What do We Eat Now?
The list of foods that we can eat is shrinking faster than an aspiring model's waistline. Even as early as twenty years back, we were able to eat several dishes with pleasure and without worrying that we were murdering ourselves.But now the list of items with dubious value is longer.
The first item on the list is milk. This was supposed to be the panacea of all food deficiencies. Dara singh drank two jugs of it everyday and so did the Gods. It was holy and healthy, affordable and nutritious. It had Calcium to make our bones strong and Protein for our growth. But today its parentage is under severe question. We are told that no animal drinks milk of anybody other than of its mother and so cow or goat milk cannot be suitable for us. It has growth hormones more suited for calves than humans. We are also told that in large parts of the world like China and Africa, they do not drink milk at all and yet are flourishing. The propaganda juggernaut has become so powerful that Maneka Gandhi could even work out an alternative career on this and so could numerous talk-show hosts and anti-milk doctors.
The second unfortunate item on the list is eggs. They were supposed to be repositories of protein and wholesome. They were eaten every day during the breakfast by our erstwhile rulers. So as children we were given eggs-poached, fried, boiled or in a pudding. The super manager Russi Mody used to have sixteen-egg breakfasts. But now eggs remind us more of cholesterol that protein. You start feeling vaguely uneasy in the heart when you take even a two-egg omelette. The upper limit of taking eggs is three a week. So out go all the Spanish omelettes, noodles with eggs or even Moghalai chicken which come with boiled eggs.
The third pariah is the humble bread. White bread , made of refined flour, was an all-time food. It came as toasted bread in breakfast, sandwiches for lunch and as recommended diet when we had fever. Today refined flour is the cause of troubles in pancreas,heart and kidneys !
The other nutritious food like ghee and red meat have been so much calumnised that they are almost treated like nuclear waste.
Fruits and vegetables were the last of the protected species which no body could touch. But the long arm of medical research has even not left them in peace. Apparently,twenty different kinds of pesticides go into the production of a fruit or vegetable now. So an apple a day was expected to keep the doctor away and I started eating apples everyday. But apple has pesticides in seeds and its core besides the skin. So the only way to eat the fruit is to wash it in warm salt water for thirty minutes, take away its core and then chomp it with a prayer that no more pesticides are left. Grapes are supposed to be positively lethal with pesticides oozing out of every pore. I am told that the fox in the story does not even jump for the grapes because they are carcinogenic.
The green you see on a ladies finger is actually a coating of a dye. The brinjals and spinach are more chemical than vegetable. Rice and potatoes are fattening. Fish could have the deadly lead in it. All processed foods are unhealthy-so out go Maggi and cornflakes or even jam.
I wonder how long will the restaurant boom last with all these frightening truths staring them in the face.