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Wednesday, April 30, 2008

Starfruits are not Evil!

I so want to Post a comment on this topic... But since there's a better one out there..... From theSun newspaper

Starfruit is not the devil
by Kit Chan - Seri Kembangan

I CONGRATULATE theSun on its very concerted effort to report on the current concerns over starfruits in “Oxalate hazard in starfruits” (April 23). You have also created the perfect nightmare for any decent and innocent fruit farmer in the country.

The starfruit is the country’s pride and honour export product. We have just been devastated by the papaya ring spot disease and papaya farmers are still licking their wounds. You have wonderfully added salt to the wounds of the fruit farmers of this country.

Eating starfruit does not kill anyone any more than eating peanuts or MSG or sugar for the population who are sensitive or allergic to these foods.

Many people are allergic to one or many other foods. There is a whole range of natural chemical compounds in tropical fruits and vegetables that we have only just started to understand and to note.

If they are beneficial to the body, we glamorise them by calling these foods “functional foods” and nutritious. If not, we call them toxins.

Every day you can find a scientist coming out with a newly found co-relation between a food compound and the body’s functions. The commercial people have jumped onto the bandwagon by advertising these claims – a cure for cancer, for AIDS, for obesity, etc.

Ordinary consumers do not understand the rocket science of these findings. What then? Do we start a campaign to stop people from eating such and such foods? I am allergic to pomelo. Should I tell the whole world to stop eating pomelo? Such pronouncements are sensational.

There is oxalate content in starfruit. So has spinach and there is a lot more in rhubarb. These are natural contents in many fruits, nuts and vegetables. It is only bad when the oxalate forms calcium oxalate in the body that is insoluble and that accumulates to give you kidney stones.

That is also because the fellow does not drink enough water to flush his system. Rhubarb and spinach and starfruits are not the culprits, rather poor health science and ignorance is the devil. Take care not to demonise the wrong guy.

Kit Chan

Seri Kembangan

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