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Old 27th January 2022, 11:28   #1
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Default Why fresh home food rocks & stale outside food sucks

We have hundreds of health-conscious BHPians onboard, and many wellness threads, hence I thought this is an important discussion.

Read this frozen foods article on The-Ken (paywall) and some facts were eye-popping

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Eventually, restaurants began looking further upstream, sourcing gravies as well. These are usually made using retort or dehydration. This allows the chef a shortcut while still having control over the cooking process. In general, these products have a shelf life of 12-18 months.
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As one restaurateur puts it, “Will a customer be comfortable knowing the peri-peri fries they ordered were manufactured six months ago? Will they ever order again?”
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Frozen foods are the ultimate evolution of this convenience. The food is fully prepared, then blast frozen to -80 degrees and stored at -18 degrees until it has to be used. This offers a shelf life of 6-9 months. While retort products—mainly gravies—have been used by restaurants for decades, frozen products are now gaining traction.
Holy cow! Putting 2 year old food in your mouth??? At my place, we don't even have morning food in the evening.

You are what you eat, I am a firm believer of that. During Covid, the kitchen at everyone's house generally improved as we were stuck at home & food became even more of a highlight. At our place, there were a lot of experiments and new dishes added. I'm sure this was the case with you.

Pre-Covid, we used to order delivery food twice a week. Now, it's twice a month. And even then, it's from outlets known for fresh food (e.g. Swati, Madras Cafe, Farmer's Cafe etc.).

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.
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Old 27th January 2022, 11:39   #2
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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

Holy cow! Putting 2 year old food in your mouth??? At my place, we don't even have morning food in the evening.

You are what you eat, I am a firm believer of that.
.......

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.
+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
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Old 27th January 2022, 11:54   #3
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Default Re: Why fresh home food rocks & stale outside food sucks

Great thread. Not just stale foods but overall cleanliness of kitchen, cooks and staff are BIG concerns for me.

My FIL had altogether stopped eating outside food since 2015 IIRC. In fact I was one of the few who mocked him for taking such an impractical vow. Coming to 2022, he has been successful in following this vow. He has travelled a lot of places all alone and with many of us still he has somehow managed to get home cooked meal from relatives and friends. He never eats wedding food/meal. Even yesterday I saw him shuttling between wedding venue and his home for home cooked lunch/dinner purpose. I'm wondering if I can take this route. But my official tours and kids disappointment are stopping me taking this route. Once I had packed him breakfast/brunch having Muri mix with fruits and cut carrots for his return flight journey.
One vow that I'm looking forward to take in future is not eating outside food.

Last edited by KPR : 27th January 2022 at 12:01.
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Old 27th January 2022, 11:55   #4
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Default Re: Why fresh home food rocks & stale outside food sucks

Earlier we used to buy Frozen items like Safal Green Peas, McCain Tikkis, Al Kabeer Chicken Nuggets, etc which are not only unhealthy but very difficult to cook without burning your hand from hot oil! We also used to occasionally buy ready to eat items like Paneer Masala, Butter Chicken, etc. They just don't taste good. We have completely stopped using them. Nowadays with YouTube and dedicated channels for Food, we can make any recipe as good or better than restaurants. Earlier online Meat from Lucious, Fresh To Home used to taste good but nowadays nothing seems to taste as good as before. I think Pollution/Pesticides has caused a decline in the overall quality of Crops, Vegetables, Fruits, etc. No Ghee in the market tastes as good as Home made one. We don't even get the same quality of Chocolates, Soft Drinks that we used to get in the 90's. But there are some items like Ice Creams, Milk/Yoghurt Shakes which are a few days old not months. So it's always better to eat Fresh items unless absolutely necessary.
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Old 27th January 2022, 12:01   #5
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All those guys saying they don't eat old food at home, do you guys do the cooking? Or is someone taking care of that chore for you? I can't cook, have absolutely no interest in learning and neither I nor my wife have time to cook every single day. Nor do we want to waste our weekends cooking/supervising a cook. So food from the fridge/ordering in it is. Not disagreeing with the point that fresh food everyday is better, but that works only if you have the luxury of someone cooking for you, or if you enjoy cooking.
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Old 27th January 2022, 12:04   #6
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Default Re: Why fresh home food rocks & stale outside food sucks

Being in the field of coding and marking, where we install printers in production lines in food industries to print production dates expiry dates etc. you will be amazed that even fresh milk is a couple of days old.
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Old 27th January 2022, 12:10   #7
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I have a friend in office whose relative owns one of the franchisee for a well known vada pav seller in Mumbai. She once told me how the vada's mixture is prepared well beforehand and stored in deep freezers for days before serving. I guess this is common pratice. Anyday home cooked food is definitely fresher and more hygienic.

I once went into a restaurant in Mulund which seems large and well to do from the outside but got served food in a cracked plate. So what seems good on the outside may not be as good on the inside.

Last edited by sumeethaldankar : 27th January 2022 at 12:11.
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Old 27th January 2022, 12:15   #8
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Default Re: Why fresh home food rocks & stale outside food sucks

This is something I have been preaching in my family and friends since a while now! With home cooked meals you have control over everything that goes into your body. Right from the ingredients that you source, the way your food is cooked, the amount of oil and spices that goes into the food, etc.

We have relatives who are in the food industry and I do not feel comfortable with the the way some ingredients are sourced. Even the basic hygiene practices that are followed in the restaurants is not that great.

PS - we now follow a practice of purchasing whole spices and take them to the neighborhood chakki for processing. The haldi and chilli powder especially are so much better.
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Old 27th January 2022, 12:40   #9
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Default Re: Why fresh home food rocks & stale outside food sucks

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?
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Old 27th January 2022, 13:42   #10
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Default Re: Why fresh home food rocks & stale outside food sucks

The process of deep freezing does preserve many nutrients for a longer period of time - much published (peer reviewed) information on this.

Many of us can of course source the fresh equivalents and eschew the frozen counterparts. Works best, of course. But for others (hard to reach places, remote locations, etc), there is unavoidable reliance of frozen foods.

It would also be better for our gut (and health) adaptability to off and on indulge in outside food - many of us do not really have an escape from this - let the immune system be alert and active. We just need to find the balance that works for us individually.
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Old 27th January 2022, 14:25   #11
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Default Re: Why fresh home food rocks & stale outside food sucks

I don't think frozen or outside food can be generalized as unhealthy. Indians in general need to reset their food habits. The carb and sugar heavy diet one can find in Indian homes is a bigger health hazard than these kind of home v/s outside food binaries.

I am not talking about stale or no hygienic food. That is always an issue whether it is at home or a restaurant. But one need not be paranoid about eating outside occasionally or prepping the meal for a week in the refrigerator.

There is a movie "The Great Indian Kitchen" which clearly shows the dark secrets of Indian homes/kitchens. The woman folk quietly toiling hard for "only home food which wife cooks" ideology driven men folks. So if kitchen is a non equitable space, then this will be a nightmare for the women.
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Old 27th January 2022, 15:32   #12
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Default Re: Why fresh home food rocks & stale outside food sucks

Frozen and other properly stored food is ok. After all humans discovered some great things along the way (yogurt, cheese, beer, wine, ice-cream,...). Ever since the price of inputs started rising sharply in the India, restaurants have been more and more reluctant to throw away stale and spoilt food. Even the better restaurants don't store food properly (low temperatures for storing uncooked meat and vegetables, proper reheating, appropriate and limited use of potentially toxic preservatives). In spite of charging high prices, restaurants use abysmal practices, and we can be sure that the health inspectors are getting a healthy cut!
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Old 27th January 2022, 15:36   #13
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Default Re: Why fresh home food rocks & stale outside food sucks

Home cooked food is definitely healthier than outside (hotel) depending upon what you order and from where. For example eating deep fried food cooked at home or ordered from outside makes very little difference health wise, only maybe slightly better depending upon what oil you use at home.

Main thing I believe is maintaining a balance for a healthy life. Don’t go overboard with anything on a regular basis, surely indulge once in a while to enjoy life with all it’s flavours. Discipline in eating habits as with everything else is the key.

Cheers
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Old 27th January 2022, 15:37   #14
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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

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.
While the idea itself is valid that home cooked meals are healthier, I don't think a blanket statement generalizing all restaurant food as stale and bad for health is correct either. The title of this thread is kind of misleading, where it should be "Fresh vs frozen ingredients: What's good and what's not".

Coming to the point of ordering in/eating out, I think most of us will agree that this is not possible everyday for a lot of Indians, especially those who work odd shifts, cannot afford cooks (fresh graduates living away from home), or have field jobs, to cook at home.

Yes, one can always strive for ordering healthy food both while dining out as well as ordering in. But let's take a step back here.

Just searched for "healthy food" and "fast food" on Zomato back to back:
Why fresh home food rocks & stale outside food sucks-screen-shot-20220127-3.27.37-pm.png

Why fresh home food rocks & stale outside food sucks-screen-shot-20220127-3.30.08-pm.png

Notice something?
Healthy = Expensive; Fast Food = Cheap

For a lot of folks, spending 500-600 on a day on food isn't an option, even for folks on this forum.

Having said that, yes it is definitely beneficial to try and eat as healthy as one possibly can, and true, nothing beats home cooked food on health value.

Last edited by GrandTourer : 27th January 2022 at 15:38.
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Old 27th January 2022, 16:43   #15
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Default Re: Why fresh home food rocks & stale outside food sucks

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All those guys saying they don't eat old food at home, do you guys do the cooking? Or is someone taking care of that chore for you? I can't cook, have absolutely no interest in learning and neither I nor my wife have time to cook every single day. Nor do we want to waste our weekends cooking/supervising a cook. So food from the fridge/ordering in it is. Not disagreeing with the point that fresh food everyday is better, but that works only if you have the luxury of someone cooking for you, or if you enjoy cooking.
We have been cooking since March 20. Every meal till Sep 2021. No ordering food from outside due to fear of contracting Covid. Now that things are opening slowly and the wife would be going back to work next week onwards we are looking at getting back the maids and cook.

Though I always had a knack of cooking but I would just cook when there was a need during bachelor days. But this pandemic polished the cook in me. My daughter now refuses to have biriyani outside

Cooking helps and how. We all contracted Covid (which wasted our new year) and were down for about 3-4 weeks (8 infected in the total family). But believe our cleaner lifestyle helped us recover faster.
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