Posts Tagged ‘nutrition’

TV Off, Planet On!

Saturday, January 28th, 2012

Clean Planet supports HT’s – No TV Day initiative. It’s time to turn the box off and turn life on or like how we say it here – TV Off, Planet On! This could be a wonderful day to make the most of the outdoors, enjoy the weather and have a fantastic day out. Or you could choose to stay back home and do all the little things you love that make you happy. What would you rather do, other than watch tv today? Check out what folks have to say about what they’re about to do right here –

Have a very happy No TV Day =)


How will you make this Christmas and New Year eco friendly?

Tuesday, December 20th, 2011



How will you make this Christmas and New Year eco friendly? Spread the joy of the season to the planet and be a good pal to it. You will be shopping for clothes, decorations, sweets, gifts and more right? Do carry reusable bags and go easy on those plastics. Gift giving just brings about special joy when there is an element of personal attached with it. Gift your loved ones a green gift this season.


We would love to have your cool suggestions on how to make this Christmas & New Year, very merry yet ecoJ. The 5 coolest suggestions will win a 25% discount gift voucher from us. With a Clean Planet tote you can save up to 300 plastic bags from clogging our beloved planet. So suggest to your heart’s content and stand a chance to get an exciting discount on our unbeatably eco stylish totes. Hurry, this contest is up and running till 31st Dec. The winners will be announced on Jan 2. Be an eco hero! You don’t need no cape to be one.




Join the buzz

Sunday, January 9th, 2011

Most of us possibly don’t have even a passing thought about bees . Much less ponder on the connection between human beings and bees. Yet , there is a connection . Bees don’t just make honey, they are a giant, humble workforce, pollinating 90% of the plants we grow.

Bees are vital to life on earth — every year pollinating plants and crops with an estimated $40bn value, over one third of the food supply in many countries. Without immediate action to save bees we could end up with serious disruption in food supply.

This is just the impact on human lives . There is a wider role that pollinating bees play in nature which possibly is not understood completely.

Recent years have seen a steep and disturbing global decline in bee populations — some bee species are now extinct and others are at just 4% of their previous numbers. Scientists have been scrambling for answers. Some studies claim the decline may be due to a combination of factors including disease, habitat loss and toxic chemicals. But new leading independent research has produced strong evidence blaming neonicotinoid pesticides. France, Italy, Slovenia and even Germany, where the main manufacturer Bayer is based, have banned one of these bee killers.

A world without bees is not necessarily a world that is completely devoid of life. Much of human existence is presently dependent on honey bees because they are currently the main pollinators. However, penguins and fish don’t need bees to sustain their diet. The human race is not likely to become extinct as a result of the bees becoming extinct. Instead, there would be massive deaths until the humans can evolve to eat foods that bees do not pollinate. Food production would decline as a result of the bees’ extinction but would never disappear entirely. Some type/quantity of crops can still be grown without the intervention of bees. The labor-intensive hand pollinating process would raise the price of food.

Life on Earth would survive without bees, but it would be a much different Earth. Most plants depend on insects like bees to pollinate them. Unless some other animal inserted themselves into that biological niche, most of our plants would disappear along with the bees. One source of photosynthesis that is independent of insects is in our water supply. Algae has a tremendous influence on the world’s oxygen production, so oxygen would not disappear. Because many trees and flowering plants depend on bees for their reproductive cycle, they would be highly stressed.

Avaaz is campaigning for a ban of neonicotinoid pesticides to stop the decline of bees . Pl click here to support the campaign.

Now the Mediterranean…

Tuesday, January 4th, 2011

So far we’ve read about the Pacific Garbage patch . Now enormous amount of plastic has been found in the Mediterranean sea.

Some 250 billion microscopic pieces of plastic are floating in the Mediterranean Sea, creating a biological hazard that reverberates up the food chain, says research supported by green campaigners.
Micro-sized plastic is an enduring hazard because it becomes mixed with plankton, which is then eaten by small fish that are then eaten by larger predators, says Expedition MED.

We’ve long suspected that the reason for plastic debris in sea not being widely reported elsewhere (other than the Pacific ) is not due to the absence of plastic but due to it not being tested.

The planet is meant to be a nurturing space for life forms. Not a dump yard for non bio-degradable / toxic / life threatening junk.

Nutrition is a bigger problem than hunger

Tuesday, September 7th, 2010

Incisive article by Swaminathan Aiyer.

…The big problem is malnutrition, not hunger. A recent survey revealed anaemia rates of 51-74% in women and small children. Of children under three, 47% were underweight and 45% stunted by global standards. Protein deficiency is a culprit.

How do we focus on nutrition rather than presumed hunger? Not through ever-rising subsidies on food. Sonia Gandhi wants subsidized grain even for better-off folk. This aims to provide electoral security for Sonia. Don’t confuse it with food security..

..Ajai Shankar, former industry secretary, has an excellent suggestion for self-targeting in food — mix wheat flour (atta) with soya flour, raising its protein content but making it less palatable. Richer folk will not eat this, but poor people will. Such protein fortification of atta could help reduce protein deficiency in pregnant women and children. Ajai Shankar also suggests offering brown, unpolished rice, which has more nutrition but is less palatable than white rice, and so will be self-targeted at the poor.

I would fortify atta with not only soya but iron (to combat anaemia), iodine (to combat goitre) and Vitamin A (to combat night blindness). This will cost very little extra, yet combat serious nutritional deficiencies. It’s not a silver bullet: other nutritional programmes need overhaul and strengthening too.

Brown rice has two drawbacks. First, it can be resold by shopkeepers to mills at a huge profit, so the PDS incentive for massive diversion will remain. Atta mixed with soya cannot be unmixed, and so eliminates diversion.

A bigger objection should be to rice in any form. Rice is the most expensive cereal, and guzzles the most water. It requires 22 irrigations per crop against eight for wheat. Rice cultivation is sustainable in high rainfall areas, but is environmentally disastrous in moderate-rainfall areas (Punjab, Haryana). It lowers the water table precipitously, so drinking-water wells and shallow tubewells of small farmers run dry, and some of them commit suicide.

Any food entitlements should be for basic food, not for the most expensive cereal. A right to rice is conceptually like Marie Antoinette’s right to cake. For centuries, poor Indians have eaten coarse grain (bajra, jowar) costing half as much as rice. If necessary, India can export rice to finance imports of twice as much coarse grain, which can then be fortified with nutritional supplements for the PDS. It will be self-targeting: richer folk will not buy it..

Sound suggestions . Will a govt that allows millions of tonnes of food grains to rot have the will to do something meaningful for the poor ?

Fruit trees and the girl child

Tuesday, July 27th, 2010

A completely amazing aspect of tree plantation by connecting it to the birth of a girl child .

In many parts of India, where traditionally boys have been preferred over girls, a village in Bihar state has been setting an example by planting trees to celebrate the birth of a girl child.

In Dharhara village, Bhagalpur district, families plant a minimum of 10 trees whenever a girl child is born.

And this practice is paying off.

Nikah Kumari, 19, is all set to get married in early June. The would-be groom is a state school teacher chosen by her father, Subhas Singh.

Mr Singh is a small-scale farmer with a meagre income, but he is not worried about the high expenses needed for the marriage ceremony.

For, in keeping with the village tradition, he had planted 10 mango trees the day Nikah was born.

The girl – and the trees – were nurtured over the years and today both are grown up.

“Today that day has come for which we had planted the trees. We’ve sold off the fruits of the trees for three years in advance and got the money to pay for my daughter’s wedding,” Mr Singh told the BBC.

“The trees are our fixed deposits,” he said.

In Bihar, payment of dowry by the bride’s family is a common practice. The price tag of the bridegroom often depends on his caste, social status and job profile.

The state is also infamous for the maximum number of dowry deaths in the country.

But the mango trees have freed Nikah’s parents of undue worries. And their story is not unique in Dharhara village.

With a population of a little over 7,000, the village has more than 100,000 fully grown trees, mostly of mango and lychee.

From a distance, the village looks like a forest or a dense green patch amidst the parched and arid cluster of villages in the area.

One hopes that this tradition of tree plantation will spread . And that it will not be limited to the birth of a girl child alone.

Green(er) fast food

Tuesday, July 20th, 2010

A Japanese Subway sandwich shop has started growing hydroponic lettuce right in the middle of the store ! Not only is this hyper-local lettuce healthy, it’s a great visual centerpiece for the space.

The Japanese are very inventive when it comes to being space efficient . This is an eco-idea that many hotels , restaurants, canteens , communities across the world can adopt. It is understandably impossible to grow all ingredients locally . But , every bit counts.

(via Inhabitat )

Stylishly green restaurant

Friday, July 16th, 2010

“A kitchen surrounded  by fertile soil where vegetables and herbs thrive … Where daylight shines in from all sides and where the chefs are free to express their creativity daily using the best the season has to offer. It seems an obvious concept, but I spent twenty years surrounded by white tiles under fluorescent lighting before I came up with it.” – chef Gert Jan Hageman

Restaurant De Kas has its own greenhouse and garden near the restaurant, where they grow Mediterranean vegetables, herbs and edible flowers. They also have a large field about  10 kilometres from Amsterdam in the Purmer Polder, where they  grow seasonal vegetables.

In the world teeming with McDonalds , Pizza Hut and other industrial food serving outlets it’s wonderful to see a restaurant that is built around fresh food grown and harvested by the restaurant team.

De Kas is more an exception because of the sheer space needed for such an initiative . Yet , that are restaurants with the luxury of space who choose to adopt the beaten bath. Increasingly hotels are beginning to grow some herbs / vegetables in their gardens (hotels tend to have more space than a restaurant ).

What’s striking about De Kas is the combination of eco friendliness and style that makes it so distinctive.

Food Rules

Wednesday, June 30th, 2010

Brilliant , much needed book by Michael Pollan. While he has written this book based on food habits of Americans it is (sadly) true and relevant for urban inhabitants in many parts of the world.

Besides the food wisdom in the book I love the design and style of the content . Simple , easy and quick to read . The style of writing may ensure that the book is widely read and many of the ideas are adopted by readers.

Some of the food rules…

- “Don’t eat anything your great grandmother wouldn’t recognize as food.”

- “Don’t eat anything* with more than five ingredients, or ingredients you can’t pronounce.” (* processed food)

- “Don’t eat breakfast cereals that change the color of the milk.”

-”Eat all the junk food you want as long as you cook it yourself”

-”It’s not food if it’s called by the same name in every language (think Big Mac , Pringles..)”

It’s amazing to see the cocktail of ailments many folks bring upon themselves due to poor eating habits . There seems to be a generation of children who are being raised with irregular food habits and ‘industrial novelties’ aka processed foods. As my grandmom used to say ‘it’s better to pay money to the grocer than to the doctor’ (a point of view endorsed in the book as well).

Read the book . More importantly recreate your relationship with food .