The one word that has become exceedingly popular in the last month has been the word ‘ban’. Whether it is beef, noodles, chicken or fast food chains, our health sector has woken up to a sudden realization wherein they are constantly probing the food chain and questioning its credibility in terms of nutrition and quality.
Food safety regulators have been closely monitoring the amount of chemicals and preservatives used in all the leading brands, and this of course raises a pertinent question about food safety within the country, and what we are providing to our future generations. Court cases have been doing the rounds and prosecution is being held for corporations who have not adhered to the policy guidelines of nutrition and fair sustenance in what they produce. This in turn has definitely woken up the masses and made them realize that anything packaged does not automatically spell safety’.
But the problem does not stop within the Indian territory, as the FDA (Food and Drug Administration) recently rejected a large number of snack imports made by well renowned Indian companies due to the excess amount of pesticides, mold and bacteria found within the packaged products. Prior to recent controversies, the presence of pesticides in Indian food and beverage has raised several concerns, but besides media hype and tension nothing concrete has been done to resolve the issue at hand, as it surfaces every single year.
Today, India faces what is known as the triple burden of undernourishment—the synchronicity of insufficient calorie intake and under-nutrition, which prevails in the majority of the Indian masses besides an excess intake of dietary energy leading to obesity and other health related problems.
Evidence from both nationally representative surveys as well as smaller studies underscores these phenomena. While we have done a splendid job of recreating a modern world with the latest food processing techniques and methods, we have lost sight of the inherent need of organic goodness in food and nourishment. While imperative action is being taken by the health judiciaries within this sector, deep seated disagreements persist and block the way forward to a large extent, which can only be resolved once clear guidelines are set in collaboration with all FMCG’s and food regulatory services within the country, which can lead to a safer and healthier tomorrow for our nation.