Thursday, May 26, 2011

A Coke Factor

Ganga, a farmer who uses Coke Cola to clean my toilet commodes

For over two decades, now I have been using Coke to clean my toilets. Cheap toilet cleaner. If you cannot believe it, the image above speaks for itself. When visitors come home, they are rather surprised and aghast as to what a 2 ltr Coke bottle is doing next to my commode. My response "I do not need more harsh toxic chemicals like Harpic to cleanse my commode. Instead a two litre party pack of Coke can do the same job". As for killing the germs, I use Citronella drops (medicinal grass that grows wild around my farm). By the way, Odomos the mosquito repellant is made from Citronella, hopefully natural and not synthetic! You can buy this essential oil - Citronella from any organic retail store" or where essential oils are available. Perhaps you can check Bangalore stores like Mother Earth and organic retail outlets stores like Era Organics, Parisara, Jiavik Krishik( Lalbagh) stocking them.

I recall in the year 2000 in one of my flights to Mumbai, I met an Arab couple who were most disturbed with the ailing condition of their children. They were visiting a leading hospital for treatment. When i saw their children aged 10 & 14, I could understand their plight. Obese, teeth infested and high pitched tantrums. Tearfully the mother confided in me "If i do not give them Coke or Pepsi with fast foods, hell lets loose". Such a sordid state of affairs. And the carbonated drinks industry & fast food/refined processed foods gets away with murder.

At least First Lady Michele Obama dared to bring about a change in schools. To quote NY time "The Obama administration announced a plan to ban candy and sweetened beverages from schools. A campaign against childhood obesity will be led by the first lady, Michelle Obama. And a growing number of public health advocates are pushing for even more aggressive actions, urging that soda be treated like tobacco: with taxes, warning labels and a massive public health marketing campaign, all to discourage consumption". View link -

This article below prompted me to share my journey with Coke. The cartoon Choke is rather apt. As the author rightly states "This isn't an attack on the Coca-Cola or Pepsi corporations. It's a revealing of the truth about all carbonated beverages. This has been widely reported in many authoritative sources".
Soft drinks: Unsafe beverages
We would also like to thank Dr. Mercola, at for helping to get this article out in front of people.

Amazingly, Americans (and people in other countries) actually drink a product that can rightfully be called Osteoporosis In a Can. And, it gets worse from there. Read on.

This poison goes by many brand names, such as Coca Cola and Pepsi. Generically, this poison is on the market in formulations known as soda, pop, and soft drinks. It includes all carbonated beverages--even carbonated plain water. The various substances in sodas compound the problem, especially the typical formulations with their carbonic acid or phosphoric acid.

Reading the rest of this article may be the best use you've ever made of 5 minutes. Yeah, we know Pepsi will never sponsor an ad on this site. But your health is more important to us.

It's tragic that the "beverage" industry shoves this toxic brew at human beings. Let's take a closer look at what it does.
Calcium loss in bones
The carbonation in all soft drinks causes calcium loss in the bones through a three-stage process:

The carbonation irritates the stomach.
The stomach "cures" the irritation the only way it knows how. It adds the only antacid at its disposal: calcium. It gets this from the blood.
The blood, now low on calcium, replenishes its supply from the bones. If it did not do this, muscular and brain function would be severely impaired.
But, the story doesn't end there. Another problem with most soft drinks is they also contain phosphoric acid (not the same as the carbonation, which is carbon dioxide mixed with the water). This substance also causes a drawdown on the store of calcium.

So, soft drinks soften your bones (actually, they make them weak and brittle) in three ways:

Carbonation reduces the calcium in the bones.
Phosphoric acid reduces the calcium in the bones.
The beverage replaces a calcium-containing alternative, such as milk or water. Milk and water are not excellent calcium sources, but they are sources.
Diabetes in a can

The picture gets worse when you add sugar to the soft drink. The sugar, dissolved in liquid, is quickly carried to the bloodstream, where its presence in overload quantities signals the pancreas to go into overdrive. The pancreas has no way of knowing if this sugar inrush is a single dose or the front-end of a sustained dose. The assumption in the body's chemical controls is the worst-case scenario. To prevent nerve damage from oxidation, the pancreas pumps out as much insulin as it can. Even so, it may not prevent nerve damage.

But, this heroic effort of the pancreas has a hefty downside. The jolt of insulin causes the body to reduce the testosterone in the bloodstream, and to depress further production of it. In both men and women, testosterone is the hormone that controls the depositing of calcium in the bones. You can raise testosterone through weight-bearing exercise, but if you are chemically depressing it via massive sugar intake (it takes very small quantities of sugar to constitute a massive intake, because refined sugar is not something the human body is equipped to handle), then your body won't add calcium to the bones.

Add this to what we discussed above, and you can see that drinking sweetened colas is a suicidal endeavor. And now you know why bone damage formerly apparent only in the very old is now showing up in teenagers.

Cancer in a can

In the spring of 2005, research showed a strong correlation between esophageal cancer and the drinking of carbonated beverages. We aren't providing extensive detail here yet, because the subject is still rolling through the medical community. Basically, it works like this:

You drink soda.
It makes you burp (acid reflux, actually).
The burping carries acid into the esophagus, causing lesions.
The lesions become cancerous.
So, maybe it's not so bad if you sip sodas instead of guzzle them. By the time this issue settles out through double blind studies (rather than statistical analysis only), that is probably what researchers will conclude. It's common sense.

Of course, the soft drink companies have conducted their own flawed studies using flawed methods to obtain the flawed results they want. This way, they can deny that their toxic products also cause esophageal cancer in addition to other diseases their beverages cause. I wonder if these folks have flawed sleep at night, or if they are just psychopathic?

Do a Yahoo or Google search on softdrinks + esophageal cancer, and you'll get several thousand pages of results. Most of the articles say softdrinks "may" cause esophageal cancer. And that's true--in the sense that lying down on a railroad track "may" get you run over by a train or holding a revolver with one bullet in it and pulling the trigger "may" blow your brains out. It's a game of chance. How many chances do you want to take?

Friday, May 20, 2011

Big brother doesn't understand you: the success of a GM food no-one wanted to buy,

Dr Peter Quaife’s illuminating food industry article: Big brother doesn't understand you: the success of a GM food no-one wanted to buy, indicates some of the ways in which a sales promotion was presented as a serious research project. For an indepth exploration of related issues see his PhD thesis. (1)

His account of the introduction of a genetically modified tomato purée for sale in some supermarkets (1996) shows data being manipulated to reflect the agenda of those who collect it, and their interpretation providing a false picture of the views of consumers. He recalls:

The launch was considered by those involved to be a success. Sales were unusually high for a new product, and demand outstripped supply. Clear labelling, information leaflets and the provision of non-genetically modified (GM) alternatives led to it being held up as an example of good practice by both industry and consumer groups. The way seemed clear for a gradual roll-out of more GM products to an eager public.

During a research interview ‘Brian’ explained that his company selected certain stores known to have price sensitive customers with a willingness to accept new technology – often in towns with a student population – and maximised sales during the test launch by selling the product cheaply as the supermarket’s 'own brand'.

‘Andrew’ said the suppliers of the product had been pressured into artificially reducing the price and that the goal of the launch was to gain acceptance for the technology

Information leaflets for customers emphasised the position of those in favour of the technology.

Quaife finds: “the sales data collected reflected not customer wants, but how much a particular group of customers could be persuaded to buy . . . On this basis, each can of conventional purée sold could be argued to represent a consumer who has decided to pay more to avoid the GM variety, whereas those who bought the GM version may be less likely to have made a judgement on the technology at all.”

The relative sales of conventional/modified purées were not discussed.

A Unilever sponsored study undertaken by Lancaster University (2) found:

powerful notions of inevitability and powerlessness influenced purchasing decisions, with the result that GM products could be bought by individuals opposed to the technology. These feelings of inevitability seemed to reflect a felt absence of choice and a sense that, realistically speaking, the technology was unstoppable. Such inevitability appeared to lie behind feelings of passive resignation in the majority of groups. (p53)

Dr Quaife concludes that the launch was promotional, but the sales figures collected were represented as research, leading to an inflated picture of the demand for GM food and points out the complexity of the issues raised by the first GM food to go on sale:

Not only does it represent a technology with the potential to revolutionise food production, impacts are probable on the environment, food security, control of food production (particularly by multinational corporations), world trade, democracy and humanity's relationship with the rest of nature.

An attempt to represent public perceptions of such complex issues purely through the use of sales figures is unlikely to yield useful results.

1. Quaife, P. (1999), Linkages Between Ecocentric Values and Action in Expert Discourse: The Case of Genetically Modified Food in the UK, PhD Thesis (forthcoming), Birmingham: The University of Aston in Birmingham.

Peter Quaife E-mail:
2. Grove-White, R. Macnaghten, P. Mayer, S. and Wynne, B. (1997), Uncertain World: Genetically Modified Organisms, Food and Public Attitudes in Britain, Lancaster: Lancaster

The whole article can be downloaded from

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

Experience of a life time at Patanjali Yogpeeth

Last month, I had the privilege of being invited to Patanjali Yogpeeth in Haridwar. Being on stage with the most revered Baba Ramdevji, Acharya Balkrishanji and Babu Murariji, amidst a host of renowned dignitaries was such a honour. To address Babaji's huge following of devotees in Hindi re the assault in our food chain, dietary shifts & revert to traditional diet was an exhilarating experience. The thought of speaking in my broken Hindi had me nervous at first. But safe foods, a subject close to my heart with soil and seeds most sacred to me had me flowing fine.

This was aired live on Astha Channel on 9th April 2011. It may have been repeated several times for the response is staggering and still pouring in. I gave a traditional Intestine toner formula followed world over by our ancestors. A home made recipe made from whey in yogurt to increase the good intestinal flora. Whey heals stomach ailments, keeps muscles young, joints and ligaments elastic.

This recipe is called Beet Kvas, an invaluable lacto fermented tonic. It aids digestion, increases the friendly bacteria in the gut, alkalises the blood, cleanses the liver and is a good treatment for kidney stones.

It is anaerobic fermentation. Cut 2 medium sized beetroots chopped up coarsely , whey( water from the curd) and salt and put all in a clean glass container (1.5-2 litre capacity). Add filtered water to fill the container. Stir well and cover securely( no air). Keep at room temperature for two days so that it ferments and then transfer into the refrigerator. But first remove and keep some of this as inoculant (jaag in hindi) aside for a fresh brew.

Drink daily a cupful, then when you have finished drinking 3/4 of the brew from this jar, add more water and salt to make a second brew ( this will be not as potent as the first) then discard. So from one brew you can drink twice and then discard.

Use the inoculant (jaag) that you first kept aside and start again by adding fresh beetroot pieces +salt. This way you continue increasing the acidophillus( friendly bacteria) in the lining of your stomach

Note - Do not use grated beets in this preparation. grated beets exude too much juice and ferments rapidly that favors production of alochol rather than lactic acid.

Enjoy. This is the most refreshing drink and cooling in summer. Serve to family, friends, children slightly chilled. This way you increase you immunities and keep disease out of homes! This is a must for those who are on antibiotics as its a probiotic. It helps line your intestines against corrosive chemical reactions from antibiotics.

Monday, May 16, 2011

Heath Tip - Omega 3 benefits

Why do we need Omega 3? How do you derive Omega 3 in vegetarian and non-veg diets?

Omega 3 is an EFA (essential fatty acid). Studies suggest Omega 3 enriches our diet is a remedy for constipation, functional disorders of the colon - resulting from the misuse of laxatives and irritable colon, helps stabilize blood glucose levels, promotes bone health, fight tumor formation, enhances cardiovascular health, lowers blood pressure, cuts the risk of cancer and even helps memory loss.

For vegetarians
- Omega 3 is obtained from pumpkin seeds, walnuts & flax seeds also known as linseed( In India, it is commonly known as 'alsi'), When ground flaxseeds taste similar to pine nuts except that its sticky/gooyi on the gums/teeth if eaten directly with water.

- To avoid this, use Flaxseed in morning cereal or my favorite dessert after lunch is a bowl of fresh yogurt, add 2 tsps flaxseed powder with one tsp of cane sugar or jaggary. (For diabetics just flaxseed in yogurt with stevia powder if you wish)
Flax oil is fine if it is good quality and in small amounts. 1/2 tsp of oil per day is all you need. Pour oil over salads, pastas, pizza, tastes delicious.

- Flaxseeds can be ground in small quantities and stored in a air tight glass bottle in refrigerator. If it is flax oil, once opened it goes back in the refrigerator as it goes rancid.

Other snacks high in Omega 3 - You can snack on pumpkin seeds or walnuts on a daily basis.

For non vegetarians- Egg yolks from pastured hens, liver and oily fish & cod liver oil capsules

- High doses of flax seeds can have an adverse effect on the hormonal balance of the body. If you are taking coconut oil and other saturated fats, your body actually needs very little omega-3 because saturated fats ensure that the omega-3s are used very effectively and conserved in the tissues. So you do not need to be adding extra omega-3s to your diet, otherwise it could be harmful and dangerous to overdose on omega-3.

As for omega-6-they are in all foods.
In response to the questions asked since comments is not uploading

1. Can pumpkin seeds be dried,lightly fried and eaten then????

The best way to eat most nuts like pumpkin, sunflower, melon seeds is to soak them for a min of 12 -18 hrs, dehydrate them in a warm oven, then lightly roast them. In general, nuts contain levels of phytic acid equal to or higher than those of grains. Soaking eliminates some phytates.

High-phytate diets result in mineral deficiencies. In populations where cereal grains provide a major source of calories, rickets and osteoporosis are common

2. Does one have to differentiate between river fish and sea-fish????

Oil-rich fish such as salmon, trout, mackerel, herring and sardines, are an excellent source of Omega-3 fatty acids, which are essential to our diet.