With an aim to make people aware of safe and healthy eating habits, the Food Safety and Standards Authority of India (FSSAI) will organize the first ‘National Right Eat Mela’ from 14-16 December 2018 at IGNCA, India Gate, New Delhi.
According to the official statement, the three-day event will provide a complete food experience for the entire family and an opportunity to know everything one needs to know about safe food and healthy diets, including quick tests for adulterants, health and nutrition benefits of different types of food, and dietary advice by experts.
About the first ‘National Right Eat Mela’, Pawan Agarwal, CEO, FSSAI said that it aimed at making a template for states’ FDAs to host such events and take the subject of food safety to masses.
Pawan Agarwal said that while the mela is the first of its kind, it is expected to become an annual event and get bigger and better each year. It is also expected to be replicated in at least 40 major cities including state capitals across the country through state governments.
As the street food vending is an important part of the India’s food system, the highlight of the event will be that street food vendors from various parts of the country will be in attendance.
Pawan Agarwal stated, “Eventually, this mela would become a one-stop-shop for people to know about safe, healthy and local foods, and enjoy the rich culinary heritage of our country. We hope that this public outreach through celebration and entertainment would nudge citizens to become aware of and adopt safe and healthy eating habits.”
He added, “Further, it is expected that states would start organizing these Eat Right Melas in other cities and towns at the district level taking the message of ‘Eat Right India’ to each and every citizen of the country.”
The event is being held in partnership with the National Association of Street Vendors of India (NASVI), Delhi State Food Safety Department, NDMC, IGNCA (Ministry of Culture) and Tasting India Symposium.
Arbind Singh, national coordinator of NASVI, emphasized that in its new avatar, the street food festival is now integrated with the ‘Eat Right Mela’ and not only celebrated the Indian food culture but also promoted safe and healthy eating through various engaging activities through convergent efforts.
The event will allow citizens to engage in dialogues and conversations with food visionaries and experts including celebrity Chef Sanjeev Kapoor, Dr. Shikha Sharma, Prof Pushpesh Pant on various subjects related to food.
It will give an opportunity to the people to sample diverse flavours of the country, watch live ‘healthy cooking’ demonstrations by celebrity chefs such as Chef Manjit Gill and Chef Rakesh Sethi, and enjoy live music, dance and theatre performances.
As a part of the event, an Indo-Nordic Food Policy workshop focused on learning from Nordic countries on the reduction of trans fats and salt in the diet, menu labelling, healthy and sustainable diets will be held.
The theme pavilion of this year will be ‘Gandhiji, his habits of food and his thoughts on food and nutrition’ as a part of the celebration of 150 years of Mahatma Gandhi’s Birth.