Food packaging over the years has evolved into different styles. The way food is packaged is important and contributes to either getting more customers or losing customers. In the olden days, the most popular form of food packaging was wrapping food in leaves. Foods were commonly packaged in leaves and things like plastic, rubbers and metal containers were not common in the field of food packaging. Various types of foods such as waakye, beans, rice, Tuo-zaafi, kenkey and banku can be served in leaves. However with time, food packaging has taken a different turn. The use of plastics and rubbers have now become the commonest way of packaging food due to its convenience. Even though the use of leaves are still existent, plastics and rubbers are dominant. Some would argue that the use of such rubbers and plastics indicates technological advancements, but it has on the other hand led to several other challenges which were not experienced when leaves were being used.
Unlike rubbers that have been proven to have health implications especially when used to package hot foods, leaves have rather been proven to be of medical benefit. Leaves used for food packing included plantain and pawpaw leaves. These leaves have been proven to be of nutritional value to people. Some leaves used to wrap foods have also been found to contain medicinal components good for the health as well. Rubbers and plastics on the other hand have been proven to have a negative effect on the health conditions of people. Aside from the fact that packaging food in leaves comes with a unique flavour and aroma, the taste of the food, especially waakye packaged in leaves, hits differently. It comes with a pleasant aroma and some even say that the taste of waakye packaged in leaves is better than the taste of waakye packaged in rubber or plastic.
Plastics may have been helpful in several ways but it’s negative sides cannot be overlooked. The use of rubbers and plastics for food packaging has contributed to plastic waste . In Accra for instance it is common to see heaps of rubbish mainly filled with plastic wastes. That would not have been the case if leaves are still being used for food packaging. Instead, the system keeps creating more and more plastic wastes which mostly end up on the streets of Accra causing heaps of rubbish. Even though some people are aware of the negative sides as well as the health implications of using plastics for food packaging, most are unable to stop using it due to some advantages it has over leaves.
Use of plastic and rubbers for food packaging is easier compared to leaves. It is convenient as well. Plastics have made food preservation possible. Through the use of plastics microorganisms and bacteria are prevented from entering food to cause food spoilage. Plastics have also become more common to access than leaves. This and many more other reasons have made it impossible for people to revert back to the use of leaves.
By: Saeed Fridaus
Content created and supplied by: DemPolice (via Opera News )
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