McDonald's Vs Bottle Gourd: Why the Ghiya-Tori Won This Battle
McDonald's, the burger chain, was called out for making fun of vegetables.
McDonald's, the burger chain, was called out for making fun of vegetables.(Photo: iStock)

McDonald's Vs Bottle Gourd: Why the Ghiya-Tori Won This Battle

Recently India's top food regulator FSSAI (Food Safety and Standards Association of India) slapped a show-cause notice on McDonald’s for belittling freshly cooked food and vegetables in its advertisements.

The bone of contention: a full page advertisement by McDonald's in New Delhi and Mumbai newspapers that said “Stuck with Ghiya-Tori Again? Make the 1+1 Combo you love"

“Tendency of the food companies to disparage freshly cooked food and vegetables that are healthier is a matter of grave concern. Such adver-tisements are against national efforts for promoting healthier and right eating habits. Food companies must desist from issuing advertise-ments/publicity materials which are in violation of Food Safety & Stand-ards Act, 2006 and rules/regulations made there under,” states Pawan Agarwal, Chief Executive Officer (CEO) FSSAI.


Now, every knows everything there is to know about how bad junk food is. One meal can sometimes be an equivalent of (or higher than) what you are supposed to eat in an entire day.

It is a no brainer that fast food is bad for us because it is extremely high in fat, and high in sugar, and high in salt. The three red flags all doctors warn us about.

  • See even if they are heating up your burger in the oven before giving it to you, you do know that the pattie has been fried in fat.

  • The sugar content is sky-high too; one cola can give you 8-10 tsp of sugar. Yes 10 tsp, which equals to about 180-200 odd calories. Digest that!

  • Plus they are loaded with additives and chemicals and preservatives and lots of sodium too… all harbingers of (very) bad health.

So why do we eat them? Taste and convenience. And also because the companies who make them have spent a lot (really a lot) of money to make them addictive. And hired the best advertising and marketing brains.

So What Can You Do?

The more junk you eat, the more you crave.
The more junk you eat, the more you crave.
(Photo: iStockphoto)

Besides staying wise, and seeing though the glib advertising, you could follow these fast food fixes too:

The more junk you eat, the more you crave. Plus it is hard to resist food when it’s right in front of you, and that too tasty, junk, which doesn’t need any preparation, and effort on your part. So the first step is to make them less accessible.

  • Make rules: I would say pencil them in (strictly) only twice a month. No more. And stick to this rule. Also always go to the restaurant and eat; don’t order in.

  • Be Smart With Your Orders: With a slice or two of pizza with vegetables, order a salad and skip the colas. Also always scout the menu very carefully and opt for the less offensive (to your health) foods.

  • Beware of Super Sizing: it costs more to eat less. Yes, sad but true. This is a great marketing ploy to get you to buy more; drawback is you will end up eating more fat, cholesterol and sugar just because you think you are getting more bang for your buck.

  • Forget Fried: You don’t want the extra fat, and yes the meanest devil of all the trans fats, which the junk food deliver plenty of.

  • Water it Down: No aerated drinks please. Have water with meals. Save both money and calories.

And as far as ghiya - tori (bottle gourd and ridge gourd) are concerned, well this might be a surprise for you but these humble, underrated foods have a sedative effect on us. That means they calm and relax us thanks to the good amount of the essential nutrient choline they deliver. Choline works as a neurotransmitter that works on the brain and helps prevent stress, depression and other mental disorders.

Recipes to Make Your Giya-Tori Taste Good!

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(Kavita is a nutritionist, weight management consultant and health writer based in Delhi. She is the author of Don’t Diet! 50 Habits of Thin People (Jaico) and Ultimate Grandmother Hacks: 50 Kickass Traditional Habits for a Fitter You (Rupa).)

(Delhi is in a public health emergency. The air outside is visibly toxic - how has the hazardous air #pollution impacted you? Write down your #PollutionKaSolution and send it to us at

Also Read : Do You Find Yourself Bingeing on Junk Food After Sleepless Nights?

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