“Watching the sun making way for the dark clouds, you anticipate the arrival of rain. Grooving to the beat of your new favourite song blasting in the kitchen, you reach for the cupboard and take out the packet of Maggi with ease. The soothing sound of the noodles crashing in the boiling water plays in the background, as you add the Tastemaker with casual familiarity. Minutes pass by and your mouth begins to water as the aroma of the delicacy surrounds you. Still swaying to the rhythm of the song, you eat your Maggi from a bowl with a fork while watching the raindrops beat against the windowpane. Perfect!”

One thing that will always remind me of my childhood is Maggi. Whenever I’m being controlled by my cravings, MAGGI TO THE RESCUE! After years of Maggi-making practice, I decided to do a bit of research. Where did it originate? What is Maggi made of? Is it healthy? Let’s begin our search for answers to these burning questions.

Firstly, for those who don’t know what Maggi is, shame on you! Maggi is an international brand of seasonings, instant soup and noodles. For years, I thought Maggi originated in India but turns out, this revolutionary brand originated in Switzerland! Many a time, working women and busy families did not have time to prepare healthy food. So in 1884, Swiss entrepreneur Julius Maggi decided to form the brand ‘Maggi’ that made nutritious food easily accessible to such families. Interestingly, the first thing he invented was powdered pea and bean soup.

In 1947, Maggi was acquired by the well-known brand Nestlé.

Now, what is Maggi made up of? Maggi is made up of wheat flour, wheat gluten, salt, mineral, guar gum and edible vegetable oil. Fun fact: wheat flour or maida is not whole wheat but an unhealthy and refined version of it.

Some day when you are casually making yourself a bowl full of tasty Maggi noodles, have a quick peek at the ingredients. It says “palm oil”. Let me tell you something about palm oil. It’s bad news. One of the worst kind of saturated fat.

Have you ever made noodles at home? Not Maggi, just noodles. The ingredients required to make noodles are flour, salt, eggs and water. Then why does Maggi require oil in the first place? Why is this so-called-healthy food being deep-fried? Weird, right?

The mouth-watering Tastemaker aka the foundation of Maggi isn’t good for our body either. It has unhealthy amounts of sodium – up to 1200 mg. A human adult shouldn’t consume more than 2400 mg of sodium per day. Long story short, if you consume more than 2 packets of Maggi per day, there are chances that you may get affected by the ill-effects of sodium.

Remember when Maggi was banned from the markets? People were protesting on roads and social media with the hashtag “#missyoumaggi”. It was a great loss for the Indian market to lose one of its most famous noodles. The ban, however, was because of the amount of lead found in Maggi, which was significantly high, being over 17ppm when the authorized amount is 0.1ppm. Experts say that taking this amount of lead can have dangerous psychological and digestive effects. Another ingredient that was found in massive quantity was MSG. Excess of MSG can lead to neurological disorders. Both MSG and lead together might even lead to cancer!

After some time, Maggi revised its formula and launched a new Maggi once again, which was, as they claimed, healthier and tastier.

It’s not wrong to eat Maggi every once in a while, maybe once or even twice a week. You can even try adding some vegetables and experimenting with paneer, tofu and foods with other forms of protein.

It’s hard to walk away from Maggi, knowing that most of us grew up with this product. It’s not just a two-minute Maggi for us, but also a reminder of our childhood. However, in conclusion, Maggi might not be the healthiest option.

– Saara Mathur, Amity International School, Noida

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