Street food, especially Indian street food, has it’s own pros and cons and whether or not it benefits or harms you depends on the frequency or manner in which you eat it. While an occasional treat of street food could do a lot to satisfy your food cravings, constant gorging can lead to health issues. Also, apart from the direct or indirect health risks it can pose at times, street food carts, trucks and stalls can contribute to issues already existing in the area of their business. We point out the various pros and cons of eating street food.
Pros or advantages of eating Street Food
1. Street food is readily available food to satisfy your hunger.
In this fast paced and busy corporate life, many suffer from hunger (not able to eat breakfast or lunch) owing to lack of time or a helping hand to prepare food. Many rush off to their offices without breakfast and there is no need telling what an empty stomach can do to your day. Street food comes as a savior for all such hungry people by providing them with ready to eat morning snacks or breakfast to start their day with a calm mind.
2. Street food is easy on the pockets
Street food is cheap and hence, easy on the pocket in regular markets. It doesn’t cost much to have enough on your plate to satiate your hunger. Most of the street food offerings are cheap compared to anywhere in the food industry. It is even cheaper than fast food that is so much a choice of many junk foodies around the world. So, you can fully satiate your taste buds and hunger at throwaway prices.
3. You can see what is being cooked at street food carts or trucks
Eating at a street food cart or truck allows you to see what you are about to eat, something you can’t always do at restaurants. You get to see the ingredients, the surroundings and conditions the food is being cooked in, the hygiene and expertise of the cook or chef and the overall cleanliness. So you get to decide whether or not you would like eating at such a place. That allows you to whether eat at a particular street food cart or skip it completely.
4. Waiting time at street food carts is less as compared to restaurants
In a majority of cases, street food doesn’t take long to be served as it gets cooked on a continuous basis and prepared well in advance. The thing is that street food vendors know their daily outgo and the number and kind of people or foodies who throng their food carts. Also, there are a number of food carts or stalls in such places distributing the number of hungry people evenly.
Also read: Street food: 8 Things to take care of
Cons or disadvantages of eating Street Food
1. Street food quality can be questionable
The quality of food available at street food carts or trucks may not necessarily be always be bad but little below average quality norms. Why? Well, in a bid to keep the costs and the selling prices low, street food vendors tend to compromise on the quality of the ingredients they use for cooking that can include vegetable and groceries and even the oil being used.
2. Street food can be related to health issues in many cases
Many researches and case studies have linked street food to health issues. It is proved that the impact of eating street food on a regular basis and sometimes even once in a week, can have a significant impact on your health. The level of sugar, fat and salt found in most of the street food items are more dangerous than those found anywhere else. So apart from bouts of food poisoning and other gastric issues, street food can lead to severe health complications if they become a daily habit accompanied by a lack of exercise.
3. Street food vendors end up spreading garbage and filth increasing the risk of germs and bacteria
You must be well aware that street food vendors don’t have a proper garbage disposal system and in most of the cases, the waste is collected and thrown away in close distances like pavements or street corners. While some of them get cleared up by the civic administration, some spots get neglected and over time, become major diseases spreading spots of the area. As a result these spots get infested with pests and flies that further increase the chances of infecting the very food that these vendors sell and people eat.
4. Street food carts and stalls may lead to traffic issues in already crowded places
Now this may not be directly related to people eating at street food joints but nevertheless a point worth mentioning. As street food carts or stalls are mostly located in business centric areas, being thronged by office or college goers or simply foodies, they tend to increase the crowd around them further adding to the traffic problems in the area. The more people eat at such food joints, the more crowded the places get and the more traffic snarls the area faces. So eating at street food joints also contributes to the traffic problems of places.
Advantages and Disadvantages of eating Street Food in short
Advantages of eating street food
- Street food is readily available food to satisfy your hunger.
- Street food is easy on the pockets
- You can see what is being cooked at street food carts or trucks
- Waiting time at street food carts is less as compared to restaurants
Disadvantages of eating Street Food
- Street food quality can be questionable
- Street food can be related to health issues in many cases
- Street food vendors end up spreading garbage and filth increasing the risk of germs and bacteria
- Street food carts and stalls may lead to traffic issues in already crowded places
So should we eat street food and is street food healthy?
Street food cooked using quality food materials, in hygienic conditions and in good surroundings can be as good as home cooked food at times. Also, street food should be eaten less frequently and never from carts and stalls that are located in dirty or filthy surroundings and run by untidy vendors who pay no attention to the quality of the food and the overall cleanliness of the place, apart from the health of those who eat at their stalls. Street food should be affordable but not at the expense of it’s quality. Anything else is just junk and should be avoided.
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