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Sep 142014

In the scientific or media world, to slam a person’s positions on a sensitive subject as that of a end-of-days mystic is tantamount to calling him/her a blithering idiot.

And that’s precisely how New Yorker buggered Vandana Shiva.

Vandana – Vocal Opponent

Worship her or dismiss her as a rabble-rousing idiot, it’s hard to ignore Vandana Shiva.

A noted environmentalist and vehement opponent of genetically modified crops, Vandana Shiva is a hugely popular figure in Europe and Asia, particularly among those fighting against globalization, genetically modified seeds and crops and giant seed corporations like Monsanto.

Vandana is perhaps the single person most responsible for India banning genetically modified food crops.

The New Yorker recently did a lengthy piece titled Seeds of Doubt on Vandana Shiva and her pet subject, genetically modified seeds.

Bottom line, the New Yorker piece is more favorable to genetically modified crops than to Vandana Shiva’s position on the hotly debated subject.

Here’s a key excerpt from the New Yorker piece: Continue reading »

Aug 042014

I’ve started drinking again (I swear on Swaminarayan, Jesus & Balaji).

My health be damned!

Remember those hot U.S. desi babes Ankita and Madhuri with their crazy cockamamie idea about an Indian mealkit service Saffron Fix (they ship you the spices and vegetables and you do the cooking and cleaning).

Saffron Fix debuted on the crowdfunding site Kickstarter a few days ago.

Saffron Fix Successfully Kickstarted

Folks, I’m sorry that I have to be the one to break this news to y’all.

Hear, hear: This evening, the babes got kickstarted and good sense got kicked in the face!

No kidding.

Yes, Ankita and Madhuri have met their Kickstarter goal of $10,000. They still have 41 days to go!

As of  6:49PM (ET), Saffron Fix had received commitments for $10,010 from 175 backers.

And a lot of the backers are U.S. desis! Wonder if these people overdosed on Bhang thinking it was Lassi!

As per Kickstarter, Saffron Fix will be funded on September 14, 2014 8:00 PM.

If these babes can get kickstarted for their crazy idea, I think any of you can throw your hats in the Kickstarter ring.

Go for it!

Related Saffron Fix Posts:
Ankita & Madhuri – Sexy but Crazy
Aug 012014

We do the shopping and chopping so you can enjoy the cooking!
– Ankita and Madhuri, founders of Saffron Fix

If you’re like me, you’re always famished and like any sane desi in America crave spicy Indian food. No pasta, burgers, meatballs or tacos for us.

For your Indian fix in America, you have four options:

1) Purchase the spices, meat and vegetables and cook at home

2) Order a takeout from the nearest Taste of India, Bombay Palace or Flavor of India via online services like Seamless, or

3) Visit one of those countless Indian, Pakistani or Bangladeshi restaurants

4) Buy one of those heat-and-eat Indian food packets at Trader Joe’s, Whole Foods or Indian grocery stores like Patel Bros or Apna Bazaar

Now two charming Indian babes Ankita Sharma and Madhuri Sharma say their fledgling venture Saffron Fix will simplify the first option (see above) by eliminating the complexity out of cooking an Indian meal.

The essence of Saffron Fix is that they send you the spices, Naan/Roti, rice and chopped vegetables and meat along with a recipe card.

You can pick the day of delivery. Orders before noon are delivered the same day. Shipping is free.

While there are a million items in Indian food, Saffron Fix is starting with Chicken Tikka Masala, Saag Paneer, Punjabi Chole, Veggie Masala Burger and Paneer Bhurji Rolls.

No South Indian stuff. Tough luck if you’re bent on Upma, Avial, Bisi Bela Bath, Hyderabadi Dum Biryani or Gutti Vankaya.

Utter Nonsense

Let’s try and understand the Ankita-Madhuri modus op.

They want you to pay them $30 or $50 (meal for 2 or 4 respectively) and then do the cooking yourself.

Although Saffron Fix will ship you the ingredients and the recipe, you still have to sweat in front of the stove and then clean up the dishes (a chore no sane human enjoys).

Plus, in an era where there are countless Indian video recipes on the Internet and you can buy the spices online or at the local Indian grocery store why would an American or desi need Saffron Fix.

Somebody is missing two screws in the head and that’s definitely not you, dear reader.

To get Saffron Fix going, Ankita and Madhuri have gone the Kickstarter route with a project to raise $10,000. The money will go toward setting up operations, establishing a web site and launching a mobile app.

Won’t Fly

Much as we want these two delicious desi babes Ankita and Madhuri to succeed, their venture is doomed. Continue reading »

May 192014

Relation Between Food & Obesity
I keep reading articles in Indian newspapers about an obesity epidemic ravaging India.

Plus, diabetes rates are said to have tripled, quadrupled or whatever the next higher number is.

Like most folks, I too thought that fat Rakesh Gupta and obese Senthil Kumaran were fat because undisciplined, gluttonous Rakesh and Senthil eat more Tandoori Chicken, Paneer Tikka Masala,  Dum Biryani and Medhu Vada than the rest of us lean and mean disciplined Patels and Iyers do.

About Bollywood star Sonakshi Sinha’s weight issues what can I say that has not been said before.

If you believe all the nasty things evil journalists write about her, Sonakshi Sinha is a full-time eater and a part-time Bollywood actress.

One black-hearted blogger described Sonakshi as Bollywood’s “Heavyweight Champion.

Some of Sonakshi’s mean Bollywood rivals go so far as to say that “Heavyweight Sonakshi” eats more in a single weekend than leggy Bangalore beauty Deepika Padukone consumes in a whole month!

Different Theory

So I was more than surprised to read an article in the New York Times the other day that posits an entirely different theory about the relation between eating and obesity:

But what if we’ve confused cause and effect? What if it’s not overeating that causes us to get fat, but the process of getting fatter that causes us to overeat?

The more calories we lock away in fat tissue, the fewer there are circulating in the bloodstream to satisfy the body’s requirements. If we look at it this way, it’s a distribution problem: We have an abundance of calories, but they’re in the wrong place. As a result, the body needs to increase its intake. We get hungrier because we’re getting fatter.

….According to this alternative view, factors in the environment have triggered fat cells in our bodies to take in and store excessive amounts of glucose and other calorie-rich compounds. Since fewer calories are available to fuel metabolism, the brain tells the body to increase calorie intake (we feel hungry) and save energy (our metabolism slows down). Eating more solves this problem temporarily but also accelerates weight gain. Cutting calories reverses the weight gain for a short while, making us think we have control over our body weight, but predictably increases hunger and slows metabolism even more.

In other words, fat Rakesh Gupta and obese Senthil Kumaran are not fat because they’re eating more Tandoori Chicken and Dum Biryani.

Au contraire, Rakesh and Senthil are stuffing themselves with more Tandoori Chicken and Dum Biryani because they’re fat and getting fatter and in the process not getting the metabolic fuel they need to sustain themselves.

If the alternative view is proven right, the conventional view that obesity is a result of calorie imbalance may be wide off the mark. Issues of personal responsibility for weight problem go for a toss if your body is not getting enough metabolic fuel!

Now you really can’t lash out at Sonakshi Sinha for adding more weight to her already weighty self and snidely refer to  the actress behind her fat back as a Bihari cow. Continue reading »

Apr 302014

Indians are mighty big on Chilli Chicken (a spicy Indian-Chinese delight that comes in dry and gravy formats, served as appetizer or entree and great with fried rice, noodles and Naan bread).

Although American Sweet Chili Chicken seemed like a far cry from the famed Indian Chilli Chicken, I readily jumped at the opportunity when news came my way today of Papa John’s new Sweet Chili Chicken Pizza.

Papa John's Sweet Chilli Chicken Pizza - DisappointingPapa John’s Sweet Chili Chicken Pizza – Not Impressed

Hey, I’m always ready for pizza (I’ve been rumored to consume even Pizza Hut and Domino’s foul smelling pizz*@$&&#^as). ;)

Sweet Chili Chicken Pizza

I called in my order and, braving the heavy evening rain, hotfooted over to the local Papa John’s store to pick up my large Sweet Chili Chicken Pizza ($12).

The pizza comes with sweet chili sauce, and four toppings – Pineapple, Onion, Red Pepper and Breaded Chicken.

Sweet Chili Chicken Pizza is not much to look at (see picture above). Nothing like those attractive veggie pizzas.

Not Worth It

Maybe my expectations were unduly high but Papa John’s Sweet Chili Chicken Pizza turned out to be an utter disappointment, in more ways than one.

First, my pizza was not well baked.

Somebody at the store was in a hurry to remove it out of the oven. The crust was way too soft.

Second, the pineapple pieces dominated the flavor of the pizza initially although I did get some flavor of the sweet chili sauce subsequently.

Still the sweet chili part of my Sweet Chili Chicken pizza was kind of muted. At least, not as strong as the name suggests.

Perhaps that was because the sweet chili sauce was not evenly/adequately distributed in the pizza.

When I held up the slices, I could see the Sweet Chili Sauce at the edges below the cheesy layer but I didn’t find much evidence of them away from the edges as I started biting into the slices.

Papa John's Sweet Chilli Chicken Pizza Ad at Store EntranceSweet Chili Chicken Pizza Ad at a Papa John’s U.S. Store

And the breaded chicken pieces had no flavor. Zilch! As if they were dropped in as an afterthought just before the box was thrust into my hands. Continue reading »

Mar 052014

Brahmins are one of nature’s most fascinating, most bizarre, most diabolical creatures.

Obsessed with weird rituals, an abiding fondness for in-breeding, an unquenchable thirst for Cow-ca-Cola, a sneering contempt for eating meat and a diet limited to plant products, the scheming Brahmins are a tiny group geographically restricted to the barbarous land mass designated in atlases as India, the mountain nation of Nepal and parts of the New World a.k.a. United States (rumors of Brahmin sightings in New Zealand are increasing lately).

Brahmin Diet  image © SearchIndia.comA Brahmin Diet – All Vegetables and No Meat

In lexicographic terms, a Shudra may be considered the antonym of Brahmin.

A numerically large group confined mostly to India, Shudras find it impossible to resist eating anything that moves, swims, crawls or flies.

All is grist to a Shudra stomach, badly starved as it often is of nutrients.

The endearing quality of Shudras is their enormous delight in life’s little blessings and how they live for the day.

Shudra diet image © SearchIndia.comShudra Diet – Meat & More Meat

It would be no exaggeration to say that a sight of any non-human creature induces a Pavlovian fit of drooling in a Shudra.

The Kshatriya diet is similar to the Shudra meal except that the better-off Kshatriyas prefer meat not crawling with maggots. Alas, the economically distressed Shudra has not the luxury of choice!

For those not familiar with India, Kshatriyas are the equivalent of Bollywood’s Chulbul Pandey.

While the devilish Brahmins tend to think with their Chanakyan (vulpine) minds and the starving Shudras with their bellowing stomachs, the Kshatriya is mindful only of his iron hands and elephant-trunk sized legs. In the Kshatriya weltanschauung, all creatures, be they human, animal, amphibious or avian, exist only as prey for the exercise of his meat-fed six-pack muscles.

Now that you have an idea of India’s various communities and their dietary practices, let’s get to the meat of our subject.

Oh, wait! There’s one more group in India known as Vaishyas, a community where males are so obsessed with counting coins and notes they have no time for eating, drinking, screwing and sleeping, leaving their women folk prey to the repeated depredations of Brahmins, Kshatriyas and Shudras.

Longevity – Brahmin vs Shudra

Given my advanced perception skills, it has not escaped my attention that the fiendish Brahmins tend to live longer than Shudras and Kshatriyas.

I always suspected the key reason behind longevity of Brahmins vis-a-vis other Indian communities a.k.a. castes was their abhorrence of meat.

Now a new American study has confirmed my suspicion of why Brahmins outlive their Shudra, Kshatriya and Vaishya peers.

A study by Valter Longo and his associates finds that animal-derived proteins are associated with higher mortality rates.

People in the age group 50-65 consuming a high animal source protein diet were 74% likely to die sooner and at  four-times higher risk of dying from cancer than those who abstain from such a diet.

Longo is Director of the Longevity Institute, a Professor of Gerontology and Biological Sciences and the Edna Jones Chair of Biogerontology at the University of Southern California and so his findings cannot be easily dismissed.

The findings of Longo and his team were based on a study of 6,381 U.S. men and women aged 50 and above.

Here’s an extract from their study:

Notably, our results showed that the amount of proteins derived from animal sources accounted for a significant proportion of the association between overall protein intake and all-cause and cancer mortality. These results are in agreement with recent findings on the association between red meat consumption and death from all-cause and cancer (Fung et al., 2010,Pan et al., 2012). Previous studies in the U.S. have found that a low carbohydrate diet is associated with an increase in overall mortality and showed that when such a diet is from animal-based products, the risk of overall as well as cancer mortality is increased even further (Fung et al., 2010,Lagiou et al., 2007). Our study indicates that high levels of animal proteins, promoting increases in IGF-1 and possibly insulin, is one of the major promoters of mortality for people age 50–65 in the 18 years following the survey assessing protein intake.

Cow – Pray or Chop?

Now I understand why Brahmins fall before the cow, pray to it and gulp down Cow-ca-Cola unlike the Shudras who fall upon the cow, chop it to pieces and feast on its meat. Continue reading »