SUARA RAKYAT ■ As an Indonesian, certainly no stranger to traditional food served with a banana leaf plate. In addition to the natural and comfortable impression, eating a banana leaf plate has many health benefits.
Some countries in Asia have the habit of using banana leaves as food wrappers. Call it Indonesia, Malaysia, Thailand and India. Even though it seems old-fashioned, the traditional way of eating which has been done since ancient times turned out to provide several benefits both for health and the environment.
Banana leaves are rich in polyphenols, the same antioxidants found in green tea leaves. Polyphenols are natural antioxidants that can fight free radicals and prevent various diseases.
Banana leaves are not recommended for direct eating because it is difficult for the body to digest. But when used to wrap food, the food in it can absorb polyphenols from banana leaves. Efficacy of antioxidants can be obtained although not too significant.
In addition, banana leaves are also believed to contain anti-bacteria that kill germs and bacteria in food, thereby reducing your risk of disease. With notes, if the banana leaf has been previously cleaned and also comes from a clean environment.
Food tastes better
Banana leaves have a waxy coating that has a distinctive aroma. When hot food is placed on or in the leaf, the 'candle' will melt and spread the sweet aroma to the food.
Food tastes better and tastes better. In comparison, rice cake wrapped in banana leaves and wrapped in plastic, of course it tastes much better the first time.
Packaging food with plastic or Styrofoam containers is a form of environmental indifference. Plastic and Styrofoam are difficult to break down by soil and require tens, even hundreds of years, to be integrated into the earth.
Foods wrapped in banana leaves are much more environmentally friendly because they break down easily in a short time. Only in a matter of weeks, even days.
Tableware such as plates / bowls made of plastic, melamine or metal need to be washed with soap and water. This method of washing will leave traces or residues of chemicals and if not thoroughly rinsed, will cause poison. While banana leaves are cleaned by washing in clean water, then wiped using a clean cloth. So that food is free of chemicals.
Instead of eating with plastic, styrofoam, and greaseproof containers, banana leaves are more natural and risk-free because they do not contain harmful chemicals.
More often use banana leaves as a dinner plate, because the banana leaf plate is more healthy and natural while preserving Indonesia's eating culture.