It is an open secret that food adulteration is rampantly prevalent in every nook and corner of India. Since the governing bodies (or even the government) have no stringent checks (or they chose to ignore the same), food adulteration in India has reached unprecedented, dangerous levels. In a few years time, India will witness massive health issues as a result of this problem but do we really have any other choice? May be we do!
What is adulteration of food?
The technical definition of food adulteration according to the Food Safety and Standards Authority of India (FSSAI) is, “The addition or subtraction of any substance to or from food, so that the natural composition and quality of food substance is affected.”
Basically, Adulteration is a legal term meaning that a food substance fails to meet quality standards. It usually refers to non-compliance with health and safety standards.
Why is adulteration of food done?
Food is adulterated to increase its quantity and make more profit. In India, adulteration of food is normally done for financial gain or carelessness and lack in proper hygienic condition of processing, storing, transportation and marketing.
The Annual Public Laboratory Testing Report for 2014-15 brought out by the Food Safety and Standards Authority of India (FSSAI) says that of the 49,290 samples of food items it tested, 8469, nearly one-fifth, were found adulterated or misbranded.
Here is the list of top 10 daily food items that are adulterated:
Among all foods, milk adulteration is most common as it can be easily adulterated just by adding water. Milk produced by Indian cows might also be adulterated because they graze on garbage including plastic waste. It can also be adulterated with addition of detergent, fat, urea, caustic soda and, skimmed milk, starch. When impure water is used to adulterate milk, chances of infection and disease due to microbial contamination is very high on its consumption.
Here’s a shocking video on how milk is adulterated in India.
The Food Safety and Standards Authority of India found in 2012 that 70% of milk samples in the country were adulterated. Recent reports from Consumer guidance Society of India has reported that more than 70% of the milk in India is adulterated.
Alternatives you should consider:
There are lots of alternatives for milk which are natural and healthy. These include Almond milk, Coconut, Soy milk, Oat milk, Cashew, Hemp, and Sunflower. Though the nutrient content in these alternatives slightly vary, but level of contamination might be lesser.