Wednesday, June 04, 2008

Food for thought

Though Singapore is a food haven, I think it is quite difficult to find wholesome healthy food at the myriads of food stalls here.

All the food that is popular with Singaporeans are more often than not, laden with MSG, sugar, salt, oil and artificial preservatives. Though these are appetizing, they pose health risks, especially to the working class who consume their lunch and dinner outside of home.

Some go for vegetarian dishes, thinking that these dishes are deemed healthier as they contain lesser oil. In the past, I am of this belief that such dishes are healthier, but after lunching on these dishes for quite a while, I do find that these dishes contain no less oil, cholesterol than the normal non-vegetarian dishes. In fact, the oil content of Vegetarian dishes sold at the food stalls may exceed that of non-vegetarian dishes as some of these dishes fry flour in excessive oil to take the form of meat dishes like fishes and chicken drumsticks. On this note, I believe Vegetarians who choose their diets to avoid the consumption of animals on religious or personal grounds are contradicting their beliefs if they were to consume vegetarian dishes made to resemble meat dishes.

Even for fruits and vegetables bought from supermarkets, I am also hesitant to say that these are still healthy. I have eaten apples whose sizes are so big that my mouth grows tired by just gnawing at them; such big-sized apples may be due to some genetic modification. Modern pesticides may also be used in wanton volumes to kill off pests, and inevitably leaving some traces of these chemicals on the fruits and vegetables, which definitely pose health risks to the consumers.

Last but not least, even the basic form of food or rather fluid, water, is being constantly re-engineered and innovated….it may not be necessarily healthier.

Artificial preservatives, organic foods, re-engineering of food have extended the gamut of food and the pleasures of consumption to human beings, at unknown and unstated health risks.

Given a chance, I would like to stay for few months on a mountain, inhaling the fresh air, consuming fresh vegetable and fish and taking in the unparallel natural charms, far away from the maddening crowd of the city…….this would really be a retreat!

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