To define it simply, food adulteration marks the depreciation in the quality of food i.e. unsafe and substandard for human consumption. The quality is lowered either by the addition of inferior quality material or by the extraction of a valuable ingredient. It is not just the physical add-on but also the biological and chemical contamination during the period of growth, storage, processing, transport and distribution that affects the quality of the food products.
Food adulteration has become a rising concern in India. Many of us would not be aware but around 25 to 30% of the circulated food items are intentionally adulterated in India. Yes, it is shocking indeed!
Let us look into some largely Adulterated Food Items:
In order to maximize the profit, the commonly used food items are the ones largely adulterated. To list down a few, milk, ghee, vegetable oil, masala powders, spices, ice creams, honey, coffee, tea leaves, flour, food grains, and sweets etc are some of the food products with maximum adulteration.
- Food item- Adulterant
- Milk – Water
- Ghee – Vanaspathi
- Ice Cream – Washing Powder
- Chili Powder – Brick Powder
- Coffee – Tamarind/Date Seed
- Honey – Molasses Sugar
- Sugar – Chalk Powder
Ill-effects of adulterated food on our health:
We all must have noticed that the issues related to food adulteration have begun to surface more than they did 10 years ago. The reason is simple, as we have started to lead busy lives, we as working individuals are looking for quick fixes. Earlier people used to grow vegetables in their courtyard and grind their own spices but today who has time for that.
Before we learn how we can escape food adulteration without hampering our busy schedules let us first know the harmful effects of food adulteration.
Increase in the impurity of food
Food adulteration tends to increase the impurity in the food. When the impurity goes up so does the parameters for unsafe consumption. You might not see the impact overnight, but adulteration poses a long-term threat to our health. I would recommend you to produce stuff but if that is too much of a hassle, it is best to buy organic or directly from the farmers.
Lack of nutritional value
Adulterated food lacks nutrients and tastes different from the nonadulterated food. By having adulterated food, we are compromising on our taste buds and our health. Fresh produce brings a quick and positive turnaround in our health.
Leads to various diseases
Adulterated food has been linked to various chronic diseases like liver disorder, diarrhoea, stomach disorder, lathyrism, cancer, vomiting, dysentery, joint pain, heart diseases, food poisoning etc.
It is the minerals, chemicals and poor-quality substances added to the food products that are responsible for many health conditions that one might face in future. Some research has also shown that certain adulterated food products can lead to abortion or brain damage.
What can we do to get rid of food adulteration?
One of the foremost suggestions would be to start cultivating ourselves but considering our busy lives, below listed are few practical ways we can incorporate to protect our health from food adulterants.
Try to buy vegetables and fruits from the local organic markets or directly from the farmers. The more direct the contact the better for your health.
Grind the easy
Start by doing the easy. For example, you can make the red chilli powder at home by grinding the red chillies instead of buying the readymade masala powders.
Make use of limited space
Full-fledged cultivation might be difficult, but if you make use of the limited space you have by growing veggies it can help you a lot. It is not just healthy but also saves on the cost. Balconies, courtyard or terrace anything can work for such purposes.
Go for branded organic products
We at 24 Mantra organic work towards ensuring that all our food products go through several quality checks to confirm that only the best reaches you. Our philosophy strongly resonates with sustainable growth and living for our farmers, consumers, and the environment.
It is time to not just switch to the healthier substitutes but to also look into the ingredient listing. It is time you became more aware of your road to health and wellness!