Everybody knows that homemade food is best for our health. But if we step out of this illusion, then, we will find that even homemade food can be potentially harmful to us. This is not because of the cooking, it is because of the ingredients used in cooking. Those ingredients, even if are present as less as 1 tablespoon in our food, can turn the food into a poison. Adulteration has taken away the joy of eating. Today, we are exposed to harmful chemicals in almost everything that is not grown at home.
Food fraud is a term that encompasses deliberate substitution, addition, tampering or misrepresentation of food, food ingredients or packaging. Adulterants are used to save money and to contaminate the food and the responsibility of safeguarding ourselves falls solely on us.
From loose packed ground spices to wet produce like milk, everything has a potential of being adulterated these days, even if purchased from a reputable grocery retailer. Even the official systems set for food safety and prevention are constantly outdone by hidden and booming food adulteration business.
But obviously, turning a blind eye to food adulterants is no solution, we have to plan and avoid the adulteration. Here is a list of commonly adulterated food stuff, so that next time when you buy them, you can be extra cautious.
The common adulterants in turmeric these days are a chemical known as metanil yellow and kesari dal, to enhance the yellow color of turmeric. The chemical is highly carcinogenic if consumed for a longer period of time and can also cause stomach disorders.
Green chilies :
Malachite green, a green colored dye that is often present in green chilies, has proven to be carcinogenic for humans, if consumed for a long period.
Milk is a at the top of the food fraud list. Earlier it is used to be combined with water to increase the volume and decrease the nutritional value. Nowadays, even the water it is combined with, is contaminated. We also have higher levels of adulteration like starch, caustic soda, sugar, urea and lime, to give milk a thick texture. This can cause grave stomach disorders.
Ice creams are adulterated with fatty substances when it is in the cold chamber, like pepperoni, ethyl acetate and washing powder. These substances are never mentioned on the packet of the ice cream; and are added to give beautiful white sheen and lightness of flavor to the ice cream, but instead cause stomach and liver disorders.
Do you know that your morning cup of coffee is not just coffee, it is a huge bag of sawdust, tamarind seeds and chicory powder and these ingredients cause more harm to us than the caffeine provided by coffee. They are added to provide bulk and color, and can cause diarrhea, stomach disorders, giddiness and severe joint pains.
The mercury content in sea food is something that is not hidden from the world. And we humans accumulate this carcinogenic mercury, not only by eating the seafood, but also by eating the birds which eat these fishes. Eating many such birds and fishes can cause cancer in our bodies.
Rice and wheat are India’s staple food, and these are adulterated with starch to thicken them and leaves the consumer in the illusion that our diet is perfect. This, in reality costs us our life. Therefore, the process should be very carefully executed from cleaning of grains to grinding it.
Given that it is the most expensive spice in the world, there’s no doubt it is a victim to adulteration. Sandalwood, dust, starch, yellow dye and gelatin are common adulterants in starch. The easiest way to detect adulteration in starch is to avoid deep red color ones and cheap ones while buying.
The purest form of honey are nowadays only found when winnie the pooh sticks his hand in the honeycomb to lick out the honey. In markets, honey is adulterated with minerals, antibiotics that are not meant for human consumption, corn syrup etc. Moreover, the ultra filtration process done on honey bottles makes the adulterants undetectable.
It is said that olive oil is one of the best fat-free oil for human consumption. Well, the truth is that when it is adulterated with cheaper cracked oil, deodorants, corn oil, hazelnut oil and palm oil, it deteriorates the health instead of improving. Sometimes, it is laced with mineral oil, which makes the matters even worse.
So, next time when you buy this stuff, make sure it doesn’t have something that will land you in hospital. Take care that your food is authentic and there are minimal chances of you falling prey to the locus of adulterants; as your health is much more important in your life than anything else, and it is solely your responsibility to take care of it. So gear up, and say no to adulteration of food!