REVIEW: Nothing sour to say about this product

While flicking through magazine pages of ‘what to buy this month’ I get quite bored of the fact I do not have an endless pit of money to spend ridiculous amounts on a candle that lasts for 100 hours or a pair of shades worth more than my car. But today I was pleasantly surprised at a new health gadget advertised in the Stylist magazine.

Try and guess what it is from the picture below…

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This new product from Zing Anything allows you to flavour water, or any other liquid substance with citrus. Being economically and eco friendly I think this product is just what I was looking for to zest up my boring bottle of water.

As well as being cheap at £14.99 and good for the environment as a replacement for bottled flavoured water it is also extremely beneficial to your health (that is if you are adding it to water and not vodka!) Lemons for example, are good for detoxification, digestion, and the immune system and is also an anti-aging substance. It is used in many successful dieting tips for many of its worthy uses.

On Zing Anything’s website it suggests to: “Enhance the flavour and health benefits of water by using our Aqua or Citrus Zinger water bottles with fruit, veggies, and herbs to create refreshingly flavoured drinks.”

Instead of forking out around £2 each time for bottled flavoured water I will buy this slick new product and be deliciously happy with the infusion of citrus in my water that comes off the freshest Scottish springs – I have no excuse to be sour about it!

Zing Anything has a range of products to add that extra flavour into boring food and drinks. Visit their website for more information: www.zing-anything.co.uk

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OPINION: Minor surgeries could lead to death in 20 years time

ImageJust when we thought we were moving forward in the medical industry we get the news that our system could slip back to what it was like at the start of the 19th century and even the simplest surgeries could lead in death.

Now, I have seen period dramas, and people do not look healthy. Most often when a character becomes sick, or get an operation they die of infection and this is just the sort of thing top medical experts have said could happen.

Today it has been reported that Britain’s health system could take a step back 200 years unless antibiotic resistance is successfully tackled.

The Government’s Chief Medical Officer, Dame Sally Davies has warned that the serious problem of microbes becoming more resistant to powerful drugs should stand among national critical risks such as terrorism and climate change.

The starting point of this tackle is likely to include tougher restrictions on antibiotics prescribed by GP’s.

The Independent reported that in Dame Sally’s report, published today, she said: “There is a need for politicians in the UK to prioritise antimicrobial resistance as a major area of concern, including on the national risk register and pushing for action internationally as well as in local healthcare services.

Antimicrobial resistance is a ticking time-bomb not only for the UK but also for the world. We need to work with everyone to ensure the apocalyptic scenario of widespread antimicrobial resistance does not become a reality. This threat is arguably as important as climate change.”

Although infections in British hospitals such as MRSA and C. difficile have reduced by 80% since the levels around 10 years ago, E. coli and klebsiella are the most common infection acquired in UK hospitals.

Around 5,000 deaths from bloodstream infections occur a year in the UK, half of which are due to drug-resistant microbes.

Now I am not going to keep myself up at night about this worrying but I do worry for the old and young, whose immune system often fails them in critical medical situations. I have no doubt that the UK medical industry will pull through this problem. They did in the 19th century, so why not now?

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OPINION: What happened to the traditional Mother’s Day gift?

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My gift to my mother

As I woke up later than my mum, who was already showered and dressed, this morning I felt somewhat sorry that she never got her burnt toast and cup of tea in bed, I did not feel sorry that she never got an Ipad however.

Today, being Mothering Sunday millions of mothers will have been treated to flowers, cards and meals from their loving children with the few number dishing out that extra bit for an Ipad or Kindle – both of which I saw being advertised as the ‘perfect gift’ for mothers day.

Perfect gift given by who? As much as I would like to hand over the £100 or so present to my mum (who sure deserves it) it would break the bank for me.

And by no means does she expect it either. Mother’s Day for my family, not everyone, is about showing how much we appreciate what she does for us every day (not that this shouldn’t be done every day- but that is another argument) not about buying things.

As I turned to some friends last week and discussed Mother’s Day with them and their plans.

Some responded: “My mum just wouldn’t appreciate a homemade present or cake,” or “I’m buying my mum…” and say something like a new cardigan which is around £30. Now don’t get me wrong, I love my mum but buying her a £30 garment would mean nothing to her like a batch of homemade cupcakes would.

Of course everyone is different but given by the responses I got from some people it comes as no surprise to me that Marketing Week estimates the day to be worth £400m to retailers.

I think that the consumerism surrounding days such as Mothering Sunday and Valentines Day a bit hard to keep up with.

Needless to say I bought flowers a card and made cakes for my mum, and you know what, she was more than happy with that. She did said to me however: “You better not have spent a lot on the flowers” – you can never please them!

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OPINION: Barclays pays out the big bucks

imagesToday it was reported by the BBC that a more than 400 employees of Barclays bank earned more than £1m last year.

This comes after a number of scandals made by the bank last year when they submitted false interest rates to make profit from trades and give the impression they are more creditworthy than they were.

Despite numerous resignations over the scandal the bank are dishing out these large salaries to employees, who are not the highest earners of the bank.

Five people at Barclays are earning over £5m but the bank have said that chief executive Antony Jenkins was not among the five as he earned £2.6m – so who is earning the big bucks?

This has been the first of reports published by the bank about payment details which have followed a pledge to improve transparency at the bank from their new chairman, Sir David Walker.

If it is transparency Walker wants, it is what the public has got.

In efforts to come clean after their infamous past year I think it is remarkable that we now know the honest truth of what’s on the staff pay checks.

Now, I say it is remarkable for two reasons. One because who needs £5m, even £1m, to live comfortably, and two that they have published honest reports.

The average salary for a UK citizen is £26,000, so, to have four times this seems rather extravagant- I hope their next honest reports are what employees spend their money on.

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Police will re-open requested sex abuse cases

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The late BBC DJ Jimmy Saville – Picture credit: mirror.com

Dropped child sex investigations in the UK are likely to be reopened in an a bid to change the way the criminal justice system challenges sexual abuse.

Director of Public Prosecutions, Keir Starmer has set out a range of plans to tackle the problem by overtaking guidance, training programmes and proposals for prosecutors and officers to look at requested past case decisions.

This all comes in an aim to prevent “another Savile moment in five or 10 years time”

The late BBC DJ and Jim’ll fix it presenter Jimmy Savile was a sexual predator for over 50 years. The abuse over this time scale remained under the radar a factor which the BBC have been criticised for.

The Independent reported that Mr Starmer said: “We cannot afford another Savile moment in five or 10 years’ time. Whatever approach is now agreed it has to be fully informed, coherent, consistently applied across the country and able to withstand the test of time.”

Starmer added that despite efforts to improve the way sexual abuse cases are investigated the events over the last 12 months raise questions to police and prosecutors approaches.

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OPINION: Horse meat, faeces, could this get any worse?

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Chocolate almond cake served and sold at IKEA

I like burgers, I also like IKEA meatballs, I adore the chocolate almond cake it sells in its cafes and shops, however as a horse lover and a no s**t type of gal I’m a losing faith in retailers as such.

We have all heard the horse meat jokes, but prepare yourself for an overload of more food related gags.

Today it was reported that traces of sewage bacteria was found in furniture giant, IKEA’s chocolate almond cake in China.

The flat pack retailers have recalled it from all its 18 UK stores.

Now, I’m no expert in furniture building, or cooking for that matter. But I really think this retailer should stick to what it does best, the former.

Faecal coliform, which is bacteria found in human and animal waste, were present in cake tested. The Chinese authorities have now destroyed around two tonnes worth, or, as some would say s**t loads.

IKEA insists that the UK and Ireland are not affected – that was nice of them.

Did they think that China would think of faeces as delicatessen type ingredient and they would be ok with this? After all they are no stranger to weird and wonderful foods such as bats and bird sick, but I think this takes cooking to a new, unhealthy level and dangerous level and that serious measures need to be taken against the retailer.

This cake scandal comes days after IKEA was forced to take its popular dish of Swedish meatballs off its menu after tests made in the Czech Republic on the meatballs found traces of horse meat.

It also follows a number of food regulation scandals made by Tesco and Findus ready meals where horse meat at pig traces were discovered in 100% beef products.

Dining at IKEA has always been a great end to a stressful shopping trip around the gigantic stores which are so vast they work up an appetite, however, I will never be THAT hungry. If needs must I will take the meatballs.

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RBS report record losses

ImageThe Royal Bank of Scotland (RBS) has reported pre-tax losses of almost £5.2bn in a “chastening” 2012.

This has been the fifth annual loss since it was rescued by the government in 2008 trebling last year’s loss of £766m.

The government owns 81% of RBS.

It took £450m charge to cover Payment Protection Insurance (PPI) claims to take provision for mis-selling of policies to £2.2bn.

The bank has confirmed in recent statements that it is selling some of its US division, Citizens, on the stock exchange within the next few years.

In a press call on Thursday chief executive Stephen Hester said it there is “another choppy year ahead” although he did add that “the light at the end of the tunnel is coming much closer”.

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