Food in floods

Going by the common sight of eateries of all classes in the range of roadside mobile canteens and five-star hotels witnessing customers in numbers far more than available space, particularly in cities such as Mysuru, one gets the unmistakable gut-feeling that the pockets of their residents are jingling with cash (as well as debit and credit cards) like never before. While the ongoing publicly-funded facility of providing breakfast, lunch and dinner at unbelievably subsidised price tag in some locations of Tamil Nadu and Karnataka, mainly for the benefit of economically weaker sections in urban population and also the student fraternity, has received adoration by the targeted beneficiaries, the footfall in the eateries of diverse classes continues to be on the rise. The patrons comprise virtually all sections of society with the youth taking a major share. Cash in their pockets has witnessed a huge bulge, thanks to factors not far to seek. The rustics who have taken residence in urban spaces after encashing their landed assets too have joined their urban counterparts. The eateries never had it so good.

The land’s traditions and customs of playing host to guests in homes, including food and shelter have moved to pages of history, except a few exceptions in cities with high population density. The current scenario is taking the guests for dine-out in eateries enjoying the regular patronage of the hosts. Sweating it out to prepare food at one’s home is vanishing into thin air.

The figures being mentioned by the top brass in the government nowadays reveal that the country’s food basket includes 275 million tons of food grains, 300 million tons of horticultural produce, 140 million tons of milk and also other resources of edible oils, eggs, fish, meat, spices, sugarcane as well as herbs placing the country in a zone of comfort. While the administration has the primary responsibility of reaching food to the last citizen to ensure adequate nutrition, the entrepreneur fraternity has its role cut out in processing, packaging and marketing the food products meeting the volatile economic factors amidst competition.

Food being the most consumed resource in the country, with the graph always moving upward with the expanding population of the country, the money worth of processed and packaged foods has been estimated at nearly 4.5 trillion rupees with edible oils and rice accounting for half that amount. As more players are learnt to be entering the processed food sector, people with cash in plenty can look forward to confront a flood of foods.

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