Ever thought what it would be like to not have street food while on a beach, in a shopping hub, or just in a fair? The food by the roads just makes these moments enjoyable. It has almost become like a ritual for many of us. But what are these foods doing to our bodies? Or do they play a bigger role in our lives than we had thought?
Sometimes street food can be very unhealthy for us. The shops aren’t the cleanest. Moreover, there are hundreds of people coming and going throughout the day. We often neglect these factors while eating from outside.
There’s a great alternative to street food that is not only healthy but is also affordable. You can buy the delicious chaat, samosas or any other food that you would normally find with hawkers from restaurants. Restaurants are clean and hygienic. Yes, some restaurants might charge more for the same food that you can get at a lesser price by the road, but the good news is that you can get huge discounts on food when you order it online. So use the online coupons while you order pani-puri or pav bhaji from a nearby restaurant and fulfill the cravings without being hard on your wallets.
In this article, we are talking about how street food can affect your lives. We will consider the effects on health, budget, habits and so on. Keep reading.
1. Effects on health
Although street food is not the most expensive food, it can cost you a lot later. Especially food like samosas, kachori, wada pav, mirchi bhajji that get fried in the same oil again and again increases the trans-fatty acids in the foods. This content is banned in some countries. The trans fatty acid enters the blood and can clog the arteries as it cannot be processed so well by the body leading to cardiovascular diseases, cancer or more.
Many street side foods have tasting salts that can be Sodium Mono Glutamate (SMG), the same ingredient due to which Maggie was banned a few years ago. Although it adds great taste to the food, it could affect your health badly later. Some of the effects of excess of SMG intake are chest pain, nausea, headache, or heart palpitations.
2. Fast spends
With the increasing hustle and bustle of lives, it is very easy to park your bike and eat some roadside food as a meal. But very often this can become a habit and quite before you realize you will be spending way more on street food than you had thought.
3. Nutritional value
You lose the nutritional value of your diet. It can affect your body in the long run as lack of nutrients like calcium, proteins and essential vitamins can leave the body prone to serious illnesses. By consuming street food more often, you don’t have any appetite for healthy food. Not just that, you can also face problems related to digestion, and have an upset stomach more often in the future.
4. Environmental effects
Although not directly related to the consumption of street foods, the environmental ill effects of street food and vendors’ habits can indirectly make us run to the hospital. The hawkers through the leftover or rotten food near the site itself quite often. This becomes a breeding point for flies and rodents. It can not only contaminate the surroundings but also affect the shop if it is surrounded by dirt. At many places there is no waste management system and you can see waste lying in the disposal bins for a few days before it is cleaned. This can affect the environment in a bad way, thereby affecting our lives and health.
People often skip breakfast and meals to indulge in wada pav, street side dosa, idli etc. The number of street food vendors in Mumbai alone is more than half a million. Although this provides a good scope for people to eat out, the congestion and the crowd of the city as well has to do with the unhealthiness of eating food on the roadsides.
Some aspects that degrade street food consumption for human health are.
- Pollution: Dust and smoke can easily settle on the food when left open at the sides of roads.
- Diseases: As street food is open, it is very likely that flies and other insects sit on it. This may lead to diseases like cholera, typhoid etc.
- Hygiene of the area is one of the major concerns.
Street food is super affordable and readily available. Thus, is the choice of many people. But you must focus on the long term effects and the present condition too. If the food is not suitable, you can cook at home. This will not only keep you healthier, but will also help you save money.
About the Author
Aamer Shaikh loves writing content. His niche includes travel, food and technology. Being an avid traveller and foodie himself, he likes to tell stories through the blogs. You would mostly find him taking a trip to some nearby place or simply exploring restaurants and food chains in the city on his free days.