Buy a Case of Ramen to Begin a Food Storage Program

Food storage and emergency preparedness have been buzz words for decades among people who are trying to be prepared for whatever the future may bring. There are companies which provide elaborate plans and programs to help people buy the food they need in order to sustain themselves and their families during emergencies or natural disasters.

Most people will never personally experience a devastating act of nature which will immediately change their lives and cause them to need to use their food storage. However, many families will have personal tragedies strike such as illness or loss of a job which may cause them to rely on food which they have stored for a rainy day.

Several home based businesses have sprung up in the food storage and emergency preparedness arena. If people are interested in food storage, there are ways to earn money by working from home in these businesses. Several companies provide a network marketing and direct sales opportunity. People who have a passion for preparedness may find a lucrative business by sharing the knowledge and products with friends and neighbors.

Complete devastation from such natural disasters as the earthquake a year ago in Haiti may not have been able to take advantage of personal food storage if there had been any. However, for most people food storage is a means of feeling some security in their day to day lives with the knowledge that they are prepared in case of an emergency.

Ramen is a hot noodle dish which is popular in Japanese culture and among many Americans as it has become readily available in a packaged form which is simple and easy to prepare. Indeed, many high school and college students almost live on ramen. Although it is not as inexpensive when served in restaurants, it is a cheap meal which can be tasty and filling when made at home from the packaged instant variety.

There are several different brands of ramen available in grocery stores. Fancier types of packaged noodles may also be found. They are convenient and easy to prepare. An extremely simple and inexpensive way to get started with a food storage program is to buy a case of ramen or several cases. With the price per package sometimes as low as ten cents, a case of twenty-four packages can be less than $3.00. You may find that your family enjoys it and uses it as a staple for their diet or as an after school snack.

Food storage is a good idea for every family. An effective program may be started for only $50 a month. Whether it is done on a serious basis with a plan or just being prepared with food for a few days, it is wise to have some extra food stored. If you are interested in a feeling of security, check it out and get started. Getting into a home based business may be another way of being prepared.

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Get More Energy With The Raw Food Detox Diet

Raw food detox diet involves eating food in its uncooked form, referring to anything that occurs naturally. There are immense benefits to be derived from a diet consisting primarily or sole of raw organic vegan food. Eating raw foods gives you 100 percent of the available nutrition. But you can lose up to 85 percent of the original nutritional value when you cook the same food.

Raw food detox diet also provides enzymes that help digest your food. Living foods not exposed to temperatures above 116 degrees Fahrenheit keep their enzymes intact; otherwise, the enzymes break up and your body has to work harder to digest your meals. Enzyme-rich foods give you a more realistic and efficient energy source. They rapidly break down in our stomach and immediately begin to provide energy and nutrition.

One of the most life enhancing benefits is the abundant amount of energy that is available to you. Energy that is usually use to digest cooked food is freed up for you to spend for other things, when eating raw. You will find that you will need to sleep less to feel rested.

Many athletes have found that light raw meals give a more sustainable form of energy and improve their performance. Students find that raw food detox diet gives them a more stable blood sugar level, helping them to think more clearly and stay more focused. Eating in this manner is also known to enhance your beauty. Most of all, when you eat well you feel good – and feeling good is the essence of life.

To start your raw food detox diet, increase the amount of fresh produce in your cooked food diet. The cleansing process begins and helps flush out old toxins. Greens and fresh fruits are especially effective in pushing debris out of your cells and colon. These two primary raw sources attune your body to eating more and more raw food.

As you feel fuller and more nourished from the increased quantities of raw food, you may consider trying to let go of cooked meals. Cultured items (like tofu) help initiate beneficial flora. Dried foods assist your transition by giving a raw food way to satisfy a cooked food craving for something heavy. The goal in a raw food detox diet is to achieve the ideal balanced diet of 60 per cent fresh foods, 20 per cent sprouted foods, 10 per cent dried foods, and 10 per cent cultured foods. Try to achieve that to make the most of healthy, energy and culinary enjoyment!

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Coffee Yesterday and Today

HOW about a cafezinho, freshly made and piping hot? For some, this custom is on the wane, but Brazilians still enjoy the fame of drinking coffee from early morning till late at night.

Inflated cost of coffee has not caused a hurried switch to other drinks. In fact, one third of the world’s population still are coffee drinkers. For instance, every year the Belgians drink 149 liters (39 gallons) of coffee, compared with only six liters (1.6 gallons) of tea. The average American drinks 10 cups of coffee to one of tea. In the Western world, only the British break the general rule by annually consuming six liters of coffee to 261 (69 gallons) of tea.

Brazil holds the title as the world’s largest producer and exporter of coffee. In the first four months of 1977, receipts for exports of this “brown gold” reached the staggering total of $1,000,000,000 for 4.5 million bags, an all-time record.

However, coffee is not at all native to Brazil. Would you like to know how the use of this almost universal drink developed, where it originated, and how it got to Brazil?

Origin and Use

The word “coffee” is derived from the Arabic qahwah, meaning strength, and came to us through the Turkish kahveh. Coffee’s early discovery is shrouded in legend. One story tells about Kaldi, a young Arabian goatherd who noticed his goats’ frolicsome antics after nibbling on the berries and leaves of a certain evergreen shrub. Moved by curiosity, he tried the mysterious little berries himself and was amazed at their exhilarating effect. Word spread and “coffee” was born.

Originally, coffee served as a solid food, then as a wine, later as a medicine and, last, as a common drink. As a medicine, it was and still is prescribed for the treatment of migraine headache, heart disease, chronic asthma and dropsy. (Immoderate use, however, may form excessive gastric acid, cause nervousness and speed up the heartbeat. The common “heartburn” is attributed to this.) As a food, the whole berries were crushed, fat was added and the mixture was put into round forms. Even today some African tribes “eat” coffee. Later on, the coffee berries yielded a kind of wine. Others made a drink by pouring boiling water over the dried shells. Still later, the seeds were dried and roasted, mixed with the shells and made into a beverage. Finally, someone ground the beans in a mortar, the forerunner of coffee grinders.

Coffee in Brazil

Although coffee probably originated in Ethiopia, the Arabs were first to cultivate it, in the fifteenth century. But their monopoly was short-lived. In 1610, the first coffee trees were planted in India. The Dutch began to study its cultivation in 1614. During 1720, French naval officer Gabriel Mathieu de Clieu left Paris for the Antilles, carrying with him some coffee seedlings. Only one survived and was taken to Martinique. From Dutch Guiana coffee spread through the Antilles to French Guiana, and from there Brazilian army officer Francisco de Melo Palheta introduced it to Brazil by way of Belém, doing so about 1727. During the early nineteenth century, coffee cultivation started in Campinas and other cities of São Paulo State, and soon reached other states, especially Paraná.

Nowadays, coffee plantations are planned with technical rigidity. Instead of sowing seeds in the field, seedlings are cultivated in shaded nurseries. About 40 days after planting, the coffee grain germinates. Its unmistakable appearance gave it the name “match stick.” After a year of careful treatment in the nursery, the seedlings are replanted outside.

Usually on hillsides, the seedlings are placed in curved rows to make mechanized field work easier and to prevent soil erosion. Four years after planting, the trees are ready for the first harvest. All the while, irrigation boosts growth and output up to 100 percent.

On the other hand, the coffee grower’s headache is his never-ending fight against insects and plant diseases, such as leaf rust and the coffee-bean borer. Rust is a fungus that attacks the leaves and may kill the tree. The coffee-bean borer is a worm that ruins the beans by eating small holes into them. Of course, there are effective fungicides and insecticides, but their constant use increases production cost.

Preparation of the Coffee Beans

On the plantation, coffee may be prepared by either a “wash” or a “dry” process. It is admitted that the wash process yields a fine quality product, since only ripe coffee berries are selected. But because of less work and lower cost, Brazilian coffee usually goes through the “dry” process.

First, all the berries, from green to dry, are shaken off the bush onto large canvas sheets. Then they are winnowed with special sieves. Next, the berries are rinsed in water canals next to the drying patios, in order to separate the ripe from the unripe and to eliminate impurities. Afterward, they are spread out in layers for drying in the open air and sun. They are turned over frequently so as to allow even drying. Eventually, the dry berries are stored in wood-lined deposits until further use.

The drying process, by the way, is of utmost importance to the final quality of the coffee. Some plantations, therefore, use wood-fired driers for more rapid drying, especially in rainy weather.

In other Latin-American countries and elsewhere, the “wash” process is customary, although it is more time-consuming and costly. First, a pulping machine squeezes the beans out of the skin. They fall into large tanks where they stay for about 24 hours, subject to light fermentation of the “honey,” as the surrounding jellylike substance is called. After fermentation, the “honey” is washed off in washing canals. Next, the coffee is laid out to dry in the sun, as in the “dry” process. Some growers make use of drying machines, perforated revolving drums, in which hot air circulates through the coffee. Finally, the coffee beans pass through hulling and polishing machines. And just as the best quality coffees are hand-picked, so the inspection of the berries after washing is done by hand.

Soon the last step is taken–packing the coffee in jute bags for shipment. The 60-kilogram (132-pound) bag, adopted by Brazil, is held world wide as the statistical unit. Bags are stacked in clean, well-aired warehouses. At last, the coffee is ready for sale.

Classification, Commercialization and Cost

The Instituto Brasileiro do Café (IBC: Brazilian Coffee Institute) supplies technical and economic aid to Brazilian coffee growers and controls the home and export trade. For classification, coffee is judged by its taste and aroma. No chemical test for quality has ever been possible. The senses of smell and taste are still the deciding factors. According to its source, preparation and drying, it is classified as strictly soft, soft (pleasant taste and mild), hard (acid or sharp taste) and rio (very hard type preferred in Rio de Janeiro). Other types are less important to the trade.

For the last 20 years coffee has brought about 50 percent of Brazil’s export receipts. Some 15,500,000 persons are employed in its cultivation and trade. But Camilo Calazans de Magalhães, president of the IBC, warned that 1978 will present an unheard-of situation in the history of the coffee trade. For the first time ever, it will depend entirely on the harvest, as any stocks of Brazilian coffee outside Brazil will be exhausted by then. Additionally, the IBC fears that the specter of problems with frost, insects and diseases may unleash new losses in the 1977/78 and 1978/79 harvests.

Very recently, a series of misfortunes befell some of the world’s large coffee producers, causing scarcity of the product, price increases–and a lot of speculation. It all began in July 1975. Brazil was hit by an exceptional cold spell, which destroyed almost half the plantations, or 200 to 300 million coffee trees. Next, in Colombia, a drought, followed by torrential rains, devastated their plantations. In Angola and Uganda, political unrest affected exports. And then an earthquake struck Guatemala. The “coffee crisis” was on!

While the reserves dropped, tension grew in trade circles. Brazilian coffee was first to go up in price, dragging behind it the Colombian coffea arabica, traditionally more expensive because of its superior quality. The African coffea robusta, usually less esteemed, followed the trend. To make things worse, Brazil imposed an export tax of $100 (U.S.) on each bag, which in April 1977 went up to $134 (U.S.) a bag.

Speculation amplified trade tension, as coffee is bought in advance. It is a veritable gamble. Traders and roasters foresee a “high” and buy up great quantities, which, however, are delivered only months later. The movement gathers speed and prices skyrocket. The IBC permits registering of export sales some months before delivery of the goods, provided the registry fee is paid within 48 hours. Consequently, exporters often “take the risk” of registering sales that, in reality, have not yet been effected. This enables them to favor their clients or take advantage of higher prices.

Despite the upward trend, Brazilians are not yet paying the high coffee prices others have to pay. The Brazilian government is protecting the local coffee roasters, and the price per kilogram (2.2 pounds) is to continue lower than abroad, it being $4.08 (U.S.) in July 1977. Nevertheless, statistics reveal that Brazilians are drinking less coffee. In 1976 the consumption was 3.5 kilograms (7.7 pounds) of ground coffee per person, whereas it was 5.7 kilograms (12.6 pounds) in 1970.

Producers seemed satisfied with the new price policy, since they get more money from the consumer. The coffee-plantation worker, too, is benefiting financially. To keep prices high, Brazil bought up large quantities of Central American and African coffees. Suddenly, however, Brazil’s exporters had to face the absence of international buyers. As an immediate reaction, prices abroad began to fall, and in July 1977, a sudden maneuver at the New York and London Exchanges slashed the price further, so that a 50-percent drop has been registered since the record prices three months earlier. Exporters are jittery. Buyers ask, Will Brazil reduce the price? What will be the future of coffee? Time will tell.

Meanwhile, Brazil’s Conselho Monetário Nacional approved a plan to revive and upgrade the nation’s coffee plantations by adding 150 million trees during 1977/78, bringing the total to 3,000,000,000 trees and an output of 28 million bags by 1980. So there is no fear of coffee going off the scene. Although this popular beverage now is more costly, yesterday’s enjoyment of coffee remains with us today.

What You Need to Finally Get in Shape

 

If you are like most people, you long to finally get in shape. However, you likely don’t know where to start. You have a general idea how to eat and what to do, but the whole task seems daunting. Fortunately, there are ways that you can get in shape easily from the comfort of your own home. By employing the right techniques, you can realize your goal without spending too much money or forcing yourself to be in an uncomfortable situation. With the ability to have an online personal trainer and other tools, you already have most of what you need!

How to Finally Get in Shape

There are two elements of fitness, exercise and nutrition. They are both required to form long lasting health. Having one without the other will not help you succeed. Fortunately, there are straightforward ways to do both:

  • Exercise –You don’t have to work terribly hard to get in decent shape. It is more about consistent effort than regularly exhausting yourself. If you go for a run every day, you’ll notice intense benefits. If you add in some quality weight lifting routines, you’ll be on pace to be in the best shape of your life.
  • Nutrition –Most people know how to eat healthy foods, they just don’t like to hear that they have to! You need to eat a lot of vegetables, fruits, nuts and grains to form a well-rounded diet. Simply by eating healthy food, you’ll notice a tremendous amount of increased energy. Eating healthy starts when you buy food. Try this simple trick – eat a big meal right before you go grocery shopping. You won’t be shopping hungry, so you’ll make better decisions. Go for a variety of fruits, vegetables and other healthy goodies. You’ll be thankful you did.

That’s all you need to get in shame! Sounds pretty simple, doesn’t it? Don’t overcomplicate the matter – do something physical and give your body what it needs.

Crockpot Cooking Safety Tips

Although I have never had a bad experience with my crockpot (and I’m sure you won’t either), there are a few safety measures you need to follow to ensure food safety. Some of them are pretty basic and common sense and you are probably doing them already. But it never hurts to go over them and to just continue to be aware of the importance proper food handling and preparation techniques.

Always start clean, a clean cooker, clean utensils, a clean work area. And wash your hands before and during food preparation.

Be sure to handle ingredients carefully. Since slow cookers can take a while to get to temperatures hot enough to kill off bacteria, it is imperative to keep the ingredients constantly refrigerated prior to food preparation. Remember that bacteria multiply on food quickly at room temperature. Therefore perishable foods should remain refrigerated until you need them.

Defrost your meats and poultry prior to putting them in your slow cooker. This helps the crockpot achieve proper cooking temperature faster, eliminating the possibility of bacteria growth on your food.

Cutting food into smaller chunks helps to ensure that the food is cooked thoroughly. For example, don’t cook large pieces of meat such as a whole chicken in the slow cooker. Doing this increases the opportunity for bacterial growth because it takes a longer time to get to proper cooking temperature. Meats and vegetables can be cut up in advance but make sure you store them separately in covered containers.

Keep the lid on. Experts say that removing the lid can add 20 minutes to the cooking time! This is because it takes that long to re-generate the lost heat and steam. Remove it only to stir the food or check for doneness.

Since vegetables cook slower than meat, place the vegetables on the bottom. Then add the meat and cover the food with your broth, sauce, or water.

If possible, set the slow cooker setting on high for the first hour of cooking to get the food warmed up quickly. Then switch it to low for the rest of the day. If it is not possible, the Food Safety and Inspection Service says it is still safe to cook foods on low for the entire time, since the temperatures stay hot enough for long enough to prevent any bacterial growth on the food.

If you are away during the entire slow-cooking process and you know that there has been a power outage, don’t take any chances. Throw the food out. Although it may look done, it could also be unsafe for consumption. You can know if there was a power outage by the time flashing on your other appliances such as microwave or VCR.

Tips for Quick and Easy Iced Coffee

Coffee is a fantastic drink at any time of day, during any season of the year. That being said, a steaming hot cup of java isn’t always welcome once summer rolls around. Don’t let the summer heat deprive you of your favorite beverage when you can switch to iced coffee!

During the warmest months of the year, iced coffee makes for a refreshing change of pace. While most cafes and coffee shops serve these cold concoctions, you may be wondering how to get iced coffee at home. Here are my tips for serving up delicious iced coffee without having to break a sweat:

o Get ice.

This may seem obvious, but you need ice to help you make iced coffee. If you don’t plan ahead by freezing some cubes, you won’t be able to make iced coffee when you want it. While plain old frozen water will do, I prefer freezing several of my favorite Keurig coffee brews in an ice cube tray. When combined with your freshly brewed coffee, these coffee cubes won’t water the drink down.

o Brew coffee.

Next, brew your favorite coffee variety. While you’re welcome to use a regular drip brewer or instant coffee, I prefer my Keurig single cup coffee maker. To make a cup of coffee in less than a minute, all I have to do is pop one of the K Cup portion packs into the machine and press a button. This allows me to brew multiple cups and different flavors very quickly – which means I can pour the fresh coffee over the coffee cubes and start drinking iced coffee that much sooner!

o Mix things up.

Once you’ve poured your freshly brewed coffee over your frozen coffee cubes, you can either drink it straight or add a splash of your favorite liquor. I recommend the flavors of coconut rum, Irish cream, butterscotch schnapps or crème de menthe. If you’re in the mood for extra flavor but don’t want alcohol, try adding a few drops of vanilla or adding some Italian-style flavored syrups.

o Try something different.

If you’d like a more slushy drink, skip the hot coffee. Simply throw a cup of the frozen coffee cubes into a blender and give it a few pulses. Don’t over do it with the blender or you’ll end up with soup. Pour the crushed coffee cubes into a mug and serve with a straw or spoon.

Another fun idea is to create a coffee dessert by freezing your favorite brew in an ice pop mold. If you don’t have an ice pop mold, freeze plastic spoons into the coffee cubes you make in an ice cube tray. Once your coffee pops are frozen solid, remove them from the tray and enjoy. Be careful not to consume your chilled treats too quickly – it might be the first time you get brain freeze from your coffee!

The Consequences of Food

Nourishment is key to good health. Unfortunately, many of us only think we are eating healthily. Consider milk, for instance. Humans are the only beings who drink milk after being weaned from our mother and even drink milk from another species. The pasteurization process destroys the vitamins and nutrients in the original product, so we then add artificial vitamins. We call this “fortified”.

There are a number of concerns with processed foods. In order to provide the consumer with a long shelf life, chemicals are added to the foods. Chemical additives are also added for color, consistency, taste and more. The problem is, the effects of most of these additives are yet unknown. Some of the synthetic chemicals used in processed foods are known to have carcinogenic properties. Processed meats such as hot dogs and bologna are particularly dangerous. (more…)

Fitness Personal Training for Healthy and Fit Living

It’s never easy to avoid being a victim of food. Chocolates, ice cream, cake, etc., how can one resist? It’s really hard to avoid digging in to a plate of delicious goodness. But, if you want to stay healthy and fit, do you have to neglect eating? The answer is no! There’s no need to watch out keenly over your diet. You can lose those extra ounces of fat in your body without having to starve to death. The secret to a healthy and fit life is fitness personal training. (more…)