So, someone thought he could ban momos!
When news broke this week that the Central Government was reportedly planning to clear the streets of momos, which is one of the most popular snacks of the country now, outrage broke out among fans of the country’s famously cheap snack as the story racked up national headlines.
It all started when a Bharatiya Janata Party legislator, lawyer Ramesh Arora on Wednesday claimed scientific evidence to support the contention that the use of monosodium glutamate (huching) in momos have been found to be the root cause of several life-threatening diseases, including cancer of the intestine.
We have seen the dish get famous from the villages to every nook and corner of cities in India. We have witnessed them evolve. For instance, initially we only ate round momos but as time passed the sizes started varying from round to half-moon shaped with designs and all. Our very own, Shuffle Momos have experimented with different momo stuffings ranging from mushroom to fish to mutton and many more.
One minute in Gangtok and we find tourists, students, moms, dads savoring the amazing dish.
It goes without saying that Mr Arora’s appeal for a ban on momos did not go down well with people. From calling it “bizzare” and ‘xenophobic’ social media is buzzing with opinions.
Here are some of our local reactions.
Another momo fan, Simon Chettri pointed- ‘They can ban momos, but they cannot ban moms’
Himanson Rai shared an interesting possibility in our near future- ‘Ban this, Ban that, Ban alcohol and now momo too. What next? Salt?’
Momo is delicious and we don’t want it to go anywhere rather than our stomach but I researched some of the claims that Mr Arora made and it is kind of a bummer.
Momos are made from refined flour (maida) which causes excess rush of blood sugar taking it up immediately like a roller coaster ride and dropping it the same way. This is obviously not good for our system. Also, the MSG (huching) we use in momos is not healthy.
In fact according to Dr Joseph Mercola’s website, “MSG is widespread and silent killer that's worse for our health than alcohol, nicotine and many drugs.
According to Dr Mercola, a world famous dietician, MSG is one of the worst food additives on the market and is used in canned soups, crackers, meats, salad dressings, momos and many other fast foods.
One of the best overviews of the very real dangers of MSG comes from Dr Russell Blaylock, a board-certified neurosurgeon and author of "Excitotoxins: The Taste that Kills." In it he explains that MSG is an excitotoxin, which means it overexcites your cells to the point of damage or death, causing brain damage to varying degrees -- and potentially even triggering or worsening learning disabilities, Alzheimer's disease, Parkinson's disease, Lou Gehrig's disease and more.
Even the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) states:
"Studies have shown that the body uses glutamate, an amino acid, as a nerve impulse transmitter in the brain and that there are glutamate-responsive tissues in other parts of the body, as well. Abnormal function of glutamate receptors has been linked with certain neurological diseases, such as Alzheimer's disease and Huntington's chorea. Injections of glutamate in laboratory animals have resulted in damage to nerve cells in the brain."
Not scaring anyone with these medical terms but it is something to think about. However, our affair with momos will continue and this small bump in the road is highly unlikely to affect that. Remember when we were told how one of our favourite snack manufacturers puts the whole chicken, feathers and intestines and all, while manufacturing the delicious snack? Did that stop us from making even jhyalmuri with the snack and eating it with our friends at school?
If the memory of the claims which said that Kurkure was made from plastic didn’t stop us from still devouring Kurkure -- and everything else -- we don't think anything will stop us from eating Momos.