It is a common to come across an article about food, eating habits, the need to eat better, etc., on media every week.
The authors attempt in general to warn people of bad eating as more and more people are getting weighed down by obesity and non- communicable diseases like diabetes, heart ailments, strokes, etc., linked to the imbalance in intake of foods rich in sugars, fats and salt (sodium). Our interest is therefore to learn about what is good and bad food. Or is it that all foods are good, it’s just that we have to be more savvy about what goes into the mouth and adopt good eating habits, as practised at home by our moms.
I scanned published literatures which, in sum, tell us that good eating is consuming foods with nutrients – protein, carbohydrates, fat, water, vitamins, and minerals – to maintain health, feel good, and have energy. Nutritionists chant the litany of the four food types – vegetables, grains, dairy products, meats to be taken in appropriate amounts as a healthy meal. Our mothers tell us the same story.
The Mauritian melting-pot literally governs our preferences. We go to considerable lengths to obtain foods for which we have developed a taste or been induced to. As a result we regularly consume trendy tasty foods like noodles and other fries, briyani, puri and sept carri (seven curries), paneer curry fried in pure ghee, fish curry, carri endans/carri disan (offals curry), oil soaked dholl puri, farata , gato piment (fries made from ground pulses), grilled/barbecued fish, meat lathered with mayonnaise, sweet and sour sauces, deep fried chicken , burgers, chips, oil laden pastries, buttered popcorns, drinks (soft, alcoholic) etc. And we binge on these extremely rich food round the clock and bear the consequence of suffering from the non- communicable diseases: obesity, diabetes, high blood pressure, high cholesterol, allergies…The prevalence of these maladies was lesser when we depended on the home chef — our mother. We changed for our taste and we now have to change for our wellbeing.
If the food that we are currently consuming is the cause of our (health) worries, then the easiest thing to do is to revert back to eating what was not that harmful. I consider the best and the healthiest food is homemade. Because the object of home cooking is to feed well not to attract any clientele.
Further, food is the expression of altruism, whether from parents to children, children to in-laws, or anyone to visitors and strangers. Food is one of the most important things a mother gives a child; it is the substance of her own body, and in most parts of the world mother’s milk is still considered the only safe food for infants and by extension food prepared by mothers is the healthiest with the right amount of oil, salt and sugar compared to stuff from the market.
Mom’s food is not just a symbol of but the reality of love and security. Don’t miss it if you still have the opportunity, and stay healthy.