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Old 29th January 2022, 12:14   #46
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Default Re: Why fresh home food rocks & stale outside food sucks

Respect your body!

Three very simple words my 90 year old grandparents used to say and I saw them going for morning and evening walks even at that age. They lived on simple home food and I saw them relish fresh cooked meals. Now food and exercise go hand in hand and the major contributor to good health is food, than simply exercise. At our place we stick to home food (except twice a month order in) and as pointed out above, having a good cook at home (strangely called "Maharaj" in Bombay) along with moms supervision has been a way for us. Net net we manage tasty healthy food, expenses of a cook is less than regular ordering in and saves mom and wifey one less thing to look into and possibly disagree.

I will not go into merits of home food as its already been shared extremely well above on the tread. However, I would stress on regular exercise, in whichever form people are comfortable. I see people in their 30s and 40s really giving up on any form of exercise and resort to 'diets' which may be the totally incorrect approach to good heath.

Wishing everyone long healthy life!!
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Old 29th January 2022, 12:21   #47
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Default Re: Why fresh home food rocks & stale outside food sucks

COVID & WFH definitely changed the way we eat now. Our family prefers to eat fresh food as much as possible and practicing mindful eating. We stopped ordering fast food completely from last 1 year.

Obesity is another big issue because of the bad food choices and staying at home with out much physical activity.

Personally I’m able to spend some good time in gym from 2020 where as Earlier 2 hours in a day use to go for office commute.

IMHO everyone should learn basic cooking skills and practice mindful eating as much as possible.
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Old 29th January 2022, 12:23   #48
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Default Re: Why fresh home food rocks & stale outside food sucks

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Originally Posted by GTO View Post
We have hundreds of health-conscious BHPians onboard, and many wellness threads, hence I thought this is an important discussion.

Fresh, home cooked meals rock . They are healthier, fresher, cheaper and with some effort, as tasty as any restaurant food.

Eat well, BHPians. Don't mess your body up.
Absolutely GTO! Spot on. Plus an opportunity to cook as well. Despite WFH, I have learnt cooking and I do cook occasionally which makes it even more exciting. Plus no matter what we eat we need to do some physical activity to keep ourselves in shape. Even a 30 min walk with a few mins of body stretching exercises are adequate. Not necessary of the hitting the gym posts on Instagram for some six packs and all. Respect your body and it'll treat you better.


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Originally Posted by ravib View Post
+1000
Totally agree. Even in our home, we don't eat old food. I hate when people stack up Idly/Dosa batter and other items in fridge and use it for 1 week to 10 days

Refrigerator has many uses, but the downside is nowadays people buy extremely large ones and stack up things and many don't even check the expiry date of packed foods.

After covid, I know many people have started to permanently order and eat outside food on daily basis , due to frustration and covid fatigue. And stopped /drastically reduced physical activities, thus causing long term damage to health.

Hope we return back to normal some day. Fingers crossed!

-Ravi
Fridge food or even Coca cola is a strict no I'm my house. Except breads from Glen's Only freshly cooked food or even noodles is fine for once in a week craving.

Till date, we buy only cow's milk fresh from a small farm nearby. This has been the case as long as I can remember. Even Nandini orange or Good life Milk is a NO in my house.

Food has to be piping hot like our coffee, else there will be no nutrition in stale or old food. Plus such foods are the causes of obesity and other hidden diseases as collateral damage.

Even when I go out, I have this OCD of telling the restaurant guy not to add "Ajino Moto" or any taste maker. My friends look at me in a weird way when I tell this requirement but there's no harm in it as it's for my own good

Last edited by jithin23 : 29th January 2022 at 12:25. Reason: Added content
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Old 29th January 2022, 12:44   #49
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Default Re: Why fresh home food rocks & stale outside food sucks

Having studied and been working in the food processing sector for the last 12 years, I can say many opinions here are not complete. There is no denying that fresh food is better than other options. But food processing has evolved based on proper science and the technologies for processing came into existence to address the problems of food spoilage, wastage, and supply chain constraints.

Frozen food is the next best option to fresh food, compared to other forms of processing.

Some of the key consideration points/ misconceptions/ lack of information among the consumers w.r.t food sector (in my opinion) are-

1. Food processing vs Food Service: most restaurants, QSRs, Food delivery are under food service sector. Companies like ITC, Nestle, Mapro, Pepsico etc. are Food processing companies. Why is this important? Most food processing companies follow better standards than those laid by Government (analogy- safety standards in Cars and Maruti's argument). There are set mechanisms like Quality and food safety systems, regulatory inspections to put a check on these companies. On the other hand, food service has a lot of flexibility and the mechanism for check on this sector is very poor. The skill level and knowledge of food/ sanitary inspectors are very limited and coupled with a lack of uniform standards, implementation levels are very arbitrary. While nestle/ coke has been questioned about the presence of heavy metals/ pesticides in their products, why not check the safety levels of food in food service, public water supply etc. To sum up, Processed food is different and Food Processing has always been held against higher levels of implementation (grossly shorthanded compared to advanced countries)

2. Read many instances of raids on hotels by food inspectors finding stored meat and other food. These are nothing but official ways of earning bribes. From my experience and interactions, most of these food inspectors in the local municipalities are not qualified/ trained enough and don’t know the difference between frozen food, food stored in the freezer, and spoiled food in the freezer. Especially in the case of frozen food, it is very difficult to determine the spoilage without microbiological tests, yet they levy instant fines to outlets and there are not enough labs in the country in both public and private sectors to enforce effective monitoring. I am more inclined to a restaurant that uses its freezer effectively with proper calibrations and records for storing. But they are unicorns.

3. Frozen food is better than fresh food in some cases. Especially in cases like meat, seafood, and dairy from a food safety point of view. From economics point of view, developed countries achieved supply chain parity and cost standardization by employing cold chain. Frozen/ chilled food is cheaper than fresh food as it brings stability to the supply chain and those small, deformed yet fully functional food commodities are utilized properly. Even in India, surprisingly highly perishable milk is better handled and losses are limited to approx. 2% through effective usage of the cold chain, whereas in fresh fruits and vegetables it is anywhere between 15-50%. We celebrated 73rd republic day and been to mars, but our governments were unable to figure out the supply chain constraints of onions and tomatoes in the last so many years.
While I say this, I want to first emphasize, avoid frozen food where possible for the longevity of the planet than for any other reason.

4. We moved from fresh to processed food for a reason and seems our thoughts and actions are becoming circular. Consider this- people moved from hunting, gathering, cultivating, cooking, eating out, and now to ordering food on mobile. For the last part, how are people utilizing the time gained? I take the liberty to generalize that not majority of people ordering food from couches are trying to learn, work, or tending some important tasks.

5. While I earn my bread (pun intended- maybe not sure) from the food processing sector, I would like to share this- Particularly in the last decade, food is being over emphasized by the businesses and unfortunately by governments as well based on fads. My only advice is- keep it simple.

6. Some prevalent fads in the food sector:
a. Organic is better: No. Organic is costly with no proven benefits, particularly when certification is voluntary. Rather than promoting sustainable agriculture, even governments are promoting this trend. Sustainable practices like integrated pest and nutrition management, educating and enforcing right fertilizer and crop protection applications takes a long time and doesn’t make you look fancy. At least 25% of weightage to economic crisis in Sri Lanka can be attributed to haphazard implementation of 100% organic agriculture.

b. Except if you are a hardcore non-vegetarian turned vegan who miss eating meat, plant-based meat is not solving anyone’s need, especially in India. Indian way of consuming meat/ flexitarian diet is very sustainable compared to the west.

c. Cold-pressed juices are hype. Eat some fruit instead. It’s better for you and the planet.

d. Carbs are not your enemy and neither protein is your friend. Traditional Indian meals are very well balanced (north/south/ NE/ Punjabi/ Veg/ Non-Veg) more or less translates to 60% carbs, 30% protein plus others and 10% fat are better options. Do not practice those low carb diets. Important thing is to include complex carbohydrates in your diet.
To conclude, we need to practice consuming less in every aspect of life and governments are supposed to promote this. At this point, it is sad that despite having enough food the focus on food security and malnutrition is very less while there is abundance and wastage of food across the world. Businesses are deploying every tactic available to make you consume more right through subliminal addition of cheese slices to your burger to high resolution ads of food that never looks similar. This is what makes me say the emphasis on food has gone beyond what/ where the need is. Eat less, Eat simple and keep a balance to enjoy occasional treats than giving your money, burning fuel for food deliveries on daily basis.

Last edited by JReacher13 : 29th January 2022 at 13:04.
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Old 29th January 2022, 12:46   #50
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Default Re: Why fresh home food rocks & stale outside food sucks

Frozen food is not bad at all if stored at the right temperature. The best temperature to store meat products is -20°C. This might even change with the type of meat.

For me the question is not about frozen vs fresh. It's about the temperature maintained while storing it. Most of the frozen food we get from supermarkets are stored in deep freezers which are capable to go to -18°C but I think the temperature is generally more than that. On top of that we store that frozen food in our refrigerators where the temperature is even more.

Don't blame frozen food, humans have been eating it for millennia and still do, blame the conditions where it is stored in.
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Old 29th January 2022, 13:10   #51
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Default Re: Why fresh home food rocks & stale outside food sucks

This maybe an unpopular opinion here but I think it is family members and paid home cooks who have increased our risk of heart diseases than eating out.

Go on, take a look at that's happening in your own kitchens.
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Old 29th January 2022, 14:01   #52
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Default Re: Why fresh home food rocks & stale outside food sucks

I think context matters. We live in a country where stuff grows all year round. However, if you travel to the far north (Russia, Canada etc.), nothing grows for at least 6 months of the year. I had the good fortune of getting a tour of a farm in Spiti Valley during harvest season in 2021 and there is a lot of thinking that goes into growing and storing grain and meat for the harsh winter.

Therefore, I am not entirely sure that freezing is a less than healthy option.
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Old 29th January 2022, 14:54   #53
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Default Re: Why fresh home food rocks & stale outside food sucks

Very interesting topic and one that is very important. After the lockdowns and school closures my kids had put on a lot of weight which translates to being kind of unhealthy. So I completely stopped ordering from restaurants. Instead we now make everything at home. From burgers to Pizzas and even exotic dishes like spring rolls, Japanese Katzu curry, sweet and sour etc.

Sometimes ingredients are hard to find in supermarkets but I always seem to things like oyster sauce, Spring roll sheets at Swiggy Instamart.

Youtube provides a great source for recipes so got encouraged and now my kids prefer the fresh dishes at home to outside food!!
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Old 29th January 2022, 15:13   #54
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Default Re: Why fresh home food rocks & stale outside food sucks

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Originally Posted by Kosfactor View Post
This maybe an unpopular opinion here but I think it is family members and paid home cooks who have increased our risk of heart diseases than eating out.

Go on, take a look at that's happening in your own kitchens.
How so? Can you please throw some light. Genuinely interested to know on what to avoid.
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Old 29th January 2022, 15:41   #55
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Default Re: Why fresh home food rocks & stale outside food sucks

Covid seems to impact the food habits of so many people. While many were forced to cook, many turned this into an opportunity to improve their culinary skills.
While earlier my lunch/dinner was "eat whatever you get on the table", now it has become "eat the most tasty dish available". I have been cooking our dinner since the last couple of years as wifey has classes in the evening. As I love to cook and eat, non-veg items were getting preference over vegetables lately and my taste buds/habits are spoiled. So much so that it is taking a toll on my health. I gained weight and am carrying a bp of 140/90 currently, which I give credit to my food habits and lack of physical activity.
I hope things improves for me.
In retrospect, the fresh vegetables and fish/meat available in my local market are products of maximum profit from the producers'/vendors' POV. Use of pesticides, chemicals etc to elevate the growth rate of the raw food products is omnipresent. Even fish and meat were not spared for the farm grown/sourced.
It seems the only way to ensure healthy raw food is to grow them yourself.
Of course there are organic produce available in many places but they are not available to most of the population. Retailers like Bigbasket has only one delivery town in my state.
At my place, I am yet to come across an organic produce outlet.
As GTO said, you are what you eat. So, choose wisely whatever is available.
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Old 29th January 2022, 16:37   #56
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Totally agree with home cooked food is always better. Unless you live alone or work situation doesn't permit daily cooking. I recently ordered Rava Idli at a popular south Indian food joint and half way through my idli, I spotted a large larve!

I confronted the manager and while he was apologetic, he offered to serve me anything I wanted. By this time I had lost my appetite.

I stopped eating out past few years (pre-covid days decision) and it has worked wonderfully for me.

During college and early working days, eating at home became very rare thanks to long hours outside!

Post covid, I end up saving up for lunch/dinner at a nice fancy restaurant with family and friends. We really enjoy the time and the food and have greater appreciation for things we take for granted!
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Old 29th January 2022, 18:10   #57
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Default Re: Why fresh home food rocks & stale outside food sucks

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Originally Posted by GTO View Post
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.
IMHO, this is over generalisation on the expense of a cook and if they are affordable or not. Additionally a cook alone cannot make for a healthier option - a home cook using excess salt and oil can screw your system in more ways than restaurant food - personal experience, hence.


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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.
Imagine two batches of green peas - plucked from the farm. one gets processed, ie: frozen and packed and sent to your retail store via cold chain. The other unprocessed which then goes through layers of middlemen and APMCs to reach your sabjiwala which you then pick - in your mind 'fresh'.

At this moment, ironically which is the fresher ingredient? The one in which the process of decay has been arrested?

Whitewashing all things frozen/processed as unhealthy and all things unfrozen/unprocessed as fresh is at best naive and ill informed.

Again each to their own. I love my market trip to pick vegetables, love to take in the smell of seafood at the fish markets - and also happy to get my share of preserved foods like dry fish, bacon, sausages, green peas etc.
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Old 29th January 2022, 18:17   #58
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Default Re: Why fresh home food rocks & stale outside food sucks

My wife and I, got a health checkup done last year.

Both of us had high cholesterol and sugar levels.

We consulted two doctors, both put the frozen food as the culprit.

Since the 2020 lockdown days, we were consuming frozen snacks on a daily basis.

One of the doctor called them poison.

We have since avoided frozen food altogether and our levels have come back to normal.
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Old 29th January 2022, 19:06   #59
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Default Re: Why fresh home food rocks & stale outside food sucks

There are many angles to the whole food issue. Fresh is always better than frozen is a given.

One thing that we should all agree - with global tastes & changing eating habits, we as humans are generally eating more unhealthy over the years. Even our home food has gotten increasingly unhealthy over the years, due to various practices.

For e.g.
1. Using microwaves - many think it is unhealthy while many would think it is not.
2. Use of plastic containers, even the good quality ones like Tupperware, etc. To make things worse, using plastic containers (microwave safe ones) in microwaves or to store hot food. There was some study (do not have the reference link) which found an increase in quantity of microplastics in human body in recent years.
3. Using non-stick cookware / aluminum cookware as compared to iron, clay vessels.
4. Health fad but not necessarily better practices - using olive oil to cook, assuming it is healthy but it is not very amenable to high heat cooking apparently.

Just to add a few controversial comparisons where again there is no right or wrong answers:
1. Is a dosa made at home on a non-stick teflon coated pan healthier than the dosa made on iron pan at an 'anna'. Now add ghee/butter used at home vs vanaspati/dalda used by the 'anna'.
2. Is REFINED rice bran oil better than say FILTERED groundnut oil. Generally, rice bran oil is considered/marketed to be more healthy than groundnut oil (cholestrol, etc.).
3. Buying big brand edible oil which is extracted in a hygienic, no-human touch facility but using 'solvent process' vs local unbranded oil which uses 'pressing process'.
To briefly elaborate, oilseeds are ground & pressed to get oil. In this case, some fat/oil gets left in the cakes/meal. In solvent process, a chemical/solvent is used to extract the remaining fat/oil content from the cakes/meal. Ofcourse, the solvent process is not considered be a health hazard, but again.....
4. A few years ago, eating every 2 hours was a trending healthy habit, now Intermittent Fasting is a trending healthy habit.


In general, homecooked food is better as you KNOW & HAVE BETTER CONTROL - what is going in, what is the process followed, etc. Essentially, better tracking & in almost all cases, fresher.

IMHO, we could & should do what we can to the maximum extent possible to try and get to the healthy side of eating, especially given our relatively sedantary lifestyles. I'm typing this long post sitting on a chair & desk!!!

We for e.g. try to do these to the maximum extent possible - use iron & clay vessles, use glass container for hot items in the lunchbox instead of plastic, use cotton cloth to wrap instead of aluminum foil, trying different oils, using homemade ghee, etc.
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Old 29th January 2022, 20:07   #60
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Default Re: Why fresh home food rocks & stale outside food sucks

Quote:
Originally Posted by ashutoshb View Post
My wife and I, got a health checkup done last year.

Both of us had high cholesterol and sugar levels.

We consulted two doctors, both put the frozen food as the culprit.

Since the 2020 lockdown days, we were consuming frozen snacks on a daily basis.

One of the doctor called them poison.

We have since avoided frozen food altogether and our levels have come back to normal.
I assume by eating “frozen” food in this context, you were eating processed stuff like burger patties, cheesy treats etc and not things like frozen vegetables?
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