June 21, 2010

Living a little healthier

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The word “organic” is probably one of the most mentioned words in the natural health business. But not many people know what “organic” actually encapsulates. When asked, the first thing that comes to the top of our mind is that organic means all natural traditional farming. Well you are not wrong but that is not just it. Organic encapsulates more … organic farming does not mean going ‘back’ to traditional methods. It still uses many traditional farming methods that are still useful today but also combines them with modern scientific knowledge. Organic farmers do not leave their farms to be taken over by nature; they use all the knowledge, techniques and materials available to work with nature. In this way the farmer creates a healthy balance between nature and farming, where crops and animals can grow and thrive.

From a TV programme I came to know of an organic farm situated in Kampung Titi, Negeri Sembilan called Titi Eco Resort. This farm was created out of a strong passion for healthy living by a husband and wife team in the mid 90s. And after some research on the internet, I convinced a few of my friends to join me for a visit to the farm and checked into a programme to learn more about the concept of organic farming and healthy living.  
 
The vegetables, herbs and fruits planted in the organic farm

Well, don’t expect 5-star resort style living … it was a very basic, simple, plain, natural and healthy programme. The programme offers valuable information on organic farming of herbs, spices, fruits and vegetables in harmony with the nature. Also included in the programme were healthy eating tips, medicinal benefits of some common herbs and plants as well as common organic animal husbandry. We were taught the “6211” consumption method ... what’s that? Simple … it just means 6 parts fruits, 2 parts vegetables, 1 part carbohydrate and 1 part protein. If you can apply this formula to your eating habits, you are on the way to a healthy lifestyle.

Farmers for a day ... Shiek, Chin Keat, Guan Toong, Hwa Poh and Meng Leong)
 
Some common plants with medicinal benefits

 
Preparing herbs for mosquitoe bites and trying my hands in making organic bread

Do you know your vegetables? How do you go about buying vegetables? This is what you should know … vegetables are generally divided into 4 types … those under the ground … potatos, peanuts, yam, etc . Then those that are above the ground … the leafy types, flowers and fruits. Then there are those growing out of fresh water eg. lotus and water crest and finally those that grows in salt water like seaweed and algae. So if you rotate the 4 different groups when you are doing your weekly market visits, then you will get the best of all types of vegetables with their relevant benefits. And of course the colours … it is good to also have a mix of colours not just green all the time. And I found out that our national flower, the hibiscus is edible! Hibiscus salad anyone?

Honestly, how many of us can totally avoid un-organic (is there such a word?) food? It is not realistic but we can try to reduce our intake of chemicals, preservatives, toxins, acids and other stuffs not compatible to our body. With a little bit of education of what (and what not) to eat, what should we eat more, what should eat less, a little bit of restrain on our taste buds, a little bit of determination and a little bit of consciousness on how we feed ourselves, then we can live healthier and enjoy a bit more from what life have to offer.

Spending a couple of days in the organic farm certainly taught me to relook at my eating habits and make some necessary changes. It is not going to totally change my entire lifestyle but it is going to get a bit healthier and a lot better … I am sure.
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2 comments:

Anonymous said...

hi shiek,

i went to tis organic farm long time ago. just a tot n sharing about organic. do u really believe in organic? i always hv doubt, for it is not easy to produce organic plant, yet it is widely n commercially available now.

i hv heard a story about how organic farming does use the wood dust as fertiliser. but d wood dust is from processed wood, whereby it has been varnished or wt chemicals. i m not sure how true it is, but i hv heard tat one rich lady who used to eat organic food died of cancer, partly becoz it was claimed d contributing factor was d wood dust fertiliser in d organic food.

another story i heard was from a customer who shared wt me her customer (as she is in retail biz) told her that an organic seed cost 300x more than normal seed, but u can grow it without any chemical or pesticides. isn't is doubtful wat is inside the seed (probably wt tonnes of chemicals) tat make d pesticides from getting nearby?

well, it's just stories i heard. may not be true. but can be food for thot?

btw, did u eat d dragon fruit flower salad while u were there? it is nice, isn't it?

cheers..


hl

Shiek Eng Meng said...

Hi HL

I understand your doubt on organic authenticity ... I too like you have doubts with regards to whether some farms really produce organic plants.

I don't commit entirely to organic stuffs. I can only say that I am a little concious on what to eat more, what to eat less and what to avoid.

Eating organic stuffs will prevent deadly diseases? I don't believe that.

I am NOT promoting organic stuffs nor I am against it. It is up to an individual to decide what is best for him or her.

Whether it is organic or not, what I would like to say is that we should be a little more concious about our eating habits. That is key to good health.

Dragon fruit salad? ... no we did not have that but we were served hibicus salad ... nice too.

Regards
Shiek