Tuesday, July 8, 2008

Idly yours

The place where I live is not the optimal for people paranoid about health

It depressed me no end to see people use asbestos at home, till I shut myself to the thought. I get even more flustered when my grandmother, (a glorious 70 years old), spreads DDT around the legs of our dining table, to prevent ants from climbing up.
What about the time I looked under my mattress (made by my other granny, now deceased) and found that it seeped DDT? She had thought it was a great idea to keep pests away.

Very recently, I had another reason to freak out.

I stay as a paying guest in Bangalore, and “PG uncle” provides us food and board (which is just a bed and cupboard for yourself) for a modest 4200/-.

I have found this place okay for the most part, their food is palatable, and Uncle is a pro when it comes to south Indian dishes, like idly, dosa, and ooooh, thick sambhar and chutney… so much that I regularly look forward to idly day and dosa day every week.

A few weeks back, I went into the kitchen to get breakfast, and since Uncle was not around, I opened the cooker myself to take the idlies out.

And that is when I realized that he was using plastic paper instead of cloth, as a lining for the idly plates.

I later asked him about it, and mentioned that plastic is the main source of cancer.

He answered that all restaurants in town use the same method, so that idly is perfectly shaped, and does not break like it would if you use cloth. He has been eating and cooking the same for quite some time, and was healthy, so he did not find a reason to stop using plastic lining for idlies.

I realized that my concerns about idly were considered idiosyncratic, and there was little I could do except avoid eating idly outside for the rest of my life.

But then, as my very good friend pointed out to me, people on average live longer in these plastic-infested and pollution-high times, than a couple of generations back.

So maybe an increased risk of cancer is not a bad tradeoff at all…I might as well help myself to some plastic coated idlies..

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