You know the holiday season is here when you start receiving more than the usual invitations for birthdays,weddings and end of year parties and maybe even invitations for Christmas .
If you are hosting any of these celebrations and are planning on doing everything from scratch,you may wan to reduce your stress and anxiety levels by hiring a planner-an event planner.
Hiring an event planner might seem like a luxury but you may be surprised by how much they can reduce the anxiety that comes with event planning .
On this post we thought we might give you 5 great reasons why you might need an event planner this holiday season.
1.Saves you time
A good event planner is a pro at getting things done efficiently and on time.
They will save you the time spent on looking for vendors and suppliers because along with their experience they have with them a network of trusted suppliers and vendors that they have worked with,people they know can deliver on what you need for your event.
And just incase anything unexpected happens,then an event planner will always have plan A,B,C ad infinitum.
2.Saves you money
In my time planning events ,I have found out that there is always room for negotiations and what gives an event planner leeway as well as an edge is their ability to negotiate,they can get you discounts on rack rates and this is because of the relationships they have developed over time with various suppliers and vendors.
It is easier to discuss discounts with people you have had previous business dealing with than with total strangers,leverage on these relationships event planners have when thinking of holding an event.
3.You will get the right people doing the right job
Sometimes it is very difficult to gauge a vendors or suppliers ability to get the job done if you have no experience of having worked with them before.
An event planner due to their diverse network as well as experience with vendors will point you in the right direction on whom you need on your team in order to pull of a successful event.
4.You will have a more successful event
Event planners thrive on details-the little details that everyone else overlooks is what planners get their adrenaline rushes from.Ensuring every little thing is in place and imagining all the possible things that could go wrong and ensuring contingency plans are in place is what makes for a successful event.
As the host of the event,you may not have all the time to worry about all the nitty gritty details of your event,let an event planner do the worrying for you and ensure your event is successful.
5.You can enjoy the event
There is nothing like hosting a great event and you cannot enjoy it because you are busy ensuring that behind the scenes everything flows smoothly.You event forget to eat because you are busy handling all the event details by yourself you have no time to be a great host.
It would be great to have someone that thrives on adrenaline and the little details handle all the anxiety and stress for you,right?
That photo right there,we fell in love with it and it came courtesy of Sonal Shah an event/party planner.You can find her on Facebook.
Are you the owner of an old colonial house and it is becoming harder to attract tenants because they are going for the shinier,gleaming houses coming up across town .
Every time you walk into that empty house,you wonder what you will ever do with it.
And you are thinking that well maybe it is time that you pulled it down and put up a newer house-maybe ?
Then you think of all the headache and heart ache that comes with construction and with having to watch that beautiful house come down and you decide that you can wait just a little bit longer,the right client will come along.
It is now 3 years and the house has gathered dust,the grass is over grown and you can no longer bear seeing the TO LET sign that has weathered the Nairobi rains and dust over the years yet the house remains empty.
At Maridadi Homes,we love old houses,we do not call them old,we call them houses with character because they have had feet that have called that house home for years and they have moved somewhere else when their season in life changed.
If you have a house with character that you know has been missing some love and little feet running around in it and think it could do with some makeover,please send us an email firstname.lastname@example.org,we will set up an appointment and see what we can do-together.
So today I saw a house. A beautiful beautiful house that ticked everything on my list. How possible is it to find a perfect house? I would drive past it and wonder how people that lived there felt.
Its like the question people ask when you get married…how are you feeling?
So last week I drove past the gate and there it was!!! My dream house ,the gate was open and I got to peep and have a glimpse of it.I a noticed something else,there was a To Let sign on the door. I couldn’t believe it and told myself…on my way back I would ask about it.
And I did just that, I was given a number to call which I did with one hand on the wheel , the other on my phone booked and booked an appointment to view the house.
Its a rainy Thursday morning and I get there 7 minutes early very pleased with myself. I am already making a good impression, I tell myself. The agent arrives on time too and I am taken for the house tour!
If houses have character,this one had IT. From the floor, staircase, railings, windows to the bedrooms everything was as I had pictured my dream house looking like. I was smitten! It even had a designated laundry area-indoors. I am talking about a more than 15 year old house…it was beautiful! It took my breath away and I couldn’t stop staring at it. The doors are made of beautiful aged wood and the locks are perfect antiques! Everything in that house was- Perfect! Okay maybe not everything…it still had the good old curtain box, the bathrooms were dated and the kitchen was not only dated but had lime green tiles but that could be fixed with time.
How could I be taken by something in this way? It was insane. The gardens…oooooh the gardens!!! They had swings, monkey bars, trampoline, a pool, a bench or two, guys!!! It was like a little resort in the heart of the city. I asked about the price and I immediately thought-a bit high but I think we can try.
By the end of the house tour, I was already visualizing where I would place my furniture and what I would do with the kitchen. I had a plan.
But first, my husband needed to see this beauty and I book an appointment for a second visit and I tell myself that in just two days I would see the house again and this time I would take pictures.
So the day comes and we arrive at the house, there it was sitting pretty and winking at me. We walk in and once again it embraces me with its warmth and beauty. I became weak and silently promised it a few modern touches. I was in love with this house. My husband looked around and was nodding. That was good for me. There was hope as long as he was nodding. Nodding is a positive sign. We are done with the tour and I say to him, ‘don’t say anything, let’s go for tea and there you can tell me what you think of it’.
So while we are having tea and I am suppressing my joy as I signal him to start talking. “The house is beautiful and it ticks all our boxes but I cannot pay that amount for that house; it is old”.
“huh? I can’t hear you!!!! What did you say?” My heart screams.
It reminded me of when I was younger and my mum met me talking to a boy I had a crush on. I was super smitten because I thought he would never give me the time of day. But here we were he was chatting me up and enjoying my company. Then my mum appears, pulls me by the ears all the way to our gate and even before waiting for the gate to be opened and she shouted,
“I never want to see you with that boy again!”
I remember wondering… what do I do with all this love I have for him? Many years later,here I was staring at my black coffee (tea wasn’t going to help in this case) wondering what I would do about my dream house. …how would I live without that house? How will I go on and still be happy? How will I drive past that gate without weeping? I tried to make a case for my beloved but it wasn’t working.
So here I am working my way to putting that house to bed! My heart aches.
Impossible to believe, but there certainly is another perfect house for us out there. This time it will tick all our boxes…even the cost box.
Decorating your home is something that never really seems to get done and if you ever find yourself on Google , asking where to find great furniture and decor pieces in Nairobi,worry no more because I thought a list would make it very easy for you .
It is quite interesting to see that sometimes the piece you have been looking for is hiding right under your nose and its my hope that this home owners guide on where to get furniture pieces in Nairobi will be of help.
Something about Nairobi ,like in most towns is that you have to know where to get quality items from trusted providers .You would rather spend more on quality than go cheap and have to keep replacing a furniture item like a couch,dining table or a bed.
You want to be sure that you are spending money on something that will not need fixing every so often.
1.H.Kahenya Interior Design
A great home decor project starts out with a consultation,preferably with an interior decorator and though there are many who claim to be decor experts,I must say you need to follow H. Kahenya Interior Design Firm .
I like their fresh and fun approach to home decor and you will to when you see the beautiful work they have been able to do on the projects they have done.
The Interior Design consulting firm is based at Westlands and offers both consultation services and finished items ,decor supplies and has a YouTube channel where they share decor ideas and advice,you may want really do need to follow them on Facebook and subscribe to their YouTube channel as well.
2.Odds & Ends
If there is a place that has really great furniture pieces,it is Odds & Ends ,they have great furniture and their show rooms are a feast for the eyes.Check out their Jaipur range of furniture,I have a particular liking for the pieces in that particular range and most likely it’s because they have found a way to marry wood and iron give this range a rustic appeal that i find very enthralling.
On your way to Karen using Ngong Road,you will find a lot of furniture shops with beautiful pieces displayed and it’s always a struggle for me to keep my eyes on the road when they are so many beautiful pieces of furniture to look at.
You will find outdoor/ indoor rattan furniture as well as dining /living room pieces that you might not find anywhere else at very affordable prices.In choosing some someone to work with use an individual you have been referred to ,see the work they have done and get commitment in terms of delivery time.
And just after the furniture shops ,when you think you have seen everything ,you will find beautiful clay outdoor furnaces,hanging baskets of live flowers and bright and colorful flower pots that will look great in your garden in addition to other landscaping supplies like red soil,manure and landscaping rocks.
The Mr Price outlets are in most upmarket malls in Nairobi and if you are looking for unique decor items like center pieces,cushions,throws,candle sticks and a wide range of smaller items that do not include furniture then this is the place for you.
Their range also has cutlery and crockery pieces that you will not find anywhere else,a few weeks ago I was able to find pancake batter dispensers at their outlet at Sarit Center in Westlands.
Their wall hangings and bathroom accessories are especially appealing as this South African brand is not afraid of color and if you are looking to add pops of color to your home,then this is a place you must visit.
Last but not least is the Game Store at Garden City,they stock a variety of hard-to-find-anywhere-else kitchen utensils and decor pieces you will like .It may be worth the long drive to this side on town as Garden City has adopted pop up shops that have a very stylish mix of items that you may consider for your home or next decor project.
You must have places you shop for home decor items that have not made it to this list,share them with us in the comments below and we will definitely pay them a visit .
You are a budding entrepreneur and have been looking for an exciting place to hold client meetings and you rather enjoy meeting people away from your office just maybe because you like coffee like i do,right?
I have been to most of the coffee houses in Nairobi and I would like to name just 3 of my favourite places to meet clients or friends over coffee.Good thing that these 3 restaurants I am featuring today also offer lunch and dinner options ad you get to enjoy a filling meal and of course the coffee to keep you going through out the day.
Urban Eatery sits on the ground floor of PWC,Delta Towers in Westlands and one end of the restaurant has some plush seats that is quiet on Saturday mornings and you can have your breakfast there as you work.This has to be my favourite place in the whole of Nairobi.
Try the Urban eatery slushies ….love them!
2.Art Caffe-Garden City
You have to love the detail with which the Artcaffe chain has put into its decor,their modern design is what keeps customers walking through their doors to have what is hands down some of the best coffee and pastries in Nairobi.
Living around Thika road especially,their Garden City cafe’ with its movie posters dotting the walls and you feel character oozing from the walls.I could spend hours here and only the thought that I have to be working gets me out of this place.
A definite must try if you happen to be on this side of town and I would definitely recommend their pastries.
Located smack in the middle of Nairobi,Kaldi’s is along Kimathi Street and on Harambee Avenue as well.I was introduced to this place by my sister , in addition to their great coffee and generous servings I would recommend their smoothies,their blue berry smoothie has to be the best in the whole of the central business district of Nairobi
Having also had the pleasure to have lunch at their Harambee House restaurant I would definitely recommend them as well if your do happen to need a place for lunch.
Maybe I have left out some of your favourite spots around Nairobi would love to hear about them.And if you live outside of Nairobi…share some of your favourite places where you catch up friends.
Thanks for visiting,let us know you passed by by leaving us a comment down below…
Thereafter followed a vibrant conversation from the people who read it and rearing its head very often were these 3 letters -BMI.
BMI or Body Mass Index as we know it has been bandied around by health and medical professionals and we have scared people into thinking that it is the be all,end all and ultimate marker of good health.What scientist have found is that BMI scores vary among different groups and some like countries in South Asia have developed their own way of calculating BMI’s among their populations.
At its inception , the BMI was a simple,easy tool to screen populations at a time when Western populations were having to come to terms with the increase in obesity in their populations that were becoming more prosperous and were seeing changes in dietary habits.
Health and medical professionals now use the BMI to determine “how much body fat ” you are carrying .Research however shows that the amount of body fat individuals carry varies across ethnic groups.
For most people in Kenya ,finding their BMI score is a scary thing , especially when they find out that they score a higher or lower than average score and fall on either of two extremes, severely underweight or morbidly obese.
As a guide a Body Mass Index was developed thanks to a population of individuals who were all of European descent.Any casual observer can l see that as Africans our physiology is different from Europeans and since the BMI does not differentiate between body fat and muscles we will have different scores among different ethnic groups .
But what is the Body Mass Index really and how did it come about and is it really a good indicator of how healthy you are or of how much weight you should gain or lose?
To better understand what the Body Mass Index is,we have to go back in history ,more than 150 years ago to the 1830’s through to the 1850’S when the BMI was first developed by the Belgian Lambert Adolphe Jacques Quetelet.
As a tool for studying population trends and giving a rough idea of the health status of groups to medical professionals it proved very useful .What it was not able to point out was the amount of visceral fat individuals carried with them.
Visceral fat you said…this is the fat that is around your abdomen and internal organs and is the dangerous kind of fat that will predispose you to conditions like diabetes Type 2,hypertension and other cardiovascular diseases.
The amount of visceral fat we carry is more worrying than the BMI score .
When you first get your BMI,remember it is the value got from the weight of an individual divided by their height squared and will give you kg/m squared.
The resulting value is used to classify individuals as underweight,normalweight,overweight or obese.As such when describing an individual’s BMI score,one often hears the description of the resulting value being how far from the ideal one’s weight is from what is desirable for their height.
Over the years there has been an increase in the concern of using a universal cut off point to determine the health of individuals and scientists have been calling for a more individualized approach to determine the health of individuals as Body Mass Index has been shown to differ among ethnic groups .
In a paper titled Ethnicity and BMI ,that was published in the British Journal of Nutrition by Amy Luke a Professor from the University of Loyola’S Department of Preventive Medicine and Epidemiology,she wrote:
“The WHO’s 2004 call for more research to be conducted in diverse populations seems quite important and necessary if the relationships between BMI,body fat and chronic disease are to be better defined.”
Individuals who are more athletic and have more muscle than fat may also inadvertently find themselves in the overweight bracket and shorter people find themselves being classified as thinner than they really are.
As a result with the BMI , it does not differentiate between body fat and muscle and people will sometimes find themselves in the wrong classification. Some scientists have argued that using a waist to height ratio would give a better and more specific evaluation of a person’s health .
Why a waist to height ratio ?
Because a waist to height ratio is a better indicator of abdominal fat and abdominal fat has been shown to be a better predictor of individuals predisposed to obesity related health conditions.
However,the jury is still out on this and the BMI remains king. .
To be clear, the Body Mass Index is a good tool for population studies but not for individualized health care.The World Health Organization has defined obesity as a condition in which excess body fat affects the health and well-being of an individual and it has used the Body Mass Index as a tool to classify individuals ,research however has shown that Body Mass Index across ethnic ,cultural groups differs and genetics and environmental factors also affect our well being.
When the BMI was developed humans were leaner and having mainly focused on Western societies where diets were different from lets say individuals in Africa and Asian countries,the Index was and is a guide and could be used with other more specific tests to determine the health of individuals .
In this paper published in the scientific journal PLOS ONE ,scientist from Leeds Beckett University do say that Body Mass Index while remaining a useful tool for population screening is not able to identify individuals at risk of developing obesity related medical conditions.
Do we then get rid of the BMI and stop using it as a guide to screen individuals at risk of health complications ?
No,we should not, instead of chasing a number that determines how perfectly healthy we are,it will be more useful to adopt a healthier lifestyle by making healthier food choices and adopting more active lifestyles .
Active lifestyles where we incorporate more exercise will ensure we burn more of the visceral fat we carry,making healthier food choices like cutting back on alcohol,cutting back on deep fried foods,eating more fiber rich foods are ways of ensuring that you can lose the abdominal fat you carry with you and reduce you waist to height body fat ratio.
My challenge to the great scientists and researchers in Africa would be for us to adopt more multi pronged approaches to tackle the heath challenges of the continents population .Countries in South Asia have been able to do so.
We could do more research on the increasing number of lifestyle conditions that are on the rise on the continent and share ideas of how we can help our populations adopt more healthy lifestyles.We should promote consumption of more indigenous foods,advocate for more active lifestyles and create policies that will advance healthier lifestyles.
For now do not just rely on your BMI,take a more active step towards living healthier by making more healthy food choices and becoming more active.
The last post I did on why sugar is not good for your body elicited a lot of interest and questions from people on whether there are ways to manage sugar cravings in a healthy manner.
Before I explore ways of how to manage sugar cravings I thought I should mention a hard and cold truth about sugar .
Sugar has no nutritional value whatsoever,yes it does sweeten some foods and drinks the craving for sugar is derived from the pleasure it triggers through the release of dopamine into our brain.
Sugar has no proteins,vitamins or minerals that the human being would need in order to be healthy .
The danger with the added sugar we take in is that it plays havoc with our metabolism and it also contributes to a lot of the lifestyle diseases we see on the rise.Everything from obesity,heart disease,tooth decay are related to consuming more sugar than our body needs.
Sugar gives you nothing but empty calories and consuming foods high in sugar and fats leads to nutritional deficiencies as well as it affects the consumption of other healthy foods.This deficiency on certain nutrients then leads to deficiencies that compromise our health and leave our immunity exposed.
The way to stave your sugar craving is to look for healthy alternatives to sugar that give you more than the sugar high and are high in nutritional value.
1.Take a fruit and leave out the sugar in your hot beverages.
Instead of having your tea with sugar,leave it out and instead have a fruit with your breakfast.Not a fruit smoothie because fruits have sugar in them in the form of fructose and over consumption of sugar in the form of fructose is unhealthy as all excess fructose will get turned by your body into fat.
2.Make your snack choices healthy ones.
To stave off the hunger pangs when you are feeling low on sugar at 3 pm Monday afternoon,take a fruit instead of the afternoon mug of tea.
Note:Intake of fruits should be limited to about 2-3 in a day.
Nuts and seeds also make very healthy snack choices nuts provide essential vitamins from the B group,Vitamin E and minerals like potassium,calcium and magnesium and they will leave you fuller for longer as they slowly get broken down and sugar gets released into your body in amounts your body can use.
3.Take note of your calories
Take your calories from whole grains,starchy root vegetables like sweet potatoes,grains,cereals and not from baked foods .When you make healthier choices about where you will get your calories from,these sources of carbohydrates as highlighted are also sources of other micro nutrients that your body needs.
As you grow older your body needs less calories and what your body needed when you were 20 will change as you head towards your 30’s and 40’s when you become less active and your body’s metabolism slows down.
Sometimes the hunger pangs we think we have that force us to reach out for something sweet may actually be a sign from our body that we a dehydrated.Pick up that glass of water instead of a doughnut ,a cookie or a fruit drink.
5.Make your food choices healthy choices.
Instead of eating three large meals during the day,stagger your meals through out the day in small portions and make sure they are made up of foods from all the major food groups,cereals/grains,milk and dairy,fruits and vegetables,nuts and seeds.By taking your foods from the natural sources you are ensuring your body is able to metabolize the food in such a manner that stabilizes your blood sugars through out the day rather than experiencing the highs and the dramatic falls that come with consumption of processed foods which are high in sugar and fat.
6.Get to exercise
If you are struggling with your sugar craving,getting physically active will help you mange those cravings as it forces you make more healthier food choices,take in more water and you will definitely have to take in more than sugar for your muscles to get working and to be physically fit.
Exercising will force you to be more conscious of your food choices and it will lead you to healthier ones.
By now you know that sugar is not good for you,yet every time you seem to try to go cold turkey and stay off it you keep coming back unable to let go off what can only be described as an addiction.You cannot have tea or coffee without it and you prefer calling your addiction a sweet tooth.
But do you have a sweet tooth or what exactly is it about sugar that makes life so much sweeter (pun intended) ?
Yet everywhere we look there is something sugary and sweet calling out to us and tea,coffee does not really taste the same without a teaspoon or two or maybe three of sugar.
We cannot tell exactly why tea in our sugar or tea hits such a sweet spot and many people swear that they cannot take tea without sugar .If you have a cup in the morning another at 10 am and another at 4 pm and with each cup you take about 2 teaspoons of sugar that equals to about 6-9 teaspoons of sugar,depending on how much you put in per cup/mug.
If you are a woman a total of 6 teaspoons of sugar daily is recommended.
Now imagine you take a soda during the day,it is hot ,then you decide to take with you a fruit smoothie of about 4 different fruits as you drive to work,meet a friend for coffee after work and you each order for a slice of the moist carrot cake you were told is fresh from the oven,how many teaspoons of sugar do you think that will total to
It will equal to a lot of teaspoons of sugar.
Sugar occurring naturally in food are an energy source for the body’s cells .When we consume carbohydrates they get broken down by the enzyme carbohydrase which breaks down the starch in foods into sugars.
It is not just carbohydrates that contain sugar ,fruits also contain sugar made up of two simple sugars sucrose and fructose.It is why making a habit of drinking fruit smoothies made up of 3-4 fruits daily is not a good idea while trying to mange your wait is not a good idea as in the final end it will get converted to sugar and any extra sugar you do not use your body stores it in the form of fat.
“It is better to eat your fruit rather than drink it.”
When sugars are added to food it is because they play an important role ,they add texture taste and color to baked food products .Sugar is added to yoghurt,to tomato paste and sauce for added as well to balance flavor, and to o dried fruits as a preservative,to bread act as an energy source for yeast as well as in tea coffee to add taste to these drinks.
The American Heart Association (AHA) recommends not more than 6 teaspoons of sugar for women and not more than 9 teaspoons for men daily.That is about 100 calories and 150 calories respectively for women and men respectively.
Sugar does play a role in a healthy diet ,it is the the source of sugar and the over consumption of sugars from other sources that pose a problem to your health.When you over consume a lot of sugary foods and drinks your body experiences rapid spikes and falls in blood sugar levels.The rapid rises and falls of your blood sugars drives your pancreas crazy!
Blood sugar levels are regulated by insulin which is released from your pancreas.Insulin is a hormone that prompts your body cells to absorb sugar that the cells need to use for their cell functions and the excess then gets stored as fat.When your blood sugar falls the pancreas prompts the release of the hormone glucagon that has the liver releasing the stored sugar for use by the body cells.
We live at a time when there has been an increase in the number of people living with Type 2 Diabetes and the onset of diabetes in Type 2 keeps going lower.A major cause of these could be the foods we are taking in,especially foods high in added sugars.Type 2 develops over a period of time when the body is unable to use the insulin it producees in the correct way.The body then becomes unable to respond to the insulin it produces and this prompts the pancreas to release more insulin.This over production of insulin wears the insulin producing cells out and eventually the body stops responding to the insulin it produces and that is when Type 2 Diabetes is diagonised.
Type 2 diabetes at the outset can be managed with a healthy diet and physical activity but with time one will need to take tablets and maybe have insulin injections as well.
The reason why the over consumption of sugary foods is discouraged is mainly because sugar plays havoc with your body’s metabolism. Occasional indulgence in a cookie or a slice of cake is okay but it should not become a daily habit.Management of your weight is important as excess weight makes your body unresponsive to insulin which will lead to over production of insulin and eventually your pancreas will lose its insulin producing cells which will lead to pre diabetes,then diabetes type 2 as your body loses the capacity to be able to produce and respond to insulin which is needed to regulate your blood sugar levels.
While it is very easy to avoid soda,cake,cookies,ice cream and other foods where it is obvious sugar has been added,there are other places where we have hidden sugars.
A good habit to start practicing is reading food labels ,as sugar gets hidden in commercially produced foods and the names used may confuse most people .Sugar in the food you buy from the store will be hiding with names like corn syrup,fructose,dextrose,maple syrup,fruit concentrate,caramel,molasses and many other titles.
Having struggled with kicking off sugar in my teens,I finally did so in my early twenties and I know how hard it can be to keep off sugar . Sugar is actually a “drug” and its consumption from other sources other than the naturally occurring ones releases the feel good hormone dopamine into your brain making you cry out more,more ,more.It is why it is so hard to give up sugar because we have already created neural pathways for this pleasure habit and the reason why it becomes hard to give up. Just like learning a new skill is hard,we have to create new neural pathways in place of the old ones by replacing our cravings for sugar with healthy ones like eating more fruits,nuts,drinking more water and taking pleasure from these healthier habits.
It can be done,and you can take your tea without sugar and enjoy it,have your coffee without sugar and thoroughly enjoy it and yes even your cereals do not need the sugar as well and the plain yoghurt actually tastes better when you add fruits real fruits to it.
If you found this article useful or helpful,please let us know in the comments section .
If you follow the Organic Farmers Market in Nairobi which I have for a couple of years,you may have noticed that there are now more places where they have organized for Kenyans to buy organic food as well as more vendors, which means there has been an increase in the demand for organic food from the Kenyan market.
You must have wondered about what all the noise is about Organic farming and why suddenly there has been a surge in the demand as well as consumption of organic produce. I thought this post would be helpful in helping us appreciate organic farming as well as see why the demand for organic food has grown.
Organic farming is a system of agricultural production that involves the cultivation of crops and the rearing of animals using natural ways.
Conserve Energy defines it as a process that involves the use of biological materials,avoiding synthetic substances to maintain soil fertility and ecological balance thereby minimizing pollution and wastage.With a world population that is more than 7 billion and a land size that remains the same yet it is fighting with encroachment from human settlement,the demand for arable land is on the rise and people are looking for all manner of ways to make the most of the available land and animal resources.
One of the ways unscrupulous people have found to get more from their land and animals in order to make a few quick dollars is to pump it with chemicals,pesticides as well as speed up the maturity of farm animals like chicken by injecting them with growth hormones.
The bottom line in all of these endeavors is not a concern for the people who will eventually buy these foods from the supermarkets,it is profit greed that is the only driver for such practices that puts the lives of other human lives at risk.
It is true organic food costs more , because of the work involved as it is a very labor intensive exercise.It is also true that you expose yourself to less risk if you choose to go organic.
About 4 years back,I lived on a farm in Nakuru where we grew vegetables and other crops I also took up some organic farming on the side as an experiment project as well as to keep me busy.
My crops of choice were potatoes,zucchinis,carrots , to prepare I read widely and found that potatoes do very well especially if you mix dried manure into the soil and so I went about asking for dung from the farmers that owned cows around where we lived.I got a lot of it as well as a lot of curious looks as to what I needed cow dung it for.
But the venture came with a lot of challenges as well.The area where we lived was infested with moles ,how to get rid of them without using chemicals?
And we set about looking for a mole catcher,they do not exist anymore by the way and before we found we had a village of molehills on the farm as well as lost a lot of potatoes.
Up until the time we harvested the potatoes and carrots I never used a single drop of pesticide on them and they did fairly well.They potatoes and carrots came in all manner of sizes and we lost some as well to pests,but I had done it ,grown something without use of a single pesticide or chemical.
The need for organic farming is driven by the need for more sustainable methods of farming that ensure we will still be able to produce enough food 50 years from now on when the world population is estimated will be at more than 10 billion.
For those that have tasted organically grown fruits and vegetables you agree with me that they taste better than what you get from the supermarket shelves.Eggs from free range chicken are also more tastier ,have a yolk with the must delicious yellow color and just a bit smaller than the eggs that you get at the supermarket.
We consume a variety of pesticides and chemicals from foods like chicken,beef and other dairy products as well as from fruits and vegetables .The chemicals from pesticides and other drugs like antibiotics used to treat these animals have found their way into our food and we have started seeing resistance to the most widely available antibiotics used to treat very common infections.
Scientists are having to work very hard to keep up with the microbial mutations are now resisting the currently available antibiotics.
These resistance is leaving scientists and researchers worried as it means the increased resistance by disease causing bacteria to these drugs will expose us to infections which currently available antibiotics will not be able to treat.
The discovery of the latest antibiotic was reported this April and it was done by Canadian scientists,it was the first in antibiotic discovery in 3 decades 30 years and the drug is still years away from being available to the public.
The increasing public awareness on what is going on,increasing incidences of disease and the effects of environmentally unsustainable decades of farming methods have pushed organic farming front and centre.
If you are in Nairobi, follow the Organic Farmers Market on Facebook to see where the market will be next and get to interact with the farmers working hard to ensure we produce food in a more sustainable ad environmentally friendly manner than we are d right now.
Why is organic farming important and why should you care,I have a few reasons to think about why organic matters and who knows maybe you may take it up or talk to someone about it then we have a new generation of organic farmers.We may even meet at the Organic market.
1.Buying organic foods creates a demand in the market and will push farmers to be more responsible especially over the use of pesticides and other chemicals as they grow crops or rear their animals.This is already happening in some countries where consumers are demanding more responsibility over the use of drugs and pesticides.
In this way we are promoting a more sustainable model that ensures the earth is able to feed the future generations that come after us.
2.Buying organic foods means that you get the foods fresh,these foods have not been treated with any preservatives or had nay additives added to them to lengthen their shelf life.
The shelf life of organic foods is very short because of their very minimal journey from the farm to your plate which is what has encouraged the farm to fork movement globally and has had people support local farmers by buying local foods.
3.Buying organic has helped promoted the growth of agriculture as a means of livelihood especially among young people. Across the globe young adults are taking up agriculture and providing us with food.It has helped stem the increase in the number of the unemployed,helped increase food production as well as seen technology revolutionize farming.Europe has seen the number of its youthful population taking up farming,you may find this article from The Economist really interesting.
In Kenya as well we have several groups on social media platforms talking nothing but farming.See how dailies are falling over themselves to provide information on farming especially in the Saturday paper .
Young people are going back to the farms to ensure there is food for the more than 7 billion of us.
4.Buying organic and consuming organic ensures you know where your food comes from,how it gets produced and what goes into the production process.You are reducing your exposure to the chemical toxins that could put you at risk of developing certain life threatening conditions through the ingestion of chemicals that may have been used in their production ,processing or packing.
5.By buying organic you get to interact with the farmers that grow your food and there are benefits to that.There is nothing like meeting the person or people that put so much work to ensure you do not go hungry and appreciating the work they do.Human interaction especially in an age where technology is taking over how we socialize with each other,a conversation with another human being is always a great way to spend the weekend.I think one of the reasons people in big cities like Nairobi are always angry and stressed is because we speak so little to each to other,yet we know healthy relationships are part of living a fulfilled and healthy lifestyle.
6.Taking your children with you to the organic market for grocery shopping and let them feel,touch,sell and taste food.As I mentioned in an earlier post taking your children grocery shopping is a way of getting them involved in meal planning and ensuring they adopt healthy eating habits early in life.
They will get to know how to choose fresh ingredients,how fresh food looks like and most important they will learn to value the hard work of the people like farmers who work behind the scenes to make sure we get fed.
And just in case your children hardly ever get to travel upcountry,they will know food does not grow in the supermarket :-).
7.Buying organic is an opportunity to increase the awareness on more sustainable forms of agriculture and hopefully this will lead to legislation by governments as well as push them to develop policies that can protect as well as promote organic farming.
Do you buy or grown organic food?would you love to be featured on our blog,please get in touch with us.
As always your feedback,comments and suggestions are welcome.See you in the comments section.