Being an Indian has got absolutely nothing to do with our cravings of bread butter and toast for breakfast! Sandwiches, burgers and pizzas have now entered our daily food habits, so much so that calling bread our staple food wont be a falsifying statement. Any extreme case scenario brings a unforeseen outcome and thus sadly speaking so is this new fad for buns and bread, as it brings in the terror of 2B carcinogens (potassium bromate and iodate) that can cause serious cancer threats!
Bread – the New Age staple food!
Neolithic age (New Stone Age) brought about the spread of agriculture, with which came along the accidental making of bread; it then became the most important aspect of food and sustenance, competing with all the other variety of foods and yet managing to be the essential of our diet and our psyche. Recent years have brought drastic changes in the variety of packaged breads; with the choices of white bread, pav, buns and pizza breads growing, our palate and demand for it too is prospering!
In India, less spoken issue up till now, is the use of certain chemicals for manufacturing bread that question health and safety; with an emerging renal and thyroid tumour incidences. A research study from New Delhi regarding health concerns taken up by Centre for Science and Environment (CSE) implied 84% of bread and bakery samples (collected from New Delhi) with residues of Potassium Bromate and/or Potassium Iodate, the cancer-causing chemicals.
Carcinogens – their looming threat!
It was in 1999 when Potassium Bromate was classified as a possible carcinogen to humans by the International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC); this genotoxic carcinogen, earlier used as a flour treatment agent, was banned in most of the countries (India being an exception) foreseeing its cruelty. In case of ideal baking conditions, Bromate converts into a harmless Bromide, which does not seem to happen practically and thus the study showing presence of the 2B carcinogen residues in the packaged bread sold in India is the talk of the town!
Most of the famous food outlets strongly deny the accusation made in the CSE report, stating their top most priority to be customer safety and health for which they follow the best international standards. How much ever convincing this might sound, it does not diminish our apprehensive thoughts, making us nothing but the seekers for knowledge and reality. Taking preventive approach a cancer screening for carcinogens perhaps can help one detect, monitor and manage the terrifying cancerous menace.
Let’s hope saying goodbye to Bread is not the only outcome to abate these carcinogens!