With an increase in the importance of food items in today’s time, the extent of adulteration in our food has also increased. The change in the natural composition of a food item that will depreciate its nutritional value is what we define as adulteration. In broad terms, the addition or subtraction of any substance from a food item can lessen the nutritional value of that food item. At the same time, this alteration also poses a range of harmful effects on the human body. Adulteration is done intentionally as well as non-intentionally. The avarice shopkeepers with profit-oriented business plans tend to follow adulteration in food items, quite often.
What is an adulteration of food?
The removal of vital elements from any food or concealing the quality of such food item can have both, long-term and short-term impact on our health. Thus, there is no denial of the fact that it increases the level of toxicity in the body. Also, it reduces the efficiency of the immune system and contributes to a lot more other problems.
Some of the health hazards that can be caused due to the consumption of adulterated food are a Liver disorder, Diarrhoea, Stomach Disorder, Vomiting etc.
Adulteration also leads to other chronicle health problems like Cancer, Joint Pain, Kidney disorders, and Food Poisoning etc. The divergent oils and minerals in adulterated food, when consumed by pregnant ladies can also lead to abortion or even brain damage. The addition of food color can trigger different allergies in the body. Thus, Adulteration is one of the root causes for declination of good quality of life.
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The effect of adulteration
The increased impurity in food substances is bound to have some side-effects that would be responsible for poor health conditions. The ready-made food products made using sub-standard ingredients results in making a compromise with both health and taste. Poisonous chemicals like Formalin are widespread and are frequently applied to fish, fruit, milk, and meat that causes different types of cancers, asthma and skin diseases.
Inappropriate Packaging, use of insecticides, pesticides, and preservatives are some of the ways of unintentional adulteration in food. It is equally accountable for hindering the nutritive value of the food products thus leading to the nutritional deficiency in the body.
How can adulteration in food items be mitigated?
The mitigation of adulteration is however quite difficult but we can follow some guidelines to save ourselves from these ill trends.
- Use the products having an ISI mark.
- Daily used veggies can be grown in houses which will not only be beneficial to health but is also very cost-effective. Balconies, courtyards, and terraces can be selected for such purposes.
- Prefer the Organic markets for buying fruits or directly buy fruits and vegetables from the farmers.
- In case of powdered spices, Grind the whole raw material at home. This will reduce the adulteration in terms of food color and impurities.
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- Tougher laws against the culprits should be made by the government to discourage the practice of adulteration.
- General awareness is vital so that people pay attention to what they are buying and consuming and prevent themselves from serious health issues.
- Mass media can be a great help in preventing unhygienic and spurious food from entering the houses.
Such sincere community efforts can alter the scenario for a better world and a good quality of life.
Article Credits: Mitalee Mithal | New Delhi | India