While some Mumbai colleges have decided to stop selling Maggi noodles on their campuses, students have mixed opinions about the controversy over the product, which is a staple in college canteens and hostels.
On the one hand, some feel that students should look at healthier snacks, while on the other, there are those who still swear by Maggi and have taken to expressing their support for it through social media.
The noodles have been a hot favourite among students staying at college hostels for years now. The controversy over the constituents found in a packet of noodles, however, has led to consumption plummeting at hostels. Sudhanshu Shome, an MA - Music student who stays at the university hostel at Churchgate, said, “We were disappointed when we read news reports about the presence of an excess of lead in Maggi noodles. It was our saviour in times of midnight hunger. Now, more than 40 % of the students in the hostel have completely stopped consuming it."
Shome added, "As an alternative for Maggi noodles, we keep multi-grain biscuits or other snacks with us. A few students who are not aware of the controversy are still having Maggi.”
Others said they will continue eating the noodles. A final-year BTech student from Indian Institute of Technology, Bombay (IIT-B) said, on condition of anonymity, “We have been consuming Maggi noodles for the past few years and we will continue to do so. It is our staple food. It has not affected our health. It will not make any difference.”
Some students feel that the action taken by the Food and Drugs Authority (FDA) indicates that the authorities were quite ignorant earlier. “Maggi is not a completely healthy food and still it was a favourite with most youngsters. If there is a ban, we do not have any other option but to stop consuming it," said Sneha Ramachandran, a third-year BA student from Vaze College, Mulund. "There is no logic behind the action against Maggi noodles now when students have been consuming it for more than 20 years. The concerned authorities need to be alert all the time about the food items sold at college campus."