The Food Safety and Standards Authority of India (FSSAI) has recently published two open source public domain ebooks for citizens, on their official website.
The first one, named ‘The Pink Book: Your Guide for Safe and Nutritious Food at Home’, has been developed by countrywide government experts specifically keeping in mind the kitchens in Indian homes, but also provides for good general guidelines for any kitchen around the world.
It contains nine sections namely, buying food, storing food, preparing and cooking food, serving food, eating healthy food, managing leftover food, packaging food, maintaining hygiene & sanitation in the kitchen and managing waste. It provides useful tips, dos and don’ts, methods and practices that are recommended for Indian kitchens.
The second book is named ‘DART (Drug Aduteration Rapid Test) Book’.
It is a compilation of common quick tests for detection of food adulterants at home by the citizens themselves so as to induce awareness among the consumers about food safety. The book describes nearly 50+ simple household tests to detect common adulterants in food products like Milk & Milk Products, Oils & Fats, Sugar & Confectionary, Food Grains & its products, Spices & Condiments etc.
My quick review:
- Simple, lucid language – The books are designed to be understood even by persons with no formal science education beyond high-school.
- Clean, intuitive design
- Info sourced from official experts – FSSAI being the apex government regulator for food standards and safety, the data is obviously sourced from expert authors.
- Free, public domain books – both books are free for distribution, copying and dissemination in public domain.
- Customized for Indian / South Asian kitchens – a lot of focus is given on items specific to Indian kitchens, such as spices and condiments, rawa, arhar dal etc.
- Gets a bit too simple at places. I mean, who doesn’t know how to ‘visually identify and separate foreign matter from grains’?
- Had expected more details on several topics – Sincerely, the average Indian homemaker could have used quite some more details on most topics covered.
- No translation available in Hindi and regional languages.
With this much short introduction, we leave the rest for you to read and appreciate.
Here’s the official download page link:
(Note: As on this second update date, FSSAI was in the process of issuing a new edition of DART Book, so readers may have to wait some time if link is inactive.)
Don’t forget to share your reviews, ideas and critics in the comments.
Stay Healthy, stay Happy!