Humans have to eat balanced, varied foods for them to, among other things, get the right amounts of nutrients every day to stay healthy, fight off sickness, keep energy levels up, have the mind working properly, wear good mood and help the body to grow.
With exception of fruits and vegetables which are washed and eaten raw, all other food items, including carbohydrates, proteins and fats and oils, are cooked in certain proportions as meals for the enjoyment of people.
Cooking comes in various ways, namely broiling, grilling, roasting, baking, sautéing, poaching, simmering, and boiling.
Ordinarily, these are harmless God-given methods used in food preparation.
However, certain things have been introduced that make some of these methods harmful to the body such as too much oil in food and covering carbohydrates like rice, yam and cassava with polythene materials while being cooked.
The Principal Dietician at the Diet Therapy Unit of the Tema General Hospital, Mr Prime Baidoo, has condemned the practice of boiling food covered with polythene bags, explaining that it can cause cancer and infertility.
According to him, when polythene is heated, it releases Bisphenol A, a harmful carcinogen, which, when combined with food and consumed, would affect the hormones and cause cancer.
MrBaidoo says if it becomes necessary to cover a boiling food with any material to retain steam and improve cooking, calico, a cotton material, is safe, adding that it also enhances cooking time.
It is unfortunate that the cooking of some traditional foods like
kenkey is being marred by covering them with polythene, which introduces dangerous chemicals into the food.
One other problem is eating food such as waakye, rice and beans and porridge from polythene bags.
Today’s world has experts in all things that have to do with the wellbeing and welfare of mankind.
Unfortunately, people tend to ignore most of the useful pieces of advice given by the experts mostly because they are not ready to unlearn their bad ways of doing things.
The other problem is that some of these harmful effects associated with food preparation and eating do not show up early enough for people to see the need to flee the harmful practices.
We are what we eat, so goes a saying that calls attention to the need for people to be careful what we consume because of the impact of the food we eat.
For instance, some eat some foods and develop allergies while over-consumption of some foods causes us to develop some sicknesses and diseases.
There is, therefore, the need for sustained public education for the citizenry to understand this and avoid the polythene materials in boiling, covering of food, especially hot or warm one, and eating.
This is important to save the people from avoidable diseases like cancer, whose cost of treatment is not borne by only the patient or family but also the state because the state mostly provides the facilities for such treatment.