Saturday, 28 June 2014

Kenyans' reactions to legalized polygamy

Isaya Ntokot's three wives, Mary, Joyce, and Alice

Last month a controversial bill legalizing polygamy became law in Kenya.

Yalda Hakim reports for BBC Our World on how it is being received:

In the chilly dawn deep in Kenya's Rift Valley, three women make domestic preparations for the day. One cooks breakfast, another makes pancakes, the third fetches milk for tea.

But Alice, 62, Mary, 56, and Joyce, 54, are doing this for the same man, the husband to whom all three are married.

He is Isaya Ntokot, a 76-year-old with 15 children and 48 grandchildren.

There is nothing unusual about this - in fact, three wives for a wealthy man like Mr Ntokot is considered not at all excessive, and unless you are Muslim, Kenyan men can marry as many women as they like.

The Masai accept polygamy as a way of life and these women grew up with fathers who had married several wives.

They all expected that one day they too would become part of a group of women who would share one man.

The three wives claim to live harmoniously, though Alice, as the first wife, feels she has more authority than the others.

Isaya Ntokot and his family The family of Isaya Ntokot (centre, in green) is not considered especially large

"I advise them on what to do," she says. "Because we are friends, it's easy. It would be harder if we didn't get on so well. If I disagree with them on something, I just try and stay calm."

These women had little choice but to enter into "customary" marriages rather than having civil or church weddings.

Before the new act was passed, they lacked legal protection because customary marriages were rarely registered and therefore not recognised in a court of law.

This left many women vulnerable. If a husband died, they could be disinherited, and their children risked losing their rights and legitimacy. Now a customary marriage will be treated as equal to Muslim, Christian, Hindu and civil ones, giving all wives legal recognition and rights.

Women's rights groups have hailed this aspect of the law. What they find absolutely unacceptable is that male parliamentarians used their majority to vote down a clause requiring a man to inform any existing wives of his intention to marry again.
'Africa not Europe'
As the bill was being debated one male member of parliament, Mohammed Junet, declared:
"When you marry an African woman she must know the second one is on the way, the third one is on the way, the fourth one is on the way".

"This is Africa Mr Speaker. We are not living in Europe, we are not living in America."

Female deputies stormed out in protest.

Wanjiku Muhia, one of just 69 out of 349 women MPs, is in a customary marriage herself and voted for the bill because of the protection it offers. But she also says it is sending out the wrong message.

"I'm very disappointed as a woman, and this law has taken Kenyan women back to the 18th Century, or thereabouts," she says.

She is not disputing the idea that "African culture is polygamous," she says, "but we are finding it disrespectful that some [men] can just bring another woman without informing the first wife".

Ms Muhia says she would leave if her husband brought home another woman, and that many others would do the same.

"Where are we heading, we are going to have many divorces," she says.

Some men clearly feel threatened by such talk. Nderitu Njoka, who runs a men's empowerment group, says Kenyan men often suffer economic, legal and even physical abuse at the hands of women - and he defends polygamy.

"If your first or second wife doesn't respect you as a man - does not care for you, cook for you, do all those things that she's supposed to do, then you're not supposed to just stay there and live a stressful life."
In Nairobi's vast Kibera slum, Maurice Adongo splits his time between his two wives. They live in separate houses, less than five minutes away from each other.

He married Bridget, wife number two, 11 years into his marriage with Veronica. He thinks it's a perfect arrangement, but Veronica disagrees.

"I feel like I have been dumped," she says. "Some things a couple should sit down and talk about, but when your partner thinks bringing another woman into the relationship is the answer, and you disagree, it's not going to work."

The worst part for Veronica was that Maurice didn't tell her. She found out from neighbours and says she was heartbroken.

Veronica and Maurice Adongo Veronica was upset when Maurice took a second wife

Maurice would not have been able to take a second wife if his marriage with Veronica had been a church or civil wedding.

Yet church or civil weddings can be very expensive in Kenya, so many opt for traditional ones.

Activists are now trying to educate people about the difference between customary and civil marriage. They're also looking for ways to make civil marriages - under which polygamy is not allowed - easier.

The new law, however, means polygamy is likely to become more entrenched. That is a concern for Christian leaders like Robert Burale, who says lawmakers are encouraging promiscuity and the end of the nuclear family.

"Imagine a man's first wife is 45 years old and he brings in a 19-year-old girl, how would a 45-year-old woman compete with a 19-year-old girl in all matters, and in the bedroom?" he asks.

"These women will also look for younger men. And then you start seeing men in the streets fighting."

Even in the Rift Valley, where the practice is deeply embedded, polygamy has its opponents. "I don't think it's right at all, no matter what they say," says Maasai community worker Joyce Kiereini.

"I'm sure that they know it's not correct, but it's because of being selfish men they want to continue running around with other women."

#culled from bbc


How to Lose Weight in 10 Days at Home


Here is a simple10 days’ routine for you to lose weight at home. It demonstrates what you should be eating, at what time and in what quantities.

Morning beverage
Breakfast (within 9 am)
Lunch (within 1.30 pm)
Evening beverage
Evening intake( by 5)
Dinner (within 9)
Day 1Hot lime juice with honeyOats or protein meal*Small cup of rice + 3 different steamed vegetables (avoid potatoes) + 1 or 2 chapattis (a kind of flat or unleavened bread)Green tea without sugarSmall cup of sprouts (or) fibre content fruits2 to 3 chapattis(numbers depend on your intake but not more than 3)
Day 2
Day 3
Day 4Hot lime juice with honey (or) green tea without sugarProtein meal*1 medium cup of wheat rice + 1 chapati+Steamed veg or veg salad
A cup of veg salad +2 chapattisA cup of veg salad+2 chapattis
Day 5
Day 6
Day 7Green teaProtein meal*1 medium cup of wheat rice (or)2 chapattis + 1 cup of raw veg salad
A small cup of sprouts(or)A small cup of fiber containing fruitsProtein meal*
Day 8
Day 9
Day 10
Protein meal*- a protein meal can be sprouts which are rich in protein (or) shakes made with soy proteins.

Here is a Quick Recipe for Homemade Protein Shake 

Ingredients you need:
  • 120 ml of skimmed milk
  • 120 ml of soy milk
  • 3 spoons of oat meal
  • Cardamom or vanilla essence

Step 1
Add 120 ml of skimmed milk, 120 ml of soy milk, 3 spoons of oat meal and 1 drop of vanilla essence or 2 cardamoms into a blender together.

Step 2
Blend the mixture for 60 seconds and drink it immediately.
This is the most commonly followed recipe of protein shake. However, you can try and explore other options as well. The idea is to intake protein. Now how you do it, we leave that up to you.

  1. Hot lime water with honey (or) Green tea when consumed on an empty stomach, regulates metabolism. Hence they help in reducing weight. This makes it necessary to consume it as a part of the weight loss program.
  2. Consuming oats or protein meal helps control and reduce your calories intake. Again, these food items make for a healthy and nutritious breakfast. At the same time, they are good source of proteins which enhance weight loss. Protein helps keeping you full for longer. This helps control your untimely hunger pangs.
  3. The first three days’ calendar requires you to make moderate changes to your normal routine. There is a reason behind this. It’s difficult to change your eating habit drastically overnight. Hence, it is necessary to slowly minimize the food consumed and so we do over a period of 3 days. Since day one is when you start up with your weight loss program, having a cup of rice along with chapati will reduce your hunger, fulfil your carbs craving to some extent. The three different steamed vegetables will give you extra fullness with low calories.
  4. After three days, the food consumption is further reduced where rice is substituted with wheat rice. Wheat rice is an excellent source of fibre. This fibre helps in weight reduction and it simultaneously gives fullness. The quantity of chapati is also reduced to one. Vegetables are an essential part of a healthy diet and hence they are added more in quantity.
  5. Now is the time to reduce your food consumption even more. So you either have wheat rice or 2 chapatis. At this stage, your body gets used to this type of eating habit where less food is consumed.
  6. These same eating habits are also followed for dinner time where the food consumption is reduced day by day.
  7. Consuming sprouts or fruits as an evening snack helps to prevent food craving and also gives you fullness in a healthier way. This is said to enhance weight loss tremendously. Apart from the diet, exercise plays a vital role in weight reduction program. Go in for simple exercises like skipping or walking. When it comes to skipping, start with minimum 50 jumps and gradually increase it by 30 jumps every day. It is also really important to follow the water therapy (discussed at length below). Without proper water intake, your weight loss will not be easy at all!
Include these additional tips in your weight loss program for 10 days and see the results for yourself.
1. Increase Water Intake (the water therapy)
Water is a very important factor in any weight reduction program. Consumption of water cleanses the toxins from the body in the form of urine. Drink about 4 to 5 litres of water every day.
Different bodies have different requirements of water. A simple way to track how many litres of water your body needs in a day is to divide your weight by 20. The result you will get from this equation will give you the litres of water you must consume every day. For example: If you weigh 70 kilos, then dividing it by 20 gives 3.5 as result. So you must drink a minimum of 3.5 litres of water every single day. This is an essential step for weight loss in 10 days.


2. Green Tea Instead of Coffee or Tea

Drinking a cup of hot green tea every morning on an empty stomach can cleanse the toxins in your body. It can also help reduce the problem of constipation. Green tea has low calories and starting your day with it instead of tea or coffee is very good tip for weight loss.

3. Hot Water With Lemon and Honey
Hot water with lemon and honey is a great trick for losing weight. To make:
  • Mix a spoon of lime juice and half a spoon of honey to hot or lukewarm water.
  • Drink this every morning on an empty stomach to aid your weight loss in 10 days.

4. Reduce The Intake of Carbohydrates

Rice contains a lot of calories and carbohydrates in it. Reducing the intake of rice can reduce weight to a great extent. If you want to lose weight, it is essential to reduce these carbohydrates intake ta a great extent.

5. Increase Protein Intake

Protein is a muscle builder that can effectively reduce the fat in our body. It can also convert the loose fat into muscles. Increase the intake of protein and replace carbohydrates food with protein food.

6. Increase Fiber Intake

Soluble fibers are a great source for reducing weight. Consuming foods that contain soluble fibers will shed the weight by reducing the bad cholesterol in your body.

7. Avoid The Problem of Constipation

Constipation can delay weight reduction process a lot. This is because the toxic and waste components are not flushed out from your body. Make sure you keep your system clean and toxin-free.

8. Avoid Junk Food
Want to lose weight in 10 days? Avoid junk food. completely! Junk foods like pizza, burgers, sausages, etc. do not contain any nutritive value. All they offer is fat and added weight. Junk food is the most common factor for putting on weight. Steer clear of these items.

9. Soy Protein

This protein is a plant-derived protein and helps in weight reduction as its low in fat. Adding the right amount of soy protein to your diet can help you reduce weight further.

10. Protein Meal Twice a Day

A meal that is rich in protein can promote weight loss enormously. So it’s necessary to consume a protein rich meal at least twice a day. Preferably have it for your breakfast and dinner. It can either be protein shakes or salads that are rich in protein.

11. Consume Calorie-less Food

The trick to losing weight in ten days is to consume calorie-less food to reduce weight. Add boiled food to your diet and avoid foods that are sweet, rich in fats or fried.

12. Get Rid of Food Craving

Food craving is very common and an uncontrollable factor among obese people. Never consume snacks or food when you have food craving sensation. Instead, drink plenty of water to avoid it.

13. Prefer Sprouts to Snacks

Boiled sprouts are rich in nutrients and have fewer calories. They can be consumed twice a day for brunch or in the evening time 2 hours before dinner. They provide you better nutrients than any other snack. Plus they aid your weight loss.

14. Not More Than 3 Meals a Day

Never consume more than 3 proper meals a day. And most importantly, only the meal for your lunch can be heavy; whereas your breakfast and dinner should always be light. This is one of the most important tip on how to lose weight in 10 days naturally list.

15. Proper Exercise

Working out is very important to lose weight and the simple equation to stay fit is: Proper diet + work out =FIT. You need not necessarily hit a gym to work out. You can start it at home with simple exercises like sit ups or skipping for about 10 -15 minutes a day. You can also go for morning or evening walks and jogging.

16. Consume Fruits with High Water Content and Less Calories
Fruits and vegetables like water melon, cucumber, and papaya have very less calories. They can be consumed for brunch or in the evening as salads as they make you full. These fruits are best suited for weight loss as they have more water and lesser calories.

17. Avoid Carbonized Drinks

Any carbonized drinks or beverage must be avoided during a weight loss program. Instead of these carbonized drinks, try and have lime juice, green tea or tender coconut water.

18. Keep a Count of Your BMI and BMR

Check your body metabolic index (BMI) and body metabolic rate (BMR). This gives you the amount of calories you should consume and the amount of calories that are burnt in your body – giving you a better clarity of your body system.

19. Avoid Red Meat

Red meat is highly dangerous as it not only leads to obesity but also diseases like cancer. So avoid it at all costs during your weight loss program and otherwise also.

20. Avoid The Three White Poisons- rice, Sugar, Salt

Rice, sugar and salt MUST be avoided in your diet to the extent possible. You cannot totally avoid these but you sure can control their consumption quantity.

21. Prefer Salads For Juices

Liquid foods like juices get digested quickly where as salads stay in your body for about 6 hrs, making you feel fuller for long. Consume salads instead of juices but do not add bananas, pine apple, jack fruit or any other calorie rich fruits to your salad.

22. Maintain Your Sugar Level
It is necessary to maintain your sugar level at 140. If your sugar level shoots up more than 140, your pancreas produces more amount of insulin to convert the sugar into fat. This happens each time you consume food. So in order to control this, you should consume foods that maintain your sugar level.

23. Never Skip Your Meals

When you skip your meal thinking that you might lose weight, you actually gain weight. This is because the hunger stays in your body and the next time you consume food, you end up consuming twice the quantity. This is also another important tip for you to abate the worry on how to lose weight in 10 days naturally.

24. Reduce Your Food Consumption to 1/3 of What You Consume Now

It is clear that the food that you are consuming now leads to obesity. So you will have to reduce this quantity to one third. If your hunger still persists, consume fiber-rich fruits or vegetables as your dessert.

25. Do It Now!

Last but not the least, do not postpone! Some get tempted by food or have no time to start the weight loss program. Remember that it’s now or never. Start your weight loss program and strictly stick to your diet.
You must make a special note of the fact that the tips shared here are extremely simple. They are quite practical in their approach and easy to follow. These tips, when followed religiously will earn the desired results within 10 days only – Something that most other weight loss programs with drastic and radical changes don’t. Just stick to these natural methods you will discover the new fitter you soon.

Thursday, 26 June 2014

Beyonce to star alongside Will Smith in new movie, 'Hancock2'

beyonce performs XO on stage

Rumours have it that Beyoncé will act alongside Will Smith in Hancock 2, playing the role of Carly Kicker.
In the 2008 debut, Hollywood actress Charlize Theron played the leading lady.
This movie would be the first film she's starred in since 2009's Obsessed, and 2013's animated feature Epic.

Tuesday, 24 June 2014

'Huge' settlement for wrongly accused men in 1989 New York Central Park jogger rape case


Wrongfully convicted Central Park jogger rapist Yusef Salaam, shown in 1990 Yusef Salaam (shown in 1990), was one of five black or Hispanic youths wrongfully convicted in the racially charged case


Five men wrongfully convicted in the brutal 1989 rape of a jogger in New York's Central Park have settled a lawsuit against the city for $40m (£24m).

The racially charged case shocked the city during some of its bleakest years.

The sum must still be approved by the city's comptroller and a federal judge.

The men, teenagers when the crime was committed, served 7-13 years in prison before their exoneration in 2002 when evidence pointed to another man.
Fears of 'wilding'
The victim, a white 28-year-old investment banker, was severely beaten, raped and left for dead in a bush. She had no memory of the attack.

Local youths Raymond Santana, Kevin Richardson, Antron McCray and Yusef Salaam and Korey Wise, then aged 14-16, were arrested and interrogated for hours without access to lawyers or their parents.

Desmond Cadogan holds up a sign during a rally in support of the Central Park Five in New York in this 17 January 2013 Supports of the Central Park Five rallied in New York in 2013

They made confessions, and although they soon recanted and other evidence indicated they had been elsewhere when the woman was attacked, they were convicted and sentenced to years in prison.

The crime, occurring well before New York's current renaissance began in the mid-1990s, shocked the city and provoked fears of gangs of black teenagers going on crime rampages - "wilding", the media called it.

In 2002, an investigation by the Manhattan prosecutor determined a serial violent offender named Matias Reyes had confessed to the attack and said he acted alone.

In their legal action, the men accused New York prosecutors and police of false arrest, malicious prosecution and a racially motivated conspiracy to deprive the men of their civil rights.

The proposed settlement, which has not been officially announced by the city but was reported widely by local newspapers on Thursday and Friday, would amount to about $1m (£588,000) per year in prison for the men.


Tennis gurus, Venus Williams and Tomas Berdych pose NUDE for ESPN The Magazine’s Body Issue!

Nude photos of Venus Williams, alongside 2010 Wimbledon finalist Tomas Berdych, will feature in the sixth yearly ESPN The Magazine Body Issue, which hits newsstands on July 11.

Both Williams and Berdych are as of now playing at Wimbledon and each one have had accomplishments at the All England Club. Williams has won five Wimbledon singles titles and is one and only of four ladies to achieve that. She is also a nine-time Grand Slam winner.

Details of  Venus Williams' battle with Sjogren's syndrome will also feature amongst other things.

Berdych hasn't won a Wimbledon title yet. The photos show Berdych  fit as a fiddle.
Berdych, 28, becomes the second ATP player to pose for the Body Issue Magazine. America's John Isner was featured last year.

Terrorist Group Boko Haram kidnap 91 more people ...60 more girls and women and 31 boys in Northern Nigeria

Abubakar Shekau claims to be the leader of Nigerian Islamist extremist group Boko Haram. (Boko Haram/ AFP)
Abubakar Shekau claims to be the leader of Nigerian Islamist extremist group Boko Haram. (Boko Haram/ AFP)

Witnesses say Islamic extremists have abducted 60 more girls and women and 31 boys from villages in northeast Nigeria.

Security forces denied the kidnappings. Nigeria's government and military have been widely criticised for their slow response to the abductions of more than 200 schoolgirls who were kidnapped on 15 April.

There was no way to safely and independently confirm the report from Kummabza, 150km from Maiduguri, capital of Borno state and headquarters of a military state of emergency that has failed to curtail near-daily attacks by Boko Haram fighters.

Aji Khalil, of a local anti-Boko Haram group, said on Tuesday the abductions took place on Saturday in an attack in which four villagers were killed.

Boko Haram has been demanding the release of detained members in exchange for its hostages.


Saturday, 21 June 2014

VIDEO: Watch Beyonce, Michelle and Kelly Rowland's lovely rendition of African gospel song - 'When Jesus Says Yes'

Click below to watch a lovely rendition of gospel song 'When Jesus Says Yes' by Michelle Williams featuring Beyoncé and Kelly Rowland.

The song is a lead single of Michelle's new solo album, Journey To Freedom


Blanchardstown: Brave 13 year old boy, Ricky Osagie, dies after trying to save drowning girl

A teenage boy who bravely tried to save another girl who was drowning in Dublin before he got into difficulty himself has died in hospital.
Talented footballer Ricky Osagie (13) was one of three youngsters rushed to hospital around 6.15pm Friday after the incident at a man-made lake in the Waterville Hall residential complex in Blanchardstown.
It is understood a young girl got into difficulty in the lake and Ricky and another girl came to her assistance but they also got into difficulty.
Passers-by managed to pull the two girls from the water quickly but took longer to locate Ricky.  
Eyewitnesses said Ricky had been under the water for “at least 10 minutes” before he was found.
The children were rushed to hospital while a witness said three or four adults who came to the assistance of the children received medical attention wrapped in insulation foil.
A local man said teenagers would regularly go into the pond in warm weather but it was not too deep.
"It's very, very upsetting," he said.                  
Ricky was in intensive care last night and but sadly lost his fight for life and passed away around 4am.  
Pals paid tribute to brave Ricky on Facebook today.
Sara O’Hora wrote: “Can't believe it’s true. You were such a fighter and did your best to save that girl. Everyone's going to remember you as a hero only 13 years old and you put your life at risk for some girl you don't know that takes a lot of courage you will never be forgotten rest in peace. Still can’t believe it! Heart goes out to his family such a brave young lad. Love and miss you Ricky Osagie
Alisha Morgan said: “You died a hero and will be known as a hero R.I.P remember the 20th June.
Another pal said Ricky’s mother is “crying and screaming so badly”.
Ricky was a talented young footballer who played with Corduff Football Club and had been chosen for the FAI’s Emerging Talent Programme. He had also attracted the interests of football scouts from the UK and showed signs he could have made it as a professional footballer.
Corduff FC released a statement saying they were saddened at the death of “the great” Ricky Osagie.
“We all know each other in the club, however everyone knew Ricky on and off the pitch - be it his fancy hair styles, his shimmy dance after scoring goals or just his all-round cheerful, confident personality. He was a seriously gifted footballer.
“Our condolences to Ricky’s family, relatives, friends and to his team mates and manager and coach here in Corduff FC.”
Rest in peace.

Friday, 20 June 2014

Photo: Kelly Rowland debuts her bare baby bump

Kelly Rowland debuted her bare baby bump on Instagram earlier today. The 33-year-old newlywed singer shared the photo of herself meditating on a yoga mat at a gym.

Forget the G-String!...C-String is the latest underwear craze!

Forget the G-string, the latest underwear craze is the C-string which looks more like a headband

The C-StringThe C-String

The C-String

The C-String, which eliminates visible panty lines, comes in a variety of colours, textiles and patterns and you can customize by bending the C-shaped wire to make it fit better.

It has been speculated that Kendall Jenner wore one of those with the eye-popping dress she wore at the MMVA last weekend. The dress was dramatically split on both sides, revealing loads of flesh and giving a 'knickerless' impression.

It can be bought on sites like Amazon and E-Bay.

Would you wear the C-String??

Kendall Jenner
Was Kendall Jenner wearing a C-String in this outfit?

Bleeding tree baffles scientists

The phenomenon of the ‘bleeding’ tree – in which a mysterious red liquid pours from chopped-down trunks , has left scientists  and tree surgeons baffled.
BBC Two’s documentary series Nature’s Weirdest Events – currently being repeated, shows Australian Chris Wharton among those who were shocked at seeing a tree apparently pouring blood after he had cut it down, admitting he had ‘the shock of his life’.
‘I do not understand why this tree has apparently blood pumping out of it,’ he said, ‘It was the strangest thing.’
TV presenter, Chris Packham also added that it was by no means an isolated incident, with reports of ‘bleeding trees’ occurring across the world and everything from disease to ‘the supernatural’ being blamed.

Click below to watch video:

Thursday, 19 June 2014

Lupita Nyong'o covers Vogue Magazine... See gorgeous photos!

See Lupita's Vogue cover below....and they are just as gorgeous as expected! The July issue hits newsstands June 30.

PHOTOS: Mr Denmark wins Mister World 2014

Mr Denmark, Nicklas Pedersen, 23  from Copenhagen beat 45 other hot guys - including the UK's Mr England, Mr Wales and Mr Northern Ireland - to win the Mister World 2014 prize.
The final was held on Sunday at the Riviera International Conference Centre in Torquay, Devon.
(L-R) Mr Mexico, Mr Denmark and Mr Nigeria, just after Nicklas was announced the winner
(L-R) Mr Mexico, Mr Denmark and Mr Nigeria, just after Nicklas was announced the winner

Nicklas says he has always been in shape but admits he had to work extremely hard to achieve his impressive physique for the competition.
'I've always been active. I love to play football, swim and hit the gym,' he says.
But in the run-up to the competition he had to see a personal trainer every single day stick to a strict diet of protein and vegetables only.  'No sweets, no chocolate, no ice cream. It was really hard.' he admits.
Nicklas had to work extremely hard to achieve his impressive physique for the competition
Nicklas had to work extremely hard to achieve his impressive physique for the competition

Mr. World winner Nicklas Pedersen (23) from Denmark
Runners up included Emmanuel Ifeanyi Ikubese from Nigeria
'This has been the greatest experience of my life, it's been like a rollercoaster ride'
Mr Denmark beat 45 other hot hopefuls to win the coveted Mister World 2014 prize
Mr Denmark beat 45 other hot hopefuls to win the coveted Mister World 2014 prize

Wednesday, 18 June 2014

10 Foods that we shouldn't refrigerate


1. Onions
Scallions and chives are safe in the fridge (whew!), but moisture will cause onions to soften and become mouldy. This is why you should store onions in a cool, dry place and AWAY from potatoes. Potatoes give off moisture and gases that cause onions to rot faster.

avocado2. Avocado
Avocados aren’t fans of the cold and won’t ripen n the fridge. If you want your avocado to ripen, keep it out of the refrigerator until it’s ready to eat.
potatoes3. Potatoes
Potatoes are the favourite starch of many, but the refrigerator’s cool temps can turn the starch in potatoes to sugar and kill the flavour. A good trick is to store your potatoes in a paper bag (it’s more breathable than plastic) in a cool, dark place.
tomatoes4. Tomatoes
Much like potatoes, tomatoes will lose their flavour in the refrigerator. The cold breaks down the cell walls in tomato flesh, making it mushy, and also stops them from ripening. Store tomatoes at room temp on the counter, away from direct sunlight.
coffee beans5. Coffee
Your coffee should taste like coffee, not like whatever is in your refrigerator. Unfortunately, fridge-flavoured coffee is what you may end up with if you store your beans there. To maintain flavour and freshness, store your coffee in a cool, dark place like the pantry.
garlic6. Garlic
Refrigeration can actually cause garlic to sprout prematurely and become mouldy. Your garlic can last as long as two months outside of the fridge when kept in a cool, dry place.
hot sauce7. Hot Sauce
Hot sauce is all about the flavour and refrigeration can weaken the flavour of some sauces. If you use vinegar-based hot sauce like Tabasco, it’s better to store it in the cabinet.
peaches8. Stone Fruits
Fruits with stones like peaches, cherries and plums ripen better at room temperature, stored with the stem side down. You can refrigerate them after they become soft to the touch.
Melon9. Melon
An uncut melon should be stored at room temperature so that it can ripen and sweeten. After you cut into it, leftovers are okay to store in the fridge.
honey10. Honey
Honey is like a natural preservative!  It has a pretty long shelf life and storing it in the refrigerator can cause it to crystallize.

Monday, 16 June 2014

Do NOT Wash Chicken Before Cooking!...Health experts' warning over food poisoning

Washing a chicken, pictured, can cause the campylobacter bacteria to spread in the region of three feet

Research conducted by the Food Standards Agency (FSA) revealed that many cooks believe that rinsing cleaned the meat.
The campylobacter bacteria, pictured, is responsible for 20,000 people being hospitalised a year resulting in 500 deaths
The campylobacter bacteria, pictured, is responsible for 20,000 people being hospitalised a year resulting in 500 deaths

Harmful campylobacter bacteria were often splashed on to kitchen surfaces and cooking equipment in the process of washing chicken. And any bacteria left on the chicken were killed off during the cooking process anyway.

Campylobacter is responsible for most cases of food poisoning in Britain every year, affecting around 280,000 people.

And contaminated chicken is behind an astonishing four out of five cases. Some studies even suggest that the bug can be picked up simply by handling a packet of chicken at the supermarket.

The FSA said the bacteria costs the economy hundreds of millions of pounds in sick leave and NHS treatment.

Research conducted by the FSA found that 44 per cent of cooks always washed their chicken before cooking.

More than a third of people surveyed said they did this to get rid of germs, with another third saying they thought that washing helped remove dirt.

But the agency warned that washing could spread illness among those who came into contact with campylobacter.

The most common symptoms in those who develop illness are abdominal pain, severe diarrhoea and vomiting.

But it can have more severe consequences, particularly for children and adults over 60. They are most at risk of developing food poisoning due to their weaker immune systems.

Symptoms for food poisoning caused by campylobacter bacteria will set in between two and five days after coming into contact with the germs.

In the most extreme cases, dehydration can prove fatal if not treated quickly, and can also lead to the onset of reactive arthritis, irritable bowel syndrome and Guillain-Barré syndrome, a serious illness affecting the nervous system.Despite fears about bacteria on meat, most harmful germs are killed by cooking thoroughly.

Studies have estimated that food poisoning is behind 20,000 hospitalisations and 500 deaths every year in the UK. Research by consumer watchdog Which? previously found that washing raw chicken under a tap could spread bacteria up to 3ft from the sink.

While chicken is behind most cases of campylobacter food poisoning, the bacteria is also found in untreated water, unpasteurised milk, undercooked chicken liver and liver paté.

FSA chief executive Catherine Brown said: ‘Campylobacter is a serious issue. Not only can it cause severe illness and death, but it costs the economy hundreds of millions a year as a result of sickness absence and the burden on the NHS.

‘Although people tend to follow recommended practice when handling poultry, such as washing hands after touching raw chicken and ensuring it is thoroughly cooked, our research found washing raw chicken is also common practice.’

Ann Edwards contracted food poisoning from campylobacter bacteria in 1997 and still suffers significant health problems. The 67-year-old, from Hertfordshire, was admitted to hospital with bladder failure and lost two stone.

She then developed Guillain-Barré syndrome, which left her paralysed from the chest down.

She said: ‘I was in hospital for seven weeks and even now – 17 years later – I have no movement in my toes and rely on a walking stick. Physically, it has been the worst thing that has ever happened to me. I urge anyone who is handling chicken to take care.’

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Good news! Michael Schumacher is out of coma and has been discharged from hospital

Former F1 champion, Michael Schumacher is no longer in a coma and has been discharged from the hospital in Grenoble, France to continue rehabilitation after a skiing accident last year.

His management confirmed this in a statement today.

Schumacher, 45, suffered severe head trauma following a skiing accident at the French
Alps resort of Meribel on December 29.