Picture Courtesy: Sneha Parajuli
Food habit is basically a routine that we follow to fill our stomach. A good food habit plays a vital role in development of an individual. Good foods include naturally available food. We must consume necessary calorie according to our age and height.
Here I am elaborating about change in food habit in context of Nepal on the basis of research I’ve done. The first thing to analyze is if we go two decades back, most of the people cultivated grains and vegetables themselves. The towns and cities were less populated. As people started migrating from hills to terai, VDC to municipality, the number of farmers got drastically reduced. As a result, farmers started to use more and more insecticides and pesticides to grow on large basis. Modernization in agriculture had led to decrease in productivity of soil. According to survey conducted by Ministry of Health and Population, the district to use most insecticides and pesticides is Kavre, the second one is Dhankuta. A couple of valleys (including Kathmandu) are not able to produce child as a result of consumption of such foods and grains. It is obvious that people become victim of many diseases too. As a result of busy life, people in towns and cities are wholly dependent on packet foods and junk foods. Packet foods are slow poisons. After consuming such foods for many years, people become victim of many diseases like cancer, kidney diseases and many more.
People have changed their lifestyles. They do not carry out any physical works. People living in cities and towns work in office for long hours and eat more junk food because of hectic schedules. They become fatter and as a result, they are victim of many non-communicable diseases like high blood pressure, diabetes and so on.
One of the major changes in food habit in Nepal is that people have started eating more snacks as they are easily available. Those snacks contain more amount of salt which will ultimately damage kidneys in the long run. People have started eating foods like noodles and pasta more and more which contains a toxic substance called ajino. If it is continuously consumed, bone marrow will slowly get damaged. All of us are familiar with the incident: Indian government banned a noodle called Maggie six months ago as they found ajino while testing.
Nepalese are influenced by Indian culture. So they have started consuming a lot of sweets. Sweets like laddu and jerry contains added colors. Though sellers insist that they add natural colors, but natural colors like kesar are so expensive that sweets would not be available at prices they are available now. Furthermore, more sugars are harmful too.
The next change in food habit is excessive use of soft drinks. Now, people consume a lot of soft drinks like Coca-cola, Fanta and these days, energy drinks are more on demand. These drinks are full of toxic chemicals. Refrigerated foods are also harmful. People tend to keep vegetables and fruits in refrigerator for a long time.
These are the change in food habits that people have been following up to date.