What’s Wrong With The Foods we Eat Nowadays?
We have been talking about food, more than ever now! Discussions are happening about eating out, there is immense recipe sharing going on, food walks getting organized, food-tech companies mushrooming with cloud kitchens etc. The advent of technology and social media has, of course, made all of this easier.
In all these discussions there is a section of people who talk about various diet plans like the ketogenic, low carb low sugar, no fat, no hormones, no GMOs, no artificial sweeteners, low fat, gluten-free, antibiotic-free labels etc. Now, all of this info is either making the consumer confused, annoyed or indifferent!
While taste has always been a big driver of consumption, more than ever, it’s now convenience which is spoiling the party and all at the cost of our health. We are playing into the hands of marketing gimmicks by large companies, mostly with western origins. Ironically, the West is adopting all good things from us and we are blindly adopting all bad eating habits from them! There is no doubt that Indian food and Indian eating habits have always been very good in the past.
Most processed foods contain high amount of sugar and salt which is extremely unhealthy and which can lead to serious illnesses
While in the developed countries the percentage of organic farmers who love to farm and do it with passion is increasing, the number is sadly decreasing in India. The reasons being low farm yield, excessive use of chemical pesticides and fertilizers that have left farmlands unfertile. Farmers are also under the debt burden from excessive use of chemical pesticides, chemical fertilizers and GMO seeds. Further, most of the farmers fall in this category, since they have no alternate profession to fall back on. The result is poisonous food with excess pesticide residues reaching consumers.
No Time For Home Cooked Food
Cooking at home is on a decline. Earlier, there was a designated head in the family who would be responsible for cooking. There was an emotional connection with cooking and eating together, but all that is lost now. People hardly have time to cook! Even if food is cooked, most get ready to cook/heat meals or just pop bottled, preserved ingredients and assemble them accordingly.
The Dangers Of Processed Foods
People have no time to cook meals from scratch, giving the opportunity to food processing companies to come out with products which are unhealthy. As a result, real food is not consumed and only a concoction of food tasting like that is chemically processed and made from refined and artificial ingredients.
Most of these products are loaded with a combination of fats, sugars and salts. A great amount of research and development effort is spent by these processing companies to make food which is rewarding to the brain. Without high salt, along with an assortment of chemical flavour enhancers, these processed foods would just be ‘cardboard’ with no taste and nutritional value.
So the next time you see a product marked as sugar, fat or salt-free, read the label carefully! When manufacturers reduce one ingredient, they generally increase the other, to compensate for the taste. Most processed foods contain high amount of sugar and are unhealthy leading to serious illnesses. Remember, India is the diabetic capital of the world while other diseases including cancer are also on the rise.
If you are buying anything processed, read the list of ingredients carefully. If you find anything which you don’t understand, refrain from buying it. What would you do if you see El 02, E104, El 10, E122, E124 and E129 on the food product you are buying? Of course, you should discard it!
These are actually dyes which are added for various reasons to processed food. Also, do keep in mind that processed foods may contain additional chemicals which are not even listed. Unfortunately, the words natural and healthy are misused a lot too! And companies trademark their names or brand names including these words to mislead people.
Restrict Consumption Of Outside Foods
We want food to be instantly delivered in 30 minutes. That means, a preparation time of 7-10 minutes. Again, most of the eateries add artificial colours, flavour enhancers etc. to the food. While earlier, MSG was only added to Chinese food, currently no food is spared from this flavour enhancer. Most of the ingredients that are used even by chefs are bottled and are refined, Also, maida and cornflour, which have a high glycemic index are used the most – all bakery products, Indian gravies, soups, pizzas, etc. use them, causing sugar spikes which is very unhealthy. These foods can also cause food cravings or even addictions.