Stories

The Two Minutes Problem

No, this isn’t about erectile dysfunction nor is it about the universal complaints of women as to why it only takes two minutes for men to have an orgasm? Maybe because men like it fast and it is even better if the food we crave for can also be prepared in two minutes. Imagine two minutes of sex, two minutes to make Maggi Noodles (the plot thickens), one minute to shove it in our mouth and watch tv for the rest of the day. What a perfect life! I will be making several innuendos and puns in this write-up which may or may not be intentional. So beware!

Getting back to the point, let’s talk about the issue at hand and leave the puns aside for a while (but god knows it’s hard). All hell has broken loose after many labs across India found high levels of lead and mono-sodium glutamate or MSG, a taste enhancer in the Maggi Noodles. Maggi is one of those products so popular in India, that it doesn’t even need any advertising. I know people who would carry Maggi packets when they travel abroad. I know this because I used to be one of them. So what the hell happened?

In just one week the share price of Nestle; the company which manufactures and promotes Maggi Noodles and other affiliates like its soup variants has lost over ten thousand crores! The share price is becoming more flaccid every day. One questions the sudden concerns of the Government regarding our health. Truth be told, we already consume vegetables which are full of pesticides and no amount of trying purify drinking water through RO system is going to resolve the problem of arsenic level in the water we drink everyday.

I appreciate respective initiatives of the state governments who have taken an arbitrary and popular decision to ban Maggi and all other brands which falls in its family. However this sudden interest in our physical welfare, justly met with suspicion and skepticism, is unfounded because in the past several years whenever a food product came under suspicion, somehow they managed to make the problem magically disappear. But it seems this time around things might be different, but in the words of the Zen Master “We Will See.”

The fact being, it is quite possible that Maggi and several other fast food items in their quest to taste better might have used chemicals and adhesives to make the product even more addictive. In that way fast food companies are no different from drug dealers who buy 100% pure cocaine and chop it up several times by adding various chemicals like Ketamine (Horse tranquilizers) which makes the already addictive drug even more dangerous, so it is quite possible fast food companies do the same and use some chemicals which make products like Maggi tastier.

Obesity is a problem which is well understood in the West, particularly the United States and that is why McDonnalds now offer healthy salads. The fact is that India is an extremely unregulated country, where corporation can run wild and the food and beverage industry has time and again failed to hold them to the standard which they promise. Many companies have blatantly violated our laws because of corrupt bureaucracy, our apathetic politicians and our political and legal system in general.

Food items like Maggi are so easy to make and are indeed delicious and over the years it seems we have forgotten the value of a healthy meal, especially in the fast life of cosmopolitan cities. People prefer eating maggi without vegetables and I am one from the guilty parties. But with age, some wisdom and also since my body no longer have the constitution to sustain fast food on a regular basis, I have arrived to a logical conclusion, action must be taken and strict fines must be imposed. Sure it causes problems to the corporations but the overall safety and health of the people of India depends upon a fair and impartial investigation. This two minutes dysfunction with our health must come to an end.

Pharmaceuticals companies run illegal tests in India but few people know, because they have a very powerful lobby to shut the voice of reason and justice. Medicines which are banned in the west are sold in India because of political oversight!

Studies have shown the effect of obesity directly related to fast foods. The issue is not just with Maggi but a detailed analysis of all items has to be carried out like the biscuits we eat, potato chips and wafers etc.

I am not anti corporation or anti fast food, all I am asking for is some strict regulation and the high standards which most of the time are maintained in the West. India cannot simply be a testing or a dumping ground for companies because life is “cheap” and there are “plenty more” where we come from.