Can the food cooked and refrigerated be consumed after reheating?



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There is nothing wrong in utilizing the products of scientific development and technologies. But, it is wrong to be fully dependent on them. For example, the fridge, that is inevitably present in every house. But it is rare to find people who use the fridges properly.

One of the Siddhar songs states that ‘we shall not consume the food cooked a day before even if it is a delicious nectar’. But the current practice has been to have the cooked food being refrigerated and consumed after many days. The fact is that the food that is refrigerated for a prolonged period is not a nectar but proves to be a poison.

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All those remnants of the food cooked get a place inside the refrigerator. It is used to an extent that one might wonder whether it is refrigerator or a box of remainders. There are innumerable items being stored in the fridge with various duration of days, weeks and months, from chutneys made a few days ago to the chicken stew that was relished last night, the non-vegetarian item awaiting to be cooked tomorrow, cut fruits and vegetables, fungus spread bread slices, the sambar that has been waiting to be taken out, cooked and returned to its place in a day and the pickle bottles, filled and dumped inside the fridge for years.

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Here are the answers to those who defend that ‘it is a very usual and ordinary practice and there is nothing wrong with that. The refrigerated food items are preserved at lower and cooler temperature so as to use them for a prolonged period. Therefore, there is nothing wrong in using the technology’.

Among the reasons for getting ill spontaneously the wrong practice of preserving the food items could also be one. Before the invention of the fridge, disposing of the food as soon as it loses its natural feature was the fundamental good food practice. But today, by keeping the food items on prolonged refrigeration we tend to make many new physical changes to them. The modified quality of food items tends to affect the physiological function of our body. This makes us easily vulnerable to many kind of illness that were rare during olden days.

There is a possibility for those who regularly consume refrigerated food items to contract vomiting, diarrhea and digestive problems, sometimes leading to limiting one’s lifespan too.

When the refrigerated foreign cool drinks stacked within the racks of a fridge are consumed at cold conditions will cause cold, cough and other respiratory problems. For the benefit of the parents who proudly proclaim that their children get satiated thoroughly only by drinking cold water from the fridge after returning from school … there is more possibility for them to contract infection of the respiratory tract. However, your children try to cajole you to have cold drinks it is better to stop the practice.

There is paucity of information with us regarding the allowable duration of cold preservation of the food items. A recent research finding states that only 50% of the people are able to identify discoloration and fungal infection of the food products stored in their fridges and throw them as waste. If that is the fact, what could be the fate of those using those contaminated and quality challenged food items?

There are other food items that tend to lose their character, flavour, taste and nature after a specific period of storage under refrigeration. There could be fungal attack on those products too.

It is better to have the fruits kept at room temperature and use them afresh as far as possible. Then only it is possible to enjoy the complete micronutrients available with the fruits. Cut fruits, salads if used after long refrigeration, there is a chance of not able to utilize the nutrients completely.

For example, the nutrients will get dried up if the watermelons are stored under refrigeration for long. There is loss of its true taste as well.

If apples are cut and refrigerated, a kind of volatile gas emanated from them will change the nature of vegetables stored along with them. For example, if cut apples are kept along with carrots, there will be a kind of bitterness developed on the carrots.

Bananas should never be refrigerated. They should be kept at room temperature and well ventilated places. The content of carbohydrates might change if potatoes are refrigerated. This will also invite fungal infestation leading to causes of illness.

Honey can never get degraded. But there are many who tend to refrigerate it in spite of knowing the fact. This will lead to loss of its taste, features and also its medicinal properties.

onion and garlic should also be never refrigerated. Microbial pathogens are fond of cut onions and skinned garlic. This will even lead to the poor quality of the fridge where they are stored. It is better to have them cut as per the need.

There is also a practice of refrigerating the cooked green leaves and reheating them. This is not a good practice. It will lead not only to cold and fever but also will deteriorate the nutrients present in them.

Refrigeration technology is not a blessing for us to have the food items preserved for long unless we use it prudently. It will be beneficial only if the food items are properly stored whenever there is a dire necessity to do so and only for a brief period. But it depends only the way we decide to do so.

(This article written by Dr V Vikaramkimar MD(S) in Tamil has been transcreated in English by V Amalan Stanley)

இந்தக் கட்டுரையை தமிழில் வாசிக்க

சமைத்த உணவுகளை ஃப்ரிட்ஜில் வைத்துச் சூடுபடுத்திச் சாப்பிடலாமா?



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