Parotta is undeniably one of the most popular food items of Malayalees. Most of them often start the day with a heavy breakfast comprising of parotta, and might even settle for more during lunch hours and end the day with a generous helping of these crispy and stretchable delicacies that seem to have swept the gourmets of Kerala off the feet. It is ironical that Malayaless who take credit of having the best literacy and health care credentials are devouring loads of unhealthy food materials like parotta and other bakery items which are made of maida, the useless byproduct that is obtained after the extraction of wheat. This soft powdery material that has no nutrients or bran content were solely used only for starching clothes use and sticking wall posters until a few years back!
The bleaching agents that are used for whitening maida include harmful chemicals like hydrogen peroxide and alloxen that can cause diabetics. It is shocking to note that alloxen is used in laboratory animals like mice to induce diabetics during the testing of anti diabetic medications. In addition, Alloxen is found to be responsible for many life threatening diseases like kidney ailments, heart and liver problems, retinopathey and others. The alarming rise in the number of deaths in Kerala caused by sudden and massive heart attacks and cancer is thought to be related to the consumption of maida that has a large concentration of the chemical Alloxen.
The change in lifestyles and the unhealthy habit of over indulgence on bakery and hotel food have made Keralites vulnerable to many health problems like obesity and diabetes , which have assumed epidemic proportions in our society. Most of the bakery items are made of maida that will also have artificial flavors, coloring agents and preservatives, which make them really bad for health especially for children.
The tastefully packed and smartly marketed snack items including potato chips that can last for decades, the frozen pizzas that are highly resistant to decomposition and the sausages and meats that are passed down many holiday seasons, the bakeries and fast food joints like McDonald’s and KFC has doped us with the unhealthy eating habits that are so alien to our culture and way of life. While we are only happy to shell out a fortune to take a grab of our favorite snacks and grubs, heavily laden with artificial taste enhancers, are we badly compromising our health issues? The latest studies conducted by various agencies promoting the natural food styles have proven that switching to such dietary habits will spell a doom to the much hyped health care statistics of Kerala.
We are fast emerging as an obese and unhealthy society, all because of the addiction of the fast food culture that never existed a few decades back. This overwhelming issue is indeed a food for thought for the social activists, the health care professionals and above all the literate society of Kerala, which should not bite the bait of the marketing tactics of the vested interests by compromising on the tried and tested food habits of Kerala, which is emulated even by foreigners who strive for good health!
Read more on the ill effects of Parotta right here in this Deccan Chronicle article Kochi Corporation mulls ban on parotta!