PUNE: It is said that uncooked food and coolants that are sold on streets are the most dangerous for one’s health and one should prefer cooked food over uncooked when eating out on the streets, as it certainly reduces the chances of getting infections, as cooked food is less unhygienic and unhealthy, but this might not be true.
Even though doctors sometimes suggest that if at all you have to eat outside, prefer to have something that is cooked, street food, whether it is cooked or not, does come with its set of disadvantages and ill consequences.
One of the major problems of cooked street food is the oil that is used to prepare it. And while the vendors always claim to use fresh oil each time they cook, it’s an unsaid reality that especially in the preparation of fried items like vada pav, bhaji (pakodas), samosa, kachori, etc, the oil is reused by the vendors till it gets over.
This sometimes means using the same oil throughout the day, and sometimes, the next day as well. Also, unlike when we eat at home or restaurants, excessive oil in these dishes isn’t removed before serving it. Often you will find your vada pavs soaked heavily in oil.
Although there are a few vendors in the city who take the efforts of using fresh oil most of the times and also use tissue papers to soak in the extra oil on the surface of the food, but unfortunately, their number is still very less.
Another reason that should be good enough to averse people from street food is the amount of litter found around these carts. Notice any vada pav, pav bhaji or Chinese food stall around you. You would hardly find any without garbage created out of the raw material, leftover food, disposable dishes and spoons, spilt water and what not.
Nevertheless, many items like dosa, uttapa, parathas, etc, could not really be stale as they are cooked fresh every time we place the order right in front of us. However, there is still no guarantee of the ingredients used to prepare these dishes. You never know how old the vegetables or the dosa batter are, and in what condition they were stored.