Thursday, January 15, 2009

toxin in sugar-cane juice?

i came upon this clump of sugar-cane plants at the back of some houses along joo avenue. it reminded me of the sugar-cane that we used to grow at the frontyard or backyard of our kampong house.

the other day we were at a food centre when i asked if anyone wanted sugar-cane juice. one of them declined citing a report that a pregnant woman lost her baby after drinking some sugar-cane juice which had rat's urine in it.

i was trying to explain to her that nowadays the sugar-cane do not come to the vendor as a whole plant but they are already cut to a suitable length to fit into a box. yes, in the past, they would be delivered to the stall in whole. the vendor would leave them standing in a corner of the stall.

according to the same report, sugar-cane being porous, whatever liquid was splashed at the base, including animal's urine, would be absorbed by the sugar-cane. so, a rat or a cat could have peed at the base and somehow the urine would have made its way into the cane.

i think some time ago - maybe two years back - there was a email i received which was meant to warn us about the hazard of drinking sugar-cane juice.

i am not affected by the report or the email. however, i do not drink sugar-cane juice as much as i used to because the price has generally gone up by 20% or more.


nah said...

The Hokkien will pray to the Jade Emperor ( Tih Kong ) on the 9th day of Chinese New Year. Sugar-cane stems with leaves are tied to the front left and right legs of the table which is laid with other offerings. Sugar-cane is used for prayer to commemorate the narrow escape of the Hokkien in the past when they were pursued by their enemies and had to hide in the sugar-cane plantation. The sugar-cane plants had saved their lives because the enemies failed to spot them hiding there. The hokkien sound for sugar-cane is “kum cheah” meaning “thank you” and that may be another reason for using sugar-cane to thank the jade emperor for good blessings

yg said...

when we lived in the kampong i used to stay up way past midnight to keep my parents company while they prayed to the tii kong. my mother was unaware that i was helping myself to the tempting food, like prawn fritters and ngoh hiang, laid out on the table even before she started praying.

Lam Chun See said...

Even in the earlier days when they left the sugar canes standing in the corner of stall, thousands of Sporeans drank the sugar cane daily without much damage. I think our human body is quite resilient.

Another likely problem is drinks cans. When we open it, we push down the metal tap which is left in open and exposed to all kinds of contamination.

yg said...

chun see, according to this account, it affected the fetus of a pregnant woman. it did not seem to cause harm to adults. anyway, i would take 'such report' with a pinch of salt.

Pomegranate Health Benefits said...

I didn't realize that there is toxins in sugar cane. The report about the woman losing her baby would make you think twice. I know its not scientific fact and only word of mouth but it still makes you wonder.

yg said...

anyway, nowadays the sugar cane comes nicely cut and packed in boxes. no danger of contamination.