As kids we were taught that anything that comes easy probably isn’t worth it and that all good things take time and effort to come to us. It was an unwritten rule that we needed patience and perseverence for anything we wanted.
We believed it like we believed everything else we were told, with one tiny exception. Maggi noodles. They cooked in ‘bas 2 minute’, didn’t need parental guidance while cooking (like while making chapatis, vegetables, poha, tea etc), and tasted simply delicious. Growing up, we learned to experiment with it with various sauces and vegetables too.
My brother loved it and used it as an afternoon snack, while I wasn’t much of a fan. A hostel friend of mine would substitute it for meals at times, only to invite unending lectures from me about how ‘not healthy’ they were. Another one would wait for her mother to cook and kept a packet of Maggi handy if a veggie she didn’t like was made. There are other examples but I think I’ve made my point.
In our world of instant gratification and (not quite) lesser availability of time it is easy to rely on such options. Why have chapatis or rice which necessarily need an accompaniment when you can have a whole dish in instant noodles? Why bother if you are getting the correct nutrition when you are given a variety of atta, multigrain or oats noodles? Isn’t it simpler to stick to the familiar masala taste than trying some other alternative?
I wondered at the uproar created over the presence of MSG (monosodium glutamate) in Maggi. The lab test results also apparently showed that the lead percentage was way over the permissible limit. Was this supposed to be some kind of revelation? Maggi has been around for a long time. Weren’t we supposed to find this out by now or some new tests were devised and conducted?
Kudos to the marketing strategy adopted by these companies! A mother rewarding her child with it, a bunch of travellers cooking it up in a hut in the mountains, a daughter showing her love for her mother by following her recipe are just a few of their concepts to cater to the Indian market. A stroke of genius is by topping it all by roping in superstars to do the convincing regarding it’s health benefits. I wonder if they’ve ever tasted it.
As a mother of a toddler I feel cheated. Maggi isn’t a necessity and does nothing for our body. At a young age, when good eating habits need to be instilled in kids, I see many mothers encourage their children to have it. Laziness, pampering and simply the get-the-meal-done-with attitude of mothers is like a slow poison for children.
Nestle is a huge brand and more often than not these companies work hand in glove with government authorities. Nestle has obviously countered the lab tests claiming that they are clean at their end. While there has been a lot of hue and cry over the banning in few states and calling back of packets from stores, they seem confident.
In my personal opinion, someone somewhere was left out while benefits for turning a blind eye to all of this were rolled out. As soon as they get their share of the pie, Nestle will win with flying colours and we’ll be told about some random error that had got ignored earlier. People fond of these sticky wiry edibles will finally breathe a sigh of relief and get back to it like long lost lovers.
Till then, guys please make do with the boring good food! ☺