Fresh food is good to taste

To live a longer life, it is important to understand what we should eat and what we should not. Recently, I have watched a television show featuring Gordon Ramsay, a celebrity chef and an individual who believes in eating healthy and fresh food. He is someone who chooses the best ingredients to make his own signature dishes. He can just find out whether a food is fresh or frozen by tasting it. A superior talent that everyone does not possess.

How to understand the freshness of food?

Today, when it is tough to differentiate between fresh food and adulterated ones, we have to be careful and learn how to figure it out. Fruits and vegetables available in the market these days are not fresh, although the shopkeepers claim it to be. Either they are infected with pesticides, preservative, or some artificial colours to make them look fresh and extra shining. I believe that using fresh ingredients is one and the only way to get great taste in food.

I am jotting down a few instances that will help you to differentiate between fresh and frozen food. For example, when you cook pulses, if you refrigerate it for a day or overnight and consume it the next day, you will find the freshness is no longer there.  However, if the same pulses are consumed the very day, the taste is flavorful and fresh. Freezing can change the texture of all type of cooked items. I am not saying freezing is bad but it is also not naturally fresh. Pay attention to it when you eat refrigerated food next time. Every food has got its shelf-life.

Cooking with fresh and local ingredients is very vital in order to attain the best quality dishes. How can you identify the fresh quality of food? Let me explain it to you properly. Storing bread in the freezer tends to hold up better for a few days but it freshness disappears during the process. Cakes also become ideal to eat once you store them in the freezer but after few days the cake’s bread becomes harder and texture changes after lengthy freezing.

The biggest difference in frozen food can be seen in meat (including all types of poultry products). Consequently, how will you identify whether a chicken is fresh or frozen? Do you think you can smell it? No, you cannot identify it through smelling. If you get a piece of chicken and blood stains are there next to the bone, this is an indicator that the chicken is frozen. In fact, you can also understand if the chicken is undercooked if the blood sticks like glue to the bone and does not disappears.

 Maintaining healthy eating habits

Foreign countries like the US, EU and UK are following firm measures to protect human, animal and plant health.  The US healthcare department updates the Dietary Guidelines for Americans every five years based on their latest research on nutrition. These guidelines are helpful to maintain a healthy eating pattern and guide restaurants, eatery joints and food companies to understand what healthy items to sell.

In a recent information provided by local authorities and compiled by the Food Standard Agency (FSA) in the UK, have also given a detailed breakdown of enforcement activity across the three countries such as England, Wales and Northern Ireland. The new data shows that the percentage of food hygiene interventions achieved, which covers food safety, increased to 87% in 2017-18 compared with 85% in 2016-17 and food standards interventions, which covers areas such as authenticity and food fraud, increased to 42% in 2017-18 compared with 40% in 2016-17 in the above three mentioned three countries. In fact, the food hygiene compliance in food establishments has remained stable at 90% since 2016-17.

The data mentioned above are quite encouraging. It shows that the local authorities in the UK have made improvements in the percentage of interventions achieved and are continuing to monitor food safety, food fraud and food standards, thoroughly.

In comparison, India is slowly trying to transform the food safety norm and standards but unfortunately is not at par with the western countries. Most recently, we have heard about occurrences of food contamination and adulteration in the branded food retailing business in India.

Starting from the selling of low-quality food, unhygienic kitchen condition and storage facility have created havoc among the minds of the consumers in India. The Food Safety and Standards Authority of India (FSSAI), which regulates over 28 lakh small, medium and big food businesses in the country, is handling around 10,000-12,000 complaints every month. The body is making every effort to curb the menace in food eatery joints and compelling them to adopt basic safety and hygiene practices. The challenge for FSSAI is to handle such an enormous size of the food retailing business that is operating in India.

But FSSAI has taken rigorous steps in India lately by asking the food delivery platforms to delist unlicensed eateries after receiving complaints about serving and supplying sub-standard food. The issues are many in the Indian restaurant business. Many restaurants do not serve you fresh food. Food available with the restaurants is frozen, which they have to serve for quick service to the consumers. The restaurant business is facing tremendous downside from late delivery to serving unhygienic food to reducing the cost of raw materials to survive.

Adopting healthy eating habits

 If we are able to revive the farm to food concept in both households and restaurants, we will be adopting to healthy eating habits that people have forgotten. The farm to food concept has changed and is not an ideal scenario in today’s living conditions or on a day to day basis. I love the concept of farming and cooking. Nothing is better than eating fresh produce from the ground with free from pesticides and chemicals.

For good health, we have to eat healthy food. There are advantages to eating healthy food to boost the immune system and maintain good moods. Fresh food is a good source of nutrients. Eating fresh will help to consume less sugar and salt, which will lessen the risk of diseases like obesity, insulin resistance, type 2 diabetes, fatty liver disease, heart disease and blood pressure. You will experience full of energy and strength. Definitely, you consume 10 times more fibre from your fresh food and vegetables. It is also wise to opt for organic food as it tastes better and is also healthy. Organic food has great antioxidants.

The frozen food process was developed by human minds to make life easier. People have a hectic work schedule and started consuming frozen food for convenience. Frozen are easily available and come pre-cooked and pre-seasoned. I am not telling that frozen food is bad but when you have the option for fresh food, it is better to opt for it. Please remember don’t confuse yourself with fresh and frozen food because a food that has been frozen is not fresh, ever.

After reading this blog, please share, like and comment!

Author: Namrata Roy
An enthusiastic journalist, founder of Masterchef Cooking Food Blog, and an educator. I strongly believe that “We are what we eat. We should think healthy, eat healthily and live healthily.” I choose to select the quality ingredients that make a food delicious. I don’t buy anything unnatural. I don’t choose an ingredient that I have not used it since my childhood. I experiment with my food but not with the ingredients. I believe to eat natural food, not adulterated and preservatives ones. I recommend the same to all such as Kids, Men and Women in order to lead a healthy lifestyle.For your information: We are a cookery school, expertise in different cuisines like Indian, International and also Baking. 
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Know which is more beneficial, Curd or Yogurt?

For the longest time, I got confused with Curd and Yogurt. I was told that both are same with different names. I remember during my journalism days, after every conferences and seminar, luncheon was served for the delegates visiting from foreign countries. So, one day when I proceeded to the buffet served for the gatherings after the conference, I noticed a European was looking for Yogurt. He asked several times to the waiter to serve him Yogurt. The poor waiter offered him curd with which ‘raita’ was prepared. He said, “I don’t want curd, I need Yogurt. Do you serve?” he asked.

My confusion rose and I immediately checked the definition of Yogurt. I must say both the ingredients share a slight difference in component and process. Today, I will explain to you the major difference between Yogurt and Curd.

Curd for household

The curd is highly common among Indian households. ‘Dahi’, by which it is popularly known among Indians is consumed by every household at least thrice a day. It is obtained from curdling of milk with an edible acid- such as citric acid from lemon or vinegar. Sometimes, the little curd is dissolved in lukewarm milk and kept it at room temperature overnight to get the required curd.  In the process, the presence of bacteria- Lactobacillus makes fermentation and causes lactic acid to form, which turn the milk into curd.

Curd has two important types of vitamins such as vitamin A and Vitamin B 12. It is good for the digestive system and productive for an upset stomach. It is protein rich and has carbohydrates, minerals and fat. It also helps to fight germs causing diseases in human body. It boosts body immunity. So, eat fresh curd every day if you are suffering from the weakened immune system. Curd helps in skin treatment as it has the moisturizing effect that helps to care dry skin. Consuming yoghurt daily will help to keep in check your high blood pressure and maintain a good heart.

Yogurt and its use

On the other hand, Yogurt is also made through the same technique as curd. The fermentation is done with the help of two specific strains of bacteria called lactobacillus Bulgaria and Streptococcus thermophiles due to this the product is considered to be standardised. This is an industrial product and cannot be easily made at home. However, the curd is a homemade substance.

Yogurt has multiple vitamins as compared to curd such as Vitamin A, Vitamin E, Vitamin C and Vitamin K. Although the benefits of Yogurt is same as Curd, there are certain extra vitamins, nutrients, high protein and other added benefits in Yogurt. If you like to eat Yogurt, choose to eat Greek Yogurt.

Yogurt contains calcium, potassium, phosphorus and, sometimes, vitamin D, which helps diseases such as Osteoporosis. Lack of the basic minerals, vitamins and calcium weakens bone. It helps to fix issues with the weak immune system. Yogurt has certain properties that help in weight management. Other benefits of Yogurt are it enhances complexion, nourishes hair, prevents hypertension, provides Omega 3 for vegetarians, and many other benefits.

Moreover, Yogurt is not for everyone. People having an allergy to milk and has lactose intolerance should be careful with this product. Lactose intolerance occurs when our body lacks lactase, which is an enzyme required to break down lactose, a sugar component found in milk. It leads to several digestive problems, such as abdominal pain and diarrhea, after consuming milk products.

I hope I am able to resolve the confusion between both the products. So, now enjoy your curd and yogurt. Also, live a healthy life!

After reading this blog, please share, like and comment!

Author: Namrata Roy
An enthusiastic journalist, founder of Masterchef Cooking Food Blog, and an educator. I strongly believe that “We are what we eat. We should think healthy, eat healthily and live healthily.” I choose to select the quality ingredients that make a food delicious. I don’t buy anything unnatural. I don’t choose an ingredient that I have not used it since my childhood. I experiment with my food but not with the ingredients. I believe to eat natural food, not adulterated and preservatives ones. I recommend the same to all such as Kids, Men and Women in order to lead a healthy lifestyle.For your information: We are a cookery school, expertise in different cuisines like Indian, International and also Baking. 
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