Best way to Juice a Pomegranate

When I visited New Delhi, India a while back, I got addicted to the freshly prepared Pomegranate juice which took 4 people to prepare it. One person to cut and peel the skin, two people to remove and separate the juicy pips from the fruit, one to juice it through a specially made Pomegranate juicer. It is a laboriously task, pomegrante juice was not readily available just anywhere even in New Delhi. I only got to taste it in a New Delhi town club which provided a sunday buffet fest for its members.

Being in Singapore where we don't grow our own food, and we pretty much import everything(Talk about having big carbon foot prints) We get fruits as far as South Africa or Egypt. It was pomegranate season a few weeks back and at the local supermarket, I spotted Pomegranates from Afghanistan. The country is famous for its beautiful fruits like apricots and grapes, pity we don't get them here. I was excited! Fruits from an exotic warcountry!

Transporting these Pomegranates from this remote place to our city I suspect would have been difficult with the bad transport network over there. I could'nt imagine how much effort it took for these large beautiful pomegranates to reach our supermarkets.

It was worth the effort and it was more expensive compared to the ones from India. The Afghan pomegranates were sweeter and have a deeper ruby red color compared to the pale pink ones we regularly get from India. I got a few Afghan pomegranates from the supermarket and decided to juice them.

Juicing pomegranate was time-consuming and require pain-staking patience to remove the juicy dark ruby red pip one at a time. I had previously tried it before and failed miserably by squeezing it with muslin cloth. It resulted in disappointingly little juice with much of the precious nectar soaked by the cloth. A previous time, I ran the pips through a blender and it resulted in a bitter cloudy liquid because I juiced the white bits with it to save time.

The best way I found was cutting the pomegranate in half, and slowly pick the pips individually without breaking the ruby red sap.

I ran the pips through my new cold press juicer and it worked!. A whole fruit gave me half a glass of deep ruby nectar.

Yes it was worth all that effort and probably try it again next season. Meanwhile it is back to drinking bottled pomegranate juice for the moment.

Caretrace : search and find where food comes from

photos from

Commercial and industrial agriculture and businesses have long severed our ties with the people and the land that grow our food. We as consumers have stopped being conscious of where our food comes from, our children only knows that food comes from the supermarket.

Won't it be great to meet the people who grow and produce our produce, our foods. That gives us a little choice on our purchases and how the items we buy affects our environment and the people who are dependant on it. Being conscious about our food sources allows us to be more pro-active in building a more sustainableEarth. Start asking ourselves, how does eating meat affect our environment, or how does growing this apple with pesticides affecting our health and the health of the land?

This new website Caretrace( I found recently, has a great idea of connecting us to the source. Being new, it hardly has any food items on the list and minimal information. It would be a delight to see it grow and expand. Do support it.

Here's what it says about Caretrace :
Caretrace allows you to learn more about the origins of your food and the people who produce it. Trace products to a farm and read biogs, watch videos and explore maps.

You can also link products to projects and find out how some of the money spent is going to good causes which benefit the local communities where these products are made.

List of Organic Food to buy

Comments : Too expensive to go fully organic, here's a list of foods you should buy if you can't go fully organic

10 Produce to Buy Organic

Studies based on 1999 studies by Consumers Union (CU)and the Environmental Working Group (EWG)

The two groups analyzed the amounts and toxicity of pesticide residues found in conventionally grown food samples by the U.S. Department of Agriculture and the U.S. Food and Drug Administration. While most of these foods don’t exceed safety tolerances for a dose of a single pesticide, most contain multiple pesticide residues. CU and EWG have also considered combined exposures and risks to children. One-year-olds eat three times as many fresh peaches, per pound of body weight, as do adults, and more than four times as many apples and pears, according to CU’s Consumer Reports. In addition, children’s rapidly developing bodies are more vulnerable than adults’ are. Pregnant women should take care, too, as many pesticides cross the placenta to expose the fetus. Although DDT and related chemicals such as dieldrin have been banned in the U.S. for over 20 years, these pesticides can still be found in foods that absorb them from the soil. To reduce your pesticide exposure, you can peel fruit that you would normally just rinse, such as apples and pears. Some pesticides, like dieldrin, aldicarb and DDT, however, are systemic, pervading the flesh of the vegetable or fruit.

10 Fruits And Vegetables To Buy Organic

Summer’s blushing fruit contains high residues of iprodione, classified as a probable human carcinogen by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and methyl parathion, an endocrine disruptor and organophosphate (OP) insecticide. Methyl parathion has caused massive kills of bees and birds. According to Consumer Reports, single servings of peaches "consistently exceeded" EPA’s safe daily limit for a 44-pound child.

Apples may contain methyl parathion. Both fresh apples and baby food applesauce can also contain chlorpyrifos, an OP which has caused large bird kills. CORE Values IPM apple growers are trying to phase out OPs.

Pears, both fresh and in baby food, can also come with methyl parathion, as well as the OP azinphos-methyl, which is toxic to freshwater fish, amphibians and bees.

Winter Squash
Dieldrin, a chlorinated, carcinogenic insecticide, exceeded the safe daily limit for a young child in two-thirds of positive samples. Another potent carcinogen, heptachlor, also showed up. DDT and its breakdown product, DDE, were detected in baby food squash.

Green Beans
Green Beans can contain acephate, methamidophos and dimethoate (three neurotoxic OPs), and endosulfan, an endocrine-disrupting insecticide, which showed up in baby food, too. Acephate disorients migrating birds, throwing them off course.

U.S. grapes contain methyl parathion and methomyl, a carbamate insecticide listed as an endocrine disruptor; imports may contain dimethoate.

The enhanced red color of strawberries comes from the fungicide captan, a probable human carcinogen that can irritate skin and eyes, and is highly toxic to fish. While the lethal soil fumigant methyl bromide doesn’t show up on the fruit, it has harmed California farm workers, and depletes the ozone layer.

These berries can contain captan, iprodione and carbaryl, a suspected endocrine disruptor that has also been found in plum baby food

Permethrin, a possible human carcinogen, and dimethoate dominate spinach’s toxicity ratings, but CU notes that residue levels have been declining as U.S. farmers reduce use of these insecticides. DDT has been found in spinach, which leads all foods in exceeding safety tolerances.

Pesticide use on potatoes is growing, CU warns. They may contain dieldrin and methamidophos, and children eating potatoes risk getting a very high dose of aldicarb, CU says.

Note: In an update to its 1999 report, Consumers Union announced two more foods high in chlorpyrifos or other pesticide residues: tomatoes and cantaloupe.

Eating Raw Potatos - Poisonous?

"Do you know that eating raw potato is poisonous?"

A friend munched on while we were making some lunch conversations of my recent fascination on raw foods. He was not the first person to tell me that. The first person who gave me that info, warned by not to go raw on potatos. I did give him a little old home folk remedy piece, the raw potato juice, rich in potassium and other minerals is use to treat gout,rheumatism and arthritis.

My aunt's brother in-law has been drinking raw potato juice every morning on a daily basis for the past few years is still very much alive and without any side effects.

Intrigued and wondered if this is yet another urban legend, a false or misleading fact not verified but passed down by many innocent folks who take word of mouth as facts.

So ok, we are told since young, that we shouldn't eat green potatos or potatos with sprouts runs true, well partly.

Potatos originated from South America, comes from the Solanaceae nightshade family, it is one of the most commonly cultivated tubers in the world.

Potato contains Solanine & chaconine, glycoalkaloids that is concentrated in the leaves and the sprouts of the plant. However it is not the green in the potato that is poisonous. Its the chlorophyll that gives the Green. Potatos contains chlorophyll resulting from excessive exposure to light. This same process of photosynthesis that produces chlorophyll also produces solanine, that are toxic and affects the body's nervous system.

So avoid eating the green tubers or new sprouts, remove any of the budding sprouts, remove the green skin. Cooking the spud above 170 °C or 340 °F does destroy some concentration.

Solanine mostly contains just below the skin of the spud, but in some spuds, the level varies. So you could probably remove the skin and still able to eat the green spud.

Fun facts :
Non-organic potatos contain high concentration of pesticides. They may contain dieldrin (lung cancer) and methamidophos (muscle and motor cranial paralysis), and aldicarb (respiratory paralysis). So where possible, eat Organic Potatos.

Not so Fun Fact:
Wanna know what the medical term for Potato Poisoning called?
Solanum tuberosum poisoning.

* Hypothermia (lower than normal body temperature)
* Paralysis
* Shock
* Fever
* Slowed breathing
* Dilated pupils
* Vision changes
* Stomach or abdominal pain
* Vomiting
* Diarrhea
* Slow pulse
* Headache
* Delirium
* Loss of sensation
* Hallucinations

Quick cure : Induce vomitting, swallow activated charcoal, admit to emergency.

More Fun Facts on the uses of Raw potatos :

Cure Common Warts
Raw potatoes are chock full of Potassium, Vitamin C and Iron. If you have a common wart you want to get rid of, cut off a piece off a raw potato. Rub the flesh side over the wart so it's completely covered with the juice. Then, discard the potato piece. Don't rinse the juice off. Do this daily until the wart is gone.

Soothe Minor Skin Burns
Another unusual use for a raw potato is to treat minor burns. The next time you get a burn, peel and dice up a small potato- or use a piece of a peeled potato, depending how large the affected area is- into fine pieces. Add a bit of tap water, just enough to make a paste. Apply the potato paste to the burn and let it set undisturbed for several minutes. You should feel relief from the pain.

Remove Berry Stains From Your Hands
Berry stains are tough to remove. Rub the stains with a peeled, raw potato, they should come right off! Finish by rinsing the juice and the berry stains off your hands with plenty of tap water.

Remove Excess Salt From Soups and Stews
Cut up one or two washed, raw potatoes and drop them into the pot. Allow the potato to cook for several minutes, then use a slotted spoon to remove the pieces. The potato will have absorbed the excess salt.

Get Rid of a Throbbing Headache
Slice the potato in half and place a piece on each temple. Gently rub your temples with the potato until the pain lets up.

Give Your Geraniums a Nutritional Boost
If you're planting young Geranium plants, or you have existing plants that are looking a little anemic, a raw potato can help make them grow better. Just cut up a small raw potato and place it into the hole along with the plant. To give existing Geranium plants a boost, dig some of the soil out and away from the stem. Place the pieces of raw potato around the stem, then replace the soil.

Raw Potato juice to your Car Washer
Add raw potato juice in your organic vegetable based environmentally friendly car detergent.
It helps disintegrate tough stains or spots on your car without damaging the paint work.