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‘Good life’ causing us to eat and drink badly

Published: 
Tuesday, January 10, 2017

I had the pleasure Saturday of reading a sensible article by Paolo Kernahan in the T&T Guardian on the subject of eating meat.

The writer explained that eating less meat was not only economical but somewhat healthy. He made the point that it will also save foreign exchange and, inter-alia, hopefully encourage a boost of our local farming industry.

The article reminds me of a visit to my cardiologist some time ago. After the doctor examined me for heart conditions and concluded that I was relatively healthy for my age, we chatted on precautions that one can take for a healthy life. I asked him: “Doc, what do you eat for breakfast?” He replied: “Mostly a piece of sada roti and some baigan choka or tomato choka.”

I laughed. He asked me why was I laughing and I told him that when we were small and growing up in a relatively poor family in the country area, we could not afford to eat much meat and had an abundance of sada roti and various chokas. When we grew up and had an extra penny in our pockets we thought eating plenty meat was the in-thing, only to realise now that economic situations of our early days forced us to eat healthy and stay healthy.

I am now in my eighties and enjoying a relatively good and quality healthy life, thanks to our economical hardships in my growing up days in the country area.

The standard of living of citizens in our country has improved immensely over the years causing us, out of ignorance, to eat and drink badly. We eat too much of fast foods, too much of meat, and drink too much of alcohol and soft sugary drinks.

The soft drinks and juices sold to the public need to be regulated and controlled, fast food prices are too high and unhealthy, and this, too, needs some form of control and price regulation. Some of the power drinks sold in the local markets are placing peoples’ lives in danger every day, unchecked.

We have been told that the Chemistry, Food and Drug Division of the Ministry of Health has been essentially not entertaining new applications for the importation of health supplements that is widely sold in the USA, the UK, Canada, and India, yet we see some new items being introduced and sold every now and then, at ridiculously high prices. Owing to the lack of competition the current prices for supplements sold in the local markets are some 1,200 per cent, subject to correction, more than the prices the items can be purchased online.

Why is the Government and the Ministry of Health permitting citizens to be exploited in this manner by unconsciously greedy merchants?

Government, through the Ministry of Health, will be well advised to open up the market to permit business people to import and sell health supplements and drinks like those which are permitted in developed countries.

B GHANY