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Affordable Palm Oil At What Cost?

Singapore and Malaysia have been affected by severe smoke haze due to forest fires in the region periodically. There are already many reports on the adverse impacts of oil palm plantation on the environment, however Adam Harrison's on-site account of the current situation may convince our readers to take extra measures when purchasing items made with palm oil. This article is taken from Adam Harrison's blog on the WWF website. "Right now I’m in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, having just attended a series of meetings with the Roundtable on Sustainable Palm Oil (RSPO). All week we’ve been hearing about the record levels of air pollution in Singapore to the south. But now it’s reached Kuala Lumpur itself. This photo shows the ‘view’ of the iconic...

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Homemade Canned Tomatoes

August and September are the months when tomatoes are at their ripest. I always take advantage of these months when good tasty tomatoes are easily available to whip up a scrumptious tomato pasta sauce or tomato curry. As I savor the sweet and flavorful sauce, which one could easily make from scratch, I also lament about the impending cooler months, when tomatoes tend to be relatively less dense and hence a blander in taste. Well, I decided I should lament no more and spend a weekend in the late summer months to can tomatoes for the winter. If you live in Europe, finding the ripest tomato should be an easy task, considering that we had a long period of extremely hot summer this year. Nonetheless sharpen...

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Not A Whole Hill of Beans

Affordable, nutritious and highly versatile, beans are must-have ingredient in everyone's pantry. I do not have a pressure cooker at home, and for many years I was daunted by the aspect of long preparation time for bean dishes...until I tried a recipe of beans in reduced red wine from Melissa Clark's video on the New York Times. She debunked a couple of myths about cooking beans and got me hooked on the simple and fuss free way in preparing bean dishes. Since then, I have tried cooking beans with seasonal vegetables: chickpeas and squash during autumn, black eye peas with kale during winter, white beans with tomatoes and the variations go on. With a little planning, preparing bean dishes can be...

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Oranges Are Not The Only Fruit

Citrus fruits are at the peak of their flavours during the winter season. I always look forward to this season’s offering of clementine and blood oranges. In fact, it is the only time I would eat an whole peeled orange. For those with the luxury of owning a citrus fruit tree in the garden, you would also know that a great way to spend your cold weekend indoors, is to prepare and stock up orange (or mix citrus) marmalade for gifts or Sunday brunches. The humble orange is in fact a highly versatile ingredient that could be used in a wide variety of dishes: from salads, soups to deserts, the accessible and economical fruit lends your dish a sophisticated sweet...

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