Food Safety is the slogan for this year’s WHO World Health Day.
What did you eat today?
Last year, I had just finished a short fast for health reasons, a few after which some friends called me out to restaurant for dinner. We decided to eat in one of the best restaurants in Ujire – which, by the way, is not as big as you can imagine, in the small town. We sat down, poking jokes at each other and laughing over silly things, as friends do.
The waiter came, and everyone ordered what they wanted. I had initially told my friends that I would not be eating anything, but some of them were very insistent, so I asked the waiter if they had any soup without sugar. He said no, but he could get a bowl specially for me. I asked if he could get it without any added MSG, he said no, that isn’t possible, because the stock is already prepared (I was on good terms with this waiter, you see, otherwise there’s no way he would be so open!)
My friends had ordered gobi manchurian, fried rice, some side dishes and ice cream desserts. I asked if they had any starters without added colours. He said no. I asked if they had any rice items without sauces and MSG added to it (Unpolished rice was out of the question in this small town, nobody knew what it was, unfortunately. But that’s a blog for another day) and he said only jeera rice, ghee rice and curd rice! Well, dairy was unacceptable too, so I couldn’t eat any of the side dishes that were ordered, forget about the desserts.
I asked him how long back the fruits had been cut to make the fruit salads on the menu (none of which were avalable without sugar, by the way). He smiled and asked me if I really wanted to know, and I said no.
What are we eating? Tasty food? Or chemical concoctions designed to kill us? Antioxidants, fiber, vitamins and minerals? Or Preservatives, colours, flavours and additives designed to make disgusting food look and taste nice, and then cause cancer and a host of other diseases?
If you’ve fasted anytime, you’d know what I’m talking about when I say it is impossible to enjoy the taste of heavily spiced food as well as processed food after a fast. It just tastes horrible. After a fast, you can only enjoy natural food – fruits, nuts and some vegetables.
The official WHO World Health Day 2015 infographic sums up every place where our food can get tampered with:
As we walked out after dinner, the young man mixing up some chaats in the pushcart outside the restaurant wiped his running nose on the sleeve of shirt, and a bead of sweat fell from his forehead into the vessel he was mixing it in. A friend once told me, the chaats just wouldn’t taste as good without the sweat and dirt in it.
What are we eating?
Take a packet of food from any shop. Any processed food, your favourite packet of chips, or chocolate, or a soft drink. Read the ingredients on it. There was a time when I couldn’t pronounce half of them. I quickly learnt, though. Keep your friends close, your enemies closer, they say.
Dr. Patch Adams, founder of the famous Gesundheit! Institute said, “People are not interested in food, they’re not interested in health, they’re not interested in happiness. They’re interested in hair, they’re interested in clothes, in cars, in boots.” You deserve the best, your body deserves the best. That’s why we buy all these things, don’t we? What about the food we eat? Shouldn’t that also be the best?
I met a Frenchman today, a good friend of my parents. He said something that summed up what we’re doing to ourselves: “Good food has become a luxury”. Let us stop settling for third-grade, empty food. Let us start eating what we deserve – the best food on the planet. Eat Natural. #foodsafety
Join us for a healthy eating workshop to learn more about how you can heal yourself and be healthy.
Dr. Achyuthan Eswar
Naturopathy, Yoga and Acupuncture Physician