Team-BHP > Shifting gears


Reply
 
Search this Thread
Old 27th January 2022, 17:37   #16
BHPian
 
Join Date: Sep 2015
Location: Gurgaon
Posts: 728
Thanked: 2,210 Times
Default Re: Why fresh home food rocks & stale outside food sucks

Well, ideally everyone should grow their own food, harvest it and cook it as people in villages still do. But that's not an option.

With everyone working from home, we don't get time to cook ourselves all the time (and online meetings do not give us a free window at the same time everyday to cook and eat lunch without hurrying up).

Not everyone can afford cooks and not many like the idea of someone else cooking the food for you (while the same person might be doing cleaning services at some other homes, for example. Or, cooks working at multiple households can spread Covid).

Plus, few months every year, there is extreme cold or extreme hot weather - when you don't always have the courage to cook 2 times daily.

Also, you cannot always plan to get all raw materials for the dish you "may" want to eat any specific day. Look at the choices out there!

There are many reasons why outside food business exists and flourish. Outside food can never match the freshness and hygiene of home cooked food. We (talking about me, and possibly many more here) can minimize it but can't let go off it entirely.
Nav-i-gator is offline   (12) Thanks
Old 27th January 2022, 17:51   #17
GTO
Team-BHP Support
 
GTO's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2004
Location: Bombay
Posts: 65,016
Thanked: 248,405 Times
Default Re: Why fresh home food rocks & stale outside food sucks

Quote:
Originally Posted by am1m View Post
All those guys saying they don't eat old food at home, do you guys do the cooking?
We have a full-time cook at home. But when I was in the USA, I cooked myself for 2 years.

Also, part-time cooks are available in Bombay for 7 - 10k / month, which isn't unaffordable for car owners (Team-BHP audience). Might be way cheaper outside of Bombay & the big metros.

Quote:
Originally Posted by deathwalkr View Post
While there is generally no denying that hotel foods are unhealthy compared to home cooked meals what is the issue in frozen foods if done correctly?
Quote:
Originally Posted by Miyata View Post
The process of deep freezing does preserve many nutrients for a longer period of time - much published (peer reviewed) information on this.
No real nutritional advantage to frozen over fresh right?

I still believe that fresh is fresh. If there were two plates in front of you = same dish, same price, same taste. One is just cooked from fresh ingredients, the other frozen...what would you choose?

I'm not putting 2 year old food in my mouth, that's for sure.
GTO is offline   (10) Thanks
Old 27th January 2022, 18:09   #18
BHPian
 
deathwalkr's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2007
Location: Trivandrum
Posts: 981
Thanked: 2,112 Times
Default Re: Why fresh home food rocks & stale outside food sucks

Quote:
Originally Posted by GTO View Post
No real nutritional advantage to frozen over fresh right?

I still believe that fresh is fresh. If there were two plates in front of you = same dish, same price, same taste. One is just cooked from fresh ingredients, the other frozen...what would you choose?

I'm not putting 2 year old food in my mouth, that's for sure.
2year old frozen food might be an extreme example here. If we have choices then by all means we choose the fresh option but having to choose frozen food for whatever reasons does not necessarily mean it's bad. Just look if it has added salt/sugar to prolong the life and avoid those if possible.

And frozen need not mean stale? Stale food always sucks. No doubts about that.

Anyway, we can go around in circles about this.

Bottom line is, eat healthy be well
deathwalkr is offline   (18) Thanks
Old 27th January 2022, 18:40   #19
Team-BHP Support
 
Samurai's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2005
Location: Bangalore/Udupi
Posts: 25,065
Thanked: 35,259 Times
Default Re: Why fresh home food rocks & stale outside food sucks

Storing food for long times (say months) was very common even before refrigerators were invented. In fact, in cold climates people spent lots of time hording food (even meat) for winter season, since hunting/foraging was very hard in winter due to snow.

However, due to globalization and technology, in the last 70-80 years, we have access to fresher and very well preserved food.

https://wonderopolis.org/wonder/How-...-Refrigerators
Samurai is offline   (29) Thanks
Old 27th January 2022, 18:44   #20
BHPian
 
Join Date: Jun 2014
Location: Mumbai
Posts: 425
Thanked: 826 Times
Default Re: Why fresh home food rocks & stale outside food sucks

I am not sure if anyone here does this but we tend to buy Peas in winter season by bulk and store them in zip lock bags in freezer. I personally don't think this is wrong and just makes sense due to better pricing of peas during winters. When to stock exhausts, only options are safal like frozen peas from Dmart or online stores.

Additionally, sometimes my wife will make Gravy which she uses in Panner Sabji and keep it frozen and say someday she has to make paneer sabji in morning, she will keep the dabba in fridge to let it thaw and use and refreeze remaining gravy.
raksrules is offline   (4) Thanks
Old 27th January 2022, 19:13   #21
Senior - BHPian
 
jkrishnakj's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2010
Location: Bangalore
Posts: 1,429
Thanked: 2,897 Times
Default Re: Why fresh home food rocks & stale outside food sucks

Ever since we moved to a new place, we lost the options of Swiggy/Zomato services because of how far our place is. So, the habit of a weekly pizza or something else has stopped. Then came the pandemic and we got used to local farmers delivering fresh veggies.

As a family, we feel so much more healthier over the past 3-4 years. Even during the times between the first and second lockdown, we used to carry home cooked food to eat enroute, in our road trips.

Slowly, the habit of eating out is starting again. And we are driving out without carrying home cooked food. Need to re-start the good habits.

Last edited by Chetan_Rao : 27th January 2022 at 19:16. Reason: typo
jkrishnakj is offline   (6) Thanks
Old 27th January 2022, 19:16   #22
Distinguished - BHPian
 
dhanushs's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2009
Location: Chennai
Posts: 4,053
Thanked: 8,678 Times
Default Re: Why fresh home food rocks & stale outside food sucks

Quote:
Originally Posted by Samurai View Post
... in cold climates people spent lots of time hording food (even meat) for winter season, since hunting/foraging was very hard in winter due to snow.
...

In Wayanad, we used to have smoked beef and pork. I distinctively remember beef slices being hanged over the fireplace, mostly in Christian houses, sometimes for months. Those when cooked with proper spices would just taste heavenly!

Also for me, all Veg food, I'd like it to have fresh. However, w.r.t non-veg food, I've almost always noticed the taste get better the next day.

https://www.taste.com.au/articles/sc...t-day/riykkcje

BUT - I think if it doesnt have a flavour advantage, always best to choose fresh!
dhanushs is offline   (20) Thanks
Old 27th January 2022, 19:34   #23
BHPian
 
kraft.wagen's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2009
Location: LA <---> Coimbatore
Posts: 962
Thanked: 304 Times
Default Re: Why fresh home food rocks & stale outside food sucks

Frozen vegetables tend to be a good choice as they are flash froze almost immediately after harvesting. The fruits and vegetables we get in India are not necessarily fresh unless they come from local regions else most of them travel thousands of miles in cold storage.
kraft.wagen is offline   (6) Thanks
Old 27th January 2022, 19:35   #24
Distinguished - BHPian
 
vigsom's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2006
Location: NSEW
Posts: 3,369
Thanked: 16,919 Times
Default Re: Why fresh home food rocks & stale outside food sucks

Quote:
Originally Posted by GTO View Post
Fresh, home cooked meals rock; healthier, fresher, cheaper
Agree with you @GTO, on that, and we have reduced eating out to almost zero for the last 3 years or so. We have found a workaround that cuts the monotony of being in the kitchen for too long, yet helps us have healthy food. Details as follows:

Quote:
Originally Posted by Miyata View Post
- The process of deep freezing does preserve many nutrients for a longer period of time
- unavoidable reliance of frozen foods
Quote:
Originally Posted by am1m View Post
fresh food everyday is better, but that works only if you have the luxury of someone cooking for you, or if you enjoy cooking.
In the 90s, when my wife and kid would go on long vacations when schools would close for the summer or Diwali breaks, I would find it difficult to manage shift duties and cook healthy food at home. I did manage in one season but even there, had to prepare larger batches and refrigerate. Came up with this solution that was institutionalized and has been the norm for almost 20 years, everytime the boss is out of station for upwards of a week.

1. She would make portions of various veggies - paneer capsicum, guvar- Chana dal (it's called paruppusili down south), Chana, Rajma, bhindi, Dal, aloo-soya
2. Split the portions into small one portion-a-meal eg.150gms and store each such small portion in separate small containers
Why fresh home food rocks & stale outside food sucks-smallportioncontainers.jpg
3. Put all these containers into the freezer
4. Sometime before any meal (typically the evening meal since lunch would get taken care of at the office cafeteria), take out one container, allow contents to thaw, warm it in a water bath, kadai or in the microwave, and have the meal.

I make jeera rice or plain rice in a jiffy to have with the veggies, and if I must have wheat and don't want to make rotis, I buy the best whole wheat bread and have 3 slices with the portion I've just warmed up. The days I'd feel like not having this food, I'll make myself 2 boiled eggs or an omelette with bread and make that my meal. A portion of fruit well ahead of any meal was a given.

The longest I've survived this way has been for 40 days. Healthy home cooked food, without dependence on outside eateries. Our refrigerator is a 315L simple frost free refrigerator.

Last edited by vigsom : 27th January 2022 at 19:39.
vigsom is offline   (18) Thanks
Old 27th January 2022, 19:49   #25
Senior - BHPian
 
Join Date: Aug 2010
Location: Madras
Posts: 2,454
Thanked: 3,053 Times
Default Re: Why fresh home food rocks & stale outside food sucks

Let's be practical here. Not everyone can afford domestic help for household chores. Apart from the monetary part, there is also a concern on security. Domestic help has been a partner in crime in one a household robbery in a close family.

Expecting even a non-working spouse/parent to cook 2 meals a day is just abuse, unless of course you are doing (more than) half the work.

Freezing peas, shredded coconut is quite common over the years.

So we eat at home (with lot of conditions apply )

Quote:
Originally Posted by am1m View Post
All those guys saying they don't eat old food at home, do you guys do the cooking?
In general for lunch, the cooking is done alternate days. Dosa batter for dinner/breakfast lasts about 3-4 days. Other dinner stuff are made on that day. Sometimes if in excess gets carried over to breakfast. Eating out is possibly once or twice a month. This is how it's been as a married person. More or less similar strategy when I was living alone outside India, except there wasn't a separate dinner/lunch cooking. The alternate day lunch cooking is how it has been done in household since my childhood.

This has been the strategy, with or without domestic help for cleaning vessels. We never used domestic help for cooking.
narayans80 is online now   (14) Thanks
Old 27th January 2022, 19:53   #26
BHPian
 
digitalnirvana's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2015
Location: pale blue dot
Posts: 451
Thanked: 2,029 Times
Default Re: Why fresh home food rocks & stale outside food sucks

Well for people who cannot cook regularly and cook once a week (like me, when I'm staying alone) we follow something called meal prep.

What that means is cooking a big batch enough to last a week, storing it into freezer & microwave safe bento boxes or containers, freezing them and then reheating them in a microwave before eating.

The meal prep movement has gotten a lot of traction - see r/mealprepsunday - and helps in:

1. Time management
2. Cooking real food - generally lentils, carbs, rice based dishes, meat - at home
3. Is cheaper than doing daily or regular grocery shopping
4. Typically makes for healthier food because you're not eating out or cooking up an instant ramen

This way of eating frozen food, or even buying flash frozen vegetables / meat / fish is OK as per my view.

However I will definitely not want to pay a restaurant to serve cooked and frozen food. Anyone who has watched Gordon Ramsay's Kitchen Nightmares will know the first sign of a bad kitchen is when there is a microwave in it.

If I'm going to eat microwaved food, it better be at my own home.
digitalnirvana is offline   (7) Thanks
Old 27th January 2022, 20:06   #27
BHPian
 
Join Date: Jan 2008
Location: Bangalore
Posts: 182
Thanked: 340 Times
Default Re: Why fresh home food rocks & stale outside food sucks

Fine dining has become sensible: the trend is farm-to-table. And good chefs, both professional and home, have always respected the ingredients: carrots should keep tasting like carrots, peas stay pea tasting. So please don't murder stuff in your baji, either by overspicing or overcooking!

BTW, flash freezing is an improvement. It preserves more nutrients than normal freezing. Look for flash frozen peas and other veggies if there's no choice of fresh ingredients. Or grow your own. Skyscrapers are devoted to fresh veggies grown under ultra violet light in Singapore, and I'm growing carrots and radish in big pots on my entire terrace, plus greens.
proton is offline   (6) Thanks
Old 27th January 2022, 20:34   #28
BHPian
 
Join Date: Aug 2014
Location: DEL, SFO
Posts: 797
Thanked: 2,352 Times
Default Re: Why fresh home food rocks & stale outside food sucks

Actually frozen food has a lot of advantages. In India a large portion of our produce, more than 33%, is wasted due to a lack of food processing and cold storage facilities. We love cooking and cook a lot at home. In the US, where we have lived for a long time, it was much easier to cook at home despite working full time. Here in India, despite not working at all, it is much harder. Why? Mainly due to the lack of frozen and canned food. Simply washing and chopping spinach or plucking leaves from fenugreek (methi) takes a long time. In the US, we always had washed and chopped fenugreek or spinach stocked in the freezer. It cut the cooking time by an hour. Same with rotis. We always used ready packed whole wheat rotis while here it would take another 45 minutes to make them. Canned beans are another blessing. In the US, you can simply open a can of beans and take a freshly packed tortilla (similar to a roti if whole wheat), add beans and cheese and you have a quesadilla or burrito ready in 10 minutes. You also got frozen medleys of vegetables with various options to make Chinese or Italian food. Here we would waste hours buying such different vegetables and then hours cleaning and cutting them.

So in summary, frozen food can be equally healthy and saves a lot of time. It makes it easier to cook and makes it more likely that people would eat at home. It doesnít have to be unhealthy if it is kept properly frozen or in a can. In India there is a lot of unemployment with only 24% of the women working outside. Thatís why these habits have lingered on. We need to wisely adopt newer habits and systems that allow us to make our lives easier. Simple things like having a mop with a long handle rather than crouching on the floor would make cleaning much faster and less tiring. The cost is just a few hundred rupees and yet hardly anyone uses it. Not even maids who need to clean multiple homes daily. A similar old habit has lingered where people donít even want to eat a 5 minute old roti. Once you get busy with work and life, you start looking for conveniences that would make your life easier.
Lobogris is offline   (16) Thanks
Old 27th January 2022, 21:50   #29
BHPian
 
Join Date: Aug 2012
Location: Bangalore
Posts: 200
Thanked: 570 Times
Default Re: Why fresh home food rocks & stale outside food sucks

Quote:
Originally Posted by Lobogris View Post
. Here in India, despite not working at all, it is much harder. Why? Mainly due to the lack of frozen and canned food. Simply washing and chopping spinach or plucking leaves from fenugreek (methi) takes a long time.
Been there and done that. I will disagree with the frozen/canned food options available. And I don't think it is time-consuming to do some of this. Plucking methi leaves can be so therapeutic once you try it in earnest !!!. Having said that fresh food tastes different. For e.g. I took a bunch of coriander from the frozen section and chopped it. The smell it produced was nothing like what you would get from freshly plucked or even freshly sourced coriander leaves. Somehow the freshness is in the smell, the texture, and the taste.

One of the things we do is to find a middle ground. This means cooking at home and storing it for a brief amount of time. A case in point is dal. Eating both North and South Indian food, dal is a staple at home and we store the excess dal to be used in Sambar or Dal tadka the next day. But anything beyond the 24 to 28-hour mark is not used.

Someone talked about dosa batter being kept in refrigerators for longer periods and that is not good. Dosa batter becomes dosa ready only after a couple of days when deep fermentation sets in and it get a taste of sourness. And it becomes uthappam after another couple of days of staying in the fridge. So some of our home-cooked foods are cold-processed for some days. But fresh is fresh

All forms of processed foods are summarily banned in our house. If we want potato wedges we make them from freshly sourced potatoes. In fact, our vegetable purchases are nearly on a daily basis. Of course, it helps that there is a big market about 100 mts away from our house.

The other thing one needs to be aware of is that with the frozen culture taking more roots in society, there is a ubiquitous source of seasonal vegetables and fruits. I remember during my growing up days peas used to be available only in winters. Nowadays, it's available 365 days through the frozen route. But the tastes are poles apart.

The point I am trying to make is that a lot of the way food is being treated is due to technical advancements, ease of global travel, and economic viability. With all the above, it's here to stay. The one thing I missed out on is that freshly cooked home food is definitely cheaper than outside food !!!!

Bon Appetit
subraiyr is offline   (7) Thanks
Old 27th January 2022, 22:31   #30
BHPian
 
Join Date: Mar 2012
Location: KA03
Posts: 786
Thanked: 2,785 Times
Default Re: Why fresh home food rocks & stale outside food sucks

Somehow fresh food has been equated to healthy in the comments here. I believe that's not necessarily the case. And in many cases getting fresh food to the average urban consumer is energy intensive.

The secret to youthfulness seems to in fermented foods:
https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Nattō
https://www.farmersalmanac.com/what-is-natto-35265

https://www.lowtechmagazine.com/2017...-of-decay.html

We Indians are a squeamish lot (definitely include myself here), and combined with many of our other characteristics, are probably not not getting the best out of what we consume. Even information about other foreign diets reaches us via our usual western filters(note the comments on the smell and texture of natto that has determined for you that you will find it something distasteful). May be it's time to popularize and diversify our "Indian" cuisine beyond the stereotypical Chicken Tikka Masala and Idly Dosa to the North East and beyond.
Attached Thumbnails
Why fresh home food rocks & stale outside food sucks-screenshot_20220127222058_flow.png  

mvadg is offline   (4) Thanks
Reply

Most Viewed
Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search

Copyright ©2000 - 2022, Team-BHP.com
Proudly powered by E2E Networks