Category Archives: Habits

Caffeine Alert.

Caffeine a central nervous stimulant, is one of the most abused (directly or indirectly) stimulants today. It is commonly found in energy drinks, soft drinks, caffeinated and decaffeinated coffee, some over the counter pills and the rest. Though, consuming caffeine helps prevent some disease and certain cancers by serving as protective agent, but consuming a harmful dosage of it can be harmful or worse lead to death of an individual. According to Mayo Clinic, “up to 400 milligrams of caffeine a day appears to be safe for most healthy adults”. That is the equivalent of around four cups of coffee

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Coke addicts, coffee addicts,energy drink addidcts please beware of this little angel but big devil….its fun consuming it but the baggage that comes with it aint so much fun, that’s if you survive it…. Unfortunately Davis Cripe did not.

Late Davis Cripe (may his soul rest in perfect peace), a 16-year old boy, having consumed 3 caffeinated drinks (a large Mountain Dew, a latte and an energy drink) collapsed in class under two hours.  According to sky news report; “It was ruled that the student died after his heart fell out of rhythm due to the amount of caffeine ingested into his system over such a short period of time. And it was believed that the last drink caused the cardiac arrhythmia (irregular heartbeat) which led to his death an hour later”.

To the Cripe family….I’m sorry for your loss. To the rest of us still living, please its time to take precautions towards our caffeine intake as we do alcohol and/or cigarretes.

Understanding Food Addiction

Being a food addict means being dependent on the good feelings gotten from consuming certain foods (usually common with high palatable foods such as sugar, fat, and salt) which often results in a continuous need to eat, even when not hungry.

Main causes of food addiction

  • biological;

– hormonal imbalances,

– abnormalities in various brain structures,

– side effects of certain medications,

– family history.

  • psychological;

– emotional abuse,

– sexual abuse,

– victim/survivor of traumatic events,

– inability to cope with negative situations in a healthy way,

– chronic low self esteem,

– experiencing grief or loss.

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Chronic self esteem
  • social;

– disturbance in family functions,

– pressure from peers,

– pressure from society,

– social violation,

– child abuse,

– stressful life events.

What happens when one is addicted to food?

  1. One eat more than you can tolerate physicallystk466792-e1406582676363-300x300
  2. You eat till the point of feeling ill
  3. You go out of your way to obtain certain foods
  4. You eat in secret or isolation
  5. You notice a decrease in energy
  6. You find it difficult to concentrate
  7. Start having sleep disorders
  8. Restlessness
  9. Everything becomes irritable
  10. Headaches
  11. Digestive disorders
  12. Suicidal ideas

Effects of food addiction

  • Physical effects which include;

stroke, heart diseases, diabetes, obesity,malnutrition, chronic fatigue, chronic pain, reduced sex drive, sleep disorders, headache, kidney/liver failure, osteoporosis.

  • Psychological effects which include;

low self esteem, depression, panic attacks, increased feeling of anxiety, emotional detachment, suicidal ideas.

  • Social effects which include;

decreased performance at work, decreased performance at school, isolation from loved ones, division within family units, loss of interest in activities, avoidance at functions, jeopardizing finances, jeopardizing career.download-8

How to treat an addiction (food).

  • Psychotherapy
  • Support groups
  • Nutrition therapies by a nutritionist
  • medication such as antidepressants

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In conclusion, addictions though interwoven can be controlled a step a day and can as well be triggered by just a bit of it. So as such, never deal with addictions alone, it only create more fear and isolation. Get appropriate help today.

FOOD WASTAGE IN NIGERIA AND HOW IT CAN BE ERADICATED

So I was asked to give a writeup on “Food wastage in Nigeria and how it could be reduced”, but I wrote on this instead and though it’s yet to be accepted by whom it was demanded, I can’t just keep this information to myself anymore.

So talking about food wastage in Nigeria, yeah Nigeria (cos though I’m concerned about the world, I’m more concerned about my motherland). So to the gist at hand;

80% of foods produced in Nigeria is wasted due to post harvest loses (no be me talk am oooo….na Professor Stella Williams). According to UNEP and the World Resource Institute (WRI), about one third of all food produced worldwide gets lost or wasted in food production and consumption system and Nigeria is not excluded as we lack postharvest practices and control over our unhealthy food practices. Just to buttress these points, I’d like to use a typical tomato market and mango field as a case study (Nigerians should relate better).

A typical tomato market has its floors littered with mashed tomatoes, and some close to rotten tomatoes all over the place. Mango fields are the most littered places during its season, you find lots of mangos on the floor with no one to pick them up. These later rots and end up being packed into the bin. This cycle amongst others is one that repeats itself over and over again. And to crown it all up, we (the consumers), derive great joy in scrapping our plates into the bin (yeah, I know I’m guilty too). Lack of post-harvest practices and lack of control over our unhealthy food practices are the two main causes of food loss in Nigeria.

Well the question still remains, “How can it be solved?” Food loss can be solved by encouraging the use of the 3 Rs’ (Reduce, Reuse, and Recycle).

Let’s reduce the rate at which we scrape foods off of our plates (don’t take more than you can chew) and also lets shop wisely (don’t buy what you don’t need). The farmers and sellers should be provided with modern techniques of preserving perishable farm products which include; better harvesting, storage, packaging, transport, infrastructure, market mechanisms, thus reducing post-harvest loses.

Let’s encourage food reuse culture, afterwards leftover foods can be eaten once preserved well through proper storage. For example, storing fruits and vegetables in the refrigerator can help retain its freshness.

Foods like yam, cassava, pineapple, vegetables, and pepper amongst others can be recycled by replanting or by processing into other products. Every home should be encouraged to cultivate its own little garden, that way instead of wasting we can regrow.

In summary, food wastage is a virus that has been in the world’s system for a long time, it has been crippling some world’s economy (like Nigeria) and at large resulted in food insecurity, but it can be killed by reducing, reusing and recycling.

 

FOOD POISONING

Food as defined by Codex Alimentarius Comission is any substance whether processed, semi processed or raw, which is intended for human consumption. It includes; chewing gum, drinks and any substance which has been used in the manufacture, preparation or treatment of food.

Food poisoning results from the indigestion of contaminated food or water that contains bacteria, parasites, viruses, or the toxins made by these germs. It can also be a result of eating poisonous plants e.g mushroom and animals e.g pufferfish. It can be referred to as Food borne Diseases or Illness.

THE FOOD POISONING CHAIN

  • A bacteria must be present
  • The bacteria must have the right conditions to grow i.e warmth (between 5°C – 60°C ), moisture and foodtdz
  • The bacteria must have the time to grow and multiply

HIGH RISK FOODS

Some high risk foods include:

  • meat,
  • poultry,
  • dairy product,
  • eggs,
  • seafood,
  • cooked rice,
  • pasta,
  • salads,
  • coleslaw,
  • pasta salads, and
  • fruit salads.

PEOPLE AT RISK

Everybody is at risk of food poisoning but the elderly, babies and pregnant women are mostly at risk due to their weak immune systems.

CAUSES OF FOOD POISONING

  1. Physical causes: presence of bone/bone chips, metal flakes, peces of product packaging material, stones, insects e.t.c.
  2. Chemical causes: presence of pesticides, insecticides, incomplete removal of cyanide in cassava processing e.t.c.
  3. Biological causes: could be parasite, virus or bacteria infection. Some of this is illustrated below:

Bacteria

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Parasites

parasites

Viruses

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Source:  Food poisoning, Mayo Clinic staff © 1998-2015 Mayo Foundation for Medical Education and Research

Overall causes include:

  •  Improper storage of foods (always store wet foods below dry ones)
  • Ensure Good Manufacturing Practices (GMP)
  • Mode of preparation
  • Poor hygiene
  • Improper food handling

SYMPTOMS

Salmonella typhi induced symptoms: fever, chills, aches, swollen lymph nodes

Staphylococcus aureus induced symptoms: Nausea, vomiting, abdominal pain, diarrhea

Salmonella induced symptoms: lower abdominal cramps, diarrhea

Clostridium botulinum induced symptoms: Vertigo, visual disturbances, paralysis

PREVENTION

  • Good personal hygiene

hygiene

  • Avoid cross contamination (never pass wet foods over dry ones, never touch foods immediately after touching meat)

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  • Pest and animal control
  • Avoid the temperature danger zone
  • Cook properly

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  • Avoid spoiled foods and foods in damaged containers or packaging
  • Training of food handlers both at home or in a food premises in safe food handling

CONCLUSION

Food poisoning is inevitable but can be prevented. and as such it is important to adequately clean, chill, separate and cook foods properly.

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