Hazardous Molecules in Your Gastronomy

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Have you ever wondered why homemade pasta never tastes the same as your favourite restaurant’s, even though you followed the exact recipe? Trust me, after knowing about the secret ingredient that makes the restaurant pasta taste like that, you shall hold no regrets!

From disappearing transparent ravioli and deconstructed pani puri, to cocktails in an ice sphere and desserts with coffee air– the food landscape has been drastically transformed to taste, feel and appear in a certain way. The secret behind this culinary revolution is of course, chemicals.

Molecular gastronomy, as complicated as that sounds, has been existent in India since 2005-06, but with foodies and restaurant owners getting some sense, it’s usage has now been minimised.

Is it just the fancy looking food that’s doing the harm, or are there hidden ingredients in our daily foods as well, that we blindly keep downing?

Lethal Liquid Nitrogen

Courtesy: Time

Back in 2015, a bunch of college friends made India’s first ice cream using liquid nitrogen.  Ever since, adding liquid nitrogen to food and alcohol has become a trend.

What we don’t know is that contact with this liquid can easily freeze a tissue and cause severe damage, which could even be permanent. The gas form surely looks cool, but it exerts pressure that leaks into tissues.

It was reported that a girl got an intestinal attack after drinking a Jägermeister drink fumed with nitrogen gas.

Deadly Dry Ice

Courtesy: Emergency Ice

Water but not watery– interesting, right? Nope, it’s just carbon dioxide in solid form. You dare not touch it, because instant cell death follows. If you’re trying it in a not-so-well-ventilated space (as simple as a crowded room), there’ll be lower percentage of oxygen, which, can lead to asphyxiation.

So, this ice is not so cool. It can blow itself up along with the container you keep it in. Seriously, there’s a legit thing called “dry ice bomb”. You could go deaf from the noise, or pieces of dry ice could give you internal frostbite. Yikes!

Xtra Gummy Xanthan Gums

Courtesy: Nuts.com

Probably the most popular food additive, this sugary compound is used as a thickening/stabilising agent, especially to replace gluten. Right from migraine and skin irritation to flatulence and diarrhoea, this binder can mess with your very existence.

Calcium Chloride

Courtesy: Amazon

“CalChlo”, as I like to call it—increases fruit and vegetable firmness and tenderises meat without actually adding salt.

I don’t mean to scare you, but if you inhaled some of it in the dust form as it is used in food, you’d be coughing your lungs out and struggling for breath. If ingested in larger amounts, it can cause the entire face and abdomen to burn and induce nausea.

Ajinomoto/MSG

Courtesy: Food Hacks

Have you also been using this silent killer in your home kitchen? Or have you considered it minutely? The real deal is, MSG plays with your head. It actually has very little taste, yet, when you eat MSG, you think the food you’re eating has more protein and tastes better. Yes, betrayal. It does this by tricking your tongue, using a little-known fifth-basic taste: umami.

MSG is almost a drug! It overexcites your cells to the point of damage or even death. You probably have no idea but it can trigger Alzheimer’s, Parkinson’s, Lou Gehrig’s… and the list is quite long.

 

I know what you’re thinking, that it’s honestly not as bad as it sounds… that many more aromatics and pesticides are used in your food that aren’t even listed here! Take my advice– be conscious, aware, and informed about what you’re eating. All that glitters isn’t gold, folks!

 

Image Credits: What’s up Life

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