The truth behind preserved and processed food

Gravitas Plus: The truth behind preserved and processed food

Packaged and processed food items have become a part and parcel of our lives. Chips, biscuits, heat-and-eat food, cold cuts, noodles and frozen snacks can be found in most kitchens. What happens when you consume them regularly? Listen in to Palki Sharma.

is your kitchen filled with ready-to-eat
food do you often eat instant noodles do
you grab a protein bar when getting late
for work has frozen food become your
go-to party snack have cake packets made
their way into school lunch boxes are
there crackers and microwave popcorns in
your kitchen i’m sure there are biscuit
packets too
tonight i have news for you
you’ve been sold a lie
a lie that these packaged food products
are safe
that when in a hurry you can pack a
ready-to-eat meal bowl instead of some
homemade food
and that it’s the same
well it’s not
you must have seen ads claiming that
there is the goodness of chapati in a
bowl of corn flakes again it’s a lie
protein bars are as healthy as an indian
thali perhaps healthier not true
so why don’t we do a little fact check
tonight hello and welcome to gravitas
plus i’m palki sharma padhya and this is
your plate of indian homemade food
there’s vegetables lentils carbohydrates
dairy and pickle
did you know pickles are probiotic
they do just what your little bottles of
probiotic drinks do
what about your packet of protein bar
can it replace this plate you’ve been
made to believe it can
protein bars have micronutrients natural
sweeteners healthy fats high fiber and
all that jazz protein bars we think are
healthy think again because they’re not
anything that is packed processed and
preserved cannot be healthy you know who
are the healthiest people in the world
people who live in the blue zone
these are five pockets around the world
where people live the longest i’m
talking about okinawa in japan ikea in
greece the ogliastra region in sardinia
loma linda in california and the nicoya
peninsula in costa rica these are the
five blue zones and here people
routinely live more than 100 years as
opposed to the average lifespan which is
73.4
so the people living in blue zones must
be doing something right
what do you think they eat
yogurt cups bought from stores packaged
oatmeals or ready to make breakfast
smoothies
fat almond and soy meal well none of the
above people living in these blue zones
eat home food they eat locally sourced
fruits and vegetables people in blue
zones stick to time-honored recipes food
that has been passed on to them from
their ancestors for india that could be
dal chawal or idli sambar or roti sabzi
or fish and rice these are our
traditional foods
they’re made from locally sourced
ingredients
and they complement the local weather
conditions in short our traditional food
is our health food there is no need to
consume healthy fats from packaged foods
when coconut oil and ghee already charge
your home food with healthy fats why do
you need multi-grain cereals when
homemade rotis are fiber packed our
traditional food has medicinal qualities
you may recognize this ingredient it’s
turmeric it is antioxidant and this is
cardamom it has antioxidants and cancer
fighting properties
it also prevents cavities
can you name this spice its cinnamon it
reduces cholesterol levels also the risk
of heart diseases this is cumin what is
locally known as jeera this spice helps
lower blood sugar levels these are
coriander seeds
they have anti-fungal properties all of
these spices are commonly used in indian
cooking
can packaged and processed food replace
them the answer is no and i will tell
you why number one the ingredients are
questionable number two the hygiene is
questionable and number three the
packaging itself is often harmful
let me explain this
by using some of the most common
packaged foods in our kitchens let’s
start with the ingredients most packaged
foods have three common ingredients
preservatives excess salt and color and
let me tell you all three are bad for
you preservatives end up killing the
good bacteria in your body they can
trigger breathing problems also make
children hyperactive weaken heart
tissues and in extreme cases cause
cancer which food items have
preservatives almost everything that is
packed this includes your cereals
biscuits crackers breads ready to eat
meals cheese yogurt deli meat sauces
soups everything ask yourself a question
what is the shelf life of a homemade
batch of cookies
two to three weeks max if kept outside
the fridge
then how is it that your biscuit packet
stays intact for months even years
because it comes with chemicals
chemicals that extend their shelf life
but reduce yours
same with these heat and eat meals
a lot of us resort to them these days
and understandably so our lives are busy
there isn’t enough time to cook three
fresh meals a day so microwave meals
have become common they’ve replaced
traditional meals for some people at
least
in india the frozen food market is worth
1.2 billion dollars
you know what’s amusing a lot of these
ready-to-heat packets
can be kept in the room temperature for
months imagine keeping a homemade dal or
curry outside the fridge for months
what do you think would happen
now imagine the amount of preservatives
that go into making these packaged meals
same with packaged bread packaged cakes
and everything else that is industrially
packed
salt 2 is a preservative most of the
packed items including chips noodles and
fries are loaded with salt it extends
their shelf life it enhances their taste
but at what cost
salt has sodium and consuming too much
sodium increases your blood pressure the
risk of stomach cancer heart diseases
and premature death i’m guessing for a
lot of you deli meats cheese and bread
have replaced your traditional breakfast
but is the habit sustainable should you
continue eating packaged food even after
knowing its downside is it worth risking
your health
so what do you do
cook three meals a day while also
juggling work and life that’s far from
what i’m suggesting the point of this
episode is to tell you that you should
reduce the intake of packaged and
processed food realize how some of the
most common items in your kitchen can be
harmful for you
those colorful cereals that you eat
every morning their food color and food
color has acrylamide it’s a chemical
that’s not good for your health it
causes cancer
you know what else has food color
packaged bread cakes and biscuits how do
you think some of those biscuits are
unnaturally dark or orange or pink
how is it that they come with colorful
creams
sure your homemade snack looks dull in
comparison but it’s safer how many of
you regularly munch on microwave
popcorns
do you know the popcorn bags are lined
with pfc or perfluorinated compounds
what these compounds do is prevent oil
from seeping through the popcorn bag
which is good but when heated these
compounds break down into chemicals and
these chemicals may cause cancer
you see we are told very little about
this side of packaged food because they
save time because they’re tasty because
they come to our rescue we conveniently
assume that they’re also safe a samosa
we say may be a better snack followed by
a workout of course than munching on
microwave popcorns without any idea
what’s going into your body
it’s better to eat that ghee laced
paratha than preservative filled cereals
for breakfast
we know very little about the
ingredients that go into making packaged
food and i’m talking about the real
ingredients not the ones that are listed
on the packet we know very little about
the hygiene situation of the place where
these food items are made and processed
earlier this month salmonella was found
in the world’s biggest chocolate factory
the factory was producing swiss
chocolate some of the finest swiss
chocolates
long story short it is time to rethink
what we take for granted it’s time to
reconsider the food in our kitchen
i know that it’s not possible to throw
out every packaged preserved or
processed food item from your kitchen
but you can always limit their
consumption
so if you’re looking to stay healthy
if you’re looking to stay fit
if your goal is to take care of your
body then do what people in blue zones
do maximize the intake of homemade food
[Music]

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