Wednesday, April 13, 2011


The Food Truck phenomenon is growing much beyond the expectation of the pioneers who started this new system of food preparation and vending in the United States more than a decade ago. It is not that similar food catering practices were not existing before any where else in the world but the Food Truck vending is a modernized version with large flexibility to move around in urban areas, deploying even the latest tweeter technology to inform their customers abut their where abouts. Even to day in many developing countries road side food vending is very common but generally it is frowned upon because of lack of hygiene and sanitation. The modern Food Truck with its ultra modern kitchen facilities ensures safety of food preparations offered by them, even better than many of the regular established restaurants. The recent launching of a unique Food Revolution Truck in the US by a public minded person has brought out the possibility of mobile training facilities on wheels which can be used to make the families and interested consumers aware of the nuances of preparation of healthy foods. Here is a take on this development

"Jamie Oliver, who we last saw calling Sarah Palin a 'Froot Loop', is back with the mobilization of his Food Revolution -- literally. This week Oliver unveiled his Food Revolution food truck, a mobile kitchen designed to educate young people and their families about the preparation and perpetuation of affordable, healthy food. The truck can fit a class of 40 students and features a bevy of kitchen equipment, complete with eight kitchen stations, plasma screens for demonstrations, and an inflatable stage. The Food Revolution Truck was brought to life by contributions and partnerships enabled by Oliver's TED prize, awarded in 2010. Along with $100,000, Oliver was given the chance to realize his wish to change the world. His mission? In a tour of the truck with the BBC, Oliver explains his desire to 'create a sustainable movement to feed children better in schools and to educate them about food.' The truck, designed pro bono by architect David Rockwell, is intended to "create an immediate, unexpected spectacle' at schools, fairs, and farmer's markets."

While creation of such facilities can be achieved easily through grants from government and non-government organizations, most difficult logistical problem is how to ensure their regular functioning with adequate working capital funds. Years ago GOI had mobile canning demonstration vans in some states in India for training house wives in preserving seasonal perishables like fruits and vegetables by canning but the project was abandoned later because of lack of adequate response from the targeted groups. Probably in India there may be a need for such mobile training facilities in each state that can go to areas where street vendors are concentrated and cajole the vendors to undergo a minimum training to sensitize them on safety of foods cooked by them. It is for the MFPI to take the necessary initiative to create such facilities which may have much greater impact than the sporadic attempts to help these hapless road side entrepreneurs through impractical and useless programs.


No comments: