By Palak Bhambri:
Gone are the days when students like us used to carry colourful plastic tiffin boxes which contained hot paranthas wrapped in aluminum foil, the days when mommy dearest used to get up early to pack our favourite snack, satisfied that her child is eating healthy. Those were the days when our everyday intake of food effectively included all the nutrients.
The situation now is contrasting to that of the above; tiffins are a big no-no as young college-going adults find it not hip enough. They live on the junk provided in the canteen which varies from cholesterol enriched samosas and bread pakoras to aerated drinks which have formidable powers to rot our lungs. The fried chips and locally made hamburgers are the most popular. The cheap prices make it affordable and hence comfortably available to all. They become “easy food” to curb that ever present hunger that all the young people seem to experience nowadays.
For the ones having a sweet tooth there is a perennial flow of ice-cream, gulab jamuns and Cadbury chocolates, day in and day out. Besides the canteen, the roadside momos-wale-bhaiya have become the new sensation, twenty five rupees per plate for vegetarian and thirty five for non-vegetarian is merely a small issue, when you get 8-10 pieces in one plate which are absolutely delightful and soul-soothing.
The colleges are currently coming up with the Nescafe parlours in campus. These self-recruited Nescafe chains provide chilled cold coffees and steaming hot pastas. These sophisticated and relatively ‘hygienic’ outlets are a treat for the young people.
But the question remains, are these readily available mouthwatering foodstuffs healthy?
The probable answer is No, which is true. These are not the healthiest items. An option is to change our eating habit, which is irksome. Switching to a nutritious diet requires hard work, production of which is a painful task for the young working professionals who have rigid schedules. They find it easier to grab a bite and move on.
On the contrary, there are those who indulge in the process of eating like a religion. Healthy or not, who cares? Ritika Popli my fellow batch-mate, is a self-acclaimed gourmet; she readily eats everything and anything that comes her way. “For all I can do, is become an exceptional food critique.” she says with her trademark smile. The devotion is almost palpable.
A change of preferences, I believe, can curb the problem of unhealthy eating to an extent. Choosing dosa over samosa, corns over momos, is a viable option. What we need to do is contemplate and then decide and not just rely on our taste buds.
What are your views? What’s the perfect solution?