“Food grown on plants is a million times more superior to food grown in plants – eat wisely!”
Back when bananas used to have seeds, and corn used to be a grass, food came from the fields, not factories. In many ways, population explosion led to the extensive utilization of our natural resources. The demand for food is increasing.
And extensive commercialization had lead to giving priority of quantity over quality.
We now have genetically modified corns and selectively bred bananas. Now, the method of increasing yield has taken a back street approach, and mixing adulterants to foods has become rampant. Some common food items we consume daily may not be what they seem.
Here are few of the examples of how food is adulterated only to increase quantity and a cheaper rate:
is added to enhance the bright, glowing green colour of vegetables such as green chillies. It’s a coloured dye that has proven to be carcinogenic for humans.To test its presence, take a small portion of the sample vegetable and place it over a moistened white blotting paper. Coloured impressions on the blotting paper indicate the presence of Malachite green.
is a substance added to enhance the colour of certain dals and pulses. It’s highly carcinogenic and if consumed over a continuous period of time it can also cause stomach disorders. To test its presence, dissolve half a spoon full of besan or turmeric powder in 20 ml of lukewarm water. Add a few drops of hydrochloric acid or any commonly available acid at home. If the water turns pink, violet or purple, it shows the presence of Metanil yellow.
is added to paneer, khoya, condensed milk and milk to give it a thick, rich texture. It causes severe stomach infections and significantly reduces the nutrition value of the food. To test its presence, take a small sample of the product in a test tube, add 20 ml of water and bring to a boil. Cool to room temperature and add a drop or two of iodine solution. If the solution turns blue, it marks the presence of starch.
is used in ice-creams to add a bright white sheen and lightness of flavor. To test its presence, squeeze a few drops of lemon juice on the ice cream. If it starts to froth and bubble, it marks the presence of washing powder.
“Tamarind seeds and chicory powder”
are used to add bulk and colour to coffee. These can cause diarrhea, stomach disorders, giddiness and severe joint pains. To test this, gently sprinkle coffee powder on the surface of water in a glass. The coffee will float whereas chicory will start to sink within a few seconds. Also, the falling chicory powder will leave a trail of colour behind due to the large amounts of caramel it contains.
In India everything is second quality,
even Dairy Milk chocolate is more than 20% oil – which is not even considered chocolate by international standards.
Do note that according to the directives by the FDA, if a packed product with an ISI or an AGMARK tests positive for adulteration, you can take the sample to the AGMARK office near your location, and register an official complaint. The agencies then conduct their own tests, and if confirmed, raid their premises and take legal action against erring companies.
“Take care of your body – it is the only place you have to live!”
Shopkeepers and business owners in their quest for profit are not concerned about the health of the consumers. The problem is not given much thought because the effects of adulteration are not immediate; the insidious nature of this crime is what enables it to go unnoticed. Adulteration is not given the attention it needs. It’s an ongoing process and the public’s attention is fickle. Our aim is to make the consumer aware of this continual problem so that together we can battle this menace which is harming our present, as well as our future!
Your biggest investment to your health insurance is the food you eat. Be aware of the things that are happening and always buy from trusted sources.
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