Tweaked and healthier versions of hawker food will soon be norm in Singapore

Diabetes is a scourge plaguing this day and age, and the Government's far-sightedness and firm actions to eliminate the disease are to be complimented.

The hawkers and eateries in this fight deserve kudos too, as they do so at the risk of a reduction in business during the transition period when people's taste buds adapt to new recipes and somewhat altered tastes (One known Law for healthier Teochew kueh, and ST looks at healthy hawker eats in first part of series on diabetes; both published on June 19).

When I first ate char kway teow fried with vegetable oil, I missed the tiny lard bits and thought that the dish tasted horrible, devoid of the taste possible only with pork oil.

But over time, I became repulsed by the dish cooked in the traditional way.

Similarly, after adapting to drinking coffee without sugar, I can no longer tolerate my cuppa loaded with sugar and condensed milk.

In the past few years, there have been lamentations about the falling quality of hawker food and the lack of a younger generation of hawkers, spurring efforts by organisations to organise initiatives like the Singapore Hawker Masters awards.

Efforts like this are opportunities to introduce our younger generation to healthier versions of hawker food.

Education and change management must not cease.

Over time, tweaked versions of the traditional hawker food will become the norm and a healthier nation will emerge.

Michael Loh Toon Seng (Dr)

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on June 20, 2018, with the headline 'Tweaked and healthier versions of hawker food will soon be norm in Singapore'. Print Edition | Subscribe