People have been asking, whether is it safe to consume instant nasi impit in plastic bag?
Call it nasi hempit, nasi impit, nasi kapit or ketupat.
It is all the same. Compressed or compact rice.
This traditional dish which is popular during the Hari Raya Aidil Fitri season.
Originally, nasi hempit or ketupat is wrapped in the coconut leaf-woven casing as shown below.
But these days of convenience, you can buy instant nasi hempit wrapped in plastic bag from your neighborhood kedai runcit (grocery shop).
Personally, if I know it plastic wrapped ketupat, I WOULD AVOID eating it.
Instant Nasi Impit In Plastic Bag
This Hari Raya, my Malay neighbor gave me a couple of plastic-encased nasi hempit and some serunding daging (beef floss).
Not to offend my good neighbor, I accepted them, but I discreetly tossed the compressed rice wrapped in the plastic bag away.
I just eat the beef floss.
From what I have read, plastic can leach (seep) when it is boiled in high temperature, and it can be carcinogenic (the ability to cause the development of a cancer).
According to a toxicologist from Universiti Malaya, plastic wrappers were not only bad for the environment but many had compounds not yet verified as safe.
These compounds were Bisphenol A (BPA) and newer types Bisphenol B (BPB), Bisphenol S (BPS) and Bisphenol AF (BPAF).
When plastic is boiled, the chemicals used to produce it, can leach into the food being prepared due to a high temperature. Polycarbonate plastic releases the chemical Bisphenol A (BPA).
Toxicologist Prof Dr Mustafa Ali Mohd said these compounds may affect the endocrine system in the long term and can also lead to fertility and thyroid problems, as well as diabetes.
In addition, the chemicals called phthalates used in making plastics, had been linked to obesity.
It is reported that the risks of cooking at high temperatures in plastic bags are: melting plastic and leached chemicals into your food.
I do not know whether those instant plastic-bag nasi impit is safe to eat or not.
They always make the usual dubious claim: acceptable level!
So, why put my health at risk for this carbohydrate-filled food?
We should keep nasi hempit in its traditional way; beautifully wrapped in woven coconut leaves.
Similarly, nasi daun pisang (banan leaf rice) should served on clean authentic banana leaves.