By Sushima Prasad | DailyMail.co.uk
There’s no VAT, no service tax and no hidden costs, which makes street food a big draw for many Delhiites.
Sarvesh, a street food vendor in North Campus, did not put up his golgappe kiosk for a week. When he returned to work, Anshuman, a youth from North-East, asked him where he was all these days.
Sarvesh replied he had fallen sick and Anshuman quipped: “What, you ate your own golgappas?”
Sarvesh laughed and so did Anshuman, their giggle a proof of the tacit understanding between the vendor and the consumer about the ill-effects of dirty street food.
While Sarvesh knows he’s not serving the most hygienic food, Anshuman is aware of the adulterations and contaminations in the grub he’s digging into. But neither of them is ready to change his habit.
According to a study, street food continues to be a big draw with Delhiites despite its health hazards. Hygiene takes a back seat when the smell of fried snack overpowers our senses.
But this sinful indulgence is not without a reason. Street food is a sight to relish not only because of the taste but also its affordable cost.
No VAT and hidden costs make street food a “reliable” product. The so-called hygienic food joints can give you a heart attack with the additional charges in the bill.
Also, there’s no guarantee of full hygiene being maintained in food preparation in closed kitchens. If a cockroach crawls into a milk container, chances are, the cook would throw out the insect and make good use of the spoilt milk.
The thought may be repulsive but it’s a fact nonetheless. Hygiene is a hypothetical term which stands no value in the food industry. In such circumstances, one can either take the risk of eating out or “maintain hygiene”.
A majority of people opt for the former and still survive the assault of the additives on their digestive system.
There’s a bond of trust between the consumer and the vendor which forms the basis of street food business in India.
Here everything is in the open unlike the West where you can’t even be sure if your burger has horsemeat stuffing in it.