ( all spice powder) – 1 teaspoon
  • Salt – as per taste
  • Ginger garlic paste – 1/2 tablespoon ( optional )
  • All purpose flour & rice flour – 1-2 table-spoon  
  • Oil – for deep-frying
hara bhara kebab
hara bhara kebab ingredients
 
Procedure: 
 
  • Heat oil in a pan on a medium-high flame. Add cumin seeds. Once they start spluttering add coriander powder, red chili powder, cumin powder, garam masala powder, dry mango powder. Ginger garlic paste could be added at this stage but its optional. Sauté for 1 min.
 
  • Add all the green leaves ( basil, spinach, coriander, mint), chopped green chili and salt. Give a stir and leave them until excess liquid oozes out of the leaves.
 
  • Now, add nicely mashed potatoes and boiled & mashed green peas to the leaves and mix well. Once the mixture has well combined turn the flame off.
 
  • The mixture is perfect when the consistency is similar to a roti / indian bread dough. If your mixture is too sticky,  then you can add little all-purpose flour and rice flour to make it thick enough (like a non-sticky dough). 
 
  • Once the dough is ready, make round shapes and flatten them a little by gently pressing with your finger tips like a round shaped hara bhara kebab. 
 
  • Heat oil in a deep-frying pan. Fry the kebabs batch by batch. Fry them until they turn brown and crisp. Alternatively, for oil-free kebabs these can either be baked in oven or toasted with less butter on a flat pan. 
 
Tip: 
 
  1. In my recipe, I have half-fried the kebabs in oil and then toasted them on a non-stick flat pan.
  2. Apply little oil on your palms to make kebab shapes so that the dough doesn’t stick.
 
Now, its serving time! I served my hot and spicy “hara bhara kebab” with a salubrious avocado side dish. I was bored with regular sweet chutney and ketchup, so I thought, why not try a fusion here?? Indian appetizer with a western dip…..!!!  I served the kebabs with Guacamole dip (mashed avocado & a dash of lime). It doesn’t just sound good !!! taste it and you will know 😃 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

Yellow Smoothie

Fruit smoothie
Serves: 2 ; Preparation time: 5 min
 
 
Do you really know what the real addiction is? Tiredness could be best remedied with this secret element fed to you ! And then you will one day discover the meaning of addiction when for some reason there’s an unexpected break.When I said “element”, I actually meant the freshly produced natural fruits. Fruits can never have a supersession nor should be superseded by hybrid ones ; what we call as genetically modified. Fruits are best when their characteristics are kept natural. It’s always good to start the day with fresh smoothie / fresh fruit juice, as fruits are powerful in cleaning the uninvited guests “bacteria” preying our digestive system. So I always prefer to have fruits in some form either for breakfast or post-dinner or sometimes I even have it twice a day. 
 
Smoothie is specially recommended for the ones who feel lazy (like me :-P), to cut the fruits or make it into fruit salad. Stock of dry fruits at home could never be finished as we don’t give much attention to it.  Combining dry fruits with any smoothie would be a great idea. Let’s see how to make this creamy yellow smoothie:
 
fruit smoothie
Yellow smoothie
 
Ingredients :
 
  • Mango – pieces 1/2 cup ( 1/2 mango)
  • Pineapple – pieces 1/2 cup ( 2 round slices )
  • Banana cut into pieces – 1 No.
  • Milk – 1/2 cup ( less than 50 ml )
  • Yoghurt – 2 tablespoon
  • Vanilla essence – 1/2 teaspoon
  • Vanilla ice-cream  – 1 large scoop
  • Any dry fruit (dates/ raisin / fig / apricot) – 1 tablespoon
 
Procedure:
 
  • Always its better to add liquids first when blending. So, add milk, yoghurt, vanilla essence, vanilla ice-cream. Then add the fruit pieces and dry fruits. 
  • Blend it well so that there are no chunks left at the bottom of the jar. 
  • Pour into a clear glass to enjoy the freshness by viewing and tasting as well.
smoothie with fruits
Yellow Smoothie
 
Tip: Yoghurt gives a fluffy texture to any smoothie. Additionally it balances the taste. I usually prefer to add the “Greek” yoghurt. It comes with many flavors but natural and honey are my favorites. If heavy fat bothers you, then you can always buy a non-creamy (lite) ones. And for the milk, natural or almond milk can be added depending on the fruits you choose. Because almond milk doesn’t go well with all the fruits.

Veggie Hash brown

Hash brown
Serves:2 ; Preparation Time: 30 min
 
 
Sometimes, we feel bored to eat food because we follow the same recipe as a routine! I think we can start experimenting by changing either the main ingredient or by changing the procedure of a recipe thereby keeping all the ingredients same. After all, we badly need  routine-break (change) that can cause a kick-start (interest) again. 
 
     I was tired and bored of regular dinner recipes and started referring youtube recipe videos. This time, I seriously wanted to try recipes from experts.  As I had only few veggies in my pantry, I was probing for the recipe that used minimal ingredients to make a tasteful yet stomach-full dinner. This fast forward recipe video of stuffed hash brown omelette : https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=A0d51_YovHY was very impressive. I tried with whatever ingredients I had that day. Though I made few changes in my version, the taste was flawless. The crispy potato layer adds up an extra feather to the already delightful dish. The recipe is simple but requires a lot of patience. 
 
Veggie Hash brown
Veg hashbrown
 
 
Ingredients:
 
  • Potato grated – 4 No.s (medium size)
  • Capsicum (green) cut into thin slices – 1 No.
  • Mint leaves – 8-10 leaves
  • Tomato chopped – 1 No. (medium size)
  • Onions chopped – 1 No. (medium size)
  • Black olives – as required
  • Butter – 4 tablespoon (2 Tbsp for each hash brown)
  • Pepper powder – 1 teaspoon
  • Olive oil – 1 teaspoon
  • Salt – as required
  • Shredded cheese – 2 cups
Procedure :
 
  • Grab a mixing bowl and a kitchen towel. Squeeze out all the water from grated potato. Pat it dry. Transfer grated & dried potato to  the mixing bowl, add salt & pepper powder and toss it. 
  • Heat olive oil in a nonstick pan over medium flame. Add chopped onions and green capsicum. Stir fry over high flame for 3 min until it turns light brown. Transfer this to a plate. 
  • Now, add chopped tomatoes & mint leaves. Sauté on a high flame for 2 min. Transfer this to a plate.
  • Heat butter in the same nonstick pan over a medium flame. Add the grated potatoes. Sauté for a min. Using a ladle, stick the grated potatoes together without gaps, forming a round shape. Leave it for 15 min on one side. Keep monitoring in between. Slightly lift the crust with the ladle to check. Once it turns golden brown, turn to the other side carefully and leave again for 15 min.
  • Once both the sides are well toasted, without turning off the stove arrange the veggie mixture on top of one side of the crust. Add shredded cheese ( mozzarella or cheddar) and immediately add pepper powder and salt.
  • Once the cheese has melted, take the veggie hash brown onto a serving plate and decorate with black olives.   

 

hash brown
Veggie hash brown
 

Sabudana vada

Sabudana vada or sago vada
Serves : 2 ;Preparation Time : 15 min
 
 
Sabudana vada is a scrumptious snack. 
Sabudana is called as “Sago”, it is a starchy food which becomes soft when soaked in water. Sago puddings, sago/ sabudana vadas, sago salads, sago kichidi, sago payasam/kheer are some of the popular dishes. Sago/sabudana resemble pearls as they look white and round. 
 
Sabudana is one of the preferred tiffins/breakfast or sometimes even as snacks of Maharashtra-Indians. They prepare it frequently during the festival of “Navratri” in India. Also, it is considered to be healthful and so it is made on religious fasting days. As people generally do not consume rice or any other rice dishes when fasting, the other equivalent option would be Sago. 
 
Sago vadas are crunchy outside i.e, the outer layer is crispy and it is as soft as a jelly from inside. Once the tongue gets the taste of this delicious vadas, it craves for more and more. Before I proceed with the ingredients take a quick look at this:
Sabudana vada, sago vada
Sabudana vada
 
 
Ingredients:
 
  • Sago (Sabudana) soaked in water for 2 hours -1 cup sago in 1 ½ cup water
  • Curry leaves chopped – ½ cup
  • Onion chopped – ½ cup
  • Cumin seeds (jeera) – 1 teaspoon
  • Green chillies chopped – 1 teaspoon / 2 No.s
  • Ginger paste – ½ teaspoon
  • Asafoetida – a pinch
  • Potato boiled and mashed -1 No. large
  • Rice flour  – 2 teaspoon
  • Oil For deep frying
Note:
 
  • Soak 1 cup sago in 1 ½ cup water for 1 to  2 hours until  it absorbs the water completely. 
  • Boil 1 No. large potato and mash it completely.
Procedure: 
 
  • Take a bowl for mixing the ingredients. Add½ cup chopped Curry leaves, ½ cup chopped onion, 1 teaspoon cumin seeds (jeera), 1 teaspoon chopped green chillies, ½ teaspoon ginger paste, a pinch of asafoetida, 2 teaspoon rice flour. Mix well.
  • Add 1 cup soaked sago, mashed potato and salt as per requirement. Mix well and make a thick dough.
  • Divide the dough into equal portions. Shape them into small round balls and then flatten a little.
sabudana vada, indian snack
sabudana vada mixture
  • Heat oil in a pan on a low flame so as to deep fry the prepared sago balls.
  • Deep fry the ready sago/ sabudana vadas in batches. 
sabudana vada, snacks, sago
Sabudana vada
  • Take the balls onto a tissue paper to drain excess oil.
  • Sago vadas are ready to serve.
Note:
 
  • Do not make a thick balls. If the balls are thicker,  only the outer layer gets fried, leaving the inner layer undone.
  • Shape the balls into round and flatten slightly to make it thin.
Serving:
Garnish Sabudana vadas with finely chopped onions, a pinch of dry mango powder (Amchur).  Sago vadas can be had with tomato-ketchup as well.

What’s so bitter about the sweet sugars?

Sugar and sugar tax

What’s so bitter about the sweet sugars

We all have a craving for the sweetness of White sugars. Watching movies in Cinema seems incomplete without a bucket of popcorn and some kind of aerated sugary drink. For me, this sounds to be some kind of insatiable traditional practice. But we never know the hard after effects.

You all must have been hearing and reading a lot about the sugars that contribute to ill-health. Is that true ? If yes, To what extent? If not, why was it blamed to be one of the reasons for uncontrollable magnification of a person’s weight ? These questions at first startled me, I never pre-checked the contents of food / drinks except for calories & nutrition supply, until I started following the health news from various news channels. Although the view points are different, they all have a common understanding — growing health problems due to consumption of deplorable sugars. However, the talk of tax policies, arguments and decisions of governments, all these keep rolling the people without landing to any corroborations.

“Why is everything so confusing :-/”

What’s happening to the health of public is so depressing :

Sugars — very sweet in taste, enhances the taste when combined with other ingredients and of course, irresistible. But, all the sweetness have been exhibiting terrifying results since years. Sugars have : Glucose and fructose. There isn’t lot of chemistry class here 😛 , just a general information. So, Glucose is considered as a healthy supplement, while the Fructose gets piled up in liver in the form of bad fat. Intake of immensely colossal amounts of sugar is problematic to our health. People around the world are suffering from Diabetes & obesity and I believe, the only reason to falling in such a trap is high consumption of Sugar.

The scientists are unable to draw conclusions, but there are a couple of announcements that instruct to strictly cut the intake of sugars. One of the news article quotes “Sugar is the new tobacco”. It does not harm the body as much as the tobacco does, provided with 50–70g (variable with age, weight and other health conditions) of prescribed sugar consumption per day. But, the promotional strategy of marketers always target the youth. Not only men and women, but also children are being bloated with the Obesity. This is because, the drink manufacturing companies invest millions and billions of dollars and so they advertise their products of sugary drinks in a refreshing-relishing way to attract more customers. A small can of coca-cola has more than 5 cubes of white sugar, exceeding the amount that our body actually needs. In addition to that, the calories of sugary drink have been increasing with a minimum of 3–6% through years since early 1960’s.

One real-life example :

People in 20’s and early 30’s are affected by the type 2 diabetes. Recently, I attended a friendly gathering a kind of reunion , where I met one of my old friends. In the course of our conversation , I came to know about her diabetes. I was shocked, as I thought it to be a 40’s or 50+ health condition. I gave her the contact details of a doctor who follows “naturopathy”; a natural way that cures several health problems. Days past. One day, I received a call from my friend saying that the naturopathy was showing its shades and she could see the level of her diabetes calming down slowly. The diet control given to her was to consummately cut intake of artificial white sugars and the aerated (soda) sugary drinks. Additionally, the vegetable “beans” was recommended. Naturopathy is the best solution as it doesn’t have any other side effects since it only uses nature derivatives.

What is the argument of Sugar tax / soda tax?

The actual motive of these sugar and soda taxes is to encourage people to follow more healthy diet cutting down the sugars. Now, we all are aware of the health loss with hefty intake of sugary / aerated / soda drinks & white sugars. As per sources, the soda tax was introduced in 1994. The United States, France, and later Singapore, Mexico started taxing on sodas and sugars as there was a significant reduction of calories in drinks and appreciable weight loss of people until 2006. Continuing with the same positive motto, the tax rates were increased to more than 20% across the world so as to get down the number of obese & diabetic count. But, there is something inequitable — the job status of millions of people working in sugar / soft drink industries. This led to controversies between & within states and countries whether or not to consider incrementing the sugar tax. Keeping in mind the low and middle class category, a reasonable way of finding solution to reduce obesity & diabetes problems is to increase the subsidies for the production of healthy foods.

In 2013, The guardian published an article where in Dr Robert Lustig compares sugar with harmful toxic drugs. He adds, raised insulin levels in the body are responsible for increasing obesity problems. A point raised by a medical officer, about giving educational touch to this issue by creating sugar (calories) awareness among people thereby helping them to cut sugars and reducing overweight. Every year there is something better and supportive things happening around the world. But, there is certainly a high risk when more sugar is added to the naturally sweetened fruits. Sugars are definitely “addictive”. 

sugar tax

There was a seven point plan made in 2014 by Action on sugar specialists. It includes reducing sugars in foods, reducing fat in foods, reducing processed foods, and so on. Furthermore, there was a special focus on child obesity by making healthier diet foods. Next time when you buy food products, make a habit of checking the added sugars. It’s not suggested to go beyond 5% calories per day. According to a survey of 2008–2012, teenagers were marked high on consumption of more than restricted amounts of sugars say up to 15%. Second were children of <10 age group. This seems to be scary. Youth and children always have been on the top affected list.

sugar tax

 

There was as high as 20% sugar tax recommended by England in 2015. People were against the higher tax rates instead demanded to produce healthier foods, which I think is more appropriate for health and wellness of all the people. Recently on BBC , a popular Chef, Jamie Oliver shared his views on Sugar tax ; says as long as there’s something better, he doesn’t mind getting the tax. UK has more obese people and while 20% tax was announced, there was a prediction this year that says the high tax rates could save approximately 3.7 billion people by 2025.

sugar tax

Change4Life sugar smart app is a handy one that shows how much sugar does the food or drink has, by just scanning the bar code. But, the apps are confusing and panicking people by showing wrong outputs says the sources: the telegraph & independent.co.uk. All we can do is reduce daily sugar consumption and fight Obesity & Diabetes. Particularly, children are so delicate and needs a lot of care : right food = right health = reduced health problems = well-being & happiness. Last but foremost thing, stay in touch with sugar updates from various news channels, books, blogs etc to stay fit and healthy 😃

The public talks:

sugar

sugar tax

 

There’s a diet plan I would like to share : http://expressovegan.com/eating-rich-healthy-diet-chart/ . It’s mainly for vegetarians. Follow this for a healthy living:)

Major Sources: BBC news, The Guardian, Wikipedia.

Image sources : http://bit.ly/1SYtqvE , http://bit.ly/1SYtT15 , http://bit.ly/1Rr93Eg , http://bit.ly/1SYVcrV, http://bit.ly/1XPhAmW

Double trouble with GM (Genetically modified) crops!!

GMC and GMO

 

“No .. Not the small ones….Pick up the red bright juicy tomatoes right there…”

“Oohh my…these egg plants look great in size, neat and clean….”

“Wow !!! Those leafy veggies look damn fresh and wondrously green”

What if watermelons were square in shape instead of round? what if there were black strawberries available in lieu of red?

What’s all this about? Genius brains of humans are in a race of achieving unreliable goals by creating a closed room agricultural field ; what we call as “laboratories” to modify and boost up potential value of the crops. Though the issue hasn’t paid off yet, let’s see if this idea is a hit or miss considering arguments of both creators and consumers as well.

 

The tenacious battle against viruses and bacteria which was commenced for the sake of human wellness has unknowingly started backfiring the human health system. It all started with tobacco. There hasn’t been a complete conclusion made on the marching issue. Nevertheless, people are abruptly becoming victims of this baffling controversy. But, one Optimistic pause to think of : A drastic increase in population, yet continuing to keep up the graph of the growth rate, all these were to end up on the crucial phase of food crisis. Also, a belief of “Gene modification” was infused in the minds of brain-trusters purely a phrenic conception for the sake of humanity endurance. Let me first make the concepts clear for the novice furthermore of the theories and data relating to GM crops evolution.

“Nature gifted crops no longer remain natural since the birth of Genetic engineering techniques”

“GM crops” “Genes” “Genetically modified” “GMC’s”????

GMC’s stand for Genetically Modified Crops. This is a sort of exchange policy that makes us happy just transitorily; keeping us blindfolded of the uncharted impact and long-term durability facts. In other words, the genes of desired characteristics are injected or removed into/from plants making it highly resistant to diseases, droughts and other phenomenons. In addition, the plants are genetically modified to increase their nutritional value, make it more tasteful, produce large-sized fruits & vegetables and improve shelf life. The scientists introduce new traits into the plant that are not naturally found in them. Also, there are transformations occurring between species too, that is, a method called Transgenic injects a gene of one plant into a plant belonging to other species.

HOW …….WHEN…… and WHY?

Sources express that tobacco was the first to be genetically modified as antibiotic resistant tobacco plant in 1982. In the early 1990’s, a transgenic variety of virus resistant tobacco plant was commercialized by China. Since then, with great enthusiasm the biologists and scientists carried their inventions & discoveries further to an undeterminable extent with desired modifications. Right from 1990’s there were many visible changes that involved : increase in production of milk by dairy cows, plant IVF (In Vitro Fertilization) maize, transgenic tomato, insect resistant corn (BT Corn), soybean resistant to glyphosate herbicide, virus resistant squash, and so on. BT potato was the first pesticide producing crop in US. Not only the plants, but humans and animals were also a part of the gene manipulations, modified with desired traits thereby eliminating the unwanted ones.

The thought of GM crops started because humans are brilliant in thinking of modifications as per convenience and desires. If there is a choice of renovating your environment, what would you do? If there’s something that can be done to boost up your energy with even more high amounts of nutrients & vitamins, despite of the nature obtained benefits, would you not give a second chance to think of? And lastly, you would be completely convinced if I say possibly there’s an authorization of creating your own design by following the theory of Gene modification. This is how the concept was initiated.

And to the question of WHY? These advantages may be the right answers:

As I have mentioned earlier ( some of them may be repeated)

  • Improved nutritional value
  • Reduced labour costs
  • Reduced soil loss
  • Reduces crop damage due to adverse weather conditions
  • Greater yields on less acreage
  • Insect, virus, pests, disease resistant crops
  • Delayed ripening with longer shelf life

Unfortunately, the disadvantages of the GM crops cannot be nullified or ignored as it has a down side of causing unfavorable effects putting human life as well other living beings in danger.

  • Not safe on long term basis
  • Toxicity and allergy risks
  • Clueless harmful diseases could be found
  • Unfamiliar taste
  • Unsuitable for other living small creatures.
  • Decreased effects of actual medications of antibiotics
  • Not environment friendly

“Sometimes, somethings are to be left untouched”

The feedbacks of case studies so far has unraveled many threads.

  • In 2005 — In china, experimental GM rice was introduced that contaminated baby food thereby affecting rice exports to other countries.
  • In 2006–2007 — GM rice contamination in US caused losses of millions for farmers.
  • In 2008 — GM maize was produced contaminating the seeds locally in Chile.
  • A 2010 survey of Consumer sentiments towards the GM foods show 59% negative opinion
  • Developers report the BT cotton cultivated in India to be commercially success. But, few reports have linked it with farmer’s suicides.

interesting facts:

 
  • Genetic modification techniques carried out with four major crops : Soya, maize, cotton & oilseed rape.
  • The two major traits developed and cultivated were Insect resistance & herbicide tolerance, reducing the usage of pesticides.

“Do not fall into the well without a clue of its depth.”

Gmc’s success & failures :

The mind-boggling positive features of GMCs have successfully flattered few nations. The Countries ( that approved GMCs) in turn showcase only the benefits to its people with greater font sizes thereby hiding the actualities with an ant-sized font just as the “terms and conditions” your eye always fails to focus on free gift vouchers.

Whereas, joker (batman) face of GMCs has turned out to be a major concern in few countries that decides with long-term effects in mind. According to recent statistics and news, the GMCs are being stopped / banned gradually in few cities, states & countries.

Countries that approved GMCs:

According to 2013–2014 survey, major part of biotech crops were cultivated in the following countries:

  • USA stands first, producing approximately 40% of GM crops.
  • Brazil
  • Argentina
  • India
  • Canada
  • China
  • Rest of the world — less than 8%
Data

 

Countries that are GM free and/or banned GMCs:

  • In august 2015, Scotland banned the cultivation of GM crops.
  • According to a 2015 news, 19 other countries in Europe bans the Genetically modified crops.
  • Except for few imports, processed foods & meats, New Zealand has non-GMO crops.
  • Australia & New Zealand has more than 30% of Organic farmlands.
  • Switzerland
  • Ireland
  • India banned GM Eggplant in 2010.
Say “NO” to GM crops

 

Good health always requires healthy food. Be the change and the world follows you !!!

Sources : gmeducation.org, wikipedia, fooddialogues.com, thewellnessworkshop.org, blog.tgac.ac.uk, greenpeace.org, globalagriculture.org, nomadcapitalist.com