Problems Faced by All Today

Food Based Ailments

Are you suffering from food poisioning?

Each year in the United States, some 76 million people experience food-related illnesses. New outbreaks are reported daily. They come from sources such as E. coli in undercooked hamburger or bacteria-laden lettuce; salmonella from raw chicken, eggs, and green onions; or listeria bacteria from soft cheeses and lunch meats. Food-related illness is a serious problem. But you can protect yourself if you know the facts.

What Causes Food-Related Illness?
While you might encounter thousands of types of bacteria in your everyday environment, most cause you no harm. But when harmful bacteria, such as salmonella, campylobacter, listeria and E. coli, enter our food or water supply, they cause problems ranging from flu-like symptoms to serious illness -- even death. Three common types of food-related bacteria are:

Salmonella :This is the bacterium that can cause illness when you eat raw or undercooked eggs (even in chocolate chip cookie dough!). Salmonella species are the No. 1 cause of food-related illness in the United States. They are responsible for more deaths than any other food-borne pathogen. Salmonella infection can lead to fever, abdominal cramps, and diarrhea within 12 hours to three days after eating the contaminated food.
Campylobacter: This is the most common cause of diarrhea and abdominal cramps from food-related illness. While most raw poultry meat has campylobacter on it, vegetables and fruits can also become contaminated with juices that drip from raw chicken. Unpasteurized milk or cheese or contaminated water may also cause this infection.
Escherichia coli 0157:H7 (E. coli): This is a common cause of dehydrating diarrhea worldwide. While most strains of E. coli live in the intestines of healthy humans and animals, the 0157:H7 strain can be deadly, leading to bloody diarrhea and even kidney failure. Other, less dangerous, E. coli are responsible for most cases of "travelers' diarrhea."

What Are Symptoms of Food-Related Illness?
The symptoms vary, depending on the bacteria and the person who ingests it. Some common symptoms include: Backache, Chills, Constipation, Stomach cramps. Diarrhea (frequent, watery, sometimes bloody) Dizziness, Fatigue, Fever, Loss of appetite, Nausea and Vomiting

How Is a Food-Related Infection Detected?
If you suspect a food-related infection, seek medical care. Your doctor may culture a stool sample to identify the bacteria. Treatment may follow, depending on the bacteria and your symptoms. Experts believe that many people who have diarrhea or vomiting simply assume it's a "virus," and let it run its course instead of getting an accurate diagnosis. For this reason, the Centers for Disease Control estimates that 38 cases of salmonellosis actually occur for every case that is diagnosed and reported to public health authorities. The good news is that like viruses, most bacterial food poisoning resolves in less than seven days. If you have limited symptoms and are able to keep fluid down, treatment of your symptoms may be sufficient. But if you have blood or mucus in your stools, along with fever, those are signs of bacterial infection. You need medical attention and possibly antibiotic.

Who's at Risk?
If you eat food, you are at risk for food-related illness. While there are more than 250 different types of food-related diseases, this is one common illness you can avoid.Here are 6 tips that can help you protect yourself:

1. Watch What You Buy
Make sure the food you or your parents buy is the freshest available. Check the packages for expiration or "use by" dates, and make sure you will have time to eat the food before it needs to be thrown out. When the use-by date passes, throw the food away to be safe.
Make sure that eggs have no cracks or thin places in the shells. Select cheese that is fresh and has no unusual mold or discolored spots. Dairy products should be dated and pasteurized. Avoid buying fruits or vegetables that are slippery, moldy, or have a funny odor. And never taste fresh fruits or vegetables in the store, as you have no idea what types of germs or pesticides are on them.
2. Always Wash Fresh Fruits and Vegetables (Even If They Come In Prewashed Packages).
Remember the spinach scare across the United States in the fall of 2006 that resulted in several deaths? Fruits and vegetables can have some of the most deadly food-related pathogens, particularly if they are washed or irrigated with water that is contaminated with animal or human feces.
These germs can get into fruits and vegetables during processing or packaging. And if the workers who packed the fruits and vegetables into crates are ill, these germs go right onto the foods they are touching. Scrub all fresh fruits and vegetables to remove germs and avoid illness. This means rewashing any prewashed, packaged salads before serving, to remove bacteria and pesticides that remain on the leaves.
3. Be Aware of "At Risk" Foods.
There are certain risky foods you need to be cautious about, such as raw bean sprouts. No matter how fresh they are, dangerous bacteria can continue to grow and may carry pathogens. (Cooked bean sprouts may be OK.)
4. Cook Foods Thoroughly.
Foods need to be cooked thoroughly to kill any dangerous bacteria. Eggs must be cooked until the yolk is firm. If you are reheating leftovers, bring them to 165 degrees Fahrenheit to kill bacteria. Sauces and soups should be brought to a boil when they are reheated.
5. Keep Hot Foods Hot and Cold Foods Cold.
While foods may be safe immediately after cooking, if you allow them to stay on the counter for longer than two hours, deadly bacteria may start to reproduce. Store food immediately after cooking. And keep cold foods cold. Do not defrost and then refreeze foods unless you first cook them.
6. Use Healthy Hygiene.
Before cooking or eating, wash your hands for at least 20 seconds with soap and warm water (sing "Happy Birthday to You" to pass the time). Rub your hands together, as the friction of skin against skin will enable you to remove the germs. Also, wash hands frequently throughout the day


Absence of a 24*7 Monitoring Platform

Are we eating to live, or living to eat?
Food is the most complex issue. This is an extraordinary age of abundance of food choices for those of us living in Western society. The growing, hunting, gathering, and obtaining of food are not tasks that most people, with the exception of farmers and backyard gardeners, experience anymore. Instead our food appears on the shelves of nearby supermarkets, takeout shops, and restaurants. The variety of food displayed and accessible is astounding at times, with a stream of temptations created by clever advertising and packaging, enticing smells, and the guarantees of fast, reliable, and efficient service and quality. No wonder food is such a sensitive issue. It is no longer a means by which we sustain ourselves, but has become a wonderland of choices, many of which come from a wide variety of cultures and culinary styles. Are we eating to live, or living to eat? Now, not only do we have an abundance of foods to choose from, but we must also learn how to make the right choices, selecting foods that will be both attractive to our taste buds (which often lead us into temptation) and conducive to physical health. This is not an easy task, and it is made all the more difficult by advertising, information, diets, advice, vested business interests, and the ethnic, cultural, and family conditioning we have experienced while growing up. If we want to target healthy foods, how far do we go when confronted by choices of organic, biodynarnic, minimum pesticide, no preservatives, no additives, no artificial coloring, low cholesterol, fat-free, sugar-free, low salt, no salt, no cholesterol, low cholesterol, “natural,” macrobiotic, vegan . . . and the list goes on?

Food awareness can be very confusing.
We are confronted with complex choices and bombarded with sometimes conflicting information, while being enticed by temptation and put off by alarming health studies. We have had little education in nutrition, and what information we have received about what we “should” be eating may be biased by underlying vested business interests. While our average weight is going up, the range of diets being recommended is expanding faster than people’s waistlines, and the food choices continue to multiply.
There is no question that the food or fuel we put into the body affects us. We all know that taking coffee is one way to stimulate the system, while eating large amounts of heavy foods is one way to slow it down. Yet, because of our lack of education in the area of nutrition, our food awareness is often limited to these more obvious conclusions. We need to learn the skills to fine-tune our diet in order to satisfy our needs without harming ourselves by our choices.
Nutrition was not believed to be an appropriate subject for most medical schools. It is only recently with the compelling evidence of the importance of food awareness that things are beginning to change. These changes will lead to more information for the general public, as well as for health-care providers.
Making the wrong food choices can be hazardous to our health. Health practitioners are now developing dietary guidelines to respond to a series of health problems including heart disease, high blood pressure, tooth decay, liver disease, obesity, diabetes, stroke, osteoporosis, gallstones, and cancers of the colon, prostate, and breast. But at the same time as being therapeutic, proper nutrition can be a tool of prevention.
Educate yourself
On both your individual body and mind, and the types of food that will allow you to strengthen your body and mind given their properties and your needs. It is a simple process if you take the time to do it. Given the wide choice of foods available to us from all over the world, nature’s pharmacy is at our doorstep. In addition to acknowledging the importance of food to the maintenance of the body, research now confirms the close interrelationship between the food we eat and our psychological disposition. Not only do the foods we eat affect our moods, but also the way we feel affects our food choices. Food is a medicine of sorts, as it can produce certain effects in the system that our mind may be looking for.
Like medicine, the food we eat can create moods as a result of its effect chemically on the body and mind. When we binge on food or take in excessive sweets, there is a release of the body’s natural pain-relievers-which temporarily relieve any psychological or physical pain we might have. Certain nutrients in the foods we consume have a dramatic impact on our memory, attention span, and moods. The effect of food can be like that of a drug. Developing our awareness is the only way to break the addictive habits that we may be a victim of, given this interactive dynamic of food and mood.

Poor Supply Chain for Organic Food Vendors

From soil to foil
Over the last couple of decades, the organic food industry has grown by leaps and bounds. According to a survey published by the Organic Trade Association, revenue in 2009 was 25 times greater than what it was in 1990. Although the industry has experienced explosive revenue growth, organic food is still only a small part of our food system. For a little perspective on how much room organic food has to grow, consider this: US consumers spend roughly $1 trillion dollars on food every year.
While the organic food market has grown, the price of organic foodstuffs remains largely out of the reach of many Americans. A recent study of food access found that a full 49 million Americans make food decisions based solely on the price of the food. With most organic foods, especially produce, remaining more expensive than conventionally produced food, many Americans aren’t even considering organic food.
The high price of organic food has many causes. One of the big things that keeps prices inflated is a lack of scale. The relatively small scale of organic foods has lead to demand outweighing available supply. But beyond that, organics cost consumers more because the food is distributed under an inefficient distribution network. Surprisingly, even as the industry has grown and we’ve moved into the digital age, most organic food distribution deals are conducted by word-of-mouth. This leads to a lot of confusion in the food supply chain. It creates a situation where organic distributors don’t know when grocers need more produce, and grocers aren't kept up to date on the available inventory or pricing levels of their organic distributors. As a result, distribution and purchasing activities remain inefficient and the cost of these inefficiencies is passed on to the consumer.

Making Organic Food Distribution More Efficient
There are a few strategic and technology approaches that organic distributors can take to improve the efficiency of their supply chain. These strategies are already used for purchasing conventionally produced food and are partially responsible for driving out excess costs. This is not to say, however, that organic food distribution should try to mirror conventional distribution methods. Rather, it suggests that there are lessons that can be learned from conventional farming that would reduce the cost of organic food and improve access to healthy food.
Improve Distribution Operations
One of the biggest things holding back distributors of organic food is that they don’t deliver their food in the most efficient way possible. An intelligent use of food distribution softwarewould help distributors choose the most efficient path to distribute which would help reduce the overhead associated with delivering organic food. Create Better Buyer-Supplier CommunicationAnother thing keeping the price of organic food high is a lack of buyer-supplier communication. This can be remedied by utilizing supply chain software, which can provide updates on the available inventory of organic distributors in real-time. At the same time, the system can immediately inform distributors when a grocer's stock levels are low.
Coordinate Purchasing
The organic grocery market, save companies like Whole Foods, is still mostly a mom-and-pop type retail operation. These buyers don’t get very good wholesale cost savings because they’re not buying in a large enough quantity. If some of these stores banded together and aggregated their purchasing, they could lower their operational costs by an order of magnitude. This would result in decreased operational costs and lower food prices for the consumer.

Absence of a Collaborative Wellness Ecosystem

Health is Wealth!
A healthy society demands healthy people. To be healthy, people need to be conscious about their health, diet and ecosystem.
Why are people suffering?
1. Ignorance: Some people are ignorant about their health. Busy schedules force people to compromise with their healthy habits on a regular basis. Sometimes what people need, is simply a little push. Wellness ecosystem will give them an opportunity to explore more about healthy diet, dieticians, nutritionists and fitness trainers near by, health events, nutrition careers, govt. food schemes etc.
2. Nutrition career: Career in nutrition has unforeseen possibilities in India. By promoting the opportunities and career options, hundreds would be inspired to leave the popular, unhealthy competitive career options for pursuing a dream career in nutrition and diet consultancy.
3. Scope for Nutritionists: Wellness ecosystem will ensure to broaden the market scope for nutritionists, dieticians and fitness trainers. 4. Health Events: People will be aware of nearby health events. This way events will cherish more with enthusiastic participations and eventually more organisers will come forward to organise this type of events even in small localities.
5. Food schemes: Government provides a series of food schemes for unfortunate poor families to unprivileged just-above-the-poor line families. But again ignorance strikes as most of them are not even know the schemes properly. Collaborative wellness ecosystem will help to make the common people aware.
How to solve these problems?
An interactive integration of smartphone technology, internet, AI-ML, and self-awareness as a form of one-stop wellness forum is the ultimate solution. 1. What will be better than present all information within the reach (smartphone) of common people!
2. People will get all the information and tips though the forum platform about diet, dieticians, nutritionists and fitness trainers near by, health events, nutrition careers and govt. food schemes.
3. Nutritionists, dieticians and trainers will have the platform to showcase their ability to make people’s life healthy and stress free.
4. People will have the ultimate push in form of information and interaction for leading their healthy life.
5. Interaction, questionnaire, debate, critics-review etc. will made the whole forum more interactive and informative.

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