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.
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