Peddling food myths in the time of pandemic

Food myths
Given the fear that comes with this pandemic, people tend to believe in ‘WhatsApp forwards’ that perpetuate food myths surrounding coronavirus. | Image - Eunice Dhivya

In his two-decade long career as a scientist at the National Institute of Nutrition (NIN), Hyderabad, Abhinay Deshpande has never been bombarded with so many questions from acquaintances and friends, and even strangers.

Ever since the outbreak of coronavirus and the lockdown that followed, he has been encountering a flood of queries from friends, long-lost relatives and strangers at the residents’ association meetings at his apartment complex — all pertaining to what food items to eat and what to avoid to keep the deadly virus at bay.

“I get introduced to random people even inside an elevator and they start bombarding me with questions as bizarre as whether having rasam will cure coronavirus infection,” Deshpande says, recalling his ordeal.

The Sunday meetings of the RWA routinely turn into free-for-all sessions on nutrition where members peddle their own sets of myths, giving lecture to those willing to listen on Dos and Don’ts on “food items that one needs to take” in the time of pandemic.

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