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Polythene bags a health hazard

By Ruth Nanfuka

Added 19th September 2017 12:22 PM

Polythene has chemicals that can be transferred to food.

Polythene bags a health hazard

Polythene has chemicals that can be transferred to food.

HEALTH | POLYTHENE AND FOOD

When cooking foods like matooke, sweet potatoes and cassava, people tend to use polythene bags to wrap and cover the food, however, this is unhealthy.


This is because polythene has chemicals that can be transferred to food as it cooks.

According to Isa Musinguzi, a medical practitioner in Kampala, when food comes in contact with a material that is not inert, chances are that chemical will be transferred to the food, hence contamination.

He says the bi-products do not have an immediate effect, but rather can cause a running stomach.

The polythene bi-products are hard for the body to digest and expose the person to consequences like different cancers.

Musinguzi explains that when a foreign element enters the body, the mechanism reacts by sending cells to fight the foreign body, however when the body cells are over powered different cancers like abdominal or kidney are likely to occur.

Apart from the cancers caused by chemicals in polythene bags, some chemicals like chloride when heated, tend to smell and make the food have a chemical scent in it hence making it less tasty as well as making it lose the important nutrients.

There is a safe and better option that is use of banana leaves.

"Banana leaves give food an aroma that makes it tasty," says Jesca Nassiwa, a cook at Nakasero Market.

She says it is very easy to cook using banana leaves, and food does not take long to get ready when properly wrapped in the leaves.

According to Nassiwa, when food is wrapped in the banana leaves, steam accumulates inside once the water at the bottom of the sauce pan starts boiling.

And it is that steam that cooks the food.

She says, it is easy to mush the matooke using banana leaves and still keep the aroma intact.

Nassiwa says banana leaves are affordable at about sh100 or sh200, depending on the size one desires.


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