Ketchup – Pour It on

Ketchup, undoubtedly America’s favorite condiment, (followed closely by mayonnaise and salsa) is poured on virtually everything.. Who doesn’t know a ketchup addict who can’t get through one meal without ketchup on something. Or perhaps you are unabashedly one yourself.

A bottle of ketchup is found in approximately 97 percent of U.S. homes, but the present form we enjoy is relatively new, considering it has its roots in ancient China. The origin of the word ketchup is believed to be traced back to a Chinese word that can be loosely translated as ke-tep or kio-chiap. Or possibly from a Malay language sometimes referred to as kicap, kecap, ketjap. The precursor to our ketchup was actually a fermented fish sauce made from fish entrails, meat byproducts and soybeans, usually ground into a paste. This mixture not only added flavor to food, but was easy to store on long ocean voyages. As it spread along spice trade routes to Indonesia and the Philippines, British traders got hooked on the spicy, salty taste, and by he early 1700s. they took samples home to England and promptly modified the original recipe.

Even though tomato plants were introduced to England by way of South America during the 1500s, tomatoes were widely believed to be poisonous, along with other members of the nightshade family (eggplants and potatoes). The earliest usage in England was recorded in 1690 and spelled “catchup”; later the spelling of “ketchup” appeared around 1711, and the modified spelling “catsup” in 1730.

A famine in Italy during the late 1830’s led the starving superstitious folks to finally try tomatoes, and the population was pleasantly surprised when no one became poisoned,
leading to the popularity across Europe. The first Italian tomato sauce recipe appeared soon after the famine. Imagine Italian cooking without the tomato… unthinkable.

Tomato ketchup appeared in America in the early 1800’s. An enterprising Philadelphia native named James Mease incorporated the tomato into his recipe, setting off a revolution of tomato-based ketchup. By 1896, The New York Tribune estimated that tomato ketchup had become America’s national condiment and could be found “on every table in the land.” That might have been a bit of an exaggeration at the time, but certainly prophetic for the coming twentieth century, especially with the introduction of hot dogs at the two world fairs: Chicago and St Louis. Cooks and homemakers began scrambling for ketchup recipes to make at home along with the growing popularity of bottled versions. Many cookbooks featured recipes for ketchup made of oysters, mussels, mushrooms, walnuts, lemons and celery, but the Americans were the first to make the tomato its base for the prized condiment.

With many different versions of the condiment already in the U.S., a Pittsburgh businessman named Henry J. Heinz started producing ketchup in 1876 using tomatoes and vinegar as his chief ingredients, and he soon dominated the commercial market (and still does). By1905, the company had sold five million bottles of ketchup. The first recipes Heinz tried contained allspice, cloves, cayenne pepper, mace, and cinnamon. A second
included pepper, ginger, mustard seed, celery salt, horseradish, and brown sugar, along with the two primary ingredients, tomatoes and vinegar. Soon the country was hooked.

Americans currently purchase 10 billion ounces of ketchup annually, which comes out to approximately three bottles per person per year. That figure seems low, but keep in mind that Americans consume much of their ketchup outside the home, at restaurants and fast food locations.

So today, when you shake that bottle or open that packet, be thankful that your beloved ketchup is free from entrails and fish heads… and enjoy.

Food Specialities Of Different States Of India That Everyone Must Have

The variety of food India has to offer is simply unbelievable. Every state of it has an array of food and different cooking style. From the spiciest to the most ordinary preparations, they have something different to offer. To know more, we bring to you some authentic, must have, local dishes native to the various Indian states.

DAAB CHINGRI- West Bengal
Filled with green coconut, it is a traditional Bengali dish of soupy mustard prawn curry. The aroma of the coconut water and kernel gets mixed up with the prawn, giving it a most fabulous taste. This special delicacy is best served with a plate of boiled rice.

BAL MITHAI- Uttarakhand
This exquisite dish comes from the state of Uttarakhand which is made by roasting the evaporated milk cream with cane sugar and later coated with white sugar balls. It is one of a true delight for all the dessert lover.

KAMBU KOOZH- Tamil Nadu
It is cool refreshing and healthy dish from the state of Tamil Nadu. The dish is prepared from millet and is stored in the earthen pots to create a perfect taste.

MALAAI GHEWAR- Rajasthan
This round shaped food delicacy is a traditional dish of Rajasthan. It is made from flour, milk and pure ghee. There is a possibility that you might find it in the other parts of India also, but the one you get in Rajasthan is simply incomparable.

CHHENA PODA- Odisha
This is an Oriya desert prepared from the baked ricotta cheese. This sweet delight could also be taken as an Indian version of Cheesecake. Do explore when you plan your visit to the state.

THALIPEETH- Maharashtra
It could be taken as the multigrain pancake, prepared from roasted chana daal, wheat, sorghum, millet, rice and mildly spiced with coriander seeds, onion fresh coriander and cumin seeds. The delicacy is very nutritious and is best served with buffalo milk cream.

BHUTTE KA KEES- Madhya Pradesh
It is a dish made with spicy grated sweet corn. The tangy taste of this authentic delicacy is must to try when you plan to visit the state.

IRACHI ISHTU- Kerala
This is a traditional food item from Kerala which is made with Chicken, beef or lamb. This tasty stew is best served with appam or plain bread.

RUGDA- Jharkhand
When you planning to visit Jharkhand, do not forget to try Rugda. It is a variety of mushroom indigenous to the forests of Jharkhand. The dish is very healthy and is best eaten with rice or poori.

KALAADI CHEESE- Jammu and Kashmir
Prepared from cow’s milk, Kalaadi is a traditional local hill cheese which comes from the state of Jammu and Kashmir. You simply cannot forget to miss out on its divine taste when you are there.

MADRA- Himachal Pradesh
Coming from the state of Himachal Pradesh, Madra is a traditional pahadi gravy. The dish is prepared with yoghurt, coconut, almonds, peas and raisins. This special food item offers a very aromatic flavour and delicious taste.

BAJRA KHICHDI- Haryana
This amazing khichdi is made with coarsely crushed pearl millet and is served with pure ghee or sesame oil. The dish becomes all the more tasty with lassi, pickles, papad, gur or curd.

KHANDVI- Gujarat
This delectable snack is made from gram flour and yoghurt, tempered with sesame, mustard seeds and decorated with green chillies, coconut and coriander leaves for its amazing look.

BEBINCA- Goa
Famous for its seafood cuisine, Goa is also known for its authentic and exquisite pudding dessert. The traditional Bebinca in Goa is made up of 16 layers and is rightly served warm with cold ice cream.

DEHRORI- Chhattisgarh
It is a delicious dessert from the state of Chhattisgarh which consists of fried rice dumplings dipped in sugar syrup and garnished with nuts. The dish is usually prepared on Diwali eve to make the celebrations more joyful.

LITTI CHOKHA- Bihar
This crunchy dish from Bihar is prepared with wheat balls stuffed with Pitthi – roasted and spiced gram flour) and Chokha (mashed potatoes). The dish becomes all the more delicious with pure desi ghee on its side.

Snow Formation – One of the Greatest Challenges for IQF Processors

Snow formation inside IQF freezers is strongly linked to the process of dehydration, which occurs during freezing and is represented by water loss through the product’s membrane when it meets the cold air flow inside the IQF tunnel freezer.

During the process of dehydration, the products will also suffer a loss of weight. The humidity that is transferred from the product into the air will saturate it, and at the maximum point of air humidity (100% saturated), snow is created. This phenomenon is called precipitation and it is the same as when rain or snow is created out in the atmosphere.

The major factor responsible for the occurrence of precipitation during the IQF process is the large quantity of wet and warm product that makes contact with the cold temperatures inside the IQF freezer. After precipitation, the level of saturation decreases and even more moisture can be transferred from the product to the air, leading to more weight loss for the product transported on the bedplate inside the freezer.

Therefore, if snow formation inside IQF freezers is an indicator of product loss and dehydration, how can we minimize the level of dehydration?

First of all, the process of precipitation and thus sublimation needs to be kept under a specific level, with the help of optimal aerodynamics which ensures less disruption of the air flow and better air speed.

In order to minimize dehydration you need to avoid precipitation and thus sublimation, have better aerodynamics (less disruption of the air flow) and better air speed.

Considering that temperature variations inside an IQF freezer are a common thing, snow formation cannot be completely prevented but, thanks to its advanced design features, the IQF tunnel freezer can successfully minimize snow formation, increasing the yield of the overall production.

The IQF tunnel freezer benefits of unique fans, which can be individually adjusted in order to ensure the optimal speed for the perfect air velocity and air pressure. Thanks to the good control over the aerodynamics inside the IQF tunnel freezer, the level of air humidity remains constant and the process of precipitation is significantly prevented, ensuring a level of product dehydration between 0,1% and 1%.

The fact is that the snow building up inside your freezer is product loss, and that is because an IQF freezer is a closed system and the humidity creating the precipitation doesn’t have anywhere else to come from than from the products you are freezing.

Totally Sauced

What would we do without our favorite sauces? Whether you are a soy sauce fan, a steak sauce addict or a Worcestershire aficionado, we love our condiments and sauces, so come along as we review a few favorites.

Like many condiments, soy sauce originates in ancient China as a way to stretch salt, which was historically expensive. The beginnings of soy sauce are traced back to the Zhou Dynasty around 2000 B.C., using fermented pulverized fish with salt as a condiment. The plentiful soybeans used in the fermentation process helped to stretch the salt content, making it more affordable for the Chinese people. When introduced to the Japanese, they used their uniquely brewed soybeans, and by the middle of the seventeenth century, the process would replace the need for so much salt, which popularized soy sauce throughout Japan as well as neighboring Asian countries.

Dutch traders discovered the tangy sauce and began carrying it back to Holland in barrels, where its popularity spread throughout western Europe. In the 1800’s, thousands of Chinese arrived on the West Coast of the U.S. looking for work, and they brought their distinctive style of cooking and recipes with them. Eventually soy sauce became one of the components of Worcestershire sauce, which was developed in England in the 1800’s.

Worcestershire sauce is named after the city where it was created, Worcester, England. It’s believed that a local British aristocrat, who had been a Governor of Bengal, discovered the sauce while living in India and wanted it reproduced for his fellow Englishmen upon his return home. He visited a chemist shop in Worcester, asking for the recipe he had to be duplicated. The two chemists, Lea and Perrins, created the sauce as best they could, but found they disliked the concoction and stored it in their cellar. Some time later, after it had fermented, they re-tasted the preparation to discover it was delicious. Although today, the ingredients are listed on the label, the exact recipe has never been revealed and still remains a closely guarded secret. As Lea and Perrins sauce became popular, others scrambled to create something similar. Just in the city of Worcester alone, there were originally over 30 varieties of the sauce, but Lea and Perrins has dominated from the beginning. During that time, plain and tough meats were greatly enhanced by sauces, and Lea and Perrins was welcomed on dinner tables, eventually finding its way to the U.S. during the nineteenth century.

Steak sauce was created around 1824 by the chef of King George IV in England. Although some historians claim that the King may have pronounced the sauce “A1” which lead to its name, it is possible that steak sauce was created in 1824 back in Richmond, Virginia by Matt Leader, who had been a chef to King George IV. Labeled “steak sauce” for almost 50 years, in 2014, Kraft Foods declared that A1 Steak Sauce “is no longer just for steak”, and removed that moniker from its label. They proclaimed that A1 Sauce is good “for almost everything.”

Needless to say, there are countless sauces on the grocery shelves to accommodate everyone’s taste, or perhaps you are a minimalist and prefer using just a bit of salt and pepper. Whatever your taste buds dictate, there’s no denying that we love our seasonings and sauces, no matter where we live.

Hold the Mayo

The first time it dawned on me there were two distinct camps regarding mayonnaise was one afternoon at a restaurant. I was having lunch with a good friend, and she was interrogating the waitress about the chicken salad plate, asking her, “This doesn’t have any of that horrible Miracle Whip, does it?” The waitress assured her it was pure mayo that held those little morsels together. My friend seemed relieved and ordered it, but I ordered something else. I am in the Miracle Whip camp, and I make no apologies.

I admit I come by it honestly. I grew up in a Miracle Whip household, and I inherited my mother’s dislike for mayonnaise. early. To this day, I buy only MW and so does my sister. But mayo holds top honors in the condiment world, at least in the U.S., tied only with ketchup in popularity, and a must-have on millions of sandwiches daily, as well as in salads and sauces. Some fanatics even put it on french fries.

As a child, I frequently asked my mother why some sandwiches or salads tasted “gross” until I understood that MW had a distinctly different flavor than traditional mayo, which, in my opinion, has no flavor at all. (Please, no hate mail). When it finally clicked in my young mind, and I understood the difference, it was MW all the way from then on.

But let’s travel back in time to learn about mayo, and the French passion that started it all. The creation of mayonnaise is credited to the chef of Duke de Richelieu in 1756. While the Duke was defeating the British at Port Mahon in Menorca, Spain, his chef was whipping up a special victory feast that included a unique sauce made with eggs and cream, staples of French cuisine. Some food historians insist that the Spanish pioneered the rich spread, but it seems more likely that the French did the honors. Word of mouth (and taste buds) traveled across the pond, and Americans quickly embraced the creamy madness. Many residents of French heritage, not to mention chefs searching for new frontiers, introduced it in New York City, and we know that by 1838, the popular restaurant Delmonico’s in Manhattan offered mayonnaise in a variety of dishes. Gourmets were hooked.

Soon chefs were dreaming up different ways to use the wildly popular spread, especially in salads. In 1896, the famous Waldorf salad, made its debut to rave reviews at a charity ball at the Waldorf Hotel, chock full of apple pieces, celery, walnuts and grapes, all held together by that creamy mayo, and diners couldn’t get enough.

As refrigeration blossomed at the turn of the century, hundreds of food manufacturers raced to get their version of mayo in the shops. One such manufacturer was Hellmann’s, a New York City brand which designed wide mouth jars that could accommodate large spoons and scoops, and they soon began to dominate the sector. Mayonnaise, which had heretofore been considered a luxury, was fast becoming a household staple and taking its place at the dinner tables in millions of homes. Many professional chefs and homemakers made their own versions, but jars of the popular condiment were featured prominently on grocery store shelves.

Enter Miracle Whip, created in 1933 by the Chicago-based Kraft Foods Company. It made its debut during the Depression as a cheaper alternative to mayo, and while it does contain the key ingredients of mayonnaise (egg, soybean oil, vinegar, water), it deviates from the standard of mayo with a sweet, spicy flavor that many folks preferred and still do, but is required to label itself as “salad dressing” rather than mayo.

So whether you are a straight mayonnaise user, a renegade Miracle Whip aficionado, or you are frequently heard to state “hold the mayo”, there’s no getting around this wildly popular condiment, and we can thank the French gourmands once again for this creation.

Why Cook? Why Catering?

Catering is perhaps one of the most important aspects of event planning that will help make or break any business meeting, fundraising gala or wedding events. That’s why the catering manager often takes the lead to help clients plan and execute special events and other one-day programs at hotels and other venues. And many people who enjoy choosing food and beverage dream about becoming a caterer and opening their own catering business.

When it comes a time when you’re thinking about cooking for however many people, it becomes time-consuming, that’s why numbers matter. This is why cooking for a normal family size is great, but when it becomes over 4 or 6 people let’s bring out the catering help! Consider how many people you can fit in your space – if you’re planning an outdoor event, remember everyone might end up inside if it rains! If you want to have large numbers in a small area, suggesting people drop in between certain hours rather than all arriving at a designated time can ease the crowds.

Another important tip is time management; A time plan is a really useful tool to stay on top of your plans. Write a list of everything that needs to be ordered or arranged – flowers, helping hands, food, drinks, equipment, decorations. Assign days and check them off when they’re completed. The food, drink and home preparation will need a more detailed plan and it’s worth assigning times as well as days to these. Be realistic, it’s better to give yourself too much time. If reading through your time plan makes you feel unduly stressed, you may have taken on too much so look at ways you can simplify your choices. Providing a relaxed and fun event with a small selection of different but well-cooked dishes is better than an overambitious spread which turns out to be hit and miss.

Now it’s time to invite your friends and family – Most importantly, let’s have fun. Your event invitation will make an impression on your guests and – as the first item they’ll see regarding this event – can convince them to attend or persuade them to stay home. So don’t miss out on this important opportunity to get your friends and family excited, engaged and talking about your upcoming event. Make sure your event stands out and as always remember the things to consider when planning an event.

SciFi in Ag: Chatbot With Your Plants?

Precision farming is about managing variations in the field accurately, to grow more food using fewer resources and by reducing production costs. It can make a difference in food production, facing the challenge of a growing world population, and can help farmers achieve: greater sustainability, environmental protection, higher productivity, and economic benefits.

What is happening in the industry?

Highest adoption rates of precision farming are seen in the United States, Germany, Australia, and Brazil, while Asia-Pacific is expected to show record high rates of adoption in the forecast period. With the governments of various countries providing subsidies to farmers for the use in their cultivation, the adoption rates are expected to increase in the other regions as well. Various technologies dominating the market are GNSS/GPS Systems, GIS, Remote Sensing and VRT, where VRT is the fastest growing segment with a robust CAGR of 16% during the forecast period.

AGCO Corporation acquired Cimbria, a Dutch equipment supplier of grain, seed, and powders. The acquisition of Cimbria will help expand and strengthen their business geographically in Denmark. The company also offers mobile tools that offer access to large data and information related to crop, which further improves farming. John Deere acquired Monsanto’s Precision Planting. This acquisition will help the company maximize digital agriculture and helps in seamless collection of infield agronomics data.

Precision Farming – Market Dynamics

Less availability of productive land, constant change in climatic conditions, and the strict regulatory framework have led to increasing demand for a more effective and efficient agricultural sector. With the advent and implementation of modern technologies, management of the agricultural land becomes more competent. For example, automation technology, sensors, geo-mapping, and big data analysis tools help evaluate climate and soil data, which increases the overall efficiency of agriculture.

Innovation and technology have led to major developments in various sectors, and agriculture is one of them. Sensing technologies, software applications, communication systems, data analytics solutions, and positioning technologies are some of the latest technologies used. Various technologies, like driverless machinery and drone crop dusters, provide vital opportunities for the growth.

In 2016, North America dominated the precision farming market with a share of about 50%. The United States and Canada dominate the market share in this region. Large-scale farmlands, ever-existing need to increase yield, and high labor costs will drive the market in the region. The farmers are highly skilled and willing to embrace new technologies. However, most of the agriculture farms and farmers rely heavily on exports to sustain revenues and prices, which may change the market dynamics in the near future. Asia-Pacific has been identified as a region that is yet to reach its maximum potential in this domain.

Will global precision farming show an unprecedented upward growth trend till 2022?

According to a report by a market intelligence firm, the global precision farming market is estimated to reach a value of USD 5.98 billion by 2022, recording a CAGR of 12.97% during 2017-22. In the past 10 years, precision farming has moved from good science to good practice and has witnessed unprecedented growth around the globe. 70 to 80% of the new farm equipment sold today, incorporates some form of precision farming component. Asia-Pacific is expected to be the fastest growing market with a CAGR of about 21% during 2017-2022. The major factor stimulating market growth in Asia-Pacific is augmented yield and profitability, which is pushing farmers toward crop monitoring technology. Australia holds the major share of the market in this region.

Competition Analysis

This market report includes competitive vendor landscaping of 17 companies involved in the precision farming industry, including big players, like AGCO Corporation, Ag Leader Technology, Monsanto, Deere & Company, and Lindsay. The market of is fairly fragmented with the presence of several local and regional players. The market of precision farming is still an emerging market, however, brand loyalty in certain segments is reportedly good. Farm machinery and service support are the two major segments that have brand loyalty.

Underated Garium Sulphate

The Underated garium sulphate!

Over the years I have heard a lot of people condemn the intake of soaked Garri (also known as Garium Sulphate, cassava flakes) and have reduced it to a poor man’s meal. Take your time to read through this article, you will understand the nutritional benefits of taking soaked Garri as a normal meal.

Garri is a popular West African food made from cassava tuber. The soaked garri is a popular fast food for majority of people in Nigeria. Moreover, it could simply be taken as regular flakes and mostly taken when the weather is hot (in the afternoon or at night).

Best ways to soak garri

Garri is basically associated to poor people because it’s sold very cheap (measured in cups), easy to prepare and can be prepared with nothing but only water. Therefore, those that can’t afford a decent meal would rather go for it. Hey! That’s for poor people, left to me garri is for rich dudes but have been abused by the poor. I have met a lot of rich people who really enjoy taking garri as a meal. An average Nigerian in one way or the other must have taken garri. I was amazed when T-boss (from Big Brother Naija, BBN) opened her mouth to say she had never taken garri. I don’t really want to talk about that now.

Nevertheless, there are special ways of preparing your lovely soaked cassava flakes. This is how a normal garri looks like without adding anything:

Things you need to prepare it:

a. Cassava flakes
b. Water
c. Cubes of sugar
d. Groundnuts or kuli kuli
e. A tin of milk
f. Ice blocks or cold water
g. Fried/grilled fish or Pkomo (also known as Canda)
h. Coconut

Adding these things properly together makes up a decent soaked garium sulphate and can cost about N700, which is far above an average Nigerian’s meal. Moreover, there are nutritional benefits of soaked garri. Garium sulphate is rich in fiber, magnesium, Vitamin A (for yellow cassava) and copper. This directly implies that garri made from yellow cassava can improve your eye sight and when taken according to my prescription above will give you a balanced diet. Therefore you have no worries, because a plate of soaked garri can make your day (especially if your day was hectic).

Be proud of Africa and its wonderful heritage. I love My Africa!

What’s So Great About Water?

It’s the ONE Element that doesn’t get the credit it deserves! Dive in for some amazing facts about this low-calorie libation…

If you count yourself among the health-conscious, you probably put in some exercise every day. Perhaps you also live on ‘health foods’, avoid smoking and never forget to brush your teeth. Top marks to you. But wait! Is there something that may be missing from your healthy routine? Do you remember to drink enough water?

Far too many of us don’t. In doing so, we unwittingly forego the wide-ranging benefits of one of the cheapest and most accessible aids to good health. Because water – just plain water – is what helps our bodies tick along smoothly, keeps our systems going and even relieves minor ailments.

Everybody knows that, without water, we’d die of thirst. But not many realize that water does much more than wet a dry mouth! That’s why we need around two to three liters (8-10 glasses) of fluid everyday. If you are currently getting by on a few sips here and there, you might wonder why such hefty amounts are needed. Here are some answers to some questions you might want to ask.

Q #1: I don’t feel very thirsty – why must I drink plenty of water?

Because water does more than quench your thirst. It works inside your body on a minute-to-minute basis. Water has a role to play in every vital function of the body.

We may be in the jet-age, but inside our body everything still works on “water-transport”! Vital supplies of food, oxygen and infection-fighting cells flow around the body through the blood, which is 83% water. Digesting food and absorbing it needs some water too, because digestive juices work better in a semi-fluid environment. Even breathing in and out needs moisture. In fact, it is possible to use up the equivalent of two glassfuls of water a day, just exhaling!

Again, many of the body ‘s waste products can be thrown out only if they are well-dissolved in water (as sweat and urine). If there is insufficient water to carry out this function, the body may retain toxins and end up being poisoned by its own waste products! Sounds far-fetched? Small proofs of this are not difficult to find. Forget to drink enough water and you may soon be suffering from constipation!

Water, when it leaves the body as sweat, is what keeps our body temperature constant even on the hottest summer day. Our body operates on delicate chemistry and it is water that maintains the internal balance. When every bodily process is using up water, imagine how vital it is to replace used-up fluids. A stray glassful can hardly do the job!

Q #2: Can’t we depend on our body to demand enough water, according to its needs?

By and large, YES. Thirst is the body’s signal that the system is “running dry”. But natural signals would be wholly dependable only if we led a wholly natural life! The farm labourer drinks water by the jugful, because he works up a powerful thirst that is hard to ignore. The average city worker, on the other hand, ends up drinking far too little water, often less than he should. The reasons are many: Sedentary work, especially in an air-conditioned room, produces only a mild thirst that is easily ignored. Fear of water-borne diseases prevents city-dwellers from drinking water away from home. People are equally finicky about using public toilets. So they play it safe by drinking as little water as possible!

And then there are umpteen myths about the “ill-effects” of drinking water. Here are some that we’ve heard – do you believe in any of them? Frequent drinking of water causes a sore throat… Cold water makes people fat… Water interferes with digestion… Drinking water aggravates a case of vomiting and diarrhoea… People with coughs and colds should avoid drinking water… Drinking water before exercise gives you cramps in the stomach…

These beliefs have no scientific basis and some of them can prove downright dangerous, say doctors. With so many misconceptions floating around, it is not surprising that the thirst signal often goes unanswered, or only nominally satisfied. A few sips of water will take the edge off your thirst, but that little amount cannot meet your needs.

Q #3: What happens if you don’t drink enough water?

If you drink sufficient water occasionally, your body adjusts: it secretes less urine and otherwise manages to function normally. But those who habitually drink too little water may develop problems. Healthy kidneys keep the body’s water at a safe level, but operating with insufficient fluid puts them under a strain. When You drink insufficient water, that fluid is used up for vital functions, leaving little for other processes. For example, hydration of the skin or digestion may be hampered, resulting in problems like dry-looking skin or constipation.

A certain amount of water should pass through the kidneys every day, otherwise bacteria which should be flushed out of the kidneys, bladder and urethra will lodge there. This give rise to urinary tract infections, with symptoms of burning while urinating, backache and so on.

Certain common drugs (including painkillers and anti-inflammatory drugs) leave behind a residue in the kidneys, which must be washed out with plenty of water so that it does not accumulate and damage kidney tissue.

Insufficient water can also cause kidney stones in those predisposed to them. Regularly drinking plenty of water actually helps prevent kidney stones and infections. Provided the water is clean, of course.

In athletes and sportsperson, low fluid intake can contribute to muscle fatigue and poor performance. A lot of water is lost when you play and exercise. Interestingly enough, strenuous exercise temporarily depress your thirst, when in fact you should be replacing all that lost fluid!

So what it boils down to is simply this: While our body can ‘get by’ on insufficient water, it does no good to push it too hard!

Q #4: We consume so many other fluids… don’t they count?

Yes, they do. All the tea, coffee, juices, soups, milk, etc. that we drink do contribute to our fluid intake. And that’s precisely how most of us get by without actually drinking the large amounts of water we need. We derive some water even from solid food, especially fruits and vegetables. For example, Green beans are 89% water and lettuce 95% water! Incidentally even the adult human body holds 35 to 50 liters of water.

Q #5: Of other fluids do count, why is it important to drink plain water?

Water is not entirely replaceable, and has its own advantages. Unlike soft drinks, which are often used to quench thirst, plain water has no artificial colours, flavours or preservatives. (You don’t have to worry about BVO (Brominated Vegetable Oil), for instance!). Unlike, coffee or tea, it has no caffeine and no sugar to damage your teeth. And, compared to alcoholic drinks… well, water is guaranteed not to make a monster out of you! Before or after sport or exercise, water is the best drink to have. Very sweet drinks, which are considered energy-giving can draw out water from your muscles into the intestinal tract (instead of it being the other way round), causing internal dehydration which can result in cramps during exercise. Even for non-athletes, plain water is the best thirst-quencher. Why make your body handle all those extra substances when water serves the purpose?

Of course, when little solid food is being consumed (as during illness), other beverages are preferable because they can provide nutrition as well as fluid. But if you’re in normal health, drink as much as you like – it’s zero-fat and calorie-free!

Q #6: How much water does one need?

Needs vary, depending on your size, diet, activity and the climate you live in. In the hot climate, much water is lost through perspiration. And even more is lost by a person who has fever (due to faster breathing, sweating) and also by a person with vomiting and diarrhoea. A 60-kg, moderately active man would need about 10 glasses of fluid a day, ideally much of it water. Slightly more or less is okay. The colour of urine is good indicator – dark-coloured urine suggests that you may need more water. While this casual check is good enough for most, there are also categories of people for whom it is vital to consume plenty of water. This group includes those who have chronic chest congestion – smokers with emphysema, for instance, would benefit from keeping their system well-hydrated.

On the other hand, there are those who may be asked by their doctor not to drink too much water. A person with renal failure, congestive heart failure and some cases of liver failure may not be permitted to overload their system with water. This is either because the kidneys are not eliminating water efficiently or because the heart is not strong enough to pump too much fluid.

Q #7: Water and overweight… is there a connection?

It has become fashionable (among a certain set) to say, “I look fat only because I retain water.” If the body retains excess water instead of eliminating it through the kidneys (as do some women due to hormonal ups and downs), the person may feel slightly bloated and the scales may even show a slight gain in weight. But usually this is small and temporary. Water retention is not responsible for actual fat. So, trying to achieve weight loss via water loss is not desirable, not safe and not permanent An obese person may quickly lose one or two kilos of “water weight” by profusely sweating in a steam-bath or through violent exercise. Or diuretic drugs may step up kidney function and cause a rapid loss of water. Such drastic attempts might be useful only to jockeys and wrestlers who must show a certain weight at the time of weighting-in. But as a method of weight-control, they are worse than useless. The little weight lost by such methods come back as soon as you take in fluids. Athlete or not, trying to dehydrate the body is dangerous. To control water retention and its effects, it is better to cut down salt intake rather than water intake.

Important Facts:

  • The human body can go 5 weeks without food.
  • The human body can go without water for 5 days.
  • The kidneys use 5 glasses of water daily.
  • The human body loses 10 glasses of water daily.

 

Five New Ways To Aged Balsamic Vinegar

The culinary world is one fraught with pitfalls due in part to the ever-changing palate of the public. Moreover, it is the same public that also tends to be swayed by a pendulum of sorts when it comes to food trends, and right now, one of the most interesting trends is the rise of aged balsamic vinegar.

In passing, it is featured in quick cooking segments on television, and on occasion, it earns a little press because it is different than some traditional food flavorings. However, if you talk to true aficionados of aged balsamic vinegar, one begins to understand how many of our popular opinions about this product are simply misconceptions.

Aged balsamic vinegar is not acrid or bitter (the word ‘vinegar’ makes most people salivate immediately to help cleanse their palate). It is sweet & sumptuous, and it elevates foods to new levels of deliciousness. The process of making aged balsamic vinegar is labor-intensive & requires great attention to everything from choosing the right ingredients to how it is aged. In many respects, it’s best to think of it being very similar to the production and aging of a fine wine. But where wine can be paired with a meal to make it complete, good aged balsamic vinegar can transform a meal.

For those who are just now stepping into this exotic world of flavor, you may be wondering how best to use this elixir. Rather than scour the internet looking for just the right application, here are five new, unique ways to use this beautiful product:

Reductions – Chefs know that when you want to ‘amp’ up the flavor of a liquid, you can reduce it over heat so that it concentrates all of the flavor notes. This reduction all creates an even greater syrupy consistency.

Marinades – Adding a touch of aged balsamic can make a traditional marinade for any meat or fish have depth & complexity.

Palate Enhancement – Because of its high quality & specific flavor notes, even an aperitif/digestif approach is quite doable.

Soda Alternative – Combining a shot of aged balsamic with some soda water makes for a very unique alternative to soda or pop.

Desserts – Since you’re buying a top-quality product already, pair your aged balsamic with some top-tier vanilla ice cream. It’s a simple dessert that will pack a massive punch in flavor for you & your guests.

Now, it must be noted that foodies the world over will tell you that using true aged balsamic vinegar in any format where the flavor is either being cooked down, out, or amplified is akin to blasphemy. In their minds, there was no reason to improve on the flavor because the process, with a history dating back at least 1,000 years, has been perfected to impart all you need in terms of flavor. But when you’ve got such a great weapon in your culinary arsenal, why wouldn’t you want to shake things up a bit to get the most out of it?