– Mohammad Munir Chowdhury*
Bottled, packeted, processed and refined foods are snatching away our living power, life vitality. With the increase of breakage of the joint family system the society is moving into a restless situation more and more. Severing the bondage of the kith and kin people are running to the restaurants. Chinese restaurants are also crowded in the holidays. Even the minor functions have now also become restaurant-dependent. The days of home cooking and hospitality are going to be finished. It has increased misuse and health risks. Few years back World Health Organization gave the information about a new disease of nervous illness named Chinese Restaurant Syndrome. It is basically tasting salt-created disease that makes nerve system inoperative. Whereas although Chinese restaurants surely have it in most of the other restaurants also tasting salt is an indispensable ingredient in food.
Mechanical bias, automation, comfort-loving, disinclination to labor, etc. is increasing our dependence on the fast food and junk food. The learners of most of the educational institutions take contaminated food with extreme satisfaction coming outside their campuses in groups. Everywhere there is dominance of open and oil fried foods. There is open edible oil in the container, burnt oil in the saucepan, attractive foods causing watering in the tongue. Due to corporate culture the new generation feels very strong addiction to fast food. These foods are fried in the same oil time and again. Consequently one kind of toxin named Benzopyrene is created that generates the risks of cancer. Foods of the hotels-restaurants must be defiled with microorganism because nowhere a hundred percent hygienic environment exists there. About the rational behavior of the consumers in their decision making that has been said in the neo-classical Economics has now gone opposite in practice. In case of our shopping or food of choice passion, fashion craze, etc. control us, whatever irrational that may be. Substantiating this theory of Behavioral Economics US Economist Richard Thaler won the Nobel Prize in 2017. Spanish proverb reads, ‘The belly rules the mind.’
In marriage and social functions we swallow much food which is rather self-killing. Big cities including Dhaka are being covered by coffee shops, pizza houses and fast food shops. With this trend here is increasing the number of fast food consumers, increasing by contest the cost of living and obesity, idleness. Simultaneously they compete with a tendency of making a living by unfair earnings. Because it is impossible to eat in the restaurant day by day. Whenever any natural food had gone in the channel of commercial production or in processing, the unique ingidients of the food got damaged. A group of French researchers found in a study which continued for five years on the middle-aged women that an increase of 10% highly processed food in the menu caused an increase of 12% risk of cancer. This information got published in the British Medical Journal.
In this corporate controlled globe the young people are floating in the sea of soft drink. On many occasions and days soft drinks are given as ‘Courtesy Commodity’ free of cost. Whereas in carbon mixed soft drink all the ingridients that make damage to human body are present. The carbon-di-oxide that is present in it destroys the Acid/Alkali equilibrium in the human blood. Recent studies suggest that the refined sugar used in the drinks and sweetened products has zero nutrient value, rather it mixes in the blood. For dental decay, skin erosion, acidity, diabetes, obesity and even for negative behavior of the youth soft drinks are held responsible. In the studies of the British scientists it has been observed that in the soft drinks the nutrient value is very insignificant rather it is a stimulant that produces excitement. A cup of natural drink of green coconut water contains 46 calorie which is full of potassium, magnesium and minerals whereas the youths are not habituated to green coconut. Green coconut water enhances active capacity of kidney, control the blood pressure and covers mineral deficit. Wood apple juice is unbelievably useful, makes the kidney toxin free. It is rich in different nutritional qualities including protein, thiamine, carotene, niamine. On the other hand wood apple deters glaucoma and colon and breast cancer. Banana is extraordinarily rich in nutritional value that acts as an antacid. The antioxidant quality of banana is useful to kidney functions. In strengthening the bones, removing anemia banana has no rival. Lemon is a cleanser of human body, liver purifier and a source of endless vitamin C. Researches suggest that papaya contains unbelievable medicinal and disease-resistant characteristics, that means it has antioxidant, beta carotene, flavanoid and lutaine elements. No pesticides are applied in water melon, wood apple or papaw; but yet then in place of wood apple, pawpaw and water melon the young people prefer soft drink.
A recent study of Emory University of Atlanta, USA says that soft drink (beverage) enhances risk of heart disease many times amongst the persons over 45 years of age who take soft drink over 24 ounces or more a day; as their calorie exists in liquid form its metabolic functions are accomplished through the liver. But in case of other foods (proteins) their metabolic functions act slowly, because the sugar spreads in the blood in a belated motion. Researchers say that for the males taking of highest 9 teaspoonfuls (375 gram) of sugar per day and for the females taking of highest 6 teaspoonfuls (25 gram) of sugar daily is healthy. Of late, sugar is called a killer; puffed rice (murhi) is an ideal food full of vitamin D, thiamine fiber, calcium and iron. But rejecting the murhi the young people are addicted to chips. Presence of excess fat in the potato chips causes high blood pressure. In the residential houses the housewives have become dependent on the packeted chilies, cumin, turmeric etc. Except the few brands, the purity of the rest is questionable. Even without having the drinking water boiled for sterilization in the residential home, jars of water filled with coliform – germs are being used directly.
Ice-cream and sweet type of foods are made from unpasteurized or powder milk. Unpasteurized milk is highly risky due to its salmonella bacteria. Ice cream is not made without flavor, color and chemicals. Cakes-biscuits are not prepared in bakeries without fat or oil mixed with high degree melting point. Potato chips, sandwich, fried chickens all are the vessels of heavy fat and salt. Fried chickens made of broiler fowls are filled with unlimited chromium which does not get destroyed by burning. Chromium damages brain, kidney, nerve system and liver. In the boiled rice from the un-boiled rice named minikat the level of food value is also questionable. The rice packet of a Bangladeshi passenger was seized in an airport in the USA due to the presence of chemicals in the rice. Researches suggest that the cause of 90% of diabetes is the taking of immoderate and unhygienic foods. The economy of the USA had to bear the loss of 7 billion dollars two years back due to the poisonous and nutrition-less foods. In the turmeric powder of a Bangladeshi firm supplied to the US market, the presence of leeds in a harmful degree was detected. A family suffering from abdominal illness due to that turmeric with high level of leeds, had to go to hospital. Through an investigation FDA unveiled the occurrence.
Glittering solid tablets of molasses prepared by mixing sulphate and hydrose attacks kidney and liver. In the human body the tolerable level of bio-compound per gram blood is 0.2 microgram. But in reality this level is very high. Butter, cheese and mayonese enhances the risk of diabetes and heart diseases. Foreign cornflakes, an aristocratic food item has been banned in different Scandinavian countries due to its being injurious to health. There is chemical, refined sugar and sweetener in the colored drinks, colored chocolates, colored cakes and other colored food items. In the processed food worldwide all the colors used are not approved by FDA.
Foods covered in packets and polythene bags are a concomitant of our daily life. Whereas its poisoned chemicals damage hormone system in the human body. A report in a British Journal The Guardian informed that in 90% of the bottled water the presence of micro-plastic has been detected. Micro-plastic contains polypropylene, polystyrene, nylon and polyethylene terephthalate ete. Its malignant influence spreads in the body leading to the unavoidable consequence in cancer. Foods kept in plastic containers inside the fridge invite many diseases. Most of these plastic containers are not of food-grade. In studies the existence of bacteria named e-coli has been found in the foods in fridge which is highly risky. In the studies of National Cancer Institute of the USA it has been found that the babies of the present generations are born with contaminated bodies. In the present infants and old persons a tendency of fatty liver is increasing. The young generation of the country that would become administrators, teachers, scientists, engineers, agro-scientists, soldiers, physicians, researchers in future require to bring about changes in their food habit to save themselves from the abominable food practice. Not food from the shops-restaurants, the quantity of home cooked food is to be increased to increase the nutritional value. Dear physicians, please advice in the prescription to change food habit. Physicians require to play the role of nutritionist. Dear housewives, please create an environment of preparing food of the touch of your hands in the home for your children. Otherwise fast food would snatch away the merit, concentration, creativity and capability of work of your children. Please enhance the time of your cooking food with sweat letting sincerity. In matters of food behavior and food habit the role of parents is very great. As a tiffin of the learners please supply murhi, banana, wood apple, pawpaw, green coconut, guava and house made light snacks and ‘khitchuri’ as safe foods. Please prepare tasty French fry with potato at home but no chips. Please inspire to drink water with lemon. Genetic modification of food damages the diversity of food. Everywhere hi-breed sways the field; so the natural fresh foods are getting lost. In China now runs a vegetarian revolution; many restaurants have been started.
If we walk along the present fast food and restaurant dependent food habit, by 2021 60% of the people of the country would be attacked with diabetes. The great Allah has sent man to the earth by pre-fixing the ‘rejik’ (food allotment). But man due to greed has already finished the fixed allotment before the expiry of the specified time. So please bring about limit in the food taking. People over forty years of age, please you enhance the level of organic and vegetarian shares. Please stop the advance of saturated and transfat foods. As the navigability of river decreases with the silt from the upstream so also overeating decreases bodily capability. Much eating leads to much weight. By a study in the UK it has been found that the cause of cancer attack in one third cases was excessive weight. Over eating leads to deterioration of health, death through painful diseases. So the result of uncontrolled tongue is illness, wailing and cry in the hospital and finally death pain.
In the life cycle we are to order fresh green, natural and unprocessed foods. Bottled and packeted foods are to be left out. Nutrition won’t come without natural food crops. Person who live on hard labour eating warm rice and vegetables, their foods are of affluence. Whereas the rich people are being attacked with life-taking foods of pressure cooker, toaster, and micro-oven. Moderate food ensures healthy life. Man does not die from wants of food, but die by the food practice.E
* Director General (DG), National Museum for Science and Technology
** Translated into English by ‘The Economy’ Analyst.