Friday, May 21, 2010

Eat responsibly .. TOI

According to the World Health Organisation, nearly 3,000,000 people suffer acute pesticide poisoning, with about 300,000 dying as a result of accidental pesticide poisoning every year. 

This is an alarming finding, which we cannot ignore, say wellness experts. 

"Pesticides, chemicals and fertilisers are bad for our health; they enter our bodies and poison us. The West has learnt about this and changed to healthy dietary habits. Why shouldn't we? Why should we eat cheap at the cost of our farmers' lives, who handle the pesticides and chemicals on our behalf? No doubt, chemicals and fertilisers made India self-sufficient in food, but now we have been made aware of their harmful effects. Hence, let's move towards a cleaner planet and healthier bodies," says Neelam Chhiber, of Mother Earth. 

Healthy food is healthy body, healthy body is healthy mind, healthy mind is healthy nation. Unfortunately, India is becoming the centre of chronic diseases. Today, we are the diabetes capital of the world. The fingers point to the food we eat. It is time we wake up and do responsible eating. Today, the food that we eat is highly processed, packed with white flour, sugar and high in salt. On top of it, there's a cocktail of pesticides, preservatives, colours and additives. .According to health experts, exposure to pesticides causes cancer, reproductive abnormalities, hormone disruption and no immunity. 

Naini Setalvad, Mumbai-based nutritionist and obesity and health consultant, says, "People who are fed on natural foods are healthier, smarter and more cheerful. One should replace white sugar with natural sugar obtained from dry fruits like prunes, dates, raisins, jaggery and honey and shift to whole grains, white meat like fish, chicken. Pulses, sprouts and less oil make your health superior. On top of it, if you are organic, your food is 100 per cent safe. Spiritually, the food is ahimsic, leading to a purer mind." 

Natural foods contain no flavours, MSG, colouring or additives and are not genetically modified. With regard to meat, the animals are reared without any antibiotics or growth hormones. Once these achieve certification, they are certified as being 'organic'. 

Natural foods have significantly higher levels of nutrients, depending on the choice of produce. The beneficial nutrients include foods that have higher amounts of salicylic acid and more Vitamin C, iron, calcium, magnesium and phosphorous. 
"You fed your family with love, now feed them with confidence that every bite is pure and free of diseases," concludes Setalvad. 

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