Eating Away Our Health Essay

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Eating Away Our Health / Aasha Mehreen Amin, Avik Sanwar Rahman, Shamim Ahsan and Imran H. Khan One of the biggest casualties of urbanisation in this country has been the quality of life, a large part of which includes good health. With a culture of malpractice seeping into every sector and level it is hardly surprising that it has reached the most important of our basic needs--food. With ineffective, outdated laws, lack of enforcement and institutional corruption there is an overwhelming indifference to consumer rights and public health. Dishonest food manufacturers and traders are having a free reign in the market adding harmful substances, selling contaminated food or tampering with the original content of the food item. The government has various bodies to control food quality, but why aren't they doing their job? Every now and then we are shocked by media reports of ingenious forms of adulteration of food that we consume regularly. According to IPH (Institute of Public Health) more than fifty percent of food samples they have tested are adulterated. Food colouring is a form of adulteration. A toxic artificial dye is used to colour fruits and vegetables such as melons and tomatoes to give them a rich colour. Ironically even food colour is being adulterated. Substandard food colour is finding its way into many types of food. This includes the reddish jelapi, and the saffron beguni, peaju or alur chop. Candy, chips, ice cream, chewing gum and even biryani may contain large amounts of poor quality food colour. Textile dyes such as carbide and ethopene are also being used to colour different iftar items to attract customers. Urea fertiliser is used while frying muri to whiten it. Cyanide is used to give mustard oil extra bite. Brick dust is mixed with chilly powder and a poisonous yellow colourant is mixed with turmeric powder to make it more yellow. Water

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