Is there anything that people can do to save the planet?

We depend on nature for everything from air, water, food and shelter to sources of energy to run our factories and businesses. So, conserving nature and preserving its biodiversity must be our priority. Here are ten simple tips to do your bit for the planet.

1. Plant trees

Trees are carbon sequesters and increasing the tree cover is perhaps one of the easiest ways to conserve nature. A tree can absorb approximately 25kg of CO2 per year. So, plant a tree to mark this day. Make it a tradition to plant a tree during prominent or celebratory occasions of your life. It can be your birthday or when you finish your academic year or any moment you feel is worth celebrating. If you do not have enough space in your home, see if you can adopt your friend's yard or make use of the space managed by your area's residents' association. Where you do it, make sure that the plant is taken care of Encourage friends and family to take up the practice as well.

2. Conserve energy

 We derive our energy from nature. Everything that is manmade runs on energy obtained from nature. Quite often, a lot of energy also goes to waste. By changing a few habits you can help save energy at home. These include small actions such as turning off the lights (when not in use or when you can depend on daylight), unplugging appliances when not in use, not charging your phone overnight, turning off your faucet when you aren't using water, taking less time in the shower, reusing waste water in the kitchen gardens and so on. This will help reduce carbon footprint and in turn help in conserving nature. PHOTO: UNSPLASH IMAGES


The 3Rs of "Reduce", "Reuse", "Recycle" is perhaps one of the ultimate mantras for nature conservation. These three small words will help manage waste, save the ecosystem, prevent marine animal casualties and address climate change. The first step is to reduce the waste you generate. This will ensure that less waste ends up in landfills or oceans. Effective waste segregation is the key to this. This helps recover materials for recycling and composting. Reuse articles that you can. And lastly, recycle. This helps prevent soil and water pollution. PHOTO: UNSPLASH IMAGES

4. Use public transport

 One of the major polluters is the global transport sector. It is responsible for approximately one-quarter of greenhouse gas emissions, according to experts. And 95% of the world's transport energy is still obtained from fossil fuels. Personal transportation adds to the probelm, adding to the greenhouse emissions. The easiest way to avoid this is by switching to public transport. If this is not a practical solution every time, you can still choose public transport twice or thrice a week or during specific hours. This, when done on a regular basis, can significantly help reduce carbon emissions. Alternately, switching to green modes of travel such as a bicycle can help prevent your carbon footprint.

5. Stop using single-use plastics and disposables

 Single-use plastics and disposable cups and utensils have infiltrated our day-to-day life and upended it. Those disposable grocery bags and disposable utensils you use eventually ends up on the earth, polluting our soil. oceans, and marine life. These disposables can easily be replaced with environmentally responsible counterparts. Make a commitment to take out at least one disposable article from your lifestyle. Perhaps. carry a cloth bag to the supermarket instead of asking them for a plastic one. Maybe switch out your lunch box for one made of metal. This can be a good start. And slowly you can make a lifestyle switch by eschewing other disposables. PHOTO: UNSPLASH IMAGES

6. Eat less meat

It is estimated that 80% of forest loss is caused by the conversion of forest land to agricultural land. It leads to habitat destruction and loss of our green cover. Eating less meat can help prevent this and preserve biodiversity and the ecosystem. Since we all have our food preferences, it may not be easy to switch to vegetarianism or veganism. But you can be more aware and mindful of the food on your plate and choose to eat less meat. For instance. you can limit meat consumption to one or two days a week or reduce the number of meals with meat. PHOTO: UNSPLASH IMAGES

7. Use windows and not AC

 Our world is heating up and the surging heat has made us all dependent on air conditioning, the demand for which is increasing by the day. Did you know that air conditioners are also a contributor to the climate crisis? They consume more electricity than any other appliance in your home and consume about 10% of global electricity (along with electric fans). So next time, when possible, open the windows and let the cool breeze in.

8. Explore thrifting

 Fast fashion is one of the greatest threats to the environment. Did you know that it takes about 2,700 litres of water to make just one t-shirt. Or that a pair of jeans requires 7,600 litres of water? With a consumer base that updates its wardrobe according to trends in the fashion industry, the damage to the planet has been exponential. This trend depletes natural resources and harms the planet. This is where thrift shopping comes in. Anyone who has had an older sibling would be no stranger to using their toys, books, or school paraphernalia, thus giving the article a fresh lease of life. This is the concept of thrift shopping. It means using hand-me-downs or second-hand articles. It applies to all forms of merchandise such as clothes, games, toys, shoes, books, appliances, furniture, and so on. It's time to break the cycle of single-use apparel or appliances and shop at thrift stores. Also, remember to let your friends and family know you are using a thrifted article and the positive impact your move has on nature's conservation.

9. Embrace minimalism

 Minimalism is a lifestyle choice where you make mindful, deliberate choices of buying only what you truly need. As such you make do with less and avoid overconsumption, which is one of the major contributors to the exploitation and depletion of natural resources. By consuming only what's essential for your living, your ecological footprint gets reduced. Thereby, the individual environmental impact is limited. Replace consumerism with eco-minimalism. PHOTO: UNSPLASH IMAGES

10. Spend time volunteering

 One way to help conserve nature is to help organisations that are working in the field directly. You can do this by volunteering your time and services at non-profit environmental organisations. These organisations run on donations and they are always on the lookout for people who can help them. Here you may get to actively participate in the community and work on projects aimed at conserving nature and get on-field experience.

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Is a vegan the same as a vegetarian?

Veganism is a more austere form of vegetarianism. A vegetarian sticks to a plant-based diet and abstains from eating meat. A vegan goes a step further and excludes all animal products from his diet, including eggs, dairy products, honey, gelatin, lard, etc

Soybeans in the form of soy milk and tofu constitute the staple diet of vegans they are considered a complete protein. Cow's milk is substituted by coconut or almond milk. Vegans also consume nuts, grains and pulses.

The term vegan was coined in 1944 by Donald Watson when he co-founded the Vegan Society in England. He intended the word to represent the 'the beginning and end of vegetarian'.

Ethical vegans extend the philosophy to their daily lives avoiding any form of animal products for any other purpose. Veganism became popular in the 2000s as vegan food became more easily available in supermarkets.

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When food waste piles up, who are you gonna call?

Food is one of the biggest components of garbage produced by humans. Decomposing food emits methane, a gas that contributes hugely to global warming.

One might think that food thrown away by people can be fed to livestock. However, it is shunned by farmers, because it was found to cause infection in animals.

China has found a solution. Cockroach farms! Before you go "Ugh!" consider this: almost a billion cockroaches live in a plant run by Shandong Qiaobin Agricultural Technology Company in Jinan. They munch their way through 45 metric tons of food scraps in a day, waste that would otherwise have gone to a landfill.
Food collected from restaurants is cleaned of stray plastic, glass or metal pieces and ground into a mushy paste. The paste is piped into the cockroaches living quarters, which are kept dark, damp and warm. The insects flourish on the perpetual garbage buffet.

Dead roaches, a good source of protein, are crushed into food for farm animals such as pigs. Dried roach powder is also widely used in Chinese medicine, in skin creams to treat bums and to cure gastric problems.

In fact, the biggest farm in China breeds 6 billion adult cockroaches annually. Seven years ago, the farm in Sichuan was vandalised and a million roaches escaped and ran riot in the streets, sending people scurrying for cover. Now you can go "Ugh!"

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What is molecular gastronomy?


Trained chefs can blend science into the art of cooking to create delightful experiences for the taste buds and all the other senses too.

Molecular gastronomy is a modern style of cooking in which chefs use scientific principles and technology to enhance the flavours and alter the textures of food items. The term molecular gastronomy was coined by Hungarian physicist Nicholas Kurti and French chemist Herve in the 1980s. To practise the techniques of molecular gastronomy. chefs have to be specially trained one of the well-known techniques is spherification. It is the process of shaping a liquid such as fruit juice

A DISH TO BE JUDGED BY ITS COVER The packet of nuts in this chutney-soaked savoury is to be eaten along with its plastic wrapper, called 'obulato' in Japanese. The liquid is first mixed with sodium alginate, a chemical. This mixture is then dripped, drop by drop, into a bowl of a cold solution of calcium chloride. Each drop turns into a small ball, called a 'caviar.

When popped into the mouth, these fruit caviars crumble and crackle on the taste buds, delivering an intense mouthfeel. Using liquid nitrogen to freeze dishes instantly is another technique.

Liquid nitrogen has a temperature of -196°C (321°F). When used in ice cream, the mixture freezes very quickly. This reduces the formation of ice crystals, resulting in a creamier ice cream.

Coats and capsules

Special types of foams can also be created with this technique. Traditionally. foams are made with a whisk or an espresso machine (to make coffee froth). But in molecular gastronomy, the substance to be foamed is usually mixed with a stabiliser such as lecithin and then squeezed out through a whipped cream can fitted with a nitrogen oxide capsule. Using this method, chefs can make truffle foam as a topping for a meat dish or pickle foam as a spicy coating for curd rice.

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What is the history of chocolate ?

Chocolate is popular globally and across age groups. No wonder it has its own day! World Chocolate Day is celebrated on July 7 every year to mark the day of its arrival in Europe way back in 1550. Let's take a bite of chocolate's history, its benefits, the flip side, and its social and ecological impact.

Born in the Americas

Every bar of chocolate made is bom from cacao trees whose seeds- cacao or cocoa beans-are a primary ingredient in its preparation. The origin story though takes us to the Americas.  To be specific, Mesoamerica,  spanning southern parts of North America and vot parts of Central America. Scientific evidence dates the use of cacao seeds to over 3,600 year ago by Maya Aztec, Olmec and other ancient civilisations of this region. Cacao was venerated as a gift from god and drinks made from it were used especially during rituals and as energuen and medicine. However, research from a few years ago suggests that the Mayo Chinchipe culture in present-day Ecuador of South America used cocoa beans a good 5.000 years ago-pushing back the date of first use of these seeds by about 1,500 years. While it is contested if Ecuador actually domesticated cacao or if that credit goes to the Maya people, an archaeobotanist settles the argument beautifully saying the Maya turned the consumption of cacao into an art form But back then it was consumed as a bitter beverage, tasting nothing like the solid chocolate we know today. And that transformation happened in Europe

Raised in Europe

Though theories abound on how exactly chocolate entered Europe, it appears to have occurred during the 16th Century and inexplicably tied to Spanish colonisation of the Americas Spanish conquistadors (conquerors) are believed to have brought it to Spain. From Spain, its popularity and demand spread to other parts of the continent, where notoriously slaves were used extensively in cocoa plantations. (By 17th and 18th Centuries, it was available in North America too.) For a few centuries, cocoa continued to be enjoyed as a beverage in Europe, enriched  with milk spices, and flavourings, and invariably among the wealthy.  Gradually, cocoa  reached  the masses, took a powder form-known as Dutch cocoa and easy to mix with water, and inevitably, the solid chocolate bar was born. Today, chocolates are available in every corner of the world and in several unimaginable forms and flavours.


Many studies have been conducted globally to ascertain the benefits of chocolate consumption. Research shows that chocolate can help in brain function, especially in those aged 50 to 70. Dark chocolate consumption has been linked to lower risk of a heart attack. As cocoa helps increase the flow of blood around the brain, it seems to cut down the chances of a stroke too Apart from this, consuming a tiny chocolate square regularly is believed to help lower blood pressure and the chances of succumbing to cardiovascular diseases. Flavanols, substances found in cocoa, boost the body's supply of nitric oxide to help lower blood pressure. Dark chocolate is said to bring down oxidative stress - which causes cell and tissue damage and improves platelet function. Among dark, milk, and white chocolate, studies appear PHOTO: PIXABAY to show that dark chocolate (with less sugar) fares better than the other two.


Since chocolates invariably contain sugar and saturated fat. Unchecked consumption can result in weight gain, putting individuals at risk for cardiovascular diseases. Other concems arising out of chocolate consumption include heartburn, cancer, allergies, and toxic and bacterial contamination during the processing (cacao by itself is not contaminated). Though studies show the benefits of consuming chocolate, recent reports suggest that many such studies could be funded by chocolate manufacturers and hence the findings could be exaggerated or selective in showcasing chocolates in a positive light.

Eco-social impact

While the word chocolate could conjure up happy visuals of this rich and delectable treat for s chocolate lover, its production belies a dark stony Cocoa plantations in West Africa, especially tong Coast and Ghana, are plagued by prevalance of widespread child labour employment, with poor or no wages, and hazardous working conditions. Many reports liken the situation to modern-day slaveny, making chocolates the result of unethical trade practices with little thought for human dignity. On the environmental front since the denund for chocolate is globally high tropical forests are destroyed to make way for cocoa plantations, decimating native wildlife. Not just that since chocolate production also involves ingredients such as milk, sugar, palm oil, etc.. the increased production of these items too affect the environment. As the use of chocolate has crossed, culinary territory to veer into cosmetics and pharmaceutical industries, the demand for it has never been higher Add to this the fairly recent allure of organic and single-origin (grown in a specific region) cacao, the pressure on our environment hasn't been more severe


  • A perfect name? The scientific name of the cacao tree is Theobroma cacao. Coined by Swedish botanist Carolus Linnaeus, it seems fitting because it translates to Drink of the gods, from the Greek words theos (god) and broma (beverage).
  • How versatile! Historic records show that chocolate was used as more than just a drink. It was used as money, face paint, a disguise for poison, and was even fought over!
  • Culinary experiments if you think chilli-flavoured chocolates are a recent (and fancy) invention, think again During festive times, the Aztecs seem to have had a variety of drinking chocolate, with a dash of maize, chilli, aniseed, and even flowers
  • Pods of pleasure Cocoa beans are encased in the fruit of the cacao tree. The fruit is in the form of a fleshy pod, and each pod contains a few dozen beans. The pulpy fruit or the seeds themselves apparently do not taste anything like chocolate. The seeds acquire this addictive flavour and smell only after they are dried and roasted
  • That's a lot African countries Ivory Coast (Cote d'lvoire) and Ghana are among the largest producers of cocoa in the world, accounting for over 50% of the total global production

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Which is the largest producer of millet in the world?

India is the largest producer of millets in the world. Millets are a group of small-seeded cereal grains. They are called superfoods as they are rich in macro and micronutrient. The year 2023 has been declared the UN International Year of Millets so as to create awareness about these superfoods and encourage their consumption. They are a group of planet-friendly crops as they possess superior climate resilience properties and require fewer inputs. Let's learn about a few millet varieties.


 A millet indigenous to India, the kodo millet is hardy and drought-resistant. It is a good source of protein and dietary fibre. It is said to have been domesticated some 3000 years ago. The millet is grown mostly by the tribal communities of Odisha, Telangana and Andhra Pradesh.


Also called kangni, the foxtail millet is a drought-resistant crop. It is largely grown in Rajasthan, UP, Haryana, and the drylands of the Deccan Plateau. When compared to mainstream cereals, foxtail millet is highly nutritious. It is a rich source of protein and has a good amount of fat and fibre. Foxtail millet originated in China. The crop has a very short growth cycle.


A small-grained cereal crop, the little millet is also called kutki. It is largely cultivated as a cereal across India, Nepal, and western Myanmar. This crop can withstand both drought and waterlogging. The little millet is native to India and is called "Indian millet. It's an excellent source of protein and fibre. Widely produced in States such as Tamil Nadu, Karnataka, and Andhra Pradesh, the little millet is used by many tribal communities.


The finger millet is a powerhouse of nutrients. It packs in it a lot of protein, amino acids, calcium, minerals, fibre and iron. It also has low fat content. One of the most nutritious cereals, the finger millet does not contain gluten and is easy to digest. Also called ragi, the finger millet is grown mostly in Andhra Pradesh, Tamil Nadu, Maharashtra, and Karnataka. It is said to have been domesticated some 5000 years ago, at the beginning of the Iron Age in the highlands of Eastern Africa. Seen here is a tribal woman harvesting her new ragi crop.


A crop grown mostly in the southern parts of the country, the browntop millet also goes by the name korale. A crop native to South Asia, it is traditionally cultivated as a cereal crop. It has a high nutritional value and is rich in fibre, iron, calcium, potassium, and magnesium. As it requires less energy input, it leaves a lower carbon footprint in agriculture. Seen here is a field carpeted with ready-to-harvest browntop millet.


Grown mostly in the regions of Uttar Pradesh, Bihar and Haryana, the barnyard millet is a drought-resistant crop. It is also called sanwa. Barnyard millet is a good source of protein, carbohydrates, and fibre. It also contains more micronutrients such as iron and zinc. Despite the fact that this crop can withstand adverse weather conditions much better than other cereals and has excellent nutritional and agronomic value, it is still an underutilised crop. Indian barnyard millet and Japanese barnyard millet are the two popular varieties of this millet species. The oldest archaeological records of the cultivation of Indian barnyard millet date back to 5000 B.C in India. Japanese millet is believed to have originated in Japan.


One if the most widely grown crops in India, the pearl millet is also called bjra. In fact, it is the fourth most widely cultivated food crop after rice, wheat, and maize. It is grown majorly in areas such as Rajasthan, Maharashtra, Gujarat and Haryana. This is an easy-to-digest cereal grain and is considered important due to its climate- resilent nature. It is draught resistant and can easily be cultivated in regions having not-so-good agro climatic conditions such as low and erratic rainfall, high mean temperature, infertile soil, and so on. It has its origins in West Africa, with the oldest usage dating back to 1000 BC. It is also used as feed and fodder for livestock.  

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What is the difference between macronutrients and micronutrients? And why do we need both?

Macronutrients are those nutrients you need in large amounts. They provide the energy (calories) required by the body. They are carbohydrates, proteins (including essential amino acids) and fats (including essential fatty acids). Some scientists also consider water and fibre to be macronutrients.

Different macronutrients have different amounts of calories per serving: fats yield 9 calories per gram, while proteins and carbs contain 4 calories per gram.

Energy-giving carbs are found in grains, fruits, beans and vegetables.

Protein in meat, dairy, eggs, tofu and legumes repairs and builds muscles, skin and organs and aids in producing some hormones. Fats in foods such as oil, seeds and nuts are stored in the body and used as backup fuel. They also protect and insulate organs and bones.

Vitamins and minerals

Micronutrients are so called because they are needed only in minuscule amounts. They help the body produce enzymes, hormones and other substances needed for proper growth and development.

Micronutrients are the vitamins and minerals found in food. They include water-soluble vitamins such as Vitamin C and all the B vitamins, fat-soluble vitamins such as Vitamins A, E and K and essential trace minerals like chromium, copper, iodine, iron, selenium, manganese, molybdenum and zinc.

The body cannot manufacture enough of the 30 essential micronutrients on its own, so you have to obtain them from food or from supplements.

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Are all fats bad?

Did you know that a balanced diet must include fat? Why? Read on to find out.

Not all fats are unhealthy. A balanced diet must include fat as it is a source of energy and helps our body to absorb other nutrients.

Healthy fats like monounsaturated fats, polyunsaturated fats and omega-3 fatty acids help to lower cholesterol. The richest sources of unsaturated fats are cooking oils like olive, soybean and peanut oils, nuts and tofu.

Omega-3 fatty acids are found in oily fish, nuts, seeds and leafy green vegetables. They are essential nutrients not produced by our body, but vital for normal growth in young children. Bad fats like saturated fats raise our cholesterol levels, clog our arteries and increase our risk of heart disease in addition to making us obese. We get saturated fats from animal products: red meat and whole-milk dairy products like cheese, ice cream and butter. However, they are also an important source of vitamins and minerals. Hence, we should limit, not eliminate our consumption of saturated fats.

Trans fats, also known as hydrogenated fats, are found in processed foods, like French fries and cookies. They raise bad cholesterol and lower good cholesterol. Next time you buy snacks, check for the term partially-hydrogenated oil in the list of ingredients - those are the items you must avoid.

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Is irradiated food safe for consumption?

Research has proved that irradiated food does not retain any radioactive property. Absolutely. The process of food irradiation involves exposing the food to the energy from short-wave radiations like gamma rays, x-rays or electrons. But research over the last 40 years has proved that irradiated food does not retain any radioactive property and hence is completely safe. Moreover, irradiation does not diminish the nutritive value of the food.

This technology is used to destroy the bacterial, fungal or viral growth in food that can spoil it or cause diseases. Irradiated food thus has a longer shelf life. As irradiation is a cold process it causes no change in the freshness or texture of the food unlike certain other procedures that involve heat. In fact, it is difficult to tell an irradiated apple from a normal one as it remains as juicy and crisp. Presently over 40 food items such as fruits, vegetables, spices, seafood, grains, meat and poultry are available in irradiated form. Many specially-marked irradiated fruits and vegetables are commercially sold in the U.S., France, China, South Africa and the Netherlands.

Although the process of irradiation greatly reduces the growth of bacteria it does not completely eliminate it. Hence irradiated poultry needs refrigeration. As for irradiated fruits, refrigeration is not essential though they will last much longer in a refrigerator.

Around 20,000 million tonnes of food and allied products are irradiated in India annually. These include agricultural produce such as onion, potato, mango, grains and other products such as onion powder, garlic powder, spices, Ayurvedic products and animal feed.


*The Radura logo is an international symbol that indicates a food product has been irradiated. The logo, usually green in colour, depicts a flower represented by a dot and two leaves within a half-broken circle.

 * Around 20,000 million tonnes of food are irradiated in India annually.

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What are the most popular food dishes in the world?

Every country has its own set of unique dishes. Some dishes are so woven into the fabric of the land that they have become synonymous with the place. However in the case of India, which has a highly diverse culinary culture, it is impossible to pinpoint a few classic dishes. Hop on as we take you on a gastronomical journey. We also look at some of the authentic dishes that have crossed over to other lands, becoming 'global' dishes.


 Who doesn't love a good hamburger? Even as the origin of the hamburger is debated, the dish is well loved in the U.S. and is more of an emotion. This classic dish comes with different toppings and accompaniments and has turned into a global delicacy.


"Ackee, rice, saltfish are nice..." sang Harry Belafonte in his iconic song Jamaica Farewell'. One of the most famed delicacies in Jamaica, it is a combination of saltfish (traditionally cod) and Ackee, a West African fruit. While Ackee is the national fruit of Jamaica, Ackee and codfish is the national dish.


Pot-au-Feu translates to "pot on fire. A soup fashioned out of meat and root vegetables and spruced up with herbs, Pot-au-Feu is the signature dish of France. This traditional dish often uses beef as the meat. The dish is served in two courses. The broth is sieved and served separately from the meat. This is a well-loved meal in France.


Here is an overload of sweetness and cheesy goodness. With a golden crust and a gooey, cheesy core, the kunafa, a dish from Palestine, makes for the ideal dessert. It traces its origin to the Palestinian city of Nablus. The base of the dish is Phyllo dough and cheese. It is topped crushed pistachio and is paired with sugar syrup.


On any given day, a good broth is always comfort food. The Irish Stew is one of the most popular dishes in Ireland. The thick broth is a medley of mutton and root vegetables.


Italy is synonymous with pizza. The dish has traversed the world and is loved globally. The flatbread is often topped with a myriad range of toppings. The origin of pizza dates back to 1700s in Naples. The city's tradition of making pizza has even been accorded intangible heritage status by UNESCO.

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What is fondue?

Fondue is a delicious, warm dish made of cheese. Get to know how it is eaten

Fondue is a delicious (warm) cheese dish of Switzerland, France and Italy. It is considered a national dish in Switzerland.

Fondue is basically a communal dish, which means it is generally eaten by a group of people, rather than individually. The fondue is served in a communal pot (called a fondue pot), at the centre of the table. It is kept warm by heating it on a low flame, usually with a candle or a spirit lamp. People seated at the table, dip pieces of bread into the fondue with long-stemmed forks and eat them.

According to tradition, if anyone's bread piece falls into the cheese then he or she has to pay a penalty as punishment! This style of eating is not only fun, but also gives the diners a certain sense of equality and sharing.

There are different types of cheese and so there are different types of fondue. The word fondue comes from the French word fondre, which means 'to melt. The term fondue' is now used to describe other dishes where pieces of solid food are dipped into a liquid that is kept warm in a fondue pot. For example, in the case of chocolate fondue, pieces of fruit or pastry are dipped into melted chocolate, kept warm in a pot. Other kinds of dessert fondue include honey, caramel, coconut and marshmallow.

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What is baklava? Where did it originate and how is it made?

Baklava is a rich sweet pastry that originated in West Asia. The word 'baklava' is Turkish in origin.

Baklava is made up of layers of filo, filled with chopped nuts and soaked in sugar syrup or honey. Filo (or phyllo) is a kind of dough that can be stretched into thin sheets.

There are regional variations- almonds are traditionally used in Iran, while walnuts are preferred in Turkey. In Iraq and Iran the sugar syrup is flavoured with rose water, but the Greeks use a mixture of honey, lemon juice and cinnamon instead.

Modern-day chefs have introduced innovations by adding dates or chocolate chips to the baklava. Baklava is made in different ways and the recipes are closely-guarded secrets handed down the generations.

Once the baklava is glazed with butter and naked, it is cut into diamonds, squares or triangles. It is served with Turkish coffee on special occasions.

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The hamburger first appeared in the 19th or early 20th century. The modern hamburger was a product of the culinary needs of a society rapidly changing due to industrialization and the emergence of the working class and the middle class with the resulting demand for mass-produced, affordable food that could be consumed outside of the home.

Considerable evidence suggests that either the United States or Germany (the city of Hamburg) was the first country where two slices of bread and a ground beef steak were combined into a "hamburger sandwich" and sold. There is some controversy over the origin of the hamburger because its two basic ingredients, bread and beef, had been prepared and consumed separately for many years in different countries before their combination. Shortly after its creation, the hamburger quickly included all of its currently typically characteristic trimmings, including onions, lettuce, and sliced pickles.

After various controversies in the 20th century, including a nutritional controversy in the late 1990s, the burger is now readily identified with the United States, and a particular style of cuisine, namely fast food. Along with fried chicken and apple pie, the hamburger has become a culinary icon in the United States.

The hamburger's international popularity demonstrates the larger globalization of food  that also includes the rise in global popularity of other national dishes, including the Italian pizza, Chinese fried rice and Japanese sushi. The hamburger has spread from continent to continent perhaps because it matches familiar elements in different culinary cultures. This global culinary culture has been produced, in part, by the concept of selling processed food, first launched in the 1920s by the White Castle restaurant chain and its founder Edgar Waldo "Billy" Ingram and then refined by McDonald's in the 1940s.This global expansion provides economic points of comparison like the Big Mac Index, by which one can compare the purchasing power of different countries where the Big Mac hamburger is sold.

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A study published in the European Journal of Clinical Nutrition shows that “insects contain values of between 9.96 and 35.2 grams of protein per 100 grams, compared with 16.8-20.6 grams for meat”. However, protein density does vary widely depending on which kinds of bugs are being consumed. With over 2,100 types of edible insects to choose from, the options are endless. Crickets, certain ant species, and mealworms are the rising stars of the bug protein movement, due mostly to their calorie and protein density.

Eating insects is a great alternative for those who are concerned with decreasing their environmental footprint. On average, the resources it takes to raise and produce bugs is significantly less than animal-based meat. According to the Food and Agriculture Organization, “crickets need six times less feed than cattle, four times less than sheep, and twice less than pigs and broiler chickens to produce the same amount of protein”. They also produce significantly less greenhouse gasses than animals and it takes less land to raise them.

As the human population increases and as we continue to observe the impacts of climate change, swapping your beef burger for a cricket-based burger might be one more way individuals can contribute to a more sustainable planet. 

Credit : Runtastic 

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The Lakadong variety of turmeric grown in Meghalaya is drawing worldwide attention because of its high curcumin content. Curcumin is the pigment that gives turmeric its yellow colour and pungent smell. It has medicinal properties and is in demand in the pharmaceutical industry.

While most varieties of turmeric have a curcumin content of between 2% and 3%, the Lakadong variety has a curcumin content of about 7%. India is the world's largest producer of turmeric. Most of our country's turmeric is produced by Andhra Pradesh, Odisha and Tamil Nadu. The Lakadong variety which has high curcumin content is cultivated in a small region in East Jaintia Hills district.

Turmeric is a member of the ginger family. It is used to add flavour to food and in Ayurvedic medicine. It helps relieve arthritic pain and digestive problems. Its antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties may help in treating cancers of the colon, skin and breast, and reduce incidence of Alzheimer's disease and heart disease.

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