Celebrity chef Bela Gil poses for a photo in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil March 17, 2019. — Thomson Reuters Foundation pic
RIO DE JANEIRO, May 2 — On three continents, three women have taken three different paths to find healthy and tasty solutions to one of the world’s greatest health crises — poor nutrition.Chef Bela Gil found her solution in Brazil’s Amazon; in India, Anahita Dhondy discovered her answer in her grandmother’s recipes; and Rosette Fien, an entrepreneur in Cameroon, pulled what she needed from the environment around her.The trio is among a growing number of culinary innovators tackling unhealthy diets by concocting meals with local, sometimes forgotten, grains and plants to nurture better health but also alleviate poverty and even protect the environment.For the race is now on to tackle unhealthy eating that has overtaken smoking as the world’s biggest killer, according to the latest Global Burden of Disease study that found one in five deaths in 2017 was due to poor diet.It was after visiting the Amazon for the first time in 2014 that Brazilian television celebrity chef Gil realised the rainforest held unexpected culinary treasures.“The Amazon is (much) more well understood about (its) medicinal properties; we don’t look much to the Amazon as a resource for food,” Gil, who also has several cookbooks to her name, told the Thomson Reuters Foundation.Exploring the jungle’s nuts, fruits and plants, she saw the forest held the key to better nutrition — and its own survival.Yet, Gil realised that nutritious resources like babassu oil and flour — made from the Amazon’s babassu palm that is rich in iron, fibre, vitamins and minerals — were virtually unknown to the forest’s indigenous communities.“The babassu flour was something that they really didn’t know how to use,” she said.Amazonian treasures In 2017, she began teaching about 100 cooks from northern Para state how to use the babassu flour to prepare school meals, instead of more mainstream and less nutritious ingredients like corn starch or wheat flour.“They loved the recipes, the kids loved the recipes as well,” said the chef as she baked cookies with babassu flour and cocoa nibs, another Amazonian ingredient.The cultivation of such ingredients also benefits the forest directly by helping to support indigenous communities who are the best protectors of the forest, said Gil.“If they don’t find any other work or anything to sell or to maintain themselves over there, they will leave. And if they leave, maybe a soy producer will just come and deforest everything,” she said.Stefano Padulosi, senior scientist for Bioversity International, a Rome-based non-profit, said plenty of benefits could be unleashed from a wealth of underutilised food species.“What we need today is a true paradigm shift: No longer focusing purely on yield, but consider also quality of food, the nutritional yield needed to nourish people and keep them healthy,” he said.Across the Atlantic ocean, in Cameroon’s economic centre of Douala, entrepreneur Rosette Fien has been tapping into the country’s moringa trees, soya beans and other ingredients to tackle the scourge of malnutrition.Nearly a third of children living in six of the country’s 10 regions experience growth stunting or chronic malnutrition, according to the United Nations children’s agency (Unicef).Nutritious food for babies and small children — most of which is imported — is too expensive for many to buy, Fien said.Cameroon challenges More than a third of Cameroon’s population lives in poverty, according to the World Bank.“It’s ever so difficult for a woman, a single mum, to afford 250 francs (RM1.66) for a sachet of an imported brand (of baby food), and that will run out quickly,” she said, adding that babies need multiple sachets every day.In 2013, after giving birth, Fien set about trying to devise her own baby food, consulting doctors, dieticians and nutritional experts and using local ingredients.The result is a mix of organic cereals for children aged 6 months or older, as well as adults, that costs about a third of the price of imports, sold under the name Kayvey Nutri Foods.“This came as a solution that everyone could afford, that was locally made and free of chemicals,” she said.Since 2015, Fien has run a small factory where she works with six others. She also employs 21 women as distributors.“We sell in a lot of slums, that had been our target area from the beginning. They are the ones that need us the most. Our food is something they can buy,” she said.“I’ve really seen how it has changed lives, given good health to babies.”Super-power ingredients In India, forgotten crops are also being rediscovered, including by chef Anahita Dhondy who heard about millet, sorghum and other forgotten ingredients from her grandmother.Dhondy’s breakthrough came when she made an apple crumble with sorghum which she called “mind blowing”.“Ingredients are super powers for chefs,” said Dhondy, a chef at SodaBottleOpenerWalaa cafe in the suburbs of New Delhi. “I am not gaining anything from this except that I am trying to reintroduce these ingredients because they are good for the farmer, planet and the chef who is creating them.”For all food innovators, education is key to providing better health to people around the world.While industrialised food is often cheaper to buy, its production is often damaging to the environment, while the farmers growing the crops often receive low wages, said Gil.Meanwhile, underutilised crops are more resilient, having been naturally selected to survive difficult environmental conditions, noted Padulosi, the food scientist, adding that this is something to take advantage of in an era of climate change.“If you look at the profile of these crops, they are really superior to many staples and common crops,” he said.Dhondy said chefs were not only people who ran [...]
A screenshot shows a group of men inspecting a police patrol car for evidence of voter fraud in Rantau April 13, 2019. — Picture via Twitter/TunFaisal
KUALA LUMPUR, April 14 — Police have arrested two men for allegedly searching a police patrol car for evidence of voter fraud during the Rantau by-election in Negri Sembilan yesterday.Malaysiakini reported Negri Sembilan acting police chief Mohamad Mat Yusop as confirming that a 52-year old car salesman and a 36-year old lorry driver from Seremban and Rantau respectively were detained this afternoon.“Both were picked up from their respective homes and have been identified as ordinary members of a political party. We are tracking down three other individuals to facilitate the ongoing investigation,” he said.Earlier today, acting Deputy Inspector-General of Police CP Datuk Seri Abdul Hamid Bador said the incident would be investigated under Section 186 of the Penal Code for obstructing any public servant in the discharge of their public functions.“The offence carries an RM10,000 fine, two years imprisonment, or both,” he said in a statement.Samseng sungguh orang Pakatan ni.. Ni la hasil pemupukan budaya samseng sejak zaman reformasi dulu.. Sampai geng2 ni bertumbuk la kat Rantau tadi pic.twitter.com/kdo9ggT41l— Tun Faisal (@tunfaisal) 13 April 2019Abdul Hamid added the case is also being investigated under Section 341 for wrongfully restraining a person, which carries aanRM1,000 fine, one month’s imprisonment, or both.“The public is advised to not take matters outside the purview of the law and into their own hands, by obstructing any civil servant from discharging their official duties.“Instead please report such instances to the police should any information pertaining violation of the law come to your attention,” he said.A police report was lodged shortly after the incident took place at 6pm yesterday, which saw five Pakatan Harapan election workers stopping a police multi-purpose vehicle outside the voting centre in SJK© Chung Hua in Rantau.The group forced the two police officers within the vehicle to open their boot, on suspicion of electoral fraud favouring BN.The incident has since gone viral on social media, and was slammed by Election Commission chairman Azhar Harun as ‘gangsterish’.Azhar told The Malaysian Insight the EC would decide tomorrow on what action it could take.“This is a serious matter and it should not have happened. Trying to intimidate the police is an act of gangsterism.“I am shocked that they did such an act to scare off the police and EC.“I want leaders of all parties to control their members and supporters. This is a terrible thing, it’s as though there is no democracy in a free and fair election.“Such acts must be stopped immediately. We can’t allow these things to continue, definitely not under my watch,” he told the news portal. [...]
BESUT, March 30 — The Fire and Rescue Department (JBPM) will continue its search and rescue (SAR) operation for runner Mohammad Ashraf Hassan who went missing while participating in the Gopeng Ultra Trail 2019 here Saturday, even after other search parties had called off the operation at 1 pm today.JBPM director-general Datuk Mohammad Hamdan Wahid said their operation would not have any deadline but would only be carried out in a smaller scale.“Even though other agencies had called off the SAR operation today, the JBPM will continue searching for the missing runner. Our SAR operation will be carried out in a smaller scale depending on the current situation,” he told reporters after attending the state-level Fire Safety Campaign 2019 in Pulau Perhentian here today.The event was launched by Housing and Local Government Ministry secretary-general Datuk Seri Mohammad Mantek.Mohammad Ashraf, 29, from Muar, Johor, participated in a mixed group of 485 runners in the 25 km run of the trail in the area, which has many caves, but did not return after it ended at 2 pm (on Saturday). When all efforts to find him by the organiser and fellow runners failed, a missing person report was lodged at 1.09 am the next day.Earlier today, Kampar police chief Supt Hasron Nazri Hashim announced that the SAR operation was called off because the search team did not find any fresh leads. — Bernama [...]
Liu Shuangfeng kisses an album with pictures of her son at her house in Handan, Hebei province, China March 1, 2019. — Reuters pic
HANDAN (China), March 7 — Every Saturday, Chinese farmer Li Eryou still calls the long-disconnected mobile telephone number of his son, who was among the 239 aboard Malaysia Airlines flight MH370 when it vanished five years ago in the world’s greatest aviation mystery.“I don’t care what’s on the other end,” said the 60-year-old farmer from rural Handan, in the northern province of Hebei, as he described his weekly ritual. “I would always say a few words to my son.”Li Yanlin, who worked in Malaysia for Chinese telecoms equipment giant ZTE, was 30 when the flight from Kuala Lumpur to Beijing disappeared on March 8, 2014, with 153 Chinese citizens on board.“My son was the first person in our village to go abroad by plane,” his father told Reuters, as he thumbed through an album of his son’s last photos holidaying in Malaysia, downloaded from social media by his distraught parents.
Li Eryou poses in front of a sign marking the number of days his son went missing, during a Reuters interview at his house in Handan, Hebei province, China March 1, 2019. — Reuters pic
Li’s wife, Liu Shuangfeng, said she frequently cries herself to sleep and has been diagnosed with severe depression.Efforts to locate the aircraft have been unsuccessful.In January 2017, Australia, China and Malaysia called off a two-year, US$141 million (RM576.3 million) underwater search in the southern Indian Ocean after it found no trace of the aircraft.A second, three-month search, led by US exploration firm Ocean Infinity, ended unsuccessfully last May.Last week, Malaysia said it would consider resuming the search if viable proposals or credible leads emerged, but a lack of closure continues to gnaw at those left behind.
Newspapers with articles on the missing Malaysia Airlines flight MH370 hang by a window as Li Eryou looks at a photo album during a Reuters interview at his house in Handan, Hebei province, China March 1, 2019. — Reuters pic
After his son’s disappearance, Li left his wheat crops overgrown and untended as he travelled back and forth to the Chinese capital of Beijing for meetings with Malaysian and Chinese authorities.The hundreds of train tickets and receipts he accumulated in that effort will inspire him to keep up the search, he said.“It has been five years, but I haven’t given up and will never give up,” Li said. “I will continue to search for my son.” — Reuters [...]
People are seen onboard a ferry bound for Penang island, February 7, 2019. ― Picture by Sayuti Zainudin
GEORGE TOWN, Feb 16 — The search and rescue (SAR) operation for a passenger feared drowned after falling into the sea from a ferry yesterday was extended to 18 nautical miles from the area the victim is believed to have fallen.A spokesman for the Malaysian Maritime Enforcement Agency (MMEA) Penang said the rescue operation entered the second day at 7.30am today and still no clues could be found of the victim who fell from the Pulau Undan Ferry, even after 12 hours of rescue operations.“Five MMEA boats, personnel from the Marine Police Force, Fire and Rescue Department of Malaysia, Marine Department and Civil Defence Force were involved in rescue operations today.“As of today, there’s no police report on a missing person and we have not been able to determine the victim’s identity and gender,” the spokesman said in a statement, here today.The SAR operation was terminated at 7.30pm and will resume at 7.30am tomorrow.In the incident about 9.20am yesterday, a passenger fell into the sea at 1.2km northwest of the Butterworth Ferry Terminal. — Bernama [...]
The PDRM logo is seen at Bukit Aman in Kuala Lumpur January 16, 2019. — Picture by Ahmad Zamzahuri
KUALA LUMPUR, Jan 27 — The police have launched a search operation to look for the remaining parts of two mutilated corpses found in the Desa Coalfields residential area here yesterday.Sungai Buloh District Police chief Supt Shafa’aton Abu Bakar said the operation by the scuba and dog units was currently focusing around the area where two bodies were found.Yesterday, the media reported that the body of a man and a woman were found by the public, and further checks on the corpses by the police found that they had been dismembered, with three black plastic bags containing parts of the hands and legs discovered nearby.Shafa’aton, when contacted here today said the focus of the search was now on locating the heads and remaining parts of their limbs.The police believe the man and woman were killed elsewhere before their bodies were dumped in the area, she said, adding that based on the state of the corpses, they were likely killed about two weeks ago.She said the post-mortems were being conducted at the Sungai Buloh Hospital, and the identities of the two victims were still unknown.The police have urged those who have lost any relatives or acquaintances or have any information about the incident to contact the nearest police station to assist with investigations. — Bernama [...]
MUKAH: Two persons died while another one is in a weak but stable condition after being beaten by poisonous snake while looking for "asam paya" (swamp tamarind) fruit. [...]