He claims "momos" are filled with MSG and other unhealthy ingredients.
Dumplings: They’re delicious, they’re adorable, and for a lot of people, they’re more than a food; they’re a bona fide way of life.
But now, their very existence is being threatened.
Before you freak out, let’s clarify that not all dumplings are in danger of extinction. It’s just those of the “momo” variety that we need to look out for. Momos are soft, plump dumplings that have become nearly synonymous with street fare in India after having been introduced to the country by Tibetan refugees. Oh, and they’re often filled with MSG—which is why one politician is claiming they should be banned.
Ramesh Arora, a legislator from India’s Bharatiya Janata Party, is behind the movement, according to the Hindustan Times.
"Momos have been found to be the root cause of several life-threatening diseases, including cancer of the intestine," he said. "Besides memory loss, regular consumption for two to three years causes cancer of the stomach. They are found to be more harmful than alcohol and psychotropic drugs."
His unflattering thoughts about momos have reached the office of Indian health minister Bali Bhagat, and now, there’s talk of a possible ban in the state of Jammu and Kashmir. His campaigning, it seems, could be credited with a recent 35 percent drop in momo sales in Jammu.
But Twitter users are pretty appalled.
"Dear [Bharatiya Janata Party], Just a reminder, India its a country not a restaurant where you decide the menu. #MOMOs #MomoBan," wrote user @iamroystonferns. Other #MomoBan posts show people eating as many dumplings as they can to "prep for the ban." At least user #guptaetika found a silver lining: "The only person who will be happy [with the] #MomoBan is my mother."
What’s more, the FDA (albeit a U.S. agency) has written that MSG is “generally recognized as safe."
Just in case the mere thought of dumplings disappearing has you shaking in your boots, here are some healthy dumpling recipes to tide you over: First, learn how to make basic dumplings; then, try your hand at our pork dumplings with chile-sesame sauce, or maybe impress your friends with some soup dumplings. These kimchi dumplings are a guaranteed crowd-pleaser, too...as are these chicken and lemongrass dumplings.
We'll say it—a good dumpling should be everyone's god-given right.