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When all trees have been cut down, when all animals have been hunted, when all waters are polluted, when all air is unsafe to breathe, only then will you discover you cannot eat money. - Cree Prophecy

Monday, June 08, 2015

Food and Food like substances!

As the famous Michael Pollen once observed- there is food and Food like substance!
Maggi is not food, was not, ever..
Common sense and our gut feel told us it was not food, not healthy..never!
But we were told by many of those “celebs”  that it was healthy- who after some millions had been transacted ‘endorsed’ this 2 minute wonder..but thats a digression..
This recent controversy is not just about lead and MSG..
Lead could be there in many other products and in our blood bcos of its high presence in ground water..
But they fudged lot more..
They kept saying, even after they were caught this time (by sheer chance) that their product did not have MSG but could be Glutamate that is naturally available.They lied again. Apparently both are same!
So they were failed by a loose fragile system that let them go on happily till now and the same system caught them and they couldn’t escape- sheer luck for us consumers.
Did you know about MSG? excitotoxins??
MSG is an excitotoxin (like aspartame- oh man, we shud write about that and other artificial sweeteners soon) that can cause very serious damage- cancer to obesity to neurological disorders..esp in children. They also cause hyper activity (now u know why the kids acted like that on Sunday mornings! or is it thru the week?)
Its not just about Maggi!
There is more..
The food processing, food chemicals, advertisement- each is worth billions..
So which industry/industrialist is going to let it go? So they all connive and add anything and “sell” anything as healthy and even tasty!!

May be, the onus is on the Governments to ensure our food is safe..atleast what is in public forum, what is being advertised- esp the ones so wrongly advertised, intentionally.
But we know what is happening! What with the tendulkars, akshay khannas, amithabhs, hemammalinis either subtly lying or blatantly lying..challenging our u always thought it was the soda or black label mineral water they were endorsing?

So how do we ensure safe, real food..
The fact is we are moving away from Real and safe food by the day..
With more and more processed and industrialized food coming in, with no ethics or regulation to bind them, we are in a ‘soup’! (pun intended)

Here is what we should demand of the Govts:

1/ The Govt labs should do a periodical testing of all processed food and put them up on public space. They shud also check for pesticide and other harmful chemical residues and GMOs. (GMOS especially in the imported snacks category)
2/ Call all stake holders including consumer forums, farmer groups and come out with more stringent rules to cover food safety- esp the ready to eat category!
3/ Immediately bring the advertisers and the content under scanner. This mindless endorsing and willful lying has to be taken care who else but Govt?
4/ There are more than 10000 harmful chemicals used by the food industry. Let them be made public and  with the known side effects. More stress to be on the cocktail effect of the various chemicals used.
5/  Now is also the time to check on the various packaging. How bio degradable are they or how damaging to environment (and also to the food inside) are these packages? Eg: the polymerized aluminium packaging with lead colours all over those are used by almost all snacks industry is very dangerous and doesnot decompose. Even the aluminium in that is not recyclable.
6/ There should be more stringent checks on the green and red dots. It should not be left to the ‘industry’ to define vegetarianism. Let there be an independent body that defines these.
7/ The ingredients shud be more visible and bigger. It cant be hidden and in super small scripts. It also need to be legible. If they cannot write the truth but have to hide behind E440s and some illegible names like isobutylpropinates, Butylated Hydroxytoluene (BHT) etc? The list needs to be full. No fudging and hiding.
BTW, Potassium Bromate being listed is not just enough. It has been added as a benign product in the “ingredients” by the industry from Breads to biscuits. The International Agency for Research on Cancer classifies potassium bromate as a possible carcinogen. Studies have linked potassium bromate to kidney and nervous system damage, thyroid problems, gastrointestinal discomfort, and cancer.  Now, whose responsibility is it to make this connection?
What do u make of this ingredients list for eg: Rice, whole grain wheat, sugar, oat clusters, sugar, toasted oats [rolled oats, sugar, canola oil with tbhq and citric acid to preserve freshness, molasses, honey, bht for freshness, soy lecithin], wheat flakes, crisp rice [rice, sugar, malt, salt], corn syrup, polydextrose, honey, cinnamon, BHT [preservative], artificial vanilla flavor, high fructose corn syrup, salt, honey, malt flavoring, alpha tocopherol acetate [vitamin E], niacinamide, zinc oxide, reduced iron, sodium ascorbate and ascorbic acid (vitamin C), calcium pantothenate, Yellow #5, pyridoxine hydrochloride (vitamin B6), riboflavin (vitamin B2), thiamin hydrochloride (vitamin B1), BHT (preservative), vitamin A palmitate, folic acid, beta carotene (a source of vitamin A), vitamin B12 and vitamin D.
Or this:

And you as a person need to ensure you have more real food: ensure there is more fresh vegetables and fruits and also that they are without chemicals/residues.
Avoid anything with MSG, HFCS (High fructose corn syrup), BHT, artificial colors, preservatives and unknown numbers. 
Yes, organic is a sure shot way to safe food..
That doesn’t mean one has to live off salads and raw food (though they are the best to detoxify and regain health) there are many interesting healthy and tasty food one can prepare..
(oh! Remember Maggi used to advertise theirs as ‘healthy bhi  and tasty bhi’ am not talking of that but REAL!!)

On a very lighter side: many bachelors and working women/mothers are struggling we are much for safe food and real food! There are ofcourse many healthy recipes, easy, good, tasty Real food that can be made: but not in 2 minutes but may be 5-7 we have that much time or we would rather spend it in hospitals later?
We will come up with some interesting recipes and esp bachelor friendly ones here soon.
For now wake up, avoid all those nasty unreal unsafe food.

(an aside: some 10000 crores of public money has been lost due to nestles shares tumbling many side effects for such bloated mistakes laden with not just lead but more poison)


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