So today I came across an article warning about the health risk of eating out in Singapore, especially at the ‘mixed veggies’ stall.
What is a mixed veggies stall?
For the non-Singaporean readers out there, asian food culture is primarily based on having rice as the staple, and all other dishes (like braised pork, stir fried/sauteed vegetables, eggs, etc) to be eaten with rice.
So back to the story…
The article highlights that most of the vegetables are not washed when the food is prepared. The bad is not so much the dirty or slime on the stalks of the veggies, but the insane amount of insecticide sprayed on the leaves of these veggies. And they are not washed off. The author wonders why the vegetable leaves in Singapore’s mixed rice dishes always look so green compared to the ones he visited in Ipoh, Malaysia. The ones in Ipoh always have holes and do not look appealing.
The locals gave him an invaluable lesson: If the insects and bugs dare to eat the leaves, it is a good sign. At least it is edible. In Singapore, so much insecticide is sprayed that even the bugs shy away from the veggies. And who consumes it? You!
Having worked in a few restaurants in Singapore and in Italy, I can attest to the poorer hygiene standards when you eat out. Do you think kitchen staff have the time to clean every single fork and spoon and plate? Do you think the restaurant will use the best and healthiest ingredients? If the restaurants and food stalls are going earn money, how could they? (let’s not talk about michelin star restaurants) For example, they would use the cheapest salt and sugar (i.e. fine salt/sugar) compared to a much healthier salt -pink salt, or brown sugar.
Bottom line is, I encourage you to cook your own food. Don’t give excuses like ‘no time’ etc. If you’re really concerned about your health, you will find a way. Else, it just means you’re not concerned enough.
And we wonder why cancer rates are rising?