Well, we continue to harp on the fact that a wholesome balanced diet is a way to stay healthy. This includes whole grains, millets, legumes, and pseudocereals (such as quinoa, amaranth, buckwheat, water chestnut).
Depending on one grain or cereal does not deliver the same dietary benefits, especially as our diets are drained of nutrition. So why not include different types of cereals and pseudocereals in our diet to make the most of each ingredient. What's more, even those with gluten intolerance can enjoy their meals, snacks, and tea time like never before. We have all types of flours available these days.
But there is a lack of trust factor.
The increasing amount of adulteration of food (including contamination) leaves us with doubts as to whether we are actually eating healthy in the name of health. I suggest avoiding marketing gimmicks and tall claims of food businesses that try to sell nutritionally deficient goods under the garb of such terms that sell - oats cookies (tons of such cookies that sell on the market are hardly 8-10% oats and 60-80% maida).
Can you believe this? It's just one example.
I remember my school lessons where we read about food adulteration - during those days, dad would tell that Haldi (turmeric) is adulterated, pulses are adulterated...there were a handful of products that we could pick and dub as impure. But the story is different today.
Commercialization of all things has added to the adulteration burden on our health. Pick one product that you can happily claim to be 100% pure. Can you think of one?
Then imagine the health impact of adulterated food!!! Food for thought!
True, when someone sells at a commercial level, they are bound to use some ingredients that we call unhealthy, including preservatives, additives, and flavoring agents. Your very own vanilla essence is nothing but a chemical. So when you use it in your Healthy bakes, you spoil the game. Instead opt for a pure form of vanilla - powdered vanilla, vanilla bean, or vanilla extract.
I can go on and on and on. Because I love to make everything from scratch. Because I want to eat as healthy as possible (call me a health maniac). Because I do not trust brands. So I try to create my own ingredients (of course, that I can create at home).
Making your own ingredients is a time-consuming and labor-intensive process. Then once it's ready, preservation is another issue that you must be aware of because homemade is healthy and undulterated and preservative-free, so you ought to find a way to keep your homemade products safe from spoilage.
To me, refrigeration is the best way to keep everything safe.
Food Adulteration is REAL
Food adulteration is more than adding artificial colors and additives. When we were kids, our science lessons taught us of some kind of adulteration in food, and dad would specifically mention the addition of stones in pulses, papaya seeds in black peppercorns, and brick powder in red chili powder.. But there is much more to food adulteration than this. By consuming adulterated food products on a regular basis, we are risking our life and health. This brings us to the topic of discussion - why make your own ingredients from scratch at home?
According to a startling report shared by the Food Safety Standards Association of India (FSSAI) in 2018-2019, 28% of the samples were adulterated.
We hear a lot about the adulteration of food in India. Recently, honey samples from top brands were collected and tested for safety and purity. Unfortunately, 75% of the samples proved fake or adulterated with sugar syrup.
You CONSIDER honey a healthier alternative to sugar, right? You tend to replace sugar with honey, considering it full of vitamins and minerals that will boost your immunity. But what do you get in return?
Food for thought!
what can we do to keep a check on food adulteration? Well, while we cannot stop the adulteration of food, we can take a few steps to ensure our families eat healthy and right.
So why not make our own food at home from scratch?
Of course, you have a big excuse that you do not have time to do so. Well, I agree you are a working woman with kids and hardly find time to manage everything together. Putting the burden of making your own food at home is like asking for too much.
But I do that too. I am a working professional as well. What keeps me going is dissatisfaction, disbelief, and loss of trust. Remember, everyone is trying to make a business and increase their ROI. Adulteration is one of the easiest ways to make money from a handful of products.
For example, you go to the market to buy a packet of millet flour. But are you 100% sure that what you are buying is 100% millet atta? Are there no chances of adulteration?
I make my own millet flour at home, which has more fiber, more protein, and health written all over it. Can your store-bought millet atta give you that confidence and returns?
You might be surprised to learn that there is a significant difference between the taste of packaged ragi atta and the homemade finger millet flour.
Food Adulteration then 'n Now
That's the reason our parents would take the pain to mill their own grains and make flour. I have seen my hardworking parents, who were both government employees, take up this project to make their hygienic, whole grain atta at home. It was a kind of celebration for us - watching out parents carrying the huge loads of whole wheat on their shoulders, washing the grain tens of times, and then spreading every single grain on piles of sheets for sun-soaking for days. They had to protect their project from pigeons, crows, sparrows, and others birds, who would love to party on the sunbathing whole wheat.
In the evenings, they would bring their sun-soaked grain inside the rooms and shift them back to the open at dusk and repeat the process until the grains were fully dried. Then we would wait for the next weekend for dad to take the pile of whole wheat to a mill and get it milled. Those were the days!
Think of adulteration then and compare it today.
Even Soil Contamination (Adulteration)
Do you love drinking water from an earthen pot? Back in childhood, when owning a refrigerator was luxury, these earthen pots served as natural freezers. It was fun taking water from a ghada (pot). Sadly, then we used to compare a pot with a fridge and associate a ghada with poverty. When someone would buy a refrigerator, it was a huge day in their lives and party for everyone around . Then everyone forgot about ghadas and the markets were flooded with refrigerators. Yes, every home invested in a fridge - for that thanda thanda cool cool effect!!! Now, we are going back to these earthen pots and when you fill these with water, the aroma of earth bewitches your senses. My mouth starts to water every time I drink from this cute little table pot that gives me company all day long and quenches my thirst . I drink water even when I am not thirsty. Picture is for reference. I do keep it covered with a cute little lid. Sadly, these days when everything is adulterated, even the sand, clay, and soil are impure and contaminated. Presently staying in a village in Odisha, we have a Potter colony in the neighborhood. Luckily, we know where the source of the soil is. PS: If you do plan to buy a mitti ka ghada, avoid investing in one with a plastic tap. Go for one like this. Small ghadas are also easy to carry in your bag. LOL. I keep one on my table and enjoy mitti ka pani..... chalo thoda minerals yahan se bhi le liya jayee 🙂 (but only if you are sure the mitti is pure and not adulterated)
Let's keep this post to liquids and fats. I Will post more homemade ingredient ideas in the next post.