Hawkers must focus on the science of food

Presently, hawkers are more focused on the economics rather than the science of food (More hawker stalls must sell healthy food, Ms Yeo Boon Eng; Aug 30).

A focus on science encompasses the systematic study of structure and behaviour of the physical and natural world (in this case, food) through observation and experiment.

Economics, however, deals with the production, distribution and consumption of goods and services or the material welfare of humankind.

Pioneer hawkers understood the science of healthy food. They cared and showed concern for the health of their consumers.

The granny at Xi Le Ting Chinese dessert stall (Sweet soup worth slurping up; Aug 27) is an example of such a hawker.

Another example could be a seller of soya bean drinks who advises women not to drink such drinks if they are pregnant, as it might be too "cooling".

Few of the present hawkers are like this. The prolific use of artificial ingredients and flavouring nowadays can be harmful and give rise to health issues.

Maybe, in addition to grading the hawker stalls on hygiene, we could recognise those who are informed and responsible.

Lowering rents for these stalls is one way to encourage hawkers to sell healthy food.

Irene Tan (Ms)

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on September 01, 2017, with the headline 'Hawkers must focus on the science of food'. Print Edition | Subscribe