According to the Department of Health (DOH), 1 out of 5 Filipino adult suffers from a mental health disorder. The three most common ones in the country, according to the National Center for Mental Health (NCMH), include specific phobia, alcohol abuse and depression.
Life coach and psychiatrist Dr. Randy Dellosa says that although sadness is normal and temporary, depression affects a person for a longer period of time and is associated with nine major symptoms:
– Sadness, irritability or anxiety
– Loss of motivation or enjoyment
– Changes in sleep pattern
– Changes in appetite
– Changes self-image or self-confidence
– Poor focus
– Low energy
– Thoughts of death or suicide
Different factors, such as genetics, contribute to psychiatric disorders. If both parents have disorders, the chance for their offspring to be diagnosed with a disorder is higher. Another factor is stress, whether mental, emotional, physical or a combination of all.
Hormones can also be the culprit, leading to an imbalance in brain chemicals. Other factors include drugs, alcohol and lack of sleep. In other cases, situational triggers like death in the family, calamity, heartbreak or tragedy can also affect a person’s mind, body and emotions.
Dellosa explained that people tend to be suicidal because of recurring symptoms. Because they don’t know where or how to get help, they feel so hopeless that they want to end their suffering.
Cuts and Scars
Ven, a 27-year-old public school teacher, has been suffering from depression. She isn’t exactly sure when it started, but she thinks it might have been triggered by her parents’ separation when she was 8 years old. Her condition got worse when her grandmother died last year.
“Nitong last year lang, nagkasakit ‘yung lola ko. Sobrang daming gastos tapos tulung-tulong kami sa pagtustos ng gamut. Nagkautang-utang din ako. Tapos ‘yun, parang biglang bumagsak ‘yung buhay ko nung namatay ‘yung lola ko.
Nawala ako sa pagsisimba, talagang kwinestyon ko si Lord kung bakit…ginawa ko naman lahat, nagsimba ako…pero bakit kinuha, parang wala nakong kakampi.” (My grandmother died last year. I was buried in debt because of her medications. I did my best to help her. I went to church and prayed incessantly but God still took her life. I questioned Him. I felt alone and devastated.)
“Yung one time na naglaslas ako, pinakauna sa school. Kasi sobrang stressed na stressed na ako. Lahat kasi ng trabaho parang sa akin inaasa. Kinabukasan, may tinuruan ako na bata, para sa isang contest sa buong probinsya so mas mataas na level. Natalo ‘yung bata. Naglaslas na naman ako sa bahay. Ano na naman ba nagawa ko, mali na naman ba, kasi parang ‘yung expectations nila mula pagkabata ko na laging nananalo, laging nasa taas kaso wala, parang bigla akong bumulusok.” (My first suicide attempt happened in school where I started to cut my wrist because of too much stress at work. The next day, I was feeling extremely down because my student didn’t win the contest. As a teacher, I was blaming myself. I felt I wasn’t good enough.)
Because of depression, Ven has also experienced auditory hallucinations. She heard loud voices saying, “Wala kang kwenta. Wala ka nang silbi!” (You are worthless! You’re good for nothing!) Fear, loneliness and low self-esteem gnawed at her until she committed her fifth suicide attempt. Up to now, the scars are still visible on her wrist.
Easing the pain
To help a person with a psychiatric disorder, here are ways to ease the burden they are carrying:
– Educate yourself by getting involved in different mental health campaigns in the community or institutions
– Lend a listening ear so they can release their emotions and express their selves without judgment. This gives them relief and helps them cope with bad memories.
– If their condition is getting worse, accompany them to a psychiatrist for medication and psychotherapy.
– Encourage them to undergo wellness therapy wherein they can engage in activities that make them feel good mentally, emotionally and physically. Examples are exercise, good food or art therapy like dance, visual arts or singing, which serve as outlets for self-expression.
After Ven’s fifth suicidal attempt, her family finally learned about her condition. Her relatives are now helping her to cope with her illness. Her faith is also redeemed, and Ven now regularly attends mass.
Paiting and writing have also become her outlets. She has penned poetry also published on her blog site. Recently, she was also invited to perform her poems in a benefit gig that aims to promote awareness on mental health through art.
Mental Health in the Philippines
NCMH Chief Bernardino Vicente said mental health is not a priority in the country and is poorly funded. “There is also a lot of stigma attached to mental illness, and the stigma does not end with the patient. Even the mental health providers or psychiatrists are also stigmatized. You’ll often hear, anong trabaho mo, psychiatrist, hindi ka ba nahahawa, (As a psychiatrist, don’t you get infected with mental illnesses?) such remarks like that.”
There are only a few doctors who would want to take up psychiatry. If you compare it to our neighboring countries, like for example Japan, they have about 16, 000 psychiatrists nationwide. In the Philippines, we only have about 600 and what’s bad about it is the inequitable distribution. Most of them are here [in Metro Manila]. Pumunta ka sa probinsya, halos wala kang makikita (There are almost none in the provinces),” he added.
Recently, majority of the House of Representatives members approved the third and final reading of the Comprehensive Mental Health Act or House Bill 6452. It will be signed into law by President Rodrigo Duterte, hopefully before the year ends.
The bill gives emphasis on the responsibilities of all concerned government agencies and mental health providers, as well as fund allocation and services that should be accessible to all Filipinos, including those in the rural areas.
Watch our special documentary on Mental Health
Plants are the backbone of life on Earth, and are essential sources of food, medicine and shelter. Important as they are, plants can also be a source of fun, especially in do-it-yourself projects.
Until the mid-19th century, plants were the only source of dyes. However, when scientists discovered that they could produce pigments from synthetic chemicals, dyes from plants became somewhat of a lost art.
Today, we’re reviving this art that can be enjoyed by yourself or with family and friends. By using pigments from plants, you save on cost while ensuring that your dye is safe and all natural.
Here are some of the plants that can be used in making your own coloring:
• Avocado and beets for red/pink/purple dye
• Turmeric, onion skin and celery leaves for yellow dye
• Grapes for purple dye
• Spinach for green dye
• Coffee for black/brown dye
• Chili powder & carrots for orange dye
Project #1: Coffee Hair Colorant
• 3-4 tbsp of any kind of coffee
• ½ cup of hair conditioner
• Apple Cider Vinegar (optional)
Step 1: Mix the ingredients together until the coffee dissolves.
Step 2: Put a towel around your shoulders to avoid stains.
Step 3: Using a brush, apply the mixture by spreading it evenly on your hair, starting from the roots.
Step 4: After an hour, add 1 cup of apple cider vinegar into the pail of water then rinse your hair, the vinegar helps the hair color lasts longer.
Step 5: Dry your hair and style it.
This dye darkens white and light-colored hair. If you want to achieve a darker tone, repeat the procedure until you get your desired color. But if you don’t like the way your hair color turned out, the coffee will fade after a few washes in the shower.
Project #2: Spinach Fabric Dye
• PH-neutral soap
• 8 tsp alum (tawas) per pound of clothing
Step 1: Wash the fabric with the PH-neutral soap.
Step 2: Fill the pot with water then add alum.
Step 3: Fill stockings with spinach and add to the boiling water.
Step 4: You can tie the fabric with rubber bands for a tie-dye design. Add it to the boiling water and let it simmer until desired color is reached.
With the help of PH-neutral soap and alum, the green color lasts longer. To keep the color from fading, use gentle soap when washing your fabric.
Project #3: Paint it Hot Pink!
• 1tsp vinegar
• 1stp water
• 1tbsp sugar
• Pigment (beets extract)
Step 1: To make your hot pink dye, separate the egg yolk from the white.
Step 2: Mix the the egg yolk with a bit of water, sugar, and vinegar.
Step 3: Add the beets extract (you can get this from by the beets) for the pink color finish.
Step 4: Mix all the ingredients until reached the expected texture of the paint.
Step 5: Pour it in a mini jar for a cute presentation.
You can use this on paper, wood and even bricks! Because of the egg, the paint will smell a little.
But after a few days, the smell will go away.
Try this project at home and make it a bonding activity with your family. When you experiment, that’s where the fun comes out!
By: Panahon.TV Intern – Beatrice Hernandez
Nutrition Month is a health awareness campaign held every July. It came into being when former President Ferdinand Marcos signed Presidential Decree No. 491 (Nutrition Act of the Philippines) on June 25, 1974, creating the National Nutrition Council to promote good nutrition.
This year’s theme is “Healthy diet, gawing habit for life”, which includes the following components:
- Reduction of obesity
- Prevention of malnutrition
- Helping Filipinos distinguish between healthy and unhealthy foods
Fighting Obesity and Being Overweight
Excess weight occurs when a person has accumulated excess body fat. Since 1980, worldwide obesity has nearly doubled. In 2008, more than 1.4 billion adults were considered overweight. According to the United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO), the Philippines is one of the developing countries with high levels of obesity. A survey conducted last 2011 showed that 22.3% of Filipino adults are overweight and 6.1 percent are obese.
Why do people become obese?
Consuming too many calories. The energy value of food is measured in units called calories. When we eat and drink, we put energy into our bodies. But eating too many calories and not burning enough of them can lead to weight gain.
Consumption of processed or fast food. Such foods that are high in fat and sugar may appeal to our taste buds, but are detrimental to health. They make you pile on the pounds, but not on the nutrition.
Lack of Physical Activity. People need to exercise to burn excess fat, improve muscle tone, boost energy, and naturally increase your body’s production of the human growth hormone.
Why do people become Overweight?
Excessive food intake that aren’t burned turn into extra pounds. But other factors that aren’t related to diet and a sedentary lifestyle can also cause you to be overweight. Here are some of them:
- According to the archived journals of Disease in Childhood, babies of mothers who smoked during their pregnancy are 48% percent more likely to be overweight. Dr. Stephen Weng of the UK Center for Tobacco Control Studies at the University of Nottingham said that the risk may be because of the poor lifestyle and behavior that many smokers possess. Breastfeeding may help reduce the risk of babies becoming overweight, but babies born to women who smoked weighed less at birth and were breastfed for a shorter period of time.
- Stress is an indirect factor of weight gain. Nutritionist Rita Gatchalian says that when people are stressed, they tend to overeat. This is because the stress hormone cortisol increases one’s appetite. Lack of sleep, also a stressor, may also cause weight gain.
- Some medicines can slow down the rate at which your body burns calories and may increase your appetite or cause your body to hold on to extra water.
- Antidepressants can increase cravings for carbohydrates.
- Steroids tend to cause insomnia, increased appetite and water retention.
- Beta blockers and angiotensin-receptor blockers which lower blood pressure and prevent migraine respectively, slow down metabolism.
Obesity Vs. Overweight
Obesity is a hundred percent increase of the normal weight for one’s body type, while being overweight is 50% higher than the normal weight. Being obese and overweight can lead to diabetes, high blood, and hypertension.
Can an overweight person be malnourished?
Malnutrition or “bad nutrition” is a state in which a deficiency, excess or imbalance of the essential parts of a healthy diet cause measurable effects on body tissue.
Through the years, the term has been associated to people who don’t have enough to eat—people whose bones stick out from their narrow frames. But today, malnourishment has a new face. Overweight people can still be malnourished if they eat foods that don’t have the proper nutrients.
To make sure you are eating a well-balanced diet, remember the following:
- Nothing good comes from eating sugar.
- Avoid too much sodium.
- Protein is good for our body but take note that eating large amounts of protein inhibit the proper functioning of our digestive system.
- Good carbs such as fruits, vegetables, oatmeal, and whole grain can help lower blood cholesterol and heart disease.
- Bad carbs are foods that contain almost no nutrients and are high in sugar. Soft drinks, cakes and ice cream are examples of bad carbs.
The Importance of good Nutrition
Food provides our bodies with energy and nutrients so we can live, grow, and function properly. They can protect us from diseases like heart disease, diabetes and cancer. Eating nutritious foods like fruits, vegetables and whole grains will help you maintain a healthy body weight. It can also delay the effects of aging, and can positively affect your mood and increase focus.
By Panahon TV Intern- Darlene Joy Lodronio
Mental health is just as important as physical health.
According to the Philippine Statistics Authority (PSA), mental health illnesses are the third most common forms of morbidity among Filipinos. In fact, between 17 to 20 percent of Filipino adults experience psychiatric disorders, while 10 to 15 percent of Filipino children aged 5 to 15, suffer from mental health problems.
To promote healthy eating, internist-cardiologist Willie Ong enumerated brain foods you should always have in your kitchen:
1) OILY FISH
Examples of oily fish are sardines, salmon, tilapia, tamban and bangus. According to Ong, these types contain fatty acids that help develop brain cells.
WHAT’S IN IT: “May taglay itong omega-3 fatty acids na nagpapaganda ng daloy ng dugo. Dahil dito, mababawasan ang tsansang magkaroon ng sakit na stroke at atake sa puso.” (Oily fish have omega-3 fatty acids that help blood flow, minimizing the possibilities of stroke and heart disease.)
INTAKE: thrice a week, 4 ounces per serving
Examples of brain-boosting nuts are peanuts, cashew and walnuts. Nuts have Vitamin E and Niacin, known as healthy fats that help prevent Alzheimer’s disease.
WHAT’S IN IT: “Ang mani ay maganda sa puso, utak at nakapagpapababa ng cholesterol. Ayon sa pagsusuri, kapag mataas ang lebel ng vitamin E sa iyong katawan, mas matalas din ang iyong pag-iisip. May tulong din ang mani para sa memorya.” (Nuts are good for the heart and brain. It also lowers cholesterol. Based on studies, those who have high Vitamin E levels also have sharper minds. Nuts also help in improving memory.)
INTAKE: Avoid salted fried nuts. Limit consumption to a palm-size portion or 30 grams daily.
Eggs can be cooked in different ways, and have high levels of choline, as well as Vitamins B2 and D that are good for kids, too.
WHAT’S IN IT: “Ang itlog ay mataas sa choline, isang kemikal na kailangan ng mga bata para mag-develop ang kanilang utak at memorya. Mataas din sa Vitamin A, iron at folate ang itlog.” (Eggs are rich in choline, a chemical that kids need for brain and memory development. Eggs also have high levels of Vitamin A, iron and folate.)
INTAKE: Kids may consume one egg per day. However, those who have high blood or high cholesterol should limit intake to three eggs per week.
Help improve short-term memory with your morning buddy that’s rich in caffeine and antioxidants.
WHAT’S IN IT: “Makatutulong ang kape para maiwasan ang Alzheimer’s disease at panghihina ng ating isipan. May sangkap na antioxidants at caffeine ang kape. May tulong din ang kape sa pag-memorya ng iyong inaaral pero panandalian lang ang epekto nito.” (Coffee helps prevent Alzheimer’s disease and strengthens the mind. It has antioxidants and caffeine. Coffee helps you memorize, but only on a short-term basis.
INTAKE: Limit consumption to two cups per day to avoid palpitation. Full cream milk and whipped cream, which are rich in fats, should also be avoided.
Avocados are good for digestion and help lower bad cholesterol, preventing the risk of cancer.
WHAT’S IN IT: “Ang abokado ay may taglay na good fats at healthy oils. Dahil dito, nakatutulong ito sa pag-iwas sa sakit sa puso at stroke. May sangkap din itong Vitamin B6 at Vitamin E na pampakinis ng ating balat and may help relieve stress.” (Avocado has good fats and healthy oils that help prevent heart disease and stroke. It contains Vitamins B6 and E that are good for the skin and may help relieve stress.)
INTAKE: Half cut per day, thrice a week.
According to Ong, apart from healthy foods, a healthy lifestyle is also important for mental health.
“Umiwas sa alak at mga bisyo. Ang pag-inom ng sobrang alak ay nakababawas ng brain cells sa ating utak. Hihina ang iyong memory. May sakit na kung tawagin ay “alcoholic dementia.” Ang ibig sabihin nito ay nagiging ulyanin ang pasyente dahil nabababad ang kanyang utak sa alcohol. Iwas din sa paninigarilyo at pagpupuyat.” (Avoid alcohol and other vices. Drinking excessive alcohol diminishes brain cells and causes poor memory. There is a condition called alcoholic dementia characterized by forgetfulness because of too much alcohol consumption. One should also avoid smoking and lack of sleep.)
So whether you’re an employee striving for a promotion at work, or a student wanting to get good grades in school, it pays off to always eat healthy!
The New Year symbolizes fresh starts. For most of us, goals at the start of the year include a fitness routine. We all know the benefits of exercise: healthy skin, feel-good endorphins and overall physical wellness. And if you feel like trying something new to tone your muscles and burn fat, here are some of this year’s fitness trends!
Looking for a multi-joint workout that engages the entire body with emphasis on the core and shoulder muscles? Do as the babies do before they learn to walk—crawl! In the book, Becoming Bulletproof, fitness expert Tim Anderson explains that infants crawl to develop unilateral strength in all four limbs, which is essential to walking. Crawling helps develop endurance and stability in the wrists, shoulders, hips, ankles and toe, while providing support for your back. Plus, it also promotes healthier blood pressure!
Video courtesy: Redefining Strength
This anxiety-reducing, ultra-empowering workout has been around for a while, but some predict that it will be a hit more than ever this year. Aside from increasing endurance, strength and speed, it also has mental perks! Boxing requires a focused mind, and can also serve as a form of meditation.
This year, more and more women are getting into boxing. Gone are the stereotypes of bulky arms, monster muscles and nosebleed; boxing is now considered a brilliant way of sculpting and toning.
But if you’re too busy to swing by the gym, the next best thing is to do it virtually. Set to launch this year, The Boxx Method (theboxxmethod.com) is the “world’s first virtual boxing experience.”
Video courtesy: Wexer
3. Workout Apps
Let’s face it; gym memberships can be expensive. Home workouts are becoming more popular, not just because of their convenience, but also because of their affordability. This year, workout videos-on-demand will continue to expand this year on the internet. More and more people are streaming their daily needs, so why should workouts be any different? From strength training and yoga, to running and boxing, social media outlets are now providing fitness routines from health professionals.
Here’s our top 5 list of apps available free on Android and iOS that provide step-by-step instructions—just like an expensive trainer—for free:
1. Map My Fitness
2. Workout Trainer
3. Nike + Training Club
5. Daily Workouts
Exercise is medicine—and yes, it is possible to adopt a lifestyle that includes regular exercise. Go ahead and jumpstart your year with the life-boosting activities today!
Rain gear such as boots, coats and umbrellas are meant to protect your kids during the rainy days, but did you know that some of these items may harm your children’s health?
In a 2013 study conducted by the environmental watchdog, EcoWaste Coalition, 23 out of 33 rainwear products from Divisoria tested positive from the toxic chemicals, lead and cadmium.
According to the World Health Organization (WHO), lead is a heavy metal with a low melting point, and is easily molded and shaped. It is usually used as an element in pipes, storage batteries, pigments, paints
and vinyl products. However, it causes loss of cognition, shortening of attention span, alteration of
behavior, dyslexia, attention deficit disorder, hypertension, renal impairment, immune-toxicity and
toxicity to the reproductive organs. Oftentimes, these effects are permanent.
Meanwhile, cadmium is a human carcinogen and has toxic effects on the kidney, the skeletal and the respiratory systems.
Among the items analyzed by Ecowaste were 25 raincoats, five (5) umbrellas and three (3) pairs of rainboots that the group bought for P50 – P250 each from 10 discount shops situated at the following:
11/88 Shopping Mall, 168 Shopping Mall, 999 Shopping Mall and the Tutuban Prime Block Mall.
The group detected excessive levels of lead: up to 15,500 parts per million (ppm) of lead and up to 717 ppm of cadmium in 70% of the samples.
According to Aileen Lucero, Acting National Coordinator of EcoWaste Coalition, these chemicals are
released into the environment and could affect kids through ingestion, inhalation or skin absorption.
“Their hand-to- mouth behavior and their habit of sitting on the ground or the floor can result to greater childhood exposure to various toxins.”
To prevent toxic exposure, the EcoWaste Coalition advised consumers to read product labels carefully
and avoid PVC materials. These materials are known for having strong chemical odors as they contain numerous toxic additives like cadmium and lead used as pigments or stabilizers.
The group also advised parents to regularly check the condition of the products used by their kids for
any signs of wear and tear, and to frequently remind kids to wash their hands thoroughly, especially
before snacks or meals.
http://ecowastecoalition.blogspot.com/2013/06/ecowaste-coalition- rain-gear- for-kids.html
Because a collective effort must be done in order to fight the effects of rising global temperature, numerous solutions to Climate Change continue to be discussed at the Conference of Parties (COP21) in Paris, France.
It is the Rio Earth Summit in 1992 that jumpstarted the international political response to climate change. The convention aimed to address the issue of greenhouse gases (GHGs), while working with the UN Framework on Climate Change.
For the past 20 years, the annual Conference of Parties (COP) has been continuously reviewing the convention’s implementation. COP21 also known as the 2015 Paris Climate Conference, aims to achieve its ambitious goal: to legally bind and have a universal agreement on keeping global warming below 2 degrees Celsius.
GHGs that are emitted through human activities are the main factor of Climate Change. Major GHGs such as carbon dioxide, methane, and nitrous oxide are basically heat-trappers, having the capability to remain in the atmosphere and to absorb to energy. According to the United States Environmental Protection Agency, GHGs warm the climate, posing threats to people and environment. Reports from World Meteorological Organization (WMO) further state that GHGs concentration hit another record of a 36% percent increase from 1990 to 2014.
But in our own way, we can help lessen the effects of Climate Change by making better food choices.
Reports shows that about 44 to 57 percent of the total global GHGs emissions are associated to what we eat. Going vegan is one of the ultimate and effective ways to flight Climate Change because 51% percent of global GHGs emissions are from animal agriculture. Raising animal for food has largely become a source of carbon dioxide, methane and nitrous oxide emission.
People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA) said that based on a British study, “Typical meat eaters who switched to a vegan diet reduced foot-related carbon footprint by 60% percent, saving 1.5 tons of carbon dioxide from entering the atmosphere each year.”
Carbon dioxide is released through the burning of fossil fuels, such as gasoline and oil. One calorie of protein from meat demands big amounts of fossil fuel energy because of the sheer amount grains fed to farm animals. Plus, forests are being cleared to provide pastureland for farmed animals.
Methane has 25 times of an impact on Climate Change, compared to carbon dioxide over a 100-year period, according to the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). Billions of chicken, turkeys, cows and pigs packed onto factory farms are the top source of methane.
PETA said nitrogen-based fertilizers used to grown animal feed have become a source of nitrous oxide. And significant amounts of nitrous oxide are released into the atmosphere when there is a combination of manure and urine from farmed animals.
5 Tips for Eating Climate-Smart
Grow your own food. Organic food and agriculture are allies to actions against climate change. It maximizes renewable resources and enhances nutrient and energy flows in agro ecosystems. Emissions of nitrous oxides and methane from pastureland can be avoided through organic management. By doing away with synthetic fertilizers and pesticides, you help nurture Mother Earth.
Go for fresh food. Processed food is energy-intensive. From fields sprayed with fertilizer, to animals being fed by grains that are grown using pesticides and fertilizers, and gasoline used to transport food—combined effects of all these food stages contributes to GHGs emission. Plus its plastic packaging adds to trash that pollutes the environment.
Go for naturally grown meat. Shift to restaurants that offer naturally grown meat. Organic meat is safe for consumption; processed meat usually have antibiotic residue. Organic meat comes from animals that are grass-fed or pasture-raised.
Buy local. Food transported to different grocery stores consumes a lot of gasoline, and that contributes to GHGs. So, in order to lessen food transportation, it’s time to buy local. Eat foods in season. Visit the nearest market or stall in your area.
Use food waste. Leftover foods can make carbon-rich soil. With microorganisms, food scraps are decomposed without creating methane gas, a type of GHG that that contributes to Climate Change.
So if you want to help fight Climate Change, eat healthier and wiser. How cool is it that you can eat your way to your health and protect the environment at the same time?
The month of May may be down to its last days but the Philippines will still continue to experience hot weather due to the prevailing Ridge of High Pressure Area affecting Luzon.
This weather system will bring partly cloudy to cloudy skies, bearing generally fair weather conditions. However, due to the heat, thunderstorm formation is still likely in the afternoon or evening.
In Metro Manila, the heat index forecast may reach up to 40 degrees Celsius today. With this temperature, food spoilage may easily occur. Avoid this from happening to secure your health: http://www.panahon.tv/blog/2015/04/slow-down-spoilage-this-sunny-season/
During this season, it is best to keep cool and use common sense to stay healthy during the warmer days. To prevent heat-related woes, read: http://www.panahon.tv/blog/2015/03/staying-cool-this-hot-season/
The longer we stay under the sun, the more we are prone to dehydration. Aside from water, you can rehydrate in tastier ways. Know more here: http://www.panahon.tv/blog/2015/05/fruits-that-beat-the-hot-weather/
With temperatures soaring at this time, food spoilage is one of our immediate concerns.
Ingesting contaminated food and drinks results to diarrhea or even food poisoning which may lead to dehydration. And dehydration is the very thing we need to avoid when the season is hot and dry.
So why do food spoilage easily occur during the warmer months? Most likely because of the following factors:
Improper food storage
This is the leading cause of food spoilage. Perishable food unrefrigerated for more than two hours is better headed to your compost pit than your stomach. Foods such as fish, meat, poultry and dairy products are especially prone to contamination in warmer weather.
These microscopic organisms multiply, sometimes rapidly, as long as nutrition and water are present. Bacterial growth rate is high in warm climate, resulting to the rotten appearance and foul smell in spoiled food.
To prevent food spoilage from spoiling your fun in the sun, here are some tips to keep your food safe and fresh:
· Wash your hands before handling food.
· Store food items separately and in tightly sealed containers to prolong their shelf life.
· Monitor food for sign of spoilage. If food is on its way to getting spoiled, remove it immediately to prevent its bacteria contaminating everything else inside the refrigerator.
· Avoid cross contamination by using separate utensils for raw and cooked foods.
· Thaw frozen food in a refrigerator or microwave oven before cooking, and not in the counter to avoid bacteria from rapidly contaminating your food.
· Fruits and vegetables should be washed before cooking to remove any dirt and soil residue that may contain bacteria.
· Keep cold food cold and reheat food after it has been kept in room temperature for a long time to destroy any bacterial growth.
· When doing grocery shopping, head to the frozen food section last. Pack raw and cooked foods separately.
· When eating outdoors, keep food covered and under the shade to prevent pests from diving into them.
· When faced with the dilemma of food spoilage, remember the wise words, “Remember, if in doubt, throw it out!”