Archive for June, 2007


Macrobiotics in Mind Your Body

June 24, 2007

Macrobiotics made it to the cover of Mind Your Body, the health supplement of The Straits Times, this week (Wed June 20).

I was pleansantly surprised, not least because I was mentioned right at the very end of the article, as a resource person. The journalist who wrote the article had not contacted me, so I was not expecting that.

Another pleasant surprise… this morning I got about 10 email contacts from my website, mostly about macrobiotics.

The main article was about this man, Michael, who recovered from a rare blood disorder by following a macrobiotic diet. Michael now runs an organic food shop, Camu Camu, at Blk 211, Hougang St 21, Tel: 6287 0267.

 A side article was about Doreen, a certified macrobiotic chef who (sometimes) teaches macrobiotic cooking classes. Doreen is a friend of mine and I was mentioned at the end of this side article. She must have told the journalist about me. Thanks Doreen 🙂

I was active in teaching and promoting macrobiotics during the 1990s. In fact, I introduced the subject to Doreen during a talk I gave athe Civil Service Club many, many years ago.

Although I am much less active now, and I don’t follow the diet so closely, I still go by its guiding principles. There is a lot of wisdom there, not just dietary wisdom but also about life.

Macrobiotics is too complicated to explain here, but you can read more at my websites: and

It’s a fascinating subject (to me, anyway) and a totally different way of understanding how food affects our physical, mental, emotional and spiritual health (and vice versa).

I invite you to find out more.




The kampong chicken factory

June 3, 2007

What do you understand by “kapong chicken”?

If, like me, you believe it refers to chickens that roam about freely in kampongs (villages) – that is, the local equivalent of free-range, more or less organic, chicken –as opposed to those kept in cages in factory farms, well, you will be in for a disappointment and a shock.

According to more than one kampong chicken seller at the wet markets whom I have spoken to, there are at least two types of kampong chicken – the “real” type and the “fake” type.

The real type costs about $8.50 to $9 per kg and is a much bigger bird, so you will have to end up paying maybe $15 or more for a chicken. At the Ang Mo Kio Ave 4 market that I sometimes go to, this is called “mountain chicken”.

The one that generally sells for $5.50 per bird, in wet markets and supermarkets, is the fake type. These chickens are reared in cages in factory farms, where up to tens of thousands of chickens are confined in a covered shed. They do not get exercise or sunlight. Presumably, they are also regularly given antibiotics, because chickens raised under such conditions cannot be allowed to get sick. If one does, the sickness will quickly spread to the rest of the factory farm and tens of thousands of chickens will be destroyed.

So why are these “fake” kampong chickens called kampong chickens?

“They are the same species as kampong chicken,” the chicken seller at the market explained.

And so we have another case of misleading food labelling / food description that our health authorities seem to allow.