Monday, June 22, 2015

Maggi and the case of senseless promos

Finally, the 2-minute noodle pack is gone - for now at least.

I am happy about it. Mainly because the N-company is untrustworthy.

After all this, this is what they say:

The amino acid L-Glutamate is one of the most abundant and important amino acids of proteins. It is found in all foods that contain protein, such as cheese, milk, mushrooms, meat, fish, and many vegetables. The natural flavour-enhancing levels of glutamate in food varies greatly, but are high in foods such as tomatoes, mushrooms, soy sauce and fish sauce.
Monosodium glutamate, abbreviated as MSG, was discovered more than a century ago by the Japanese scientist Kikunae Ikeda, who gave this unique taste the name “umami”, the fifth taste beside sweet, sour, salty and bitter. Today, MSG is mostly produced by a natural fermentation process that has been used for centuries to make such common foods as beer, vinegar and yogurt.

Are MSG or glutamate unsafe?

None of the many scientific studies carried out over the last 30 years has shown a link between MSG intake and adverse reactions such as ‘Chinese Restaurant Syndrome’. The international World Health Organisation / UN Food and Agriculture Organisation’s evaluation committee, the European Commission’s Scientific Committee for Food and the United States Food and Drug Administration have affirmed that MSG is safe under common conditions of use.
There have been some concerns raised about the contribution of MSG to sodium intake via the diet. However, MSG contains only about one-third the amount of sodium as table salt (13 percent vs. 40 percent) and so where we use it in products, in combination with a small amount of table salt, MSG can help reduce the total amount of sodium in a recipe by 20% to 40%, while maintaining an enhanced flavor. The level of glutamate for example in MAGGI Noodles is around 0.2 g/100 g, which is close to the average level of glutamate measured in the same portion size of tomatoes or peas.
Tomatoes and Peas are not engineered by God to produce concentrated MSG taste impact. Despite all the outcry you will not say you won't add it / engineer it / manipulate the quantity. Instead you will post a lawyered response to all allegations? Seriously, is cash in pocket the only thing corporates care about?

Finally, actors and actresses should stop doing happy dances on TV promoting these products. I think the worst so far has been the deos that attract women. Taapsee looked like a smart woman. I was totally dejected seeing her as well on one of the deo ads.

Sunday, June 14, 2015

an attempt at leaving diary

I am no stranger to videos of animal cruelty. I also have no qualms admitting we as a race are messed up. If there is hell, we are collectively going there. What was protecting me was that I am vegetarian. It gave a certain cushion to the emotional blows about animal treatment.

However, I grew up on diary. Diary was very much a part of my lifestyle. Milk for tea and coffee, curd, butter milk, ghee, milk sweets - you name it. I won’t read much into the unsuitability of milk for the human body. If anything, my body probably mutated over the years to accommodate milk. But times HAVE changed. Thirty years ago, the milk came freshly milked from nearby cows.

Now cows are artificially impregnated. Hormone injected. Their calves separated and sent for veal production. Milking done with mechanical milkers. But then I knew all this as well. There was one photograph which really got to me. It was the sight of a cow whose udders where six-seven times the normal size. It was made that way by injecting hormones that do that to the cows. We are one depraved, messed up, beeping species. It feels very difficult to knowingly be part of this cycle. Finally - organic milk. The theory is good. But as a general thumb rule, do not trust corporates. Assume they would lie through their teeth unless proven otherwise.

So staying clear of the vegan label, because I feel there is a certain prudishness associated with being vegan, I am making an effort to avoid diary. Its not to say I won’t enjoy an occasional pizza or ice cream, but regular consumption will be avoided.

The real pinch comes with caffeine - because milk is an excellent base for holding tea or coffee. I tried black tea over the past few days. I expected to tolerate it, but surprisingly, it is far more refreshing than I expected it. It turns out that the quantity of tea required is lower with water than with milk, yet the tea tastes far more intense.

Another surprising aspect was that I feel a lot more gratitude towards cows after I skipped milk for the last few days than when I was consuming milk.
 
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