Saturday, June 16, 2007

Food Adulteration

Food adulteration, whether intentional or not, has been my biggest concern since I returned here. My strategy has been: a) don't eat too much of the same thing; b) avoid large fish and c) eat fresh fruits/veggies and avoid processed food as much as possible. One particular nasty news was when Rokon Ud Dowla got a formaldehyde detection kit and discovered a large amount of tainted fish in the fishmarkets. A few days ago, I read about mangoes being ripened using Carbide. (But then, don't they ripen bananas using sulfur dioxide while transporting them North to the US?)

Imagine my surprise, then, at reading this article, complaining about food adulteration and contamination all over Asia. So we are not alone (but does my kidney care?)

Although the article implies a certain purity in food in Western countries, I don't think things are all that different. I am reading Michael Pollan's The Omnivore's Dilemma which discusses American food habits, and raises some serious concerns. An example: Chicken McNugget is made from 38 ingredients, many of which are completely synthetic chemicals.

Pollan also discusses how the discussion went from "What foods are good for me?" to "What nutrients are good for me?" The two are quite different.

His advice: don't eat anything that your grandmother would not recognize as food!

So next time you open a wrapper and start munching, think whether it passes the grandmother test.

(btw, my grandmothers would recognize chocolate, so I am safe heh heh )

4 comments:

Lotus Reads said...

Scary stuff indeed! There is a huge movement here in North America to eat locally grown, organic food and while that sounds like such a sensible and healthy thing to do, it is easier said than done. I have heard much about "The Omnivore's Dilemma", but I know, if I read it, I will probably lose my appetite for foods that bring me most joy...yes, I am speaking of fast food!

And, phew, thank goodness, chocolate is approved of by my grandma too! :)

bangladeshcorporate said...

Hi,

I was wondering if you have come across Bangladesh Corporate Blogs at http://bangladeshcorporate.blogspot.com.

Its a three way dialogue among students, job seekers/holders and corporates of Bangladesh.

Thanks.

ulysses said...

Hi Lotus Reads,

Well, the book may cause you some angst, but I find that in every battle between my stomach and my intellect, stomach usually wins hands down :-)

BTW, Pollan also wrote a longish article for the NY Times last year.

Thanks for your comments.

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