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Beyond Cooking: The Secret Power of Herbs

September 7, 2020

Chances are, you’re no stranger to herbs and their place in many staple meals. Thyme or rosemary for chicken, sage in stuffing, basil for tomato dishes, there are traditional pairings of herbs and meals. But what else can herbs do, other than bring a zing to your meal?

Well, herbs have been used across the ages to treat and remedy all sorts of problems. Some have been dismissed as incorrect or superstition, but there’s plenty of natural herb-based uses that still hold up today! Join crocus bulbs supplier Suttons Seeds as we look at the benefits of herbs.


Ginseng is a popular element of Chinese medicine, featuring in remedies for all sorts of issues. With Panax ginseng the most widely studied of this species, it has been found to boost our mood, enhance our memory and increase concentration. As a natural detoxifier, it’s also said to boost our immune system and treat imbalances in our body, including blood pressure, blood sugar, cholesterol levels and hormones.

If you have heart problems, make sure to check with your cardiologist before using ginseng, as it has been known to cause insomnia and heart palpitations.


Rosemary has been touted to help enhance memory, according to research by Northumbria University. The main chemical constituent in the herb is 8-cineole and by simply smelling rosemary, we are said to be able to score higher on tests and function better on a daily basis.

“Rosemary is for remembrance”, or so Shakespeare wrote, and it seems like this is true in more ways than symbolism!


Echinacea has mild anti-inflammatory properties, as well as being high in flavonoids. It is said to hold immune-boosting qualities that promotes the activity of the lymphocyte cells that help eliminate viruses from the body. Promoters of the herb use it to combat an array of ailments, including:

  • Dizziness
  • Chronic fatigue syndrome
  • Acid indigestion
  • Gum disease
  • Migraines
  • Diphtheria
  • Attention deficit-hyperactivity disorder (ADHD)
  • Flu
  • Tonsillitis

Echinacea was a popular treatment option in North America and Europe in the 1920s and 1930s.  It first was used as a treatment for the common cold, after a supplement maker from Switzerland believed it could prevent common colds after finding out Native American tribes in South Dakota used it for this reason.


The word ‘sage’ derives from the ‘salvere’, which is Latin for ‘to save’. And it certainly had a life-saving reputation in the Middle Ages, with many using it as a way to try to prevent the plague. However, recent research found that the herb may be able to improve our brain’s functionality and memories, especially in people who have Alzheimer’s disease as sage inhibits the breakdown of acetylcholine — something which drops in sufferers of the disease.


Basil is a super-popular herb in the kitchen. However, the plant also has anti-inflammatory and antiviral properties that can halt osteoarthritis. Currently, it’s being used to combat digestive disorders and is the subject of studies looking into its anti-cancer properties. The essential oils found in basil are a good source of vitamin A, potassium, calcium, iron and magnesium. It’s also said that the oil can enhance dull-looking skin and hair when massaged into the skin, provide relief from the common cold and improve digestion.

Holy basil

This basil isn’t your average basil plant. Holy basil is considered to be a sacred herb in India and has been linked with reducing blood sugar levels. It has also been used to combat anxiety and any anxiety-related depression, with one study finding it increases certain immune cells which are found in our blood. However, as these studies have been relatively small, it’s anticipated that more research will be carried out to discover the herb’s true ‘powers’.


This Mediterranean herb has a softer taste than other mints. Its leaves carry menthol and is rich in many antioxidant vitamins, such as vitamin A and vitamin C. It can help battle flatulence and hiccups, due to it relaxing your stomach muscles. Other benefits spearmint is used for includes relieving itching, dermatitis and hives when it’s used as a cream or lotion. It can also be used in aromatic therapy to help reduce head pains, fatigue and stress.


Tarragon is known to bring an appetite, with its phyto-nutrients. In its fresh form, it is one of the highest antioxidant value food sources in common herbs. Studies have found that it helps to lower blood sugar levels and compounds found in the herb can inhibit platelet activation and prevent adhesion to the blood vessel wall. This can help prevent clot formation inside blood vessels in your heart and brain, which can protect from heart attacks and strokes. In dentistry, tarragon has been used as an antiseptic for toothache complaints, while tarragon tea is thought to help cure insomnia.

You can see how herbs have more uses than just in the kitchen. Studies will continue to be carried out to firmly understand all the positive aspects of the herbs available to us. So, now is as good a time as any to head to your local supermarkets and stock up on those all-important herbs!


Food Hygiene – We All Need

September 4, 2020

Food is the basic necessity of all the human beings and it is very much essential to handle, prepare and store food correctly in order to ensure a sound health to everyone. Kids, old people and patients are particularly very much sensitive in this regard and a little bit of carelessness whatsoever may result in a chaos. Food contamination, usually caused by bacteria, viruses or other parasites, must be avoided by our collective efforts. Likewise, food preparation areas must be kept absolutely clean and hygienic all the time to ward off infection and the like.

The Role of a Worker Who Prepares Food and Drink

Such a worker is the central figure in the whole game, like Two Wests in providing quality equipment for gardens, and his role is quite vital just like that of a backbone in our body. He must understand and practice safe food handling as well as food preparation techniques to impart good health to the all attached. Unfortunately, if he lacks in any area, he must immediately seek further advice and even training.

The Legal Requirements of a Worker Who Prepares Food and Drink

Food hygiene must have the top most priority in the safety policy of every workplace. The summary of infection prevention and control principles is clearly documented in the ICS policy. Such a worker is required to apply the following good working practices all the time.

  • Scrupulous handling of all blood and other bodily fluids from all the service users irrespective of the risk of infection involved.
  • Application of all the basic hygiene practices with regular hand decontamination being practiced between contracts with all the clients.
  • Water proof dressings of the existing wounds or the skin lesions.
  • Wearing the appropriate protective clothing (disposable gloves, plastic aprons, head scarves, etc.) whenever in contact with blood or other bodily fluids, the potentially infectious mater.
  • Immediate and safe disposal of the hazardous and infectious waste as per section of the ICS health and safety policy.
  • Cleaning all blood spillages with strong detergents then and there.
  • Keeping all the workers suffering from gastroenteritis, diarrhea, vomiting, chicken pox, flu, etc. away from their duty even 48 hours after they get rid of the symptoms.
  • Adhering to the food hygiene policy in accordance with the Food Safety Act 1990 and the Food Safety Regulations 1995.

The Main Objectives of a Worker Who Prepares Food and Drink

Preventing the spread of infection and bacteria in order to secure the service users from food related illnesses and keeping the work areas clean and safe all the time should be the objectives of such a worker. Otherwise, poor food hygiene may definitely cause stomach disorders, vomiting and diarrhea leading sometimes even to death under adverse conditions.

 The Role of Personal Hygiene

While preparing food, personal hygiene must be taken under strong consideration, for the bacteria lying on your skin can contaminate food, thus causing severe infection to the users. You should take bath every day, but avoid using strong smelling perfumes, after shave lotions and creams, deodorants, etc. because they may also contaminate the food and alter its flavour. Your hair should be tied and covered and if you ever happen to touch or rub your hair or face, you must wash your hands straight away. Always keep your nails pared and wear neat and clean clothes as well.

Whenever serving or assisting a service user with hi food, wear blue gloves and apron. There is no need to handle or touch the served food items unless absolutely necessary and that, too, for the shortest amount of time possible. Never keep the prepared food lying around. Rather try to serve it at the earliest. Keep it in mind that cooked food must be reheated only once. Never try to touch the food items without the prior consent of the service user. Always pick the mugs and cups from their handles and the glasses from the mid instead of their necks. Be clear about the fact that your personal hygiene contributes a lot towards over all food hygiene.

Food Premises Must Be Ever Clean and Well-lit

Food premises must always be supportive to food hygiene. The premises must be easy to clean, well-lit and with a plenty of storage. The whole place must be clutter free to avoid dust or any other contaminant. Before you start your work, make sure that the whereabouts are perfectly clean and the utensils are well sterilized.

By the all above-said, you can judge as to how much the food hygiene is important for all of us. So be ever careful.

Food, Technology

Food Photography: A Growth Sector

August 22, 2020

Reports from last year suggested that 69% of millennials take photographs or videos of their food before eating — which suggests that showing images of what we’re doing when we’re doing it has grown in popularity and even importance over recent years.

The focus of Instagram is to look at and upload photos — so it’s no surprise that it’s the greatest social media platform for photography. With 800 million monthly active users, it’s undeniable that this platform is one of the biggest contributing factors to the increase in food photography around the world.

Canon lenses retailer, Clifton Cameras, has explored the advantages of social exposure with regard to companies in the catering and food industry, looking at how user-generated content can enhance profits and brand awareness. Can photography assist your business when it comes to development and growth?

Boosting variety and making your dishes attractive

High-resolution photos are essential to showing your customer why they need to enjoy your food over your competitors. Are you making the most of photography on your menus and print marketing products?

Many people, no matter which venue they choose to dine at, often opt for the same meal. By offering new and repeat customers a fresh menu featuring vivid, attractive images of food, you can boost customer retention rates, as people will be more impressed by the range on offer. Presenting your customers with a visual choice, not only helps sell the meal and make you more in profit, but also better informs you customer and encourages them to try more on the menu to boost repeat custom while helping you make use of all ingredients.

When it comes to selling food, there’s nothing that compares to a photo. Having close up images of courses or showing how meals are prepared by your chef are great ways to promote freshness, authenticity and flavour. You could also implement an Instagram widget on your website’s sidebar to display your latest posts and create a seamless user experience that connects your social activity to your home site.

Food influencers

When Mark Fidelman spoke to Modern Social Magazine, he commented that: “Influencer marketing as a practice has proved to reach far beyond the capabilities of most advertising methods.”

Reportedly, almost three-quarters of millennials feel they should help others make the right purchasing decision, while 92% trust real people over ads to help them buy. This is why using influencer marketing is so beneficial in 2018 — clearly, that’s where the trend is.

When Calsway, a Californian health-based catering company, tried to break the UK market; it used influencer marketing with great success. It employed the work of three, relevant influencers to upload food photos of Calsway products via their accounts and offer commentary on different dishes. Engagement rate in the UK for the company shot up, as a result. Seasoning company, Santa Maria, also used influencers to target the millennial demographic via enticing and action-based food photos — and the results were equally positive.

Employ the use of social influencers and let them help you spread attractive, tempting food photos of your menu. Invite them for a free meal and ask them to take pictures of each course, followed by a photo at your restaurant bar or enjoying your outdoor terrace to show off the quality of your eatery’s décor and services. This is great for enhancing engagement, brand awareness, and ultimately, sales.

Social media

Experts predict that there’ll be approximately 2.77 billion social media users by 2019. This means more people and businesses are connecting, which also means brands will have more scope to reach their audiences. But how can food photography assist? Through the use and popularity of social platforms, we’ve been able to gain greater insights to the lives of different people and cultures across the globe through a glance at our smartphones; once seen as an impossibility for many.

We now have the chance to see local dishes from all over the globe. Whether you’re sat in a restaurant, café or pub — it’s become the norm to see people taking pictures of their dishes and share them online using geotags, hashtags and more to achieve greater reach and visibility.

This is user-generated content — and businesses can make a lot of money from it. If more people are interacting with your brand across social media platforms, more people become aware of your business which could see an increase in custom.

If you try to encourage customer to snap pictures and document their time in your restaurant or café, you can advertise your business to the masses for free, as well as show how your eatery has credibility among its target audience and industry peers as an innovative and current place. One of the biggest benefits of user-generated content is that it will allow you to analyse the demographics of your audience and gain a greater insight to what type of people they are. This will enable you to tailor not only the type of food you serve to them, but the music that you play, specials that you offer and events that you host — giving people a reason to return.

You can also use social media to create hype around your brand in other ways. Why not, for example, introduce a “Picture of the Month” competition. People will upload and tag in your establishment to multiple images of their food and then you can select the best picture. Make the prize a free meal and you can bag yourself a load of free advertising for very little expense.

Don’t underestimate how much people want to get that ‘perfect shot’. Businesses must understand that it’s all about aesthetics and presentation when it comes to food photography; from unique serving boards to the interior décor of your building. If you don’t offer attractive looking surroundings, tables, artwork, and tableware to complement your delicious looking food, then this could harm the chances of a customer snapping, uploading and tagging an image.

Clearly, food photography is key to the success of a business. If you aren’t up to speed with food photography, how to implement it and its benefits, your eatery may suffer. Are you ready to introduce the above to your business?


Four Food Tips That Are Perfect for an RV Trip in Arkansas

August 20, 2020

If you’re ready to start planning your next vacation, consider taking an RV trip in Arkansas! The average rental RV price in Arkansas is just $154.17 per night. You can even rent an RV for as little as $65 per night!

Why choose an RV for your next vacation? Besides the wonderful memories you will make, it’s a great way to save money, especially when it comes to food.

You just have to understand that cooking in an RV is a lot different than cooking at home.

Here are four food tips that go beyond recipes to make sure everyone stays full and happy while you’re on the road.

Stay out of the Kitchen

At home, all the cooking takes place in the kitchen. Even if you use a grill outside, chances are, all the prep work is done inside.

That’s not usually the best idea when you’re traveling in an RV, especially in the summer. The kitchen can get hot fast, and all that heat can fill the RV.

Instead, stay out of the kitchen when the weather is warm. Use the fire outside to cook food and do all your assembling on a picnic table.

Make New Memories with Help from Old Memories

Trying to figure out what to make when you’re on the road? There are plenty of fancy recipe ideas out there, but some of the best ideas come from your memories.

What did you love cooking when you went camping as a kid? Chances are hot dogs and smores top the list. Why not plan to cook them with your own kids while you’re in the RV!

An RV vacation is the perfect time to resurrect old family recipes too. From potato salad to foil packets, you can’t go wrong with family-favorites.

Prep Before You Leave

Don’t spend all your time prepping food when you should be having fun with your family! Instead, prep food in your kitchen before you leave. That includes:

  • Cutting fruits and vegetables
  • Bake treats, like cookies and pies
  • Mix up salads
  • Get overnight oats ready for breakfast

If you want to keep the RV-clutter free, you may want to consider premeasuring everything as well. That way, you don’t have to bring along measuring cups and spoons. Plus, you’ll save time later!

Keep Things Cold

There’s nothing like a good campfire meal, but in the summer heat, you may find that cold, no-cook meals are the way to go. They’re easy to make too, so you can make them ahead of time or mix them up when you’re on the road.

Salad and sandwiches are popular, but don’t forget about cold soups, hummus, and mayonnaise-based salads. A good RV refrigerator helps with this immensely, of course.

It can get hot in Arkansas, but that doesn’t mean you have to feel the heat in the kitchen! When you’re ready to hit the road in an RV, follow these food tips and you’ll keep everyone happy and full without compromising your own happiness in the process.


How to taste the best food while traveling?

July 21, 2020

We all love to travel, to explore the world and gratify our souls with diverse cultural experiences. Not to forget, food is one of the most important parts of it. Different regions of the globe have so many different flavors to offer that you can never think of. Believe it or not, at times food can also create issues in your travel plans. Nevertheless, you need to research and get the best for yourself.

Research and Research! In today’s world, everything is connected and can be operated with just a click of a button. You can do extensive research on Google and know about the different dishes of the globe. The cuisines vary from country to country. Some of the destinations keep very simple, whereas others offer a lavish spread. There will always be something really exciting to try. The possibilities of tasting different dishes while traveling is endless.

Eat your Way All Around the World 

Travel and food go together like soy and ginger or lemon and thyme- the moment you plan your desired holiday destination. For many, the main criterion is: ‘Travel is what we eat’. It is an opportunity to explore exhilarating new flavors and regional specialties with wine sipping under the stars. Tasting new cuisines is the main reason why many travelers love discovering the different parts of the globe. Nevertheless, it is not that easy to have appropriate dining while traveling. The secret behind this is to act more like a local and less like a tourist.

Your first creamy taste of a flawlessly Parisian croissant, rich Italian hot chocolate, or delicious Indian desserts definitely lasts for a long time and for good reason. You just need to venture out (check out Travelstart) by being a local of the country and not a tourist. Always take suggestions from friends who have been to that place about the eateries or just click a button and get every detail within few seconds.

FOOD- The Best Part about Traveling

We all take out time from our work and plan a preferred destination. We book flights and search for best possible accommodation as per our budget. Now what is left? It is FOOD! After this, we search for the new flavors, experience, and tastes of that particular country. However, it may not give you full satisfaction, but a sense of deeper appreciation is surely there in you for local food and culture.

You are actually forced to look for local specialties. Consulting your travel desk of the hotel, you get to know more about the place and its food culture. But now, here are few reasons why eating is considered the most important and best part about traveling:

You Taste Foods that you have never had Before: Traveling to some new destination opens your eyes as well as your taste buds. You find out something new that has been missing out since long. For instance, the famous thing to eat in Poland is pierogis, stuffed with vegetables and meat. Exploring new food of a particular place is a good reason to visit that country someday.

You Discover Foods you make at Home in a Different Way: Experiencing new foods in a different country is incredible. The food that you have already tasted before and find a completely new flavor in some other country is amazing. For instance, mozzarella cheese of Italy has a completely new flavor that what you get at the nearest grocery store. Taste and texture is so different that it seems that you have tasted a new foodstuff for the first time.

Food unites People: Experiencing food trails with someone who is a big foodie as you are, is simply awesome. You will have wonderful bonding over new foods that you try and decide what you must try next. In this way, you get to meet new people of different nations. A conversation with a stranger over a cup of coffee or some dessert seems to be a good idea.

You Get Home New Flavors and Dishes: When you visit some different country, you bring back home lovely experiences of new flavors and dishes. Then you wish to try it in your kitchen. The taste may not be the same that you tried, but you can say, ‘Yes I had this there and it’s yummy.’ For example, if you tried pasta in Rome, then you try your level best to get the same taste of it.

Enjoying scrumptious food during your travel not only opens up your mind but also your stomach. Adjusting to unusual tastes and flavors is not everybody’s cup of tea, so must go beyond the comfort zone. You may be unfamiliar with the food items but you must definitely give a try. Order a meal of your choice and consider the above-mentioned points.

Last but not the least, while traveling we keep budget also into consideration. We concentrate on the budget and spend accordingly. Though, while traveling we come out of our comfort zone, but still search something (restaurant for local cuisines) which is pocket friendly and has something good to offer.

This article is written by Ashly Jacob, senior editor in, a leading holiday & travel portal in Dubai, UAE.