Thursday, August 16, 2012


Thousands of youngsters who are working in many technology parks in India depend on in-house cafeterias and nearby restaurants for their daily foods as most of them are unmarried adults with no wherewithal to cook at their residential facilities. The disadvantage with such mass cooked foods by caterers is that within no time monotony sets in and foods served become unacceptable progressively with no excitement normally associated with variety and novelty. Besides food safety is a terrible concern for them as incidences of food poisoning make them some what nervous. After all peak productivity is a distinct outcome of culinary satisfaction and best way to achieve this can be by getting access to foods prepared by hand by small time traditional female chefs in good families. Such services involving delivery of home cooked foods are very common in a city like Mumbai where thousands of meals are delivered to offices from the homes of office going employees in their own personal containers which has captured world wide attention. Here comes another development in a place like Thiruvananthapuram Technopark in Kerala where delivery of home cooked foods is becoming an accepted practice by small family based catering homes nearby.  

Such home-food delivery services around the IT park have become a last refuge for techies. Post the 'shawarma' incident in the city, where a young man died of food poisoning after eating the Arabian delicacy last month, eating fast food rings an alarm bell these days, especially for techies, many of whom are staying away from homes. Two years into home-food business, Thomas George David, who runs 'Taste Home,' says he has always been careful with the kind of ingredients that go into the food. "I am aware of the problems that happen in hotels. But at Taste Home, all the work is done in a hygienic environment since it is our home. We also get bulk orders for home parties," says Mr. David. Such home-cooked food at affordable rates is also a blessing for the many people working in the security and cleaning departments at Technopark. "We cannot afford the food at the food courts here and so we buy these packets when we are unable to bring lunch from home," says S. Beena, a member of the cleaning staff. The easiest option for techies is, of course, to throng the food courts but those who are aware of the health consequences have taken up what they call 'group cooking.' A few of them have started making use of their otherwise untouched kitchens to cook food whenever time permits. Most of the employees, who have rented houses in groups, find this as the most feasible option for healthy meals everyday. "We are a group of six girls and we have rented a flat. We decided to share money to buy groceries and take turns to cook," says Anu Davis, an employee at Infosys. Their monthly visits home are also the time to get new recipes, those that they hope to perfect in some time.

The IT employers cannot be blamed for the unsatisfactory quality of food served in cafeterias and food courts within their premises because such mass catering can never be a solution for the craving for good foods with variety and quality. It is known that in many small cities there are home based cookeries serving a limited number of meals to senior citizens and other customers with no access to good foods and who are nostalgic about the foods of yester years. Home based catering system is an excellent one that serves well both the supplier as well as the consumer and must be encouraged by the civic authorities in every town and city through minimum bureaucratic hassles like licensing, regulation, high handed inspection and frequent harassment. There is a case for encouraging these family enterprises through better awareness programs and training for ensuring minimum hygiene and sanitation.  


No comments: