Omega 3 oils
If we all ate omega 3 oils, it could save millions in health care bills. The Guardian reported that the long-chain fatty acids DHA and EPA, mainly found in oily fish such as mackerel (locally known as rumahan) and tuna, have been shown to protect against cardiovascular disease and age-related mental decline, and are essential for brain development in the womb (pregnant ladies, take note on this and read here on a related earlier post).
The problem is, if we all are to consume the recommended 450mg daily dose of the oils, said The Guardian, it would devastate the already fragile fish stocks (Fisheries Department – please check this for our part of the world).
One of the solutions suggested by a group of scientists is genetically modify plants to produce omega 3 oils, and then add them to animal feed, in order for them to appear in meat, milk, and eggs. Brillianto!
Read more related story here from The Guardian.
EPA and DHA are made by microscopic marine algae, and enter the food chain via fish that feed on the algae. British researcher, Ian Napier took genes from the algae and inserted them into linseed and oilseed rape crops so that these produced the oils. If such GM (genetically modified) crops were routinely fed to farm animals, it could create a source of omega 3 oil that would not only be sustainable, but also free of the mercury contamination that affects many oil fish. [GM crops are still being debated in the west though as they are safe for consumption or not]
Anyway, I hope the Ministry of Health would include omega 3 oils as part of its health awareness campaign. Tell the public to eat more rumahan and other fish so there would be less (if not zero) cases of heart and mental problems in the country. This would save the health bill in the long run. You are what you eat after all.