Soraya Janmohamed reveals: Are food choices made based on education or available money?

“Poor people are easy to identify because so many are obese.” So says Anna Soubry, the Tory public health minister.

Is it really poverty that makes us over-weight or is it due to the lack of proper education on good eating. Thinking back to my childhood, I don’t remember learning formally at a young age what foods were ‘good’ and which ones were ‘bad’. My knowledge came from my mum. Our relationship with food starts at home. Once we begin to be weaned we experience so many different tastes; sweet, sour, bitter, spicy and hopefully across the whole range. I was very fortunate that my mum didn’t work and, also due to the limited availability of ‘baby’ food, I was exposed to freshly cooked home foods. I became a good eater. As a grew up and I was exposed to friends, media and trips to the supermarket and my eating habits changed. But , now as an adult I am really conscious of eating well and even with my children there is a balanced approach between home cooked and packaged foods; actually more than balanced as we rarely have take-aways or ready prepared meals, so my scales must be faulty!!!

Bad eating habits are not a result of poverty but due to either ignorance or lack of education from a young age, so bad habits become ingrained and passed down from generation to generation

I was looking through the Quran as I wanted to see what can I learn from the teachings of Allah, and I came across some verses in Chapter 5 (verse 87-88) Allah says;

87: O you who believe! do not forbid (yourselves) the good things which Allah has made lawful for you and do not exceed the limits; surely Allah does not love those who exceed the limits

88: And eat of the lawful and good (things) that Allah has given you, and be careful of (your duty to) Allah, in whom you believe

So Allah wants us to eat the good things he has made lawful and told us not to exceed our limits and it clearly says Allah does not like those you exceed their limits. Over-indulgence is clearly not supported here!

Referring back to the Quran I started tracking down which foods are mentioned as good for us and list is probably not so surprising as it contains so many fresh items like Halal meat, water, fruits and vegetables, such as apples, figs, olives, melons. All the foods are fresh and unprocessed and can be eaten usually directly from the ground. The Quran clearly mentions that these foods have healing properties too. With so much emphasis on fresh food why are we so ‘hooked’ on the package processed goods. Is it because its cheaper sometimes? Is it due to the convenience of it – ‘buy’, ‘rip open’ and ‘eat’? Or are we seduced by the buy one , get one free offers which we normally find on the convenience foods more than the fresh ones

If we want our children to be healthy we need to teach them from a young age and follow the teachings of the Quran as there is so much merit it that.

Over the next few weeks I will be picking 1-2 food items mentioned in the Quran and looking at both what the Quran says and what modern scientific research says too.

If you like this blog and want to see more like this please leave me a comment below.


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