Alhamdulillah was-salatu was-salaamu 'ala rasoolillah. All thanks and praise is to ALLAH, Subhanahu wa ta'ala, and we ask that HIS blessings and peace be upon HIS Messenger, Muhammad, salla ALLAHu alaihi wa sallam.
On the occasion of the arrival of the blessed month of Ramadan, IFANCA wishes all of you Ramadan Mubarak.
May the coming year bring peace, happiness and prosperity to everyone on Earth.
As we enjoy the blessings of the month of Ramadan and we strengthen our belief and devotion to ALLAH, we are saddened by the news that 12 million American families were concerned they could not afford to buy food last year. Nearly 4 million families experienced someone who had to go hungry. Yes, here in America, millions of families are going hungry. And what of the lesser developed part of the world? Living in the most affluent nation in the world, we may be surprised to learn that so many people are doing without. It is certainly a sad, sad situation.
It is even sadder to learn that this is the third consecutive year where these numbers have increased. The Agriculture Department reports that 108 million families were unsure if they could afford to eat last year. Again, this is an increase from the previous year.
Going hand in hand with these statistics is an increase in poverty. Hunger and poverty are tied together and as the richest nation on Earth continues to progress, more and more families are being left behind. Nearly 35 million Americans lived in poverty during 2002.
At the same time, we face an obesity problem. Oddly enough, it is possible to be hungry and obese. Barbara Laraia of the University of North Carolina reports that hungry families tend to go for high-calorie foods so they can feel full, despite their low nutritive value. This can result in obesity and malnutrition.
Last month, IFANCA announced the opening of Sabeel Food Pantry, an effort to provide meals and food to those in need. The Pantry relies on the generosity of the community and businesses to provide a service to those who are experiencing a difficult time. As we enjoy the blessings of Ramadan, let us not forget those of us who have yet to be blessed with our bounty and let us reach out and try to make their lives a little easier. Whether you feed someone directly, through your Masjid, through Sabeel Food Pantry or another organization, don’t lose the added reward you receive for giving during Ramadan. And of course, let us remember there are still needy after Ramadan.
As ALLAH, Subhanahu wa ta'ala, says in the Noble Quran:
You will not attain piety (Al-Birr) unless you spend (in ALLAH's Cause) of that which you love; and whatever you spend, ALLAH knows it well. (2: 92)
The US Food and Drug Administration will allowed Coca Cola to market a cholesterol reducing orange juice. (Reported on www.foodingredientsfirst.com on October 27, 2003.)
National Beef has started using lactoferrin in its Dodge City and Liberal, Kansas beef plants to prevent bacteria. The technology is known as Activin(TM) and is expected to protect beef against E. coli O157:H7, Salmonella, Listeria and a number of other pathogens. (Reported on www.foodingredientsfirst.com on October 29, 2003.)
The United Food and Commercial Workers Union workers went on strike against Kroger, Albertsons and Safeway in Southern California over health care contributions. (Reported on www.just-food.com on October 21, 2003.)
Vitamin B6 is a water-soluble vitamin. It exists in three chemical forms: pyridoxine, pyridoxol and pyridoxamine. It is responsible for many enzymes required for the metabolism of protein, for red blood cell metabolism, for proper functioning of the immune and nervous systems and for the conversion of tryptophan to niacin.
The major sources of vitamin B6 are fortified cereals, beans, meat, poultry, fish, potatoes, bananas and avocados.
The recommended daily allowance (RDA) of vitamin B6 is 1.3 to 1.7 milligrams. Lactating and pregnant women have an RDA of 1.9 to 2.0 milligrams.
While vitamin B6 deficiencies are rare in Americans, deficiencies can result in skin inflammation, depression, confusion and convulsions. Since vitamin B6 is essential for the production of hemoglobin, deficiencies can also cause anemia. However, having these symptoms does not necessarily mean you are deficient in vitamin B6.
Too much vitamin B6 can cause nerve damage. This is usually related to taking large supplemental doses and the damage can be reversed when the supplements are stopped.
As always, it is best to eat a balanced diet and to exercise regularly. And if you suspect a health problem, consult with a physician.
This information was extracted from the National Institutes of Health website.