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Somtam slowly killing many Thais, cancer center says

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This report, comes as no surprise to me, at all.

Chilli's are not indigenous to Thailand and can be very dangerous, if consumed, as they are here, in such huge amounts per meal.

It's a fact!

I've tried so many times to educate Thais, by asking them to 'CUT DOWN ON THE CHILLI', but my advise seems to go in one ear and out the other.

Thais seem to think that chilli's are just a Thai thing, which they are not, and that only Thais can eat them. How wrong they are !

Westerners can also eat spicy food too, but when a Thai sees a foreigner, especially from the West, eating spicy food, it's almost, a disbelieve on their part.

But what do I know? I'm just a foreigner!

Up to them!

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6 hours ago, ChrisY1 said:

I wouldn't think there would be iota of evidence, or, that there is any science at all to back this good doctors statements....with 60,000 people dying annually from cancer of varying forms, to blame somtam, seems a rather off the cuff statement.

Detection methods of determining disease has improved greatly as have treatments......maybe more people are taking advantage of the 30 baht scheme....whatever, there a host of reasons.

This maybe not quite true. My former Thai wife was (and still is) a Head of Ward Nurse at the local general hospital. They did their own research into Somtam and categorized people who ate this dish 1, 2 and 3 times a day. I was surprised, when she was doing some stats on it, at how how many Thais ate Somtam 3 times a day. In those that ate 2 or 3 times a day had a large peak in the graphs for stomach ailments while those who ate Somtam once a day or a couple of times a week didn't suffer much more than non-eaters.

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7 hours ago, Dmaxdan said:


Well sweating is body's way of cooling down, and remember that most Thai people don't naturally sweat as much as us Farangs.
So there is a certain logo as to why hot countries such as Thailand have a spicy cuisine.


Sent from my iPad using Thailand Forum - Thaivisa mobile app

I also read somewhere recently that eating hot spices and chillies actually kill bacteria in the food  ,...therefore making it possible to eat safely things that to westerners are a no no!

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Too much chillies are bad for you, and seeing the lack of hygiene here so is raw fish.

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8 hours ago, jaltsc said:

"While he noted that causes of cancer vary, Thais’ love of “pla ra” or raw fish used in somtam, as well as other undercooked foods are responsible for increased rates of worm infections, which can lead to liver cancer."

 

At best, he is illustrating an association, but not a cause and effect scenario.  Considering all the other unhealthy habits and environmental conditions associated with Thai lifestyle (High sodium and Sugar intake, High consumption of reused oil, use of agricultural sprays which have been banned in western nations, tobacco use, lack of adequate exercise, etc.) I find it unrealistic to blame one isolated micro factor. Perhaps further scientific research might isolate the main causes. However, I doubt many can effectively argue that an immediate reduction in the consumption of of the foods containing the elements mentioned above, better regulation of agricultural products, more exercise, etc. would not benefit many Thais. Sometimes common sense is the first step, especially when there are minimal negative side effects associated with those changes in lifestyle. 

Also, if there is a correlation, I would think cancer numbers should be falling as the number of Thais  eating somtam with raw ingredients must be falling as there is a public awareness, in Isan at least, of the danger and most vendors now sell somtam with cooked ingredients not raw. My missus at least is aware and says this and only buys somtam made with cooked 'bala' and not  uncooked.

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8 hours ago, overherebc said:

Never been a fan of thai food myself and never understood the reasoning behind eating food that has so much chilli in it. 

It always strikes me as strange that food should bring on a sweating session, red face and a need to drink litres of water to kill/cool off the burn. More like a competition than enjoyment. Locally I sometimes have TomYam Kung and ask them to bring the chilli in another side dish. Usually they bring 15 or so chillies in the dish for one bowl of soup.

Someone at the table will be happy to have them and add to their own bowl then sit there gasping, sweating and saying Aroi Aroi.

No way can that be good for your stomach lining or intestines over a lifetime.

My take on extreme spices is that in countries where the traditional food is simple such as rice, mexico, thai, china, etc.  to alleviate the boredom of the same bland taste day after day, over years, the cultures evolved into hot spices.

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2 minutes ago, gk10002000 said:

My take on extreme spices is that in countries where the traditional food is simple such as rice, mexico, thai, china, etc.  to alleviate the boredom of the same bland taste day after day, over years, the cultures evolved into hot spices.

I thought chili  was used originally to mask the bad taste and smell of food going off in such hot tropical climates. Whatever, in those countries that do traditionally eat it, they seem to become addicted to it, like a drug, so that they cannot enjoy any food, or at least most of it,  unless it is spicy.

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8 hours ago, Bluespunk said:

Reminds me of a friend at university back in the day.

 

After a night out we'd all head to a local curry place and order whatever. This guy had a thing about eating the hottest thing on the menu, didn't give a toss what it was so long as it was hot.

 

Mostly he'd get a vindaloo, but one evening after we been a rather long session he was a bit more belligerent than usual and started mouthing off that vindaloos weren't that hot and we were all pussies-or words to that effect. The staff [I'm guessing] took offence at this and told him there was an especially hot curry called a tindaloo, but was too hot for most people.

 

Man, he went off on a big one and started demanding he be given this. The staff eventually agreed and walked away with huge grins on their faces.

 

When the dish finally arrived, I swear it was curry sauce, mystery meat and more chillies than I've ever seen in my life. The thing glowed. You could feel the heat coming off it [well maybe that's just my imagination but that's how it felt]

 

My mate started eating it and immediately began sweating like a dog in heat. He was dripping and his whole face took on a bright red shine. He was clearly in pain but wouldn't admit it and ate the whole thing [well most of it]. Kept on claiming it was ok though.

 

The next day was hell for him and he spent most of the day in the toilet.

 

Funny thing is, he never went to that curry place again. I'd like to say he calmed down a bit on the hotter the better shtick, but he never did.

 

He was a bit of <deleted> if I'm honest though. 

I can remember when Indian restaurants first started opening up in the UK a Tindaloo was normally in the menu but now have not seen it for the past 15 years or so. My limit is a Madras so not a problem for me but I did ask a waiter once and he said UK people just couldn't manage it, so off the menu.

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8 hours ago, overherebc said:

See last post on chilli. It's an introduced plant to Thailand. Only a few hundred years if that long.

Seems like 16th century to India and a little bit later to other countries in the area.

Thus, Europeans! do not eat patatos, they are impoted from America. Dangerous!

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BANGKOK 17 August 2018 04:21
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