In Karachi, or perhaps in almost all parts of Pakistan, it is a common practice in local eateries including the hawkers, dhaabas, road side restaurants and even some well known local restaurants, that they wrap the edibles in the newspaper or some sort of envelope made of newspaper. Since, this is a cheap alternative to the normal envelopes, thus this method is quite popular in almost all local eateries.
But the question regarding this practice is that “Is it safe and healthy to use the Newspaper as a wrapper for food items?” The obvious answer to this question is a big NO.
The problem is that when the edibles are wrapped inside the newspaper, the food absorbs a considerable amount of the ink from the newspaper. This absorption would be higher if the food item is hot as well. The ink used for printing contains dangerous and toxic material which could be injurious to health. This may cause digestive problems and may even lead to cancer if consumed on regular basis. But the irony of the fact is that we are quite ignorant of the dangers it poses to our health.
The sinister aspect of this issue is that, this practice of using newspaper as wrappers has set its root so deeply among the hawkers, dhaabas and other eateries that we can’t change them all, rather they would resist this change as this would cause an overhead to their business. So, the best we could do collectively is to bring awareness among them and among our loved ones about this issue. Further, wherever possible, take your own paper bag or clothe bag and ask them to parcel your stuff in that. This way, you could at least eliminate the dangers of consuming newspaper ink at your end. It will also be useful to spread awareness about this problem among the masses and set a healthy and practical example for others to follow.
Wishing you a Happy and Healthy Eating! 🙂