Every household of India will have a pack of noodles at home, mostly Maggi, maggi is like another name of noodles. In India it is very difficult to find ready made food, one has to go to restaurant to get good quality food, though there are road side vendors, we cannot rely on their cleanliness.
Nestle – the most known company in food and beverages with over 2000 brands. Maggi noodles is owned by Nestle India. I am not sure if people outside India are aware of what happened with Maggi in India, Food and Drug administration has found adulteration in the batches manufactured in some of their facilities, and imposed a ban on the sales of their noodles. Many noodle lovers were very disappointed with this decision, some would have even shed some tears. I mean, people went crazy posting all over social networking sites expressing how much they miss eating Maggi.
While on one side when the FDA and government are saying that the ingredients( lead and MSG) used are going to harm our health, very few people understood the intent. I wondered if we even care about our health and well-being ? If we do, to what extent ?
Adulteration of food is addition of substances which are not intended to be used or can be harmful. This addition of unauthorized additives or chemicals is done for many reasons, like preservation, enhancing taste, to reduce cost but not sacrifice the taste. Sadly, in India , this adulteration is not limited to a particular category of food items, it’s everywhere.
Food is declared adulterated if:
- A substance is added/removed which depreciates it
- Cheaper substances are substituted wholly or in part.
- Excessive usage of artificial colors to improve the apperance
- Degraded quality which can raise concerns for health.
Adulterated food is dangerous because it may be toxic and can affect health and it could deprive nutrients essential for proper growth and development.
Milk – the most basic need from infants to adults. It is adulterated to an extent that we cannot even imagine. Detergents, starch, harmful chemicals, salts, urea, sugars – all of these are used for adulterating milk. Synthetic milk is it’s name, it can be very harmful when consumed over many days.
Cumin seeds, turmeric, chilli powder, green chillies, green peas, honey, sugar, coconut oil, butter, vanaspati, mustard oil, pulses, millets, rice, paneer, khoya, curd, yogurt, I can keep giving more items that are adulterated. Is there any limit ? I do not see any.
What it means to us ? We have to be careful to a level of multi-fold, educate ourselves on what ingredients are good for health, harmful for us, inculcate the habit of reading the ingredients before making a purchase. As much as possible, get the local produce from farmers for dals, vegetables etc. They are tasty and healthy too ! The internet is full of studies and journals on how we can do some tests at home to check for adulteration, let’s learn. It is we who have to be careful about our health, as the saying goes health is wealth , we would feel helpless without it. Health is precious and so are we !!