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Introducing Native Rices

Introducing Native Rices

Hi Everyone,

This is Krithiga Prabakaran from Organic Positive.

Hope you all had a great week.

In continuation of my previous post about my rebirth & my mission, I would like to introduce you to our Native / Traditional / Indigenous Rice Varieties in today’s blog.

When questioned about the rice varieties, a large sector of the population would mention about the various ” Brand Names under which they are marketed or Process Names by which they are referred to  before selling to the end customer “, instead of the name which is associated with the Rice. Each of us have a name and we are unique in our own way, so are our Rice Varieties smile. Let us get to know them better.

I am sure most of you are surprised to know that every variant of rice is denoted by a name!

Raw and Parboiled Rice are the names derived out of the processes that the rice produce undergoes.

Of course, there are many brand names one may have come across.

We cannot eat Rice soon after it is harvested.  The harvested Paddy is stored by the Farmers.

The older the Paddy is, the better it is for cooking and consumption.

Unlike Farm Fresh or Garden-Fresh Greens, Fruits and Vegetables, we do not have a Rice like that.  Paddy once harvested must be stored for a certain period of time.

When the husk is removed directly from paddy, it is Raw Rice whereas when it is boiled, dried and removed, it becomes Parboiled Rice.

The Parboiling of the Paddy is done to prevent the rice from breakage and to give it a durable shape.  Until a few centuries ago, this concept did not exist.

As days passed by, we became accustomed to buy and consume white rice which looks great in shape and texture.

Truth be told, all that looks fancy is not always healthy when it comes to the food industry, more specifically to our staple food, Rice.

There was once an era where the food that our ancestors ate was considered medicine. In Tamil it was referred to as “உணவே மருந்து“.

At that point in time, we had more than 1,50,000 variants of Rice.

Yes, that is for a fact, TRUE.

Now, alas we are left with about a little over One Hundred Rice Varieties.

These rice varieties that were existing were native to our land, which is why we are referring to it as ” Indigenous”.

Apart from those of us, who are already aware of the Native variants and consume them to reap the health benefits out of them, the rest of the population is not consuming the native rice varieties.

The fancy term ” Hybrid “, is something most of us are aware of.  What most of the population is exposed to, and is consuming, is only the Hybrid Variants.

Our Native Rice varieties grow for longer periods compared to the Hybrid Variants.

Neither can they give more produce, nor can they be cultivated at a shorter span, which led to the Native Rice varieties being slowly replaced by the Hybrid ones.

Native Rice varieties require a minimum of 100 days to a maximum of 6 months ( 180 days ) plus before than can be  harvested.  On the other hand , Hybrid Variants did not require much time, they could grow within a short span of 30-45 days and with the help of high yielding seeds, inception of chemical  Fertilizers and Pesticides their yield granted much  benefit from a production standpoint. Our Native Rice varieties did not require any of these artificial enhancers for their yield.  Our Farmers who produce Native Rice resort to Organic Farming and use natural ways to enhance the growth of the crops and to combat pests that are harmful for their growth.

Unfortunately, to save time and efforts involved, we opted for the Hybrid Variants.

Our Native Rice varieties are a boon to our Farmers and our eco system.

They wanted us to wait for them to grow. Their water needs are very less compared to the Hybrid Variants. They help our soil retain and enhance its fertility. Most of all they would have made us much healthier and prevented most of the diseases we have today.

The glycemic index of many of the Native Rice varieties are much lesser compared to the Hybrid Polished Rice.

The thought process  that eating rice is the reason for many lifestyle diseases or that once you are affected by one or a many of such non communicable diseases , cutting down the carbohydrates , cutting down Rice is not correct for our Native Rice varieties.

This is because of the Hybrid Variants which came halfway to us and deteriorated our health.

 *Our Native Rice is a panacea for all our health issues.*

Why should we cut down our rice varieties, why cannot we switch to our native rice consumption and give the joy to our tastebuds to explore a variety of tastes associated with our Native Rice.

Mother Nature has abundantly blessed our Native Rice varieties with lovely hues of Red, Brown, and Black with immense benefits in each of them.

Every type of land, every soil and climatic condition is capable to grow a few variants of each of Our Native Rice varieties.

Some rice varieties are even grown on lakes and our farmers used boats to harvest them.

If we *Nurture the Nature*, it is we, who are going to benefit.

It is time we get back to our roots or at least explore it and if it is a good choice, why not make the right decisions for our children, elders, and us.

I hope this was a good read for you.  This may have paved way for you to think about and explore Native Rice varieties.

Please leave your questions for me and I am more than happy for answering to your queries.

Please do not forget to read my previous posts here:

MY REBIRTH & MY MISSION

This is only a beginning, and we can explore more together.

Until I meet you through my blog post, next week, this is me, Krithiga Prabakaran, signing off and wishing you have a great and healthy week ahead!

My Rebirth & My Mission

My Rebirth & My Mission

Last week, I made a promise to everyone about sharing with you, the art of sustainable living.

Here I am, to start with the story of …

MY REBIRTH AND MY MISSION

before we discuss the details in our series THE ART OF SUSTAINABLE LIVING

This is Krithiga Prabakaran, the founder of Organic Positive. I am on a mission to transform the lifestyle of 1 lakh people.

I plan to educate and inspire you all to consume indigenous rice varieties and millets, to avoid the usage of white and adulterated toxic food in your day to day life.

I worked as a software engineer in a MNC for 6 years. I never had thought about organic food, sustainable living, Indigenous rice varieties, millets etc..

I was a person who loves pizza, burger, Fried chicken and all possible junk foods.

As a middle class family girl, I lived with maida, refined oil, refined sugar.

Then what made me to change my lifestyle?

It is a simple thought process that came to me when I became pregnant , for the very first time , The mother’s instinct in me, started working. I had this amazing urge, to check around me, us and the world, see what is the BEST and give only that to my baby.

Have you ever looked around the world and ever thought about the below problems?

Did our ancestors have diabetics?

Did they have any fertility issues? Surprisingly they had min of 10+ children! drew my attention towards the magical words Organic , Traditional Foods.

If we go back and explore our respective family trees we knew our forefathers sometimes had more than one dozen siblings or atleast half a dozen.

Did the women in our lineage have PCOD nor did they mention of Hormonal imbalance?

And most importantly the Life threatening term CANCER, was it ever heard like how it is today?

Globally 1 in 6 deaths is due to cancer and once a famous Oncologist mentioned that we are the poor generation going to see the death of the next generation death during our lifetime.

Let us make sure the life style we make today , makes the words of the onocologist untrue.

Life expectancy has decreased vastly due to diseases that are not contagious.

Diabetes , Heart Attacks, organ failures, to name a few.

These are the questions that struck me and drew me towards mindful eating throughout my pregnancy and I was blessed to have natural birthing.

Unfortunately my daughter had breathing issues and was in the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit.

I had planned a lot after her birth but I was not even able to give her my colostrum.

Motherhood Journey is unique and different for everyone.

When I started solid foods for my daughter, I dwelled even more into organic foods.

My first exploration was towards Native rice varieties, millets. The very First Rice I gave her was Mapillai Samba and then gave all rices in rotation.

This was the turning point in our lives to completely switch over from the polished and hybrid rice varieties to our native rice and millet varieties.

This is the reason that led to the beginning of my mission.

Throughout my second pregnancy, I was feeding my first child and later on tandem feeding both my children.

I am a woman , a mother , a person from a middle class household and possibly I can relate to many of you all reading this.

I understand that not many are aware of the practises of our ancestors and their healthy food habits.

We have forgotten the foods what our ancestors ate!

We forgot their lifestyle!

We forgot our traditional food crops !

We forgot our Indigenous rice and millets!

But I am here to help you all… a self starter on my mission but looking forward to get support from you all as I begin my baby steps with my brand Organic Positive.

Stay tuned to know more about Indigenous rices and millets.

We will explore more along the way.

Magic Millets

Magic Millets

We are very excited to introduce another healthy family of grains to you!
They are none other than the “Magic Millets”!

Mrs. Krithiga’s story – “I would like to share a story that happened in my life.
A while ago, I and my family had gone to the Vandalur zoo in Chennai, it was a very beautiful family outing and it was also a bright sunny day.
By afternoon, I must say, most of us were drained and were ready to go home! BUT my dad who is more than 65 years old was as energetic as a young lad and did not want to go back home already! We were astonished by his enthusiasm and stamina! But would you believe it? The millets he ate as a child and young man were the reason behind his never-ending strength! It was a staple at his home when he grew up.”

 

Have you looked through the diet chart provided by our government to build immunity during this time of pandemic?? Don’t be surprised to know that it’s a millet based diet! Millets provide enormous stamina and build immunity. Millets ought to be on the diet of our kids in order to build them strong.

Don’t know where and how to begin? Here are 7 magic millets that you can start using in your daily diet and reap benefits without waiting any longer!

Little Millet (Saamai): Highest fat content of all the millets, digestion-friendly.

Pearl Millets (Kambu): High calcium, protein, iron, and magnesium content, helps reduce bad cholesterol.

Finger Millet (Ragi): High protein and calcium content, good for diabetics and anaemics.

Foxtail Millet (Thinai): Highest mineral content of all millets, good for immunity.

Barnyard Millet (Kuthiraivali): Highest fiber and iron content of all millets, rich in antioxidants.

 

Kodo Millet (Varagu): High fiber, protein, and phytochemical content, ideal for diabetics and for weight loss.

Sorghum (Cholam): High antioxidant content, commonly eaten with the edible hull, thereby retaining most of its nutrients.

Knowing all this now, let’s pledge to include our millet friends in our daily meals to stay fit and healthy!

Find and buy these amazing millets on our website, the secret to a healthy life ahead!

Kavuni rice | The forbidden treasure

Kavuni rice | The forbidden treasure

Did you know that the usage of indigenous rice varieties is the new cool?

If not, read this and discover how the consumption of traditional rice varieties can change your life! Cool facts on indigenous rice varieties!

Well done! Now, are you a person that struggles with diabetes and other non-communicable diseases? If yes, this post is about to change your life!

Karuppu Kavuni Rice/Forbidden Rice:

It is raved as a royal ingredient in a handful of different cultures and is a very common ingredient even today at Chettinadu households!

Our kings ate this very rice variety every day and for some reason, common people were forbidden to eat this variety at that time. Simply because, royals and soldiers needed more strength and stamina as they fought in wars and did fencing, horse riding, and many more. Thus, the reason behind the name – “Forbidden Rice”.

However, let us rejoice because Black rice can no longer be termed as forbidden although did you know, compared to other genetically modified rice varieties, this one is cultivated in relatively very small amounts?

Yet this rare whole grain is packed with umpteen health benefits. Kavuni rice is commonly also called as “Black rice” as it gets it’s signature black-purple color from a pigment called Anthocyanin, which has immense antioxidant properties. This rice is a good source of several nutrients particularly protein, iron, and fiber.

It contains anti-cancer properties and particularly aids in weight loss, maintenance of normal blood pressure, and facilitates perfect health of the heart. It has a low glycaemic index and more dietary fiber. Since it takes a longer time to digest and be absorbed into the blood, it obviously aids in maintaining blood sugar levels.

Kavuni rice is gluten-free thereby, helps in avoiding gluten-sensitive problems like constipation, diarrhea, bloating, and leaky gut syndrome.

In simple terms, this forbidden rice is a savior that protects us from any to all life-threatening diseases!

You might ask, how one can use it in their day to day life?

Well, very simple. Make your very own idly/dosa batter. Make sweet pongal, payasam, karupatti sweet paniyaram, halwa, puttu, idiyappam, even cakes and more.

And if you’re wondering where to procure this miraculous rice from… don’t worry, because after you place your order from the link below, we will bring it to your doorstep (of course, contact-free!)

Buy Kavuni/Black/Forbidden Rice now!

Reasons why you should choose organic

Reasons why you should choose organic

Here are the top 10 reasons to choose organic foods today:

1. Avoid chemicals

Eating organically grown foods is the only way to avoid the cocktail of chemical poisons present in commercially grown food. More than 600 active chemicals are registered for agricultural use in America, to the tune of billions of pounds annually. The average application equates to about 16 pounds of chemical pesticides per person every year. Many of these chemicals were approved by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) before extensive diet testing.

The National Academy of Sciences reports that 90% of the chemicals applied to foods have not been tested for long-term health effects before being deemed “safe.” Further, the FDA tests only 1% of foods for pesticide residue. The most dangerous and toxic pesticides require special testing methods, which are rarely if ever employed by the FDA.

2. Benefit from more nutrients

Organically grown foods have more nutrients—vitamins, minerals, enzymes, and micronutrients—than commercially grown foods because the soil is managed and nourished with sustainable practices by responsible standards. The Journal of Alternative and Complementary Medicine conducted a review of 41 published studies comparing the nutritional value of organically grown and conventionally grown fruits, vegetables, and grains and concluded that there are significantly more of several nutrients in organic foods crops.

Further, the study verifies that five servings of organically grown vegetables (such as lettuce, spinach, carrots, potatoes, and cabbage) provide an adequate allowance of vitamin C, whereas the same number of servings of conventionally grown vegetables do not.

On average, organically grown foods provide: 21.1% more iron (than their conventional counterparts); 27% more vitamin C;  29.3% more magnesium; 13.6% more phosphorus

3. Enjoy better taste

Try it! Organically grown foods generally taste better because nourished, well balanced soil produces healthy, strong plants. This is especially true with heirloom varieties, which are cultivated for taste over appearance.

4. Avoid GMO

Genetically engineered (GE) food and genetically modified organisms (GMO) are contaminating our food supply at an alarming rate, with repercussions beyond understanding. GMO foods do not have to be labeled in America. Because organically grown food cannot be genetically modified in any way, choosing organic is the only way to be sure that foods that have been genetically engineered stay out of your diet.

5. Avoid hormones, antibiotics and drugs in animal products

Conventional meat and dairy are the highest risk foods for contamination by harmful substances. More than 90% of the pesticides Americans consume are found in the fat and tissue of meat and dairy products. 

The EPA reports that a majority of pesticide intake comes from meat, poultry, fish, eggs, and dairy products because these foods are all high on the food chain. For instance, a large fish that eats a smaller fish that eats even smaller fish accumulates all of the toxins of the chain, especially in fatty tissue. Cows, chickens, and pigs are fed animal parts, by-products, fish meal, and grains that are heavily and collectively laden with toxins and chemicals. Lower-fat animal products are less dangerous, as toxins and chemicals are accumulated and concentrated in fatty tissue.

6. Preserve our ecosystems

Organic farming supports eco-sustenance, or farming in harmony with nature. 

Preservation of soil and crop rotation keep farmland healthy, and chemical abstinence preserves the ecosystem. Wildlife, insects, frogs, birds, and soil organisms are able to play their roles in the tapestry of ecology, and we are able to play ours, without interference or compromise.

7. Reduce pollution and protect water and soil

Agricultural chemicals, pesticides, and fertilizers are contaminating our environment, poisoning our precious water supplies, and destroying the value of fertile farmland. Certified organic standards do not permit the use of toxic chemicals in farming and require responsible management of healthy soil and biodiversity. 

According to Cornell entomologist David Pimentel, it is estimated that only 0.1% of applied pesticides reach the target pests. The bulk of pesticides (99.%) is left to impact the environment.

8. Preserve agricultural diversity

The rampant loss of species occurring today is a major environmental concern. It is estimated that 75% of the genetic diversity of agricultural crops has been lost in the last century. Leaning heavily on one or two varieties of a given food is a formula for devastation. For instance, consider that only a handful of varieties of potatoes dominate the current marketplace, whereas thousands of varieties were once available. 

Now, dig back to recent history’s potato famine in Ireland, where a blight knocked out the whole crop, which consisted of just a few varieties, and millions of people died of starvation. Today, most industrial farms also grow just one crop rather than an array of crops on one piece of land. Ignorance is bliss? Or amnesia is disastrous? Crop rotation is a simple and effective technique used in organic agriculture to reduce the need for pesticides and improve soil fertility. 

Most conventional food is also extremely hybridized to produce large, attractive specimens, rather than a variety of indigenous strains that are tolerant to regional conditions such as droughts and pests. Many organic farms grow an assorted range of food, taking natural elements and time-tested tradition into account. Diversity is critical to survival.

9. Support farming directly

Buying organic food is an investment in a cost-effective future. Commercial and conventional farming is heavily subsidized with tax dollars in America. A study at Cornell University determined the cost of a head of commercial iceberg lettuce, typically purchased at 49 cents a head, to be more than $3.00 a head when hidden costs were revealed. The study factored in the hidden costs of federal subsidies, pesticide regulation and testing, and hazardous waste and cleanup. 

Every year, American tax dollars subsidize billions of dollars for a farm bill that heavily favors commercial agribusiness. Peeling back another layer of the modern farming onion reveals a price tag that cannot be accurately measured but certainly includes other detrimental associated costs such as health problems, environmental damage, and the loss and extinction of wildlife and ecology.

10. Keep our children and future safe

Putting our money where our mouths are is a powerful position to take in the $1 trillion food industry market in America. Spending dollars in the organic sector is a direct vote for a sustainable future for the many generations to come.