Street food has become an increasingly popular way of dining, but it is also fraught with potential health risks and social problems. Local authorities and international organisations are becoming increasingly aware of street food’s socioeconomic value and potential risks. While food safety is the most pressing concern, other issues include sanitation and waste water drainage, illegal occupation of public space, and social problems. In this article, we explore the benefits and disadvantages of street food, and look at some of the challenges and benefits associated with eating out on the street.
Disadvantages of street food
One of the advantages of street food is its affordability. Unlike restaurants, where you can choose from between 10 main courses, street food vendors only offer about three or four choices. While these options might be appealing, they are not necessarily the best option for health-conscious consumers. And because street food is intended for outdoor consumption, it may not be available all year round, especially if it is not a sunny day. As a result, it’s better to have a flexible schedule, particularly if you have children.
Street food is often unhygienic, and you have to take care to avoid eating it in dirty surroundings. Some street vendors are notorious for spreading diseases to unsuspecting customers. Not only are the stalls dirty, but the dirt and grease on the food are usually inhaled by passersby. In addition, skipping meals may lead to increased hunger as the body is trying to find new energy sources. It can also cause kidney stress, low blood pressure, and constipation.
Street food is great for your health. There are no preservatives and hardly any processed ingredients. You can feel good about yourself after eating these foods instead of junk. Street food is often accompanied by liveliness and positive vibes. Even kids play around. However, you should know the pros and cons of eating them before consuming them. In addition, most street food markets create a lively atmosphere around them. Street food is generally inexpensive and tastes great.
Moreover, street food is cheap and is affordable for everyone. You don’t need to be rich to enjoy its health benefits. Even if you are unemployed, you can indulge in street food. It is a good option if you want to bond with your community and save money. It is also cheap enough to be consumed by anyone. If you are concerned about your diet, you should know that the high calorie content of street food can affect your health negatively.
In a study conducted in Mumbai, India, the cost of street food was analyzed among participants in relation to age, gender, marital status, education, and distance traveled. Consumers’ perception about the cost of food also played an important role in their expenditure. The results are summarized in Table 25. Increasing income significantly increased street food expenditure, and the higher the perceived cost, the higher the consumption. Moreover, the frequency of visits to food stalls significantly increased expenditure on street foods.
Although street food is usually cheaper than dining at a restaurant, the price varies widely. A typical quiche from a street vendor costs about the same as the one you get in a restaurant. Similarly, beverages from street vendors are also more expensive than those available at supermarkets and convenience stores. Even a single cup of soda can cost up to $5. A burrito from a street vendor can be as low as $9-10.
In addition to their economic importance, street food vendors also provide the public with important information about local culture. Generally, the street food is associated with specific cultural environments. The locations of street food vendors differ from place to place, so consumers can look for specific businesses or restaurants based on their preferences. For example, the location of a Turkish kebab vendor may not be optimal if it is located in an area where the population is predominantly Turkish.
To ensure the food safety of the consumers, street food vendors must meet the requirements of the relevant authority and abide by the rules governing street food. The location of street food vendors should also be suitable for them in order to avoid contamination of the food. Hence, the vendors should be located in areas where there are ample facilities and where they can clean up easily. Moreover, the location should also have facilities that enable them to do repeated washing.