THIRUVANANTHAPURAM: Malayali has taken to foreign cuisine like bee to honey. Continental, Thai, Arabic, Italian... every flavour has takers here. The new tastes have expelled many number of ‘desi’ snacks and recipes out of business. The list is growing by the minute with all kinds of recipes available at the click of a mouse, more number of cookery shows flashing on the TV screens than movies and reality shows and where chefs are driven crazy in kitchens for snatching high ratings.
But the new fad has its own set of drawbacks too. Adulteration and unhealthy food practices being the main concern. Adulteration is not just about adding colours and preservatives anymore. In the packet food items, from ‘idli-dosa’ dough to pickles and instant ‘chappathi’ and ‘payasam’, threat of unhealthy and non-complimentary combinations looms large. Use of excess chemicals to make the products last longer, entry of new types of sweets in the market that contain heavy doses of sucrose and citric acid, fruits that are no longer restricted to seasons and are available throughout the year- are all signboards to adulteration.
"Food companies say that they have only added permissible colours, but who knows? Is anyone checking? In minute quantities, over the days, it begins to affect our various organs, making us ill. That’s why safe food habits are a need of the hour. Instant food packets might save time, but it won’t save your health," says Saraswati Bai, who leads the Naturopathy Club under Gandhi Smaraka Nidhi and who herself has penned two books on Naturopathy cuisines. According to her, sugar is white poison and milk is silent killer. Replace them with jaggery and juices, she tells you.
C V Gangadharan, owner of Pathayam Natural Food hotel in the city, would scare your wits out by elaborating on how certain food habits can cut your life short. ‘’Even ‘idli’ and ‘dosa’ are unhealthy. Because, ‘uzhunnu’ and rice are uncomplimentary and should not be mixed,’’ he says.