This is not a joke. This is not fake news. This is just plain…bizarre! J&K Legislative Council member Ramesh Arora is campaigning against, hold your breath…momos, those delicate, warm pouches of happiness—and wants this street food banned in Jammu and Kashmir. What’s this misinformed politician’s beef against these comforting and delicious dumplings? A host of “alternative facts” it seems. Read on:
Momos are Addictive: Arora’s grouse is that teenagers are addicted to these warm wonders. Agreed, they’re one of our favourite piping hot things. But they’re filled with chicken…veggies…paneer, not contraband! And then they’re steamed—not rolled in Tendu leaves for heaven’s sake! Bottom-line: Momos are addictive because they are delicious!
Momos are Dangerous: It seems like we’re on the verge of stumbling upon the first anti-national food item! Arora is wary of the Burmese and Bangladeshis making and selling Tibetan momos on the streets of Kashmir, and that this food is not Indian, as reported by some news websites. We sense a bit of Xenophobia from the lawmaker. But the beauty of food is that it transcends geographical boundaries. Imagine life without roadside ‘Chineess’ joints and ‘Shezuan Hakka noodals’!
Momo is a Killer: Arora is reported to have said that Ajinomoto (Monosodium glutamate or MSG) in momos has serious health implications “and can turn a headache into migraine… have been found to be the root cause of several life-threatening diseases, including cancer of the intestine.” Mr MLC, that should have led to mass headaches in Eastern Asian countries, because MSG is used in almost all oriental cuisine. Here’s the real thing: The FDA has classified MSG as a food ingredient that is ‘generally recognized as safe’. There is no definitive evidence against the additive when it is consumed normally. Instead of asking for a ban, Arora should be campaigning for raising awareness for safe practices among the street food vendors.
Clearly, momos are not what’s plaguing Kashmir. If Arora believes in further stirring sentiments by dictating people’s food choices, it’s just plain sad. Let’s leave food out of politics. And we’re talking momos! The world would be a cold place without these warm wonders!
Images courtesy: Shutterstock and Priyamvada Kowshik