Every house wife must know how to select food and recognize its worth. Food is the largest single Item in the budget of every family. The proportion of the income spent for food varies widely in different circumstances. One can be adequately nourished by spending a lot of money, but when the income is low, it needs careful planning and time to make the less varied diet interesting. Economy is the keynote of all purchases. The food should be bought wisely and used in the best manner possible. For purchasing food systematically, an orderly shopping list is a pre-requisite. It saves times for the buyer as well as the seller. Those who have sufficient storage space should go in for bulk purchases for convenience and economy.
Forms of Food
Foods are available in various forms in the market for the use of consumers.
(i) Perishable foods.
Perishable Foods are those which cannot be kept for more than one or two days at room temperature because certain enzymes present in them bring about physical and chemical changes which are undesirable.
i. Milk, and milk products-cow’s milk, pasteurized milk, cream, cheese/paneer and homogenized milk.
ii. Animal products-meat, pork, fish, lamb, chicken and eggs.
iii. Vegetable and fruits-citrus fruits, apples, cabbage, tomatoes and green leafy vegetables.
(ii) Non-perishable Foods.
Non-perishable foods are those whose nutrients are in a stable form.
i. All cereals such as wheat-flour, sooji, bajra, rice.
ii. Pulses, chana, moong, uradh, arhar, beans, rajmah.
iii. Other foodstuffs: sugar, coffee, tea, cococa, brown sugar, honey.
iv. Fats, margarines, butter, hydrogenated fats and oils.
v. Condiments: salt, pepper, chillies, cardamom, cinnamon, amchoor and other spices.
vi Nuts: almonds, groundnuts, walnuts, cashew nuts, pistachio.
(iii) Convenience Foods.
Now-a-days home makers get built-in services in many foods that have been cleaned, trimmed and made ready for cooking such as poultry, washed greens, frozen food.
i. Canned fruits and vegetables, sea-food, meats, gravy soups.
ii. Dehydrated foods: instantized milk, coffee, soups.
iii. Frozen foods: fruits, vegetables, bread, cake, pastries, fish dishes and appetizers.