To make something palatable and delicious, all u need is some boneless chicken, some cheese, fresh cream and mushrooms, mix well and fry in plenty of olive oil. Serve in Italian crockery and garnish with French olives. Stay…Please doesn’t rush to the kitchen. I am only reminding you that this is the actual way of cooking, we hear these days. I am sure you all are well aware of the timings of your favorite and famous cooking shows. It is the time when every sister mother and possibly you too hang in front of TV set with a pen and note pad to note down the recipe of mouth watering dishes.
By taking a U-turn from cultural Aloo Gosht, one might feel himself a part of this fashionable era. Food has always been a big part of the Pakistani culture, but with the current revolution in the means of media, the food industry in Pakistan seems to have exploded. Food is ubiquitous in Pakistan. Exclusive food channels are growing day by day which broadcast cooking shows throughout the day. Newspapers and magazines are filled with advertisements and recipes for food items.
One might even get the impression that the Pakistanis live to eat, rather than the other way around. And yet, buried underneath this apparent feast of excesses, lies a shameful secret. Pakistan is the country where people are deprived of basic necessities of life; easy approach to food has become a misery. This is the time when the country has faced a catastrophic flood which has devastated 1/5th of the country and affected 20 million people. Food crisis are bigger then tsunami and millions of people have been starving.
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Still the motto of our cooking channels is “eat all; enjoy all”. The present state in which we survive, simplicity is the best policy. In the contrary the cooking channels promote extravagancy. Each program prepares three to six dishes at a time and also promotes the idea of starters and sweet dish along with the main meal. Separate meal for the children is out of question. By watching this, one may assume that the children are born to eat burgers, French fries, nuggets and drinks. The ingredients, used in cooking shows, compete the gold prices.
Every meal starts with boneless chicken and ends up with the display of foreign crockery. The people, who can afford this, have their meals in five star restaurants or in the home, made by their cook. The rests stay desperate and heart broken. The channels claim that the way to win the goodwill of husband and in laws is through the kitchen. Obviously in a country like Pakistan nobody can deny the above statement but the question is what the husband would do when his wife will spend half of his month’s salary in her one day’s cooking experience.
Ultimately the goodwill will convert to ill will. Our religion commands us to lead a simple life and Our Holy Prophet (Peace be upon him) is the best example of it. Hadith says that “Who ever adopts moderation can not be bankrupt”. In the current scenario Pakistan can not afford such extravagancy. Cooking shows are not inadequate if they are really earnest in training women and society in simple and positive manner. Food is a basic human right and a necessity but eating food should not be a luxury.
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