Updated: Sep 9, 2019
My recent foray into a Food Safety Management Program and my own research into food intrigued me to dive and explore further into dangerous dimensions of Food Adulteration and its dire consequences. The title I chose for this article does not mean to scare the hell out of u but it is indeed thought provoking and mind tickling!!!
Over the years, we have witnessed a massive sea change in the way we buy and consume food. The choices are innumerable for the consumer and the market is flooded with whole lot of varieties of different kinds of food which we would not have imagined earlier. With growing incomes and varied food experimentations, more and more people are moving to ready-made fast foods and eating regularly at restaurants. Just to satiate our taste buds, we experiment with the innate quality of food and does not even know and think about it.
All kind of food additives, preservatives, chemicals, toxicants, artificial coloring agents, sweeteners, ripening agents etc. are killing “LIFE” energy of the food. Our today’s food pleases our palate more than it pleases and nourishes our body. In fact our plate mostly comprises of dead and junk food which is completely devoid of life, aroma and energy. “The natural essence and the prana infused in the food is marred by us only, and the big irony is that we are totally ignorant and unaware of it.”
Food Adulteration has become a very common practice in our country and we are consuming these foods almost every day, which have numerous harmful effects to our health. Food adulteration in India starts from the field itself where fertilizers and pesticides are overused. Therefore, one kind of contaminant that is present across all range of food is very high level of pesticide residues and the other is the contaminated water. But still we tend to ignore this fact and keep on compromising with our health which is our only real asset.
Below are some of the grave effects of food adulteration practices being followed and it’s terrible to know the consequences it would have on our body:
Milk, generally known as one of the major nourishments of the human body is being adulterated with urea crossing the permissible limit – which is 700 particles per million and it is shocking to know that two out of the three milk sample is laced with detergent, caustic soda, urea and paint.
Food adulteration with poisonous chemical like formalin is widespread and regularly applied on fish, fruit, meat and milk that causes different types of cancers, asthma and skin diseases.
Mineral oil may be added to edible oil and fats and can cause cancers.
Lead chromate added to turmeric powder and spices can cause anemia, paralysis, brain damage and abortions.
Lead added to water, natural and processed food can lead to lead poisoning. Lead poisoning causes foot drop, insomnia, constipation, anemia, and mental retardation.
Cobalt added to water and liquors and can cause cardiac damage. Copper, tin, and zinc can cause colic, vomiting and diarrhea.
Mercury in mercury fungicide treated grains, or mercury-contaminated fish can cause brain damage, paralysis, and death.
Coloring dyes, calcium carbide, urea, brunt engine oil and even some permitted preservatives are used in excessive amount that affect multiple organs of human body. Mostly it causes cancer like colon, peptic ulcer diseases, and chronic liver diseases including cirrhosis and liver failure, electrolyte imbalance and eventually kidney failure. Heart diseases, blood disorders and bone marrow abnormality are also detected. Chance of malignancy increases and neurological impairment or brain functions are also often compromised. Skin problems are frequently seen including allergic manifestation.
Even though the above mentioned challenges remain a matter of concern for us all, however lack of realization and knowledge has held us to address these core issues with meaningful solutions.
As matter of fact all the challenges we face today are a result of our extreme greed and exploitation of nature in numerous ways and forms. Nature has always and continues to bless us with plentiful of clean and healthy resources like water, pure air and the beautiful flora and fauna, however we have manipulated them, which has resulted in severe depletion of our abundant natural resources for our own petty selfish gains without realizing their supreme value and importance.
But where there are problems, there are solutions. The best way to avoid these health problems is prevention and we can follow certain steps and prevent ourselves from falling into the trap of this vicious problem like as follows:
Educating ourselves regarding serious adulteration problems and remain vigilant enough to go to the crux of the problem and identify the evil sources that are causing food adulteration. Remain vigilant while purchasing food ingredients and buying stuff only from reputed shops and retailers. Check to see if packaging is intact and also scan expiry date and the source of product.
For our help FSSAI has devised several methods methods to check adulteration of certain food items which we consume daily.
In case consumers find adulteration of any type or form they should take initiative in informing the concerned authorities and personnel. Most of this information regarding the helpline numbers can be found on internet today. Strict adherence to the food safety laws should be there and the enforcing agencies have to be really vigilant and upbeat about it. Any kind of political pressure must be overruled for the sake of mankind.
Various workshops and seminars should be organised to create awareness in the local community on the ill effects of food adulteration.
Organic Farming should be encouraged both at the personal level as well at the community level. Food literature advocating the goodness and importance of raw and organic food should be encouraged over the junk and overcooked food.
A Great effort should be made to teach people about good hygiene practices. They should be taught about the right practices to be followed to conserve and preserve food. Food washed thoroughly, kept rightly and cooked properly at the right temperature has to be demonstrated to the people through various means and ways.
We must remember that contamination could happen in very small amounts over a period of time and it might be impossible to detect or too late to intervene. So it is advisable that everyone of us take a special interest in this subject and educate ourselves about this menace which is eating into the vitals of our society.
About Dr. Gazal Goyal Bansal
Founder and CEO, Life Coach and Speaker, Dr. Gazal Bansal is a
Doctorate in Political Science, UGC (JRF), a Gold Medalist, Certified ISO 22000 Lead Auditor, a Licensed Practitioner of NLP from The Society of Neuro-Linguistic Programming (TM) & a Pranic Healer.
As a spiritual evangelist and a practical thinker, she is a radical enthusiast and a firm believer in the philosophy of conceptual pragmatism, logical reasoning, and the spiritual energy matrix. She is a staunch believer of the fact that before you speak, your energy speaks.