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Are Sun-dried foods safe to eat? DHSK terms it an “academic subject”
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Are Sun-dried foods safe to eat? DHSK terms it an “academic subject”

No research has been done on subject, so we can continue with our tradition: Dr Mushtaq

Post by Sameer Showkin Lone on Thursday, December 8, 2022

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Srinagar: At a time when there is a buzz on social media with many doctors warning against eating sun-dried foods, citing these carry the risk of contamination which can cause diseases like cancer, the Directorate of Health Services Kashmir (DHSK) termed it an academic subject.

“I spoke to the Deputy Director at the DHSK, he said it is an academic topic and those speaking against eating sun dried foods must come up with some data or research,” said Dr Mir Mushtaq, spokesperson at DHSK.

Dr Mushtaq said as a medical doctor, not as the spokesperson of DHSK, “My opinion is that whosoever is opposing it must come up with the data. I have not come across any such research or data that says sun-dried vegetables or fruits are not good for health,” he said.

Dr Mushtaq said nothing has happened so far with the people eating such foods. “Such foods are preserved in many parts of the world. People do keep food preserved,” he said.

The senior medico said in absence of any data those doctors talking against the consumption of sun-dried food should let the tradition continue. “Let’s carry on with our tradition…people have been consuming it,” he said, adding, science needs data and research and not hearsay.

In winters, the road vendors and shopkeepers are selling plenty of sun-dried vegetables and fishes, and there is a huge rush of buyers for them.

People dry many varieties of vegetables and fruits in the summer so that they can consume them during the winter.

Dried tomatoes (ruwangan hachi), dried brinjal (wangan hachi), dried bottle gourds (aale hachi) dried turnips (gogji hachi), smoked fishes (farrigaadi), dried fishes (Hogaadhe) are some of the preparations that people love to eat during winters.

Lateef Ahmad, a vendor who sells sun-dried vegetables and fishes in Srinagar, says for the past 15-years he has been selling dried vegetables and smoked fish. “The sun-dried foods have a huge demand. Customers buy dried vegetables.

Some Kashmir based medicos had recently made statements that while there has really not been any study in the valley on whether these dried foods are safe for consumption or not, but based on other studies, if the food is not stored in a proper way then it is very hazardous for consumption.

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