The 21st century (consisting of the millennia generation Y following the X generation), has grown on the fancy of long strands of noodles-also, the maggi noodles. The brand, a part of the Nestle Group (Swiss foods conglomerate), has easily stepped up to be prevalent in modern times, with continuous innovation in taste, flavor, and packaging. What has not changed is the nostalgia of the 2-minutes noodles, for mummies in the kitchen, and the children’s serve of instant bowl noodles. We continue to relish the taste, the lip-smacking flavor, the exotic home cooked noodles, and a long standing bond established over the years.
Enter the picture of big; bold (underlined letters), of Maggi having more than the prescribed MSG (Mono Sodium Glutamate) and excessive leads. The current controversy raging in the newspapers, for India’s favourite brand- underlined as the protagonist of the instant noodles landscape; is not just health boggling, but also mind boggling. For, we the hunger mongers of Maggi noodles are now stuck in a sword edge situation, continuously debating in our minds, to eat or not to eat. The pressure is everywhere. Right from your peer group in the social media, to the elaborate opinion piece in the internet your eating desire is under continuous influence now.
Now, let’s try and dig deeper into the information pool in the internet, to understand the facts, MSG, and its serious health implications. The masala flavor of the maggi noodles as claimed by the UP state government (Maggi samples underwent a lab test in a Kolkata Laboratory, on the instance of the Food Safety and Drug Administration); has exceeded the prescribed limit of MSG by 7 times. The permissible limit in this type of foods in India is 2.5 parts per million. MSG’s role as a flavor enhancer cannot be debated. Even a really bad tasting food will taste good, as MSG act as a nerve stimulant. So, high levels of glutmatic acids (as now revealed scientifically), held responsible for your addiction to maggi noodles. Amino acids such as glutmatic are difficult to flush out, or break down in your body. Hence, the serious syndrome of obesity , fatty liver , high insulin and blood sugar , high cholesterol , liver toxicity , metabolic syndrome , high blood pressure, disturbance to the gut-brain connection , neurological and brain damage
While the breakdown of processed proteins happens naturally, protein-rich whole foods like grains, meats, dairy, and even vegetables release the glutamic acid , but not in heavy concentration on its own. The whole process is a part of breaking down, with other amino acids sourced from an unadulterated whole-food-based diet. On the contrary, many processed foods or in preservatives, proteins that harbor free glutamic acids, leads to inlet of harmful toxins in your body.
The Health Ministry, till now, has not directed the brand to do label decoration; more precisely to list out the source of MSG on the packaging. Maggi, has a ground to argue here, that they use MSG from natural vegetable sources such as wheat flour, which is one major ingredient of the noodles. India, however, is not very sensitive to such facts.
Maggi has been under tremendous pressure, and as a step forward, got samples credited from an accredited external lab (Nestle has refused to disclose the name in the media). Needless to mention, the brand has come clean on the grounds. However, the hue and cry created by the UP food administration, drew unwarranted attention from the state governments. Going by the recent updates, Maggi now faces a ban of 15 days in Delhi circles, where it has tested positive for excessive chemical substance in the selected samples. The buck doesn’t stop here. It’s the reputation of the most trusted brand which in under phenomenal stress. The continuous exchange of information, opinions, choices, comments on the social media, rubs salt on the injury. The brand scrutiny, in today’s times, is not just restricted to the legal authorities to prove your stand. It is entrenched, deep in the minds of people to create a lasting impression, however strong your roots may be.
Take for example, the celebrity endorsement, which in normal circumstances is considered to be safe, sound, lucrative, and very influential. However, with the current controversy raging for the maggi noodles, the big celebrity endorsers have also come on the wrong side of the brand story untold, until recently. The FIR or show cause notices, with strict legal protocols (unheard of till now), are being implicated, to bring the brand on its toes. Add to it the shelf woes; many neighborhood shops have reported a drop of maggi sales to one dozed packets, from the whopping three dozen sales figure.
What remains to be seen is the tangible and intangible brand value loss, to one of the iconic brands in India. The residue of this raging controversy is clear. India, as a nation, has not outgrown the consumption of any one brand. The current market dynamics are very volatile, which are partially left to the mercy of internet, and the media. We require to see the current investigation, in the bright light of a healthy consumable product. We love maggi, and sincerely wish not to linger this moral trial in an ambiguous direction. For the time-internet is our best friend.