Archive for February, 2013

A chicken Farmer

Posted in Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , , on February 15, 2013 by ecofrenfood
A chicken farmer went to a local bar…. sat next to a woman and ordered a glass of champagne.

The woman perks up and says, ‘How about that? I just ordered a glass of champagne, too!’

‘What a coincidence’ the farmer says. ‘This is a special day for me ….I am celebrating.’

‘This is a special day for me too, I am also celebrating!’ says the woman.

‘What a coincidence!’ says the farmer.  As they clinked glasses the farmer asked, ‘What are you celebrating?’

‘My husband and I have been trying for years to have a child, and today my gynecologist told me that I am finally pregnant !’

‘What a coincidence,’ says the farmer. ‘I’m a chicken farmer and for years all of my hens were infertile, but today they are all laying fertilized eggs.’

‘That’s great!’ says the woman. ‘How did your chickens become fertile?’

‘I used a different cock,’ he replied.

The woman smiled and said, ‘What a coincidence.’

10 best Hong Kong local food

Posted in Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on February 15, 2013 by ecofrenfood

10 best Hong Kong local food

Due to its geographic location, and wide exposure to different parts of the world, Hong Kong developed some uniqe food that is an assimilation of various food culture. The below food items (marked with **) are my top favourite 10 Hong Kong food, I strongly recommend you to try them all.

    • bakery – the most famous bakery includes egg tart**, pineapple bun**, cocktail bun, and paper cup cake**. Most bakery shops make good bakery, but don’t pick the bakery shop which sells pasteries that are too yellowish – too much colouring. The last Governer of Hong Kong, Christopher Patten, likes the egg tarts from Tai Cheong Bakery, so all of a sudden the shop became famous, with multiple branches and expensive. However, I found its bakery has too much artificial colouring and pricy, taste good though. Here are some good choices for Hong Kong style bakery –
      • Happy Bun Bakery, Queen’s Road East, Wan Chai, Hong Kong. Exit C1 of MTR Admiralty station, walk east bound along Queensway, which continues to Queen’s Road East, Happy Bun bakery will be on your left. Ask if they have freshly baked pineapple buns, you just want to eat it when it is still burning hot!
      • New Blue Pool, Caine Road, Mid Levels, Hong Kong. Exit D1/D2 from MTR Central station, walk southwest bound, turn right on Queen’s Road Central, you will find a mid-level esculator in front of 100 Queen’s Road Central, take the esculator up, exit at Caine Road, walk west bound along Caine Road, New Blue Pool Bakery will be on your right.
      • Tai Cheong Bakery Tai Cheong Bakery, 32 Lyndhurst Terrace, Central, Hong Kong. Exit D1/D2 from MTR Central station, walk southwest bound, turn right on Queen’s Road Central, you will find a mid-level esculator in front of 100 Queen’s Road Central, take the esculator up, exit at Lyndhurst Terrace, walk west bound along Lyndhurst Terrace, Tai Cheung Bakery will be on your right.


    • beverage – milk tea(**), red bean ice. They are served at every tea cafe. Milk tea has a well-known nickname, stocking milk tea, as tea cafes use a stocking-like bag to filter out tea leaves. Milk tea and red bean ice might be available in other types of eateries but cannot compete with those served at tea cafes.

egg puff

    • snack – egg roll**(plain, or with shredded meat and/or seasame inside), almond cookie**(plain or chunky style), chicken pie, curry puff, small egg puff**(492 King’s Road, North Point, Hong Kong).


    • breakfast – rice roll wrap donut**. Many Chinese-style breakfast stores sell this item, but the best ones are those with smooth warm rice roll and crispy donut, served with soya sauce, you have to eat it fast so the donut does not get soggy. Ocean Empire maintains this quality quite well, just ask for exchange if you are not satisfied with the quality, this dish at Ocean Empire is called ‘Twisted Doughnut Ricesheet Roll’. Wai Kee Congee Shop Another common breakfast item is turnip cake, the most famous turnip cake shop is Wai Kee Congee Shop (82 Stanley Street, Central, Hong Kong. Exit D2 of MTR Central Station, then walk westbound along Queen’s Road Central, right on Cochrane Street, right on Stanley Street, the shop is on your left), it is recommended by many local food critics. Also try rice roll and minced beef congee.


  • lunch, dinner –
    • fried noodle**(crispy style) – served at tea house at dinner time.
    • lobster in cheese sauce** – Chuk Yuen Seafood Restaurant makes extraordinarily tasty cheese sauce. Prince Edward Road West (near South Wall Road), Kowloon City, Kowloon. Cash only. To get there is a bit tricky as MTR does not have access to it.
      • Take bus route 101 or 111 ( from Hong Kong Island) outside Vicwood Plaza, 199 Des Voeux Road Central, Sheung Wan, (from Kowloon) at Tsim Sha Tsui East / Hung Hom Station, get off at the station of Argyle Street Playground, Ma Tau Chung Road.
      • An easier way is to take a taxi from MTR Mong Kok station.

5 Exotic Foods We Want To Try (Plus 5 We Really Don’t)

Posted in Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on February 15, 2013 by ecofrenfood



5 Exotic Foods We Want To Try (Plus 5 We Really Don’t)

TOP ROW: Strange Foods To Try

1 – Durian fruit – Yes, durian isn’t all that exotic in many parts of the world. But here in the States, it’s hard to find fresh durian, and its rotting odor still makes this a choice for adventurous eaters.

2 – Frog legs – Again, a familiar dish in many regions. But still one we’ve never tried.

3 – Reindeer paté – Rudolph in a can? We’ve heard this is meaty and delicious.

4 – Bird’s nest soup – Ever since we read about this in National Geographic when we were kids, this exceedingly expensive soup has been fascinating to us.

5 – Mangosteen – They are slowly becoming more available, after a ban on their import was lifted, but we still have never seen one! We want to try this King of Fruits! Read more about mangosteen here.

BOTTOM ROW: Strange Foods to Avoid

6 – Balut – The embryo of a chicken or duck, still in its shell. A delicacy in some regions of Asia, but we’re too chicken to try. See one guy’s account of trying this.

7 – Casu marzu – A cheese from Sardinia that has live maggots inside. We could never do it!

8 – Kopi luwak coffee – We are huge (huge!) coffee lovers and conoisseurs, but that doesn’t quite stretch to coffee pooped out by an animal.

9 – Roasted beetles – They’re greasy, salty street food snacks in many parts of the world, including China. But eat a cockroach? No way!

10 – Fish sperm sashimi – Even Kathryn, the most intrepid eater we know, said she wishes she could take back eating this.

How to Use Lemongrass Oil as an Insect Repellent

Posted in Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , , , , on February 15, 2013 by ecofrenfood

How to Use Lemongrass Oil as an Insect Repellent

By an eHow Contributor

    • 1

      Purchase pure lemongrass oil to use as a pure, natural and safe insect repellent. You can dilute the oil in rubbing alcohol or distilled water, and pour the mixture into a spray bottle for easy applications. Note that concentrated lemongrass oil may cause skin irritation if not diluted, so test your formula on a small patch of skin before spraying all over your body.

    • 2

      Burn pure lemongrass oil in candles and small lamps in order to protect a larger outdoor area from insects. You can use a variety of lemongrass products such as tea lights, lanterns and even large torches for a decorative touch. If you form a perimeter around a picnic or barbecue area with the candles and lamps, you can protect hundreds of square feet from insect activity.

      • Use lemongrass oil with other types of natural oils to create an even stronger insect repellent. Lemongrass oil can be mixed with lemon eucalyptus oil for an insect repellent than can protect you for 5 to 6 hours per application. Rosemary oil, which can be extracted from the common rosemary plant, can be combined with lemongrass oil for a more aromatic formula than will repel an even greater variety of insects.

      • 4

        Add a few drops of lemongrass oil to other cosmetics for an aromatic yet effective way to discourage insects from biting. Lemongrass oil can be added to moisturizing lotions, sunscreens, shampoos and liquid hand soap. Just add lemongrass oil until its scent starts to dominate the other scents of the product.

      • 5

        Grow lemongrass in your yard in order to have continual access to the oil. Lemongrass grows quickly and easily in many climates, and the plant itself tends to act as an insect repellent. You can extract the oil by grinding up the leaves, by chopping the lower stalks of the plant into small pieces, or by rubbing the juices directly on your skin.

      Read more: How to Use Lemongrass Oil as an Insect Repellent |

Migraine Headaches

Posted in Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on February 12, 2013 by ecofrenfood

Migraine Headaches


Suffer from heartburn or migraines? Instead of heading straight to the medicine cabinet, you may want to check out the kitchen first. “Many foods provide vitamins, minerals, and other nutrients that help ease ailments and possibly prevent them,” says Susan Lark, MD, a physician and nutritionist in Los Altos, California. “Even if you take medications to relieve symptoms, what you eat can help as well,” Dr. Lark says. Next time you experience one of the following minor conditions, just open your refrigerator. (If your symptoms persist or worsen, consult your doctor.)

For Migraine Headaches

Try: Fatty fish such as trout, sardines, and herring

Preliminary research suggests that eating fatty fish, which are high in long-chain omega-3 fatty acids, may lower the body’s production of prostaglandins, hormone-like chemicals that can induce inflammation and pain, causing migraines. “We found that adolescents who took 1.25 grams of fish oil daily for two months experienced fewer headaches, which were less severe and didn’t last as long,” explains Zeev Harel, MD, the lead researcher on the study and an associate professor of pediatrics at Brown University.

How much? Have one four- to six-ounce serving two or three times a week, says Dr. Harel. Or consult your doctor about taking fish-oil supplements.

Avoid: Processed meats, artificial sweeteners, MSG, red wine, chocolate, hard cheeses, and citrus. Research shows that 20 percent of migraine sufferers are sensitive to one or more of these foods

India’s official poverty line doesn’t measure up

Posted in Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , on February 12, 2013 by ecofrenfood

India’s official poverty line doesn’t measure up

It is time to separate people’s real needs from the arbitrary assessments of poverty that have guided Indian governments

assessments of poverty that have guided Indian governments

An Indian vendor sells aubergines at a market in Kolkata

An Indian vendor sells aubergines at a wholesale market in Calcutta.
Photograph: Deshakalyan Chowdhury/AFP/Getty Images

India‘s poverty line has always been a matter of huge debate, but it was a discussion mostly confined to economists and policymakers. But the matter has now gone public, following a row about an affidavit from the planning commission to the supreme court of India, in which the official poverty line was set at 26 rupees (around $0.53) per person per day in rural areas and 32 rupees in urban areas. This can only be a good thing, because the official attempts to measure poverty are not just arcane, but riddled with contradictions.


How exactly are these numbers arrived at? The measure was developed in the early 1970s, when a group of experts decided the appropriate line would be set according to the average monthly consumption expenditure of households whose members consumed (per capita) 2,400 calories of food per day in rural India and 2,100 calories per day in urban India.


Subsequently, the poverty line has simply been updated using consumer price indices. These numbers now have little to do with actual calorie consumption because food consumption patterns have changed. However, the use of that line has been defended by official sources who have argued that, at that level of expenditure, families could afford to buy minimum food and have simply chosen not to.


Of course, this begs the question of whether it is really choice or the urgent need to consume other items (energy, healthcare and so on) that determine patterns of spending. Nevertheless, it is precisely this line (annually updated by consumer price indices) that has been used to describe the extent of poverty in India for decades. This was roughly similar to the World Bank’s estimate of $1 a day (now $1.25 a day) per person, not at nominal exchange rates, but at purchasing power parity (PPP) exchange rates.


In recent times, various committees led by economists have come up with different ways to measure the extent of poverty. The official line delivers a poverty rate of around 32% of the population. A committee under Suresh Tendulkar estimated it at 37%, while another led by NC Saxena said 50%, and in 2007 the Arjun Sengupta commission identified 77% of Indians as “poor and vulnerable”. The World Bank’s PPP estimate of Indian poverty was higher than 40% in 2005, while the Asian Development Bank arrived at almost 50%. The UNDP’s Multidimensional Poverty Index finds the proportion of the poor to be higher than 55%.


All this even sounds ridiculous. And if it were simply a question of measuring the extreme poor and tracking the extent of extreme poverty over time, this discussion could indeed be left to the social scientists. But what has made it matter – for all the wrong reasons – is that these arbitrarily drawn poverty lines have been used to determine the extent to which citizens receive subsidised access to essential goods and services.


Since the mid-1990s, various government schemes have differentiated between the categories of “Below Poverty Line” (BPL) and “Above Poverty Line”(APL), and it was announced that a whole range of subsidised goods and services – from cheaper food grain in the public distribution system to subsidised healthcare to access to funds for basic housing – would only be available to BPL households.


Since India has a federal system, state governments are in charge of delivery of all these goods and services, and they have to decide which households are most in need through surveys. In fact, many state governments have taken a more realistic view of the people in need and issued “BPL” cards to many more households than those recognised according to the official poverty line. In some southern states, for example, significantly more than two-thirds of rural households have BPL cards.


But the central government allocates resources (both money and food grain) to the states on the basis of the national poverty estimates taken from the national sample survey, which is based on the official poverty line. State governments that provide these goods and services to additional households have to finance the extra ones themselves. As they have faced hard budget constraints, this has become increasingly difficult. That is why the poverty numbers are such a bone of contention.


In this context, the only sensible thing for the government to do would be to separate the basic entitlements of the people, especially food, from such controversial numbers. This is the basic proposal of a statement signed by more than 30 leading economists, including two former state finance ministers and many senior economists who have worked with the government in different capacities. The statement is worth quoting in full:



We do not consider the official national poverty lines set by the planning commission, at 32 and 26 rupees per capita per day for urban and rural areas respectively, to be acceptable benchmarks to measure the extent of poverty in India. In any case, irrespective of the methodology we adopt to measure poverty, the number of poor and hungry people in the country remains unacceptably large.

While academic debates can continue on the appropriate measure of poverty in India, its extent and whether it is decreasing over time, we strongly believe that it is unacceptable and counterproductive to link the official poverty estimates to basic entitlements of the people, especially access to food. Official surveys of nutritional intakes and outcomes indicate that undernutrition is much more widespread than income poverty, however defined. It is also widely recognised that the targeted public distribution system (PDS) introduced since 1997 has done more harm than good by creating divisions even among the poor and has led to massive errors of exclusion. Recent evidence clearly establishes that states which have moved towards near universalisation of the PDS have performed much better in increasing offtake and reducing leakages.

Restoring the universal PDS appears to us as the best way forward in combating hunger and poverty. This is not only feasible within the available fiscal space of the Union (central) government but must be a policy priority in the backdrop of high and persistent food price inflation.




Following the controversy, the government has now declared that it will take into account multiple dimensions of deprivation for arriving at specific entitlements that rural households will receive, and that the current poverty estimates based on these declared numbers will not be used to impose any ceilings on the number of households to be included in different government programmes and schemes. We still have to see how this will play out, but here is a first step in the right direction.


• This article was amended on 4 October 2011. The final paragraph has been updated following the Indian government’s announcement on Tuesday that it would not cap poverty numbers. The paragraph had read: “This is something the government should pay heed to – otherwise, the growing perception is of a governing coalition that is not only riddled with corruption, but full of Marie Antoinette-style insensitivity.” This has now been changed.

Horse meat food scare spreads

Posted in Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , on February 12, 2013 by ecofrenfood

Horse meat food scare spreads

Mary Gearin reported this story on Monday, February 11, 2013 08:22:00

TONY EASTLEY: Britain is facing its biggest food scare since mad cow disease and it’s spreading to Europe.

The UK is waiting on tests to see just how many beef products in the food chain might be contaminated with horse meat and if the products carry any risk to humans.

In the past month there’s been a string of revelations about pre-prepared and frozen beef items reaching Britain, Ireland and France. It’s raising questions about the integrity of the European food chain.

The British Government suspects organised crime might be behind the meat substitution.

Europe correspondent Mary Gearin:

MARY GEARIN: Britons sitting down to their Sunday dinners may well have paused over their plates of beef if they were made from imported frozen or ready-made products.

The UK’s environment secretary Owen Paterson says what started as potentially isolated cases of bad labelling and testing could become a case of organised crime.

OWEN PATERSON: It’s completely wrong that a British consumer should go to a store, buy a product clearly marked beef and find that it actually contains a cheaper product – horse. So this is actually fraud on the public. And I personally, I think it’s either a case of gross incompetence amongst suppliers further down the chain or, and I’ve got reason to believe this is looking increasingly likely, it looks like this is an international crime.

MARY GEARIN: Food retailers have been told to carry out their own tests on all processed beef products after it was found some of the Findus brand of beef lasagne products contained up to 100 per cent horsemeat.

Findus is now considering legal action against its French-based suppliers who in turn are pointing the finger at Romanian abattoirs.

The Romanian government has launched its own investigation.

This all follows the first cases in Ireland three weeks ago – 10 million low price burgers and last week, frozen spaghetti and lasagne meals made by a French food manufacturer.

Jose Bove, a Green member of the European parliament, says the issue how hard it is to ensure food safety across the continent.

JOSE BOVE: It’s a European problem now and it’s a problem of how these things happen. I believe it’s because there’s a real net here organised to change the origin of meat to make more money.

MARY GEARIN: The British government has now ordered its Food Standards Authority to conduct DNA tests every three months. But it’s ruled out a temporary ban on imports, saying it would break European Union rules unless there’s a proven health risk.

That’s a pertinent question in a country still deeply scarred by the mad cow crisis.

Chairwoman of Britain’s House of Commons food and rural affairs committee Anne McIntosh has called for suspension of meat product imports and questioned the response from British food safety authorities.

ANNA MCINTOSH: What worries me about – there’s been a delay in the testing, the FSA Ireland started the testing already in November. They’re already ahead of this. I understand that there’s not been much testing of meat for the last year. I think only 800 tests were done in the last year.

MARY GEARIN: While Scotland Yard has met with the food safety officials it hasn’t launched an official inquiry yet.

This is Mary Gearin in London for AM.

How to make a heart-shaped Valentine’s Day cake

Posted in Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , on February 12, 2013 by ecofrenfood


Feb 03, 2009 11:08 AM by Nina Spitzer

Heart-Shaped Cake

Making a heart-shaped Valentine’s Day cake without a special pan is easy when you follow these step-by-step directions.

A heart-shaped Valentine’s Day cake is so impressive, but why spend extra money on a pan you will use only once a year? Follow these simple directions for a perfect cake. You’ll need to start at least a day ahead, so be sure to factor that into your plans.

You will need:

– Your favorite cake recipe or mix
– A can of cherry pie filling
– Two 8″ round cake pans
– Clean white paper
– Scissors
– Your favorite cake frosting
– Spatula

1. Make your favorite cake recipe in two 8″ round cake pans.

2. After taking the cakes out of the oven and slightly cooling, turn each onto a large, round dinner plate. Cover each with plastic wrap and freeze.

The next day:

1. Trace a circle from the clean, round cake pan onto a sheet of clean white paper. Trim the circle about 1/16″ smaller all the way around. Now, fold the circle in half to cut a perfectly symmetrical heart-shaped template.

2. Take out the frozen cakes. Place the heart template on the top of the first one. Using a sharp, pointy knife cut the cake to the shape of the template. Pull off the extra pieces of cake for snacking later. Follow this same step with the other half of the cake.

3. Spoon the cherry pie filling onto the top of one of the cake hearts. Be careful to use a minimum of the juice. Place the cherries at least one inch from the edges of the heart all the way around.

4. Carefully place the second heart onto the first so that the cherries don’t move near the edge.

5. Using your spatula, fill the gap around the sides of the cake with frosting.

6. Next, spread a thin coating of frosting over the top and sides of the cake. Return the cake to the freezer for one hour. Cover and save the remaining frosting.

* Note: The initial freezing of the cake and the freezing after the first coat of frosting is important, since it’s what makes the cake easier to handle. It also helps to keep the frosting crumb free.

7. One hour later – Spread the remaining frosting on the top and sides of the cake with decorative strokes.

There, you have it! A perfect, heart-shaped Valentine’s Day cake for the special someone in your life.

Photos courtesy: Nina Spitzer