Thursday, 21 June 2012

Milk played an important part in the diet of these prehistoric pastoral people

Milk played an important part in the diet of the prehistoric pastoral people. Photo: K. K. Mustafah

Molecular and isotope analysis of absorbed food residues on potsherds revealed the details
Researchers from the University of Bristol and other institutions have found the “first unequivocal” chemical evidence of dairying practices by Saharan people about 5,000 years ago — at a time when the region was in a humid phase and had plenty of plant cover.
The story so far
Researching the earliest evidence of dairying has so far been confined to Europe, Near East and Eurasia. This is the first time an attempt is made to study African samples. The results are published today (June 21) in Nature.
Till date evidence of domestication of cattle, sheep and goats came from faunal samples. But faunal remains have been “highly fragmentary and poorly preserved.” Reconstructing evidence of herding has therefore been difficult.
Even indirect evidence of dairying is “missing.” Of course, rock paintings and engravings have provided some compelling indirect evidence.
The researchers therefore turned to molecular and isotope analysis of absorbed food residues found on potsherds to know the details. The rationale is simple: analysing food residues is a sure way of understanding diet and subsistence practices of humans a few thousand years ago.
Making the study possible has been the exemplary preservation of absorbed organic residues, particularly lipids, on potsherds. This is unlike in the case of European sites where only 40 per cent of potsherds provided any evidence of lipids, and that to at very low concentrations. “This remarkable preservation [in the case of African samples] is likely to be related to the extremely arid conditions prevailing in the region” in the last hundreds of years.
The researchers used carbon 13 isotopic ratios to study the major alkanoic acids of milk fat. The lipids belonged to three categories — “high abundance” of C16:0 and C18:0 (lipid numbers) fatty acids derived from degraded animals fats. There were carbon isotopes (C13 to C18) which are demonstrative of “bacterial origin” and diagnostic of “ruminant animal fats.”
In the second category, the carbon isotopes found were diagnostic of plant oils and a certain kind of wax of vascular plants. The third type of residue indicates the “drying reaction of plant oils,” and reflects either “processing of both plant and animal products in the same vessel or the multiuse of the vessels.”
Of the three types, only those indicative of degraded animal fats were taken up for detailed analysis. Compared with present day animal fats, about 50 per cent of lipid samples recovered from the potsherds fall within or on the edge of isotopic range of dairy fats. About 33 per cent fall within the isotope range for ruminant adipose fats.
“The unambiguous conclusion is that the appearance of dairy fats correlates with the abundant presence of cattle bones in the cave deposits, suggesting a full pastoral economy,” they write.
They also found unequivocal evidence for “extensive processing of dairying products” in pottery in the Libyan Sahara between 5,200-3,800 years ago. This confirms that “milk played an important part in the diet of these prehistoric pastoral people.”
This is quite surprising considering the fact that these people were able to consume milk despite suffering from lactose intolerance. The study thus provides a window to the “evolutionary context for the emergence of lactase persistence in Africa.”

Wednesday, 20 June 2012

India top rice exporter

This is presented as though it is somehow good news, but what this means is that agribusiness has bought up land in India for the export market. Financial speculators have artificially pushed up the price of grain 40%
above the average cost in the past 10 years. Although the global prices for rice fell when India relaxed its rule prohibiting export of non-basmati rice.

As we have posted earlier, the biodiversity of rice is dramatically reduced by growing for export. Sri Lanka has gone from having more than 110varieties of rice to a mere 6 or 7 constituting more than 90% of their crop due to export.

The manner in which the IMF and World Bank have manipulated the economies of countries they are "helping" has caused the poorest nations to pay the most for food. Listen here: UN's Dawe Says Poor Nations Spend Most on Food  

India to Dethrone Thailand, Vietnam as Top Rice Exporter
By Pratik Parija and Prabhudatta Mishra - May 9, 2012 12:07 PM GMT+0200

India, the largest rice grower after China, is poised to rival Vietnam as the world's biggest shipper, ending Thailand's 30-year reign, afterfavorable weather and higher government prices boosted the harvest to a

Exports may climb to 7 million metric tons in the year ending Aug. 31, said Samarendu Mohanty, a senior economist at the International Rice Research Institute. That's more than double the 2.8 million tons shipped in
2010-2011, according to the U.S. Department of Agriculture. Vietnam will export 7 million tons and Thailand 6.5 million tons, USDA data show.

Rice, the staple for half the world, has slumped 18 percent since reaching the highest price since 2008 in September after India ended a three-year ban on exports of non-basmati varieties. Prices will probably stay under pressure in coming months as global production outpaces demand for an eighth year. That may extend a decline in global food costs, which fell for the first time this year in April, United Nations data show. Thailand was the top shipper last year with 10.6 million tons.


Wednesday, 6 June 2012

Book publishing course by NBI

Dear Vaisnavas,

National Book Trust of India (NBI), is conduting a course on "Book
publishing". For more details visit:

your servant,
Bharat Chandra Dasa
National Coordinator,
IDVM -India
(Text PAMHO:23556725) --------------------------------------

------- End of Forwarded Message ------

Monday, 4 June 2012

Poverty means poverty of knowledge

---------- Forwarded Message ----------
From: Internet: "Nanda Kumar"
Date: 04-Jun-12 10:42 (14:42 +0400)
Subject: Fwd: Poverty means poverty of knowledge

Poverty means poverty of knowledge. Prime minister Canakya Pandit used to
live in a thatched house or cottage but he was the dictator of India in the
days of Emperor Candra Gupta. Mahatma Gandhi your political Guru voluntarily
accepted the ways of the so called poor Indians and still he was the
dictator of India's destiny. But was he actually poverty sticken on account
of his plain living with the primitive charkha? He was always proud of his
spiritual knowledge. Therefore it is the spiritual knowledge which makes a
man really rich and not the radio set or the motor car. Please therefore try
to understand this position of Indian culture and try to give it to the
western brothers in the prescribed standard method of the liberated persons
and that will be an exchange of Indian culture with western material
advancement and necessarily bring in a happy life in the peaceful world.

>>> Ref. VedaBase => Letter to: Jawaharlal Nehru -- Bombay 4 August, 1958

(Jawaharlal Nehru died May 27, 1964)

Saturday, 2 June 2012

Timeless Stories of Gomata

Have you ever wondered why and how Laxmidevi resides in cow dung? Why cows
are considered most significant of all animals? How come cows have varied
horns? How were cows created? How cows got their position in Goloka?...

Yes, all these are narrated in our scriptures and each story makes a
wonderful read! Would you like to read them all in one place? Then read this
article further...

"To make the mind austere is to detach it from sense gratification. It
should be so trained that it can be always thinking of doing good for
others. The best training for the mind is gravity in thought. One should not
deviate from Krsna consciousness and must always avoid sense gratification.
To purify one's nature is to become Krsna conscious. Satisfaction of the
mind can be obtained only by taking the mind away from thoughts of sense
enjoyment. The more we think of sense enjoyment, the more the mind becomes
dissatisfied. In the present age we unnecessarily engage the mind in so many
different ways for sense gratification, and so there is no possibility of
the mind's becoming satisfied. The best course is to divert the mind to the
Vedic literature, which is full of satisfying stories, as in the Puranas and
the Mahabharata. One can take advantage of this knowledge and thus become
[Srila Prabhupada, Purport, SB17.16]

The latest books released from ISKCON Daiva Varnasrama Ministry in an
attractive paperback book is bound to engage readers of all sections, young
and old equally!

"Timeless Stories of Gomata" is a compilation of 35 stories from various
scriptures such as Mahabharata, Vishnu Dharmottara Purana, Skanda Purana and
other classics. One can derive principles of cow protection in these
chapters and relish the inherent teaching in the stories.

Do you know the story why little Krsna in Goloka never wore footwear? Do you
know the story of sage Chyavana who was caught by fishermen and gave a hard
time to King Nahusha but settles down for a right price? Do you know about
how Lord Shiva made the Bull as his vehicle? Find all this and more in this

This publication was made possible with the help of an ardent lover of
Gomata,Shri Mahesh Advani.
"Being a businessman I can vouch that generally we are selfish. We
calculate profit in everything we do. However, it must be understood that
serving cows is a deal with 100% profit! Beyond such a material calculation
is a fact that serving cows is very dear to Lord Krsna. It is a devotional
service. This compilation, "Timeless stories of Gomata" woven through
wonderful stories convinces us of this truth!"
Shri Mahesh Advani, Govindas Restaurant, LLC Dubai (UAE)

His Holiness R.P.Bhakti Raghava Swami released the book on May 10th.
"Cow care and cow protection, especially in today's misdirected and
ill-governed society, remains crucial to the survival of humanity. It is but
sheer madness and gross ignorance to think otherwise. It was in Bali where
we conducted the Second Annual Varnasrama Seminar that Bharat Chandra Das
narrated the story of how Lakshmi devi came to reside in the body of the
cow. Seeing all the demigods having been awarded a particular dwelling place
in the body of mother cow, Lakshmi devi also desired to reside in her.
Although initially refused, after repeated insistences from Lakshmi devi,
mother cow explained that the only place left where she could reside was in
her dung. Since Lakshmi devi Herself resides in cow dung, cow dung is
considered the greatest of wealth, a goldmine. The Timeless Stories of
Gomata is yet another important addition to recent books glorifying mother
cow! May we all benefit from this compilation and may mother cow bestow her
mercy upon us all."
His Holiness R.P.Bhakti Raghava Swami

For details, write to:


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