Connect with us

Food & Drink

Where your favourite fruits and vegetables are grown

Published

on

Where do our fruits and vegetables come from? NOT from the supermarket.

That is just where most of them are sold. Not from large commercial farms. Not from local farms. Not from our own household gardens. No? That is where they are planted, tended, and harvested. But where did they come from?

The fruits and vegetables themselves came from the wild plants that grow in widely scattered areas around the globe. Some of their distant cousins we find in our lawns, and are trying to eradicate as weeds. Most of our blueberries are descended from wild “swamp blueberries” that are native to the Pine Barrens of New Jersey. The wild ancestor of the beefsteak slicing tomato on our BLT is a berry-sized fruit that grows on the flanks of the Andes Mountains.

Our lengthy, sweet orange carrots are related to skimpy purple roots that grow in Afghanistan. When our distant ancestors began “farming” ten thousand or so years ago, they began altering these and other wild plants to make them more productive, easier to grow and harvest, and more enjoyable to eat.

Advertisement

As of 2016, several hundred generations of farmers, and tens of thousands of plant breeders have played a role in re-designing native plants. Our food history is of selection of characteristics that please us better, and de-selecting characteristics that are less than convenient to fall by the wayside. All these characteristics, those we like, those not so much, have always been written in the genes of the organism. The combined changes from our selections are not are new at all.

Buying any bananas at the grocery store this week to top off your morning cereal? The wild ancestor of the banana grows in Malaysia and parts of Southeast Asia in a wild range of shapes, colors and sizes.

ALSO READ  Weight loss: Sure shot ways to lose water weight quickly

Full of large, hard seeds and tough skins covering flesh that certainly doesn’t enhance the flavor of my breakfast flakes. Over several thousand years we have bred this hardly edible fruit into the Cavendish banana. In this bright yellow, sumptuous, fragile and tender fruit in the produce isle you need to concentrate to even see the non-reproductive seeds. Generation after generation we have reshaped native plants and made them our own.

The “latest pair of designer genes” to suit our pursuit of sweet and easy. Without intention, as we developed tastier fruits and vegetables, we often have deselected the nutrients we now know to be essential for optimum health.

Compared to the wild cousins, many of our man-selected (some would say man-made) varieties are measurably lower in in vitamins, minerals, and essential fatty-acids. Take purslane (Portulaca), it has six times more vitamin E than spinach and four times more omega-3 fatty acids than spinach. It has seven times more beta-carotene than carrots and is loaded with anti-depressants. And we kill it with herbicide when it shows up in our gardens because we view it as a weed.

Advertisement

Although, under the micro-greens section of our favorite seed catalog, we can buy the seed, plant it, grow it, and enjoy the succulent, somewhat nutty flavor in our mixed green salad, along side our chicken or steak and feel like we got the best of the situation. We as humans go for the candy, candy, candy. It’s hardwired into our brains. Most native plants are higher in protein and fiber, but lower in sugar than the ones we’ve selected to keep reproducing in our gardens. The ancestor of our modern corn is a grass plant called Teosinte – from central Mexico. Kernels with about thirty percent protein and two percent sugar. Looks like a tiny guitar pick. Tastes like one too. Old fashioned corn is four percent protein, about 10 percent sugar. Some of the newest varieties of the super-sweet corn are almost forty percent sugar. Hit’s the blood sugar like a candy bar or cake donut.

ALSO READ  “This is what her fiancé will be eating with happiness” — Dj Cuppy sparks reactions as she makes ‘jollof rice’

Today’s health experts tell us that the most healthful diet is high in fiber and low in sugar and “fast carbs” (easily digested), as a low-glycemic diet keeps blood glucose at optimum levels. A low glycemic diet has been linked to a multitude of decreased risk of health issues, including cancer, heart disease, chronic inflammation, obesity and diabetes. All diet-related health issues.

Wild fruits and vegetables are the original low glycemic foods. Plants can’t fight their enemies by running away, so their protection is inbred with a host of chemical compounds that protect them from depredation from predators: insects, disease, damaging UV light, bad weather and nibbling critters. More than 8,000 different phytonutrients have been identified so far, and each plant produces several hundred of them.

Many act as antioxidants – combatants against free radicals that cause so much damage bouncing around in our systems unchecked. Others act as critical messengers between our cells, and other alter our cells boosting all kinds of performance results. New research is just beginning to determine the extent of these benefits. Many of these benefits are isolated from the wild =-plant origins and marketed back to us in the form of supplements. As many of us try to “eat healthy”, by eating more fruits and vegetables, we need to remember that all things are not created equal. The difference is in the variety, and heirlooms are not necessarily more nutritious. Which fruits and vegetables will be the healthiest? We can choose those select varieties of fruits and vegetables that have retained much of the nutritional content of their wild ancestors.

ALSO READ  Valentine's Day gift ideas for travellers

In addition to phytonutrients, our modern produce has a wide range of other nutrients, including fiber, protein, vitamins, minerals, essential fatty acids, and sugar. A baked russet potato can boost your blood sugar as much as eating two slices of white bread. Conversely, some heirloom and hybrid varieties can help stabilize your blood sugar – or even lower it. Depending on how you store, prepare, and cook your fruits and vegetables. And on, and on. Modern researchers have discovered hundreds of new ways to retain bionutrients in our fresh produce and make them more bio-available. It is possible to find many highly nutritious varieties of fruits and vegetables in the grocery store. However, when you buy directly from the farmer, or consumer supported agriculture operation (CSA), you get to enjoy fresh picked flavor as well as added health benefits. Hippocrates’s famous saying “Let food be thy medicine and medicine be they food” can be more than inspirational words, it can be a daily reality.

Advertisement

Continue Reading
Advertisement
Click to comment

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Entertainment

“This is what her fiancé will be eating with happiness” — Dj Cuppy sparks reactions as she makes ‘jollof rice’

Published

on

Billionaire’s heiress, Florence Otedola, alias DJ Cuppy, shows off her cooking skills after making a yummy plate of jollof rice.

This comes hours after the disc jockey got engaged to her boxer boyfriend, Ryan Taylor, in a romantic public proposal.

Taking to her Instagram story, Dj Cuppy shared a photo of a pink-coloured plate of jollof rice with steak and potatoes.

Sharing the photo, she wrote, “Chef Cups, Who’s hungry.”

Advertisement

This, however, stirred reactions from fans who had a thing or two to say about Cuppy’s delicacy.

“😂😂😂😂😂😂 This is what the fiancée will be eating o with happiness. If you like, don’t hustle for your children.🤣🤣🤣,” a user wrote.

Another user added, “At this point, Pinkie should be added to her name. I go run the affidavit for free make dem no worry🚶🏾”

Advertisement
ALSO READ  “This is what her fiancé will be eating with happiness” — Dj Cuppy sparks reactions as she makes ‘jollof rice’
Continue Reading

Food & Drink

FrieslandCampina endangers consumers’ health with contaminated milk

Published

on

Leadership of the Lagos State Consumer Protection Agency (LASCOPA) has met with stakeholders over the reported sale of hazardous and contaminated milk products that surfaced online several weeks ago and the subsequent closure of a warehouse in Isheri area of the State.

Speaking at the meeting held at the head office of LASCOPA in Ikeja, the General Manager, Afolabi Solebo, said the forum was organised as part of efforts to further investigate and unravel the source of the contaminated milk product, ensure that the product batch is subjected to more tests and possibly recall the contaminated milk from markets and distributors.

His words: “As a responsive and responsible government, the safety and wellbeing of our people are paramount and must not be compromised for any reason. It is LASCOPA’s duty to protect our people and shield them from any form of hazardous products that may likely have a negative health impact, regardless of whose ox is gored; this is our mandate and we would carry it out to the letter.

“As a state with myriad business opportunities, we encourage entrepreneurship development and promote business activities but not at the detriment of unsuspecting consumers and Lagosians in general.”

Advertisement

The general manager advised the representatives of Friesland Campina Nigeria Plc to embark on an independent forensic investigation about the product to ascertain whether the batch number of the said milk originated from them or emanated from another source.

While noting that the agency awaits the result of the laboratory test and investigations of Friesland Campina Plc, he averred that LASCOPA, on its part, will also carry out a forensic test on the products in a reputable and accredited laboratory in Lagos.

ALSO READ  Seven lucky foods eaten in celebration of the Chinese New Year

In his remarks, the Quality Assurance Representative of Friesland Campina Nigeria Plc, Yomi Eleyoro, expressed the readiness of his organisation to support the move initiated by LASCOPA to get the milk product batch number in order to carry out a laboratory test.

The meeting was also attended by some other representatives of Friesland Campina Plc, Glad Global Concepts, the Nigeria Police Force, and the complainants – Mr. Oguntole Isiaka and Mr. Gbenga Rabiu.

However, in a separate report, the manufacturing company has stated that FrieslandCampina WAMCO shouldn’t be held liable for the sale of congealed milk by a street hawker long after its shelf life.

Advertisement

According to the corporate affairs executive director, Ore Famurewa, the company reiterated its commitment to public safety.

“FrieslandCampina WAMCO, makers of Peak milk and Nigeria’s leading dairy brands, is aware of an online news about a claim of congealed milk bought from an independent seller in an area of Lagos State.

“Our company is currently collaborating on a joint investigation with the Lagos State Consumer Protection Agency (LASCOPA) over the issue to address any public concern. So far internal and external investigations have shown that the integrity of our manufacturing, batching, warehousing and distribution of our products has remained intact.

“In a meeting with the Agency and other stakeholders, FrieslandCampina WAMCO reiterated its commitment to the sale of only genuine, high quality Peak products that are safe for consumption and fit for use as per the product label and expiry details,” she disclosed.

Several weeks after, the result of the investigation is yet to be made public.

Advertisement
ALSO READ  “This is what her fiancé will be eating with happiness” — Dj Cuppy sparks reactions as she makes ‘jollof rice’

Continue Reading

Food & Drink

Weight loss: Sure shot ways to lose water weight quickly

Published

on

An adult human body has around 60 per cent of water and the amount of water an individual retains fluctuates depending upon their eating habits and health condition. For example, eating a diet high in salt can trigger your cells to soak up and retain water. The excess water your body holds on to is called water weight.
Excess water retention in the body can lead to swollen feet, hands, ankles and legs. Water weight is not usually a thing of concern but it may lead to some discomfort. In fact, in some cases excess water weight might be the reason you aren’t able to lose those few extra kilos.

So, here we give you seven easy tips on how to lose that stubborn water weight.
Reduce your salt intake
The first step to lose water weight is to reduce your salt intake. Replace the foods that are high in sodium with low-sodium alternatives. Too much salt when coupled with less water intake and no exercise can lead to water retention.

Exercise regularly
An easy but short term solution to lose water weight is exercising. Sweating through daily exercise helps you lose the excess fluids from your body. An average amount of fluid loss during an hour workout session is between 16-64 ounces.

Stay hydrated
Another good way to prevent water weight from piling up is by staying hydrated. If you do not keep yourself hydrated, your body prepares itself to run out of fluid by holding onto more water. Staying hydrated helps to get rid of excess salt from the body.

Advertisement
ALSO READ  The best ways to get more fibre in your diet

Manage your stress levels
Increased cortisol levels in the body lead to water retention. Cortisol is a stress hormone that is produced in response to stressful situations and low blood sugar. And every cell in your body has receptors for cortisol, which means it can impact our body severely. Cortisol doesn’t lead to water retention in normal condition but only when you are stressed.

Switch to healthier carbs
Cutting carbs from your diet entirely may help you lose water weight very quickly but this may lead to a dip in your energy levels. So, switching to healthier carbs and limiting carb intake can be a better option. When you eat fewer carbs, you will eat more protein and fat, which are supposed to encourage water loss.

Consume potassium-rich foods
Potassium helps you get rid of water weight in two ways. First by decreasing the level of sodium in your body and second by increasing the production of urine. Potassium regulates the fluid around your cells and prevents your body from retaining water. Some examples of potassium-rich foods are beans, coconut water, green leafy vegetables, fish, avocado, raisins, dates, spinach, broccoli, banana, white potato and sweet potato.

Start taking magnesium supplements
Magnesium helps your kidneys to flush out the excess sodium and water from your system. Magnesium level of body cells is strongly related to potassium in the cells. These two minerals can work in synergy to reduce water retention in the body.

Tip

Advertisement

Severe water retention might be a sign of kidney or liver disease. But in most of the cases, water weight is temporary and goes away with some easy lifestyle modification. But if you feel there are other problems along with swelling of your body (due to water retention), you should immediately consult your doctor.

ALSO READ  “This is what her fiancé will be eating with happiness” — Dj Cuppy sparks reactions as she makes ‘jollof rice’

Continue Reading

Trending

Copyright © 2022 TheHeute.