Nothing can sum up an Indian childhood better than Maggi – India’s first instant noodle brand. Out of all the things that are quintessentially Indian, Maggi is a way of life. For those of you who are dependent on Maggi as much as I am, there is bad news. Your favourite go-to snack might just be banned.
The noodle brand has come under fire recently after samples of it in some parts of Uttar Pradesh were found containing Monosodium glutamate (MSG) and lead in excess of the permissible limit. This has led the Lucknow Food Safety and Drug Administration (FSDA) to appeal to the Food Safety and Standards Authority of India (FSSAI) in New Delhi to cancel Maggi’s license. An investigation of the product is underway across the country to check the quality. If the investigation confirms the report, you can say goodbye to your favourite lazy snack.
What Is MSG And Why Is It Harmful?
It is a kind of non-essential amino acid found commonly in agricultural products but is also used in food industries as additives in packaged food to enhance flavor. This is nothing like beta alanine, don’t be confused, MSG is bad stuff. These additives are harmful for health, especially for children. It has been used in the food industry for years, but only upto a permissible limit. The recent sample showed that Maggi contained 17 parts per million of lead, whereas the permissible limit is only 0.01 parts per million. In easier language, Maggi has been found to contain excessive amount of additives that can be harmful for health if consumed for a long period of time.
Turns out, the snack that you’ve been slurping on and relishing for years could be the reason for potential weight gain, brain damage, liver inflammation, high blood pressure, and can also cause damage to your nervous system.
Nestle, the manufacturers of Maggi, are in denial of adding MSG and are ‘surprised’ by the excess of lead in their product. They also contend that there is no specified limit for MSG by the food industry. As your favourite product faces possible ban, you can only hope that reports from further sampling come out negative.
Because let’s face it, if the reports come out to be true – it will be the end of an era as we know it. It wouldn’t matter for the ordinary Indian if it were some other product. The novelty of Maggi, as a product, lies in the way it has become the ultimate Indian comfort food.
Maybe it comes at a good time. Maybe this is a sign to pick up that salad bowl and actually consume it, instead of instagramming it. After all, a salad takes less than ‘2 minutes’ to assemble, no?