Author: Ashish Kataria

Ashish Kataria is a B.Sc. Agriculture, M.B.A. Agribusiness graduate. At present doing business of Organic Foods In Indore (M.P.)
Health benefits of Canola Oil

Health benefits of Canola Oil

canola

There’s a secret weapon in many kitchens today: canola oil. It’s the healthiest, most versatile and cost-effective cooking oil available. With its beneficial fat profile, neutral taste, light texture and high heat tolerance, canola oil is ideal for everyday use in just about any culinary application — from salad dressings, sauces and marinades to baking, sautéing and deep-frying. Plus, canola oil enhances the natural flavors of foods from all over the world.

A Heart-Healthy Choice

Canola oil has the least saturated fat of any culinary oil — half that of olive oil — and is free of trans fat and cholesterol. In fact, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration authorized a qualified health claim* for canola oil on its potential to reduce the risk of heart disease. About 1.5 tablespoons a day may keep the cardiologist away …for just pennies per serving. Canola oil also has the most omega-3 fat of any cooking oil and is a good source of vitamin E.

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In keeping with the dietary recommendations of health authorities, canola oil is:

  • Free of trans fat and cholesterol: Trans fat increases the risk of heart disease in two ways: it raises “bad” LDL cholesterol and lowers “good” HDL cholesterol.
  • Low in saturated fat: Saturated fat has also been linked to increased risk of heart disease by increasing bad LDL cholesterol.
  • High in monounsaturated fat: Monounsaturated fat may help reduce the risk of heart disease by lowering bad LDL cholesterol and controlling blood sugar.
  • High in omega-3 fat: Alpha-linolenic acid (omega-3) must be consumed because the body cannot make it on its own. Omega-3 fat is anti-inflammatory and may help protect against heart attacks and strokes.
  • A source of omega-6 fat: Linoleic acid (omega-6) is also essential in the diet because the body cannot produce it. Omega-6 fat is essential for human growth and development as well as for skin health.

Remember, not all fats are created equally! The type of fat matters as much as the amount.

Low Profile, High Impact

Canola oil’s low saturated fat content benefits culinary applications as well. It remains free-flowing in the refrigerator, so vinaigrettes, marinades and salad dressings can be poured right out of the fridge. With its neutral taste, canola oil lets herbs, seasonings and food flavors shine. It’s like a supporting actor that makes a dish become a star. And canola oil will never upstage other ingredients. It’s ideal for showcasing fresh produce, herbs and spices and makes the perfect base for flavored oils.

Stable at high temperatures:

Canola is very stable oil that doesn’t break down at high temperatures, so it’s ideal for sautéing, stir-frying, deep-frying and other high-heat applications. Its smoke point — the temperature at which it begins to smoke and degrade — is one of the highest of all cooking oils at 468 °F (242 °C). That’s well above ideal deep-frying temperatures (365-375 °F or 185-190 °C).

Use in baking:

Canola oil adds to the delicious nature of baked goods by providing them with a moist, soft texture with no cholesterol and little saturated fat. Replacing solid fats like butter or lard with canola oil allows for a reduction in both total and saturated fat. In fact, total fat can drop by up to 25 percent, sparing calories without sacrificing goodness. The baking substitution chart shows how to use canola oil in cakes, muffins, brownies, pie crusts and other baking recipes* that call for solid fat. Also, try using canola oil instead of shortening or butter to grease baking pans.

Canola’s Basics

  • Canola plants grow from three to five feet tall and produce beautiful small, yellow flowers. The plants produce pods from which seeds are harvested.
  • Canola oil comes from the crushed seeds of canola plants. These seeds contain about 44% oil — double the oil content of soybeans. This large percentage of oil comes in a small package; canola seeds are tiny and resemble poppy seeds, though they are brownish-black in color.
  • Part of the Brassica family, the canola plant is related to cabbage, broccoli, Brussels sprouts and mustard. Like these plants, canola is a crucifer — so called because its small, yellow flowers have the shape of a cross.
  • Canada — primarily the prairie provinces of Saskatchewan, Alberta and Manitoba — is the world’s top exporter of canola and one of its top producers.
  • Although they look similar, canola and rapeseed plants and oils are very different. Canadian researchers used traditional plant breeding to eliminate the undesirable components of rapeseed and created “canola,” a contraction of “Canadian” and “ola.”

Canola Oil is available in various outlets of different cities:

In Indore it is available at:

Organic Sansar

MSB IIB 105, New Siyaganj,

Indore – 452007

Limited and not conclusive scientific evidence suggests that eating about 1½ tablespoons (19 grams) of canola oil daily may reduce the risk of coronary heart disease due to the unsaturated fat content in canola oil. To achieve this possible benefit, canola oil is to replace a similar amount of saturated fat and not increase the total number of calories you eat in a day. – U.S. Food and Drug Administration.

Celebrate Holi Organically

Celebrate Holi Organically

HoliThe colorful festival of Holi is celebrated on Phalgun Purnima which comes in February end or early March. Holi festival has an ancient origin and celebrates the triumph of ‘good’ over ‘bad’. The colorful festival bridges the social gap and renews sweet relationships. On this day, people hug and wish each other ‘Happy Holi’.
But unfortunately, in modern times Holi does not stand for all things beautiful. Like various other festivals, Holi too has become ruthlessly commercialized, boisterous and yet another source of environmental degradation. To de-pollute Holi and make it in sync with nature, as it is supposed to be, several social and environmental groups are proposing a return to more organic ways of celebrating Holi.
The aim of this articles is to generate awareness amongst people about the various harmful effects around Holi celebrations and encourage people to celebrate an eco friendly Holi Organically!

Please read on to know about the three main environmental concerns around Holi –

A.    Harmful Effects of Chemical Colours

B.    The Holi Bonfire

C.   Watery Holi

A. Harmful Effects of Chemical Colours: In earlier times when festival celebrations were not so much commercialized Holi colors were prepared from the flowers of trees that blossomed during spring, such as the Indian Coral Tree (parijat) and the Flame of the Forest (Tesu), both of which have bright red flowers. These and several other blossoms provided the raw material from which the brilliant shades of Holi colors were made. Most of these trees also had medicinal properties and Holi colors prepared from them were actually beneficial to the skin.

Over the years, with the disappearance of trees in urban areas and greater stress for higher profits these organic colors came to be replaced by industrial dyes manufactured through chemical processes.

Around in 2001, two Delhi based environmental groups called Toxics Link and Vatavaran, did a study on all the three available categories of colors available in the market – pastes, dry colors and water colors. The study revealed that all of these three forms of chemical Holi colors are hazardous.

a) Harmful Chemicals in Holi Paste type colors

According to their researched fact sheet on Holi, the pastes contain very toxic chemicals that can have severe health effects. Please check the table below to know about the chemical used in various Holi colors and their harmful effects on human body.

ColorChemicalHealth Effects
BlackLead oxideRenal Failure
GreenCopper SulphateEye Allergy, Puffiness and temporary blindness
SilverAluminium BromideCarcinogenic
BluePrussian BlueContract Dermatitis
RedMercury SulphiteHighly toxic can cause skin cancer

(Source: Vatavaran)

b) Harmful Chemicals in Gulal
The dry colors, commonly known as gulals, have two components – a colourant that is toxic and a base which could be either asbestos or silica, both of which cause health problems. Heavy metals contained in the colourants can cause asthma, skin diseases and adversely affect the eyes.

c) Harms of  Wet Holi Colors
Wet colors, mostly use Gentian violet as a colour concentrate which can cause skin dis-colouration and dermatitis.

These days, Holi colors are sold loosely, on the roads, by small traders who often do not know the source. Sometimes, the colors come in boxes that specifically say ‘For industrial use only’. These colors can have an adverse effect and can cause several skin related problems.

Ways to Combat harmful effects Make your own Holi colors

 

i) Make Organic Colors in our Homes:

Holi festival lovers will be glad to know that it is possible to make simple organic colors in one’s own kitchen. Here are some very simple recipes to make organic colors:

ColorMethod of Preparation
Yellow1) Mix turmeric (haldi) powder with chick pea flour (besan)
2) Boil Marigold or Tesu flowers in water
Yellow liquid colorSoak peels of pomegranate (Anar) overnight.
Deep PinkSlice a beetroot and soak in water
Orange – red pasteHenna leaves (mehndi) can be dried, powdered and mixed with water.

ii) Purchase Organic Holi Colors
For those who do not have the time to make their own colors, there is the choice of buying organic Holi colors. Several groups are now producing and promoting such colours, although it is important to verify the ingredients of the colors and ensure you know enough about the source.
In Indore Organic Sansar, M.S.B. IIB, 105, New Siyaganj, Ph. No. 0731-2530220 is promoting such colors.

B. The Holi Bonfire:
The burning of fuel wood to create the bonfire for Holika Dahan presents another serious environmental problem. According to the facts of various studies done reveal that each bonfire uses around 100 kg of wood, and considering that approximately 30,000 bonfires are lit in the state just for one season, this leads to wastage of a staggering amount of wood.

Various Groups are now advocating one symbolic community fire, rather than several smaller bonfires across the city as a way to reduce wood consumption. Others are also suggesting that these fires be lit using waste material rather than wood.

C. Watery Holi:
In the current situation, when most cities in India are facing acute water scarcity, the wasteful use of water during Holi, is also being questioned. It is common for people to douse each other with buckets of water during Holi, and children often resort to throwing water balloons at each other. The idea of a dry Holi seems alien at first, especially as the climate becomes warmer around Holi, and the water provides welcome relief from the heat. However, considering that in some urban areas, citizens can go without water for several days, it seems wasteful to use so much water simply for a celebration.

Environmental Consciousness amongst People

The awareness about the environmental impacts of celebrating Holi is being brought to light by various NGOs. And gradually, more and more Indians are choosing to turn to a more organic and less wasteful way of playing Holi.

ORGANIC FOOD –Is Good, Does Good and Tastes Good

ORGANIC FOOD –Is Good, Does Good and Tastes Good

organicFarming practices used before the 1900’s are classed as organic. It was only after this that added chemicals such as urea and DDT were brought into farming – previous to this, farmers didn’t have the knowledge and simply put, were happy enough with things as they were; as most of us today would be. After all, home grown food is often the nicest, most tasty food we put on our plates.

For some reason, during the 1960’s and 1970’s the concept of organic food became a separate entity to the ‘normal’ food we were then buying. Consumers had been effectively duped into believing that what they were buying, was food as nature intended, it not appreciating that the chemicals which were added during growth of the ‘normal stuff’ were what actually made the food abnormal in the first place.

The importance of healthy food is unaltered and is extremely beneficial for people of all ages. Health enthusiasts feel the importance of Satvik Bhojan. Going Satvik, is in a sense, going back in time. A time when the cultivated product you ate came from soil replenished with healthy manure and mulch and an Organic food is an attempt to give to the body a food that is wholesome while pleasing to the senses.

Organic foods are those foods that are grown, processed and packaged without using chemicals. Organic cultivation uses organic seeds, organic fertilizers, compost, organic root stimulators, and organic pest control methods.

Some of the advantages of organic food are:

  • Safer as free from pesticides and chemical additives or preservatives.
  • Considered to be safest for children and pregnant ladies.
  • More nutritious as Organic food is rich in minerals, vitamins and fibers.
  • It Tastes Good
  • Safe for farmers
  • Good for nature

Organic food covers a wide range of our daily food needs. It includes food items like cereals, pulses, spices, sugar, salt, cooking medium (oil), ready to eat, ready to cook etc.

`Let healthy food be your medicine rather than medicine be your food!’

Hippocrates-Father of Medicine

The term Organic differs from commonly used terms like Natural, Local, Sustainable, Green etc. as only organic produce is certified by approved certification agencies.

Every farmer, who wants to be an organic producer, first of all registers his farm and production, with some accredited certification agency. Organic food are inspected and certified by these different accredited certification agencies at every step from production to packaging and hence assuring a safe food to customers. Every Nation implements their own National Standards for Organic Products. On the basis of compliance with their National Standards for Organic Production, a trademark, a logo is granted which is displayed on each and every product thus certifying it to be an Organic Product. Here are some of the trademarks to look for on the products you wish to purchase: INDIA-NPOP, India Organic, ECOCERT, USDA Organic, APEDA etc.

Organic foods have been accepted due to their apparent health benefits over chemically grown food as studies and researches have shown that chemicals have a lethal impact on farming and life. The residues of some toxic chemicals in food stuff may lead carcinogenic, mutagenic, neuropathy, nephropathy, reproductive disorders etc.

This awareness on healthy food habits is growing so as the demand. The Organic foods are selling like hot cakes in Urban India. They are now been made available in all major stores of different cities and people prefer to have it over conventional food no matter if they have to pay 20 to 30 per cent more as compared to conventionally grown foods. The pricing includes the cost of consultancy for cultivation, cultivation practices, organic seeds, manure, packaging, labeling, inspection, certification, branding, marketing etc. However, remember that these can disappear when supply increases, especially in those countries with policies to encourage organic farming.

Compared to conventional foodstuff, Organic food is more perishable as it doesn’t use pesticides or preservatives, so for customers it is suggestible to buy in small quantities and replenish stock regularly.

Health foods cannot change a family history of diseases related to diabetes, heart and liver. They do not guarantee a disease-free life, but can definitely help combat diseases.

Where to buy Organic food?

INDORE

• Organic Sansar: MSB-IIB-105, New Siyaganj, Tel: 9993519656, 9993440363, (0731)-2530220

BANGALORE

• 24 Letter Mantra: Golden Residency, 79/7, Belandur, Outer Ring Road, Tel: 41486611, 41486622; Shop No. 3, Amenity Block, Adarsh Palm Meadows, Ramagondanahalli, Marathahalli, Tel: 25395206

• Green Channel: 20/1, Ali Asker Road (off Cunningham Road), Tel: 41235739

• Khandige: 68/1, Jaraganahalli, Near Sarakki Gate, Kanakpura Main Road, Tel: 26714599

• Namdhari’s: 821, Kusal Arcade, 20th Main, 80ft Road, Opposite National Games Village, Koramangala, Tel: 51103777, 51103778

• Sahaja Samruddha: No. 7, 2nd Cross, 7th Main, Sultanpalya, RT Nagar, Tel: 23650744

DELHI

• Navdanya: In Dilli Haat and A-60 Hauz Khas, Tel: 26532561, 26532124, 26532460

• Fabindia Overseas Pvt. Ltd: Central Hall, Khan Market and other Fabindia outlets, Tel: 41757142/43/44

• Khadi Gramodyog: Lok Nayak Bhawan, near Khan Market

• Whole Foods store: Community Centre, New Friends Colony

• Dubden Green: 4-A, Shahpur Jat, Tel: 32905310, 9810131343

• Many local grocery stores in Delhi also increasingly store organic foods. For instance, some of the In and Out stores attached to Bharat Petroleum petrol pumps have an organic food section. So does Malik Stores and Taste in Defence Colony Market.

MUMBAI

• Godrej Nature’s Basket: Hiranandani Garden, BG House, Powai, Tel: 25707706

• Foodland Fresh: 1, Mermaid Building, Nr JW Marriott, Juhu, Juhu Tara Road, Tel: 26184402

• Magna Nutrition: 143, Sassoon Building, 3rd Floor, Kala Ghoda, Fort, MG Road, Tel: 66237834, 22671763, 22670512

• The Health Shop:1/B, Doctor House, Ground floor, opposite Jaslok Hospital, Kemps Corner, 14, Peddar Road, Tel: 23523503, 23524122

• Uday Organics: 2 Bajaj Wadi, Santacruz (W), Station Road, Tel: 32932611

• Good Food Company: Ground floor, Super Processor Compound, Lalbaug Industrial Estate, Parel, Tel: 24713050

• Fabindia: 137, Jeroo Building, Kalaghoda, Fort, MG Road, Tel: 22626539, 22626540