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Beware of Raw Food Dangers

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Beware of Raw Food Dangers

I don’t mean to be a spoil sport and rain on anyone’s parade.  I know a lot of people are watching their weight and would like to eat healthy. The first healthy food that comes to mind is salads.  My favourite too.  But I would still like to sound an alarm bell.  Although what I am about to narrate might not sound like a very typical case, the fact that it happened is enough to show us what unexpected turns simple problems may take. 

A friend went on a diet a few years ago – a predominantly salad diet.  One day at work he was suddenly unable to speak.  He had a brain scan and it showed a parasitic cyst in the brain (called neurocysticercosis – normally caused by consumption of pork occurs in vegetarians too.  This friend is a strict vegetarian).  He was in his late 30s at that time.  He was put on steroids to bring down the inflammation in the brain.  He got better and was back at work.  But the happy state of affairs lasted only for a while.  Soon he developed severe pain in the hip and found it hard to do anything.  He had developed avascular necrosis in his hip joint, which was caused due to the excessive steroids.  The joint continued to deteriorate.  The only solution  was a hip replacement.  However, the solution comes with its own problems.  Even when a hip is replaced, it might need a re-replacement within another 10-15 years.  This friend being young, they wanted to postpone that event further.  So he was advised to pull on and manage as long as he could.  It was tough.  When eventually he could not manage any more, he had a surgery.  Followed by post-surgery complications.  He is now recovering, but it takes very long to recover from problems of the musculo-skeletal system.  He does not have the luxury of going off work either, for obvious reasons.

Neurocysticercosis is not an uncommon ailment, although the fallout in the above case may sound a bit extreme.  Our very own Leander Paes suffered from it a while ago. http://www.indianexpress.com/oldStory/30374/

The long and the short of the story is that unless salads are washed very well, there are two raw food dangers that we face.  The first one is of parasitic infections which could manifest in many ways, the above one being an extreme case.  The second risk is posed by the various chemical fertilizers which are used, which unless washed off can harm us in unimaginable ways.

There are many simple ways to avoid this risk:

  • Wash the salad vegetables very well before use. 
  • Using potassium permanganate or Medichlor (trade name) in the water in the recommended proportion is advisable, especially in the rainy season. 
  • Dip the vegetables in boiling water with salt in it.  Or even steam the vegetables lightly.
  • Do not eat salads or any raw food in restaurants.  You can never be too sure of the water used to wash them (if they have been washed in the first place).  The hygiene of the food handlers is another source of concern. 

With simple solutions like these, one should be reasonably safe to carry on with one’s diet.

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Monday, September 22nd, 2014
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Monday, September 22nd, 2014

Sometimes your emotions overtake your rational thoughts, and you end up acting on impulse. Today you’ll find that your head and heart are aligned on significant issues, and that they’re working well together. Try not to swing the other way by becoming too rational. Your goal is to find the best working balance.

The cosmic energy encourages you to unleash your inner rebel. You can now show your true colors to the world. There is nothing wrong with being original. Singles can flirt shamelessly with the object of their fantasies. A wonderful playfulness in the air encourages having fun with children or pets.

This is a lucky day for you! It supports long-term plans and the courage to make big changes. If you feel particularly passionate about a project or cause, this is the time to move mountains. People feel inspired in your presence. Social networking will help you reach your goals.

Today you might be rewarded with a promotion for your hard work. Now is the time for you to pull up your socks and work towards enhancing your career prospects. Keep your long-term interests in mind and don’t worry even if you are not monetary benefited for now. Your new position would give you ample opportunities to gain unlimited success in your field of activity.

Your style sense and artistic eye can be used to improve your look or help someone feel better about himself. Resist the temptation to be overly generous. A conservative approach is best. The energy today will support any sort of negotiations. Make a list to stay organized. Don’t forget simple errands.

There is some probability that you’ll want to escape from reality today. You aren’t anxious to face a situation that demands that you commit yourself. Is this because you’re afraid that you lack the ability to assume this new responsibility? This is an honest-to-goodness chance to fulfill your dreams of success. There can be no question of evading it! Get busy!

Prepare for a surprise today. Perhaps it will come from someone else or perhaps it will come from you. Either way, by evening you’re apt to be feeling quite lovey-dovey and rather spaced out. Give in to the lethargic attitude that might sweep over you. This is your time to play, so put work aside and have a good time while letting your emotions dictate your actions.

Today is a day you should think about having a lot of fun! Call your friends and plan a fun group activity and try to forget all your work tension today. Just make sure to not make any hasty purchases in your joyous mood since you may regret them later.

A contract of some kind, perhaps involving the home, might need some careful consideration today. You could find it a little difficult to understand, as it could be full of fine print and legalese. Don’t be afraid to ask someone with a little more savvy to explain what you’re trying to read. It’s important that you know all the ins and outs before signing anything, for your own peace of mind, if nothing else.

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