Talk to people who have been living in the Rawalpindi city for years and have witnessed the explosion of fast-food eateries or their evolution over time, and different perspectives emerge. While no one really vouches for the hygiene or food safety standards, whether they still enjoy it seems to be largely a personal choice.
“Any reasonable person would prefer traditional taraka daal, chicken biryani, aaloo keema, halwa poori, shami kebabs, kooftay, haleem, etc. any day than this fast food. It is junk food in the developed world and status symbol in the third world,” says Zainab Hayat.
“There is no other match to a Beef Burger with Coke and French fries are yummy. Get some exercise and this food will not be junk. In normal circumstances, one can avoid fast food. However, if couples are lacking on time and energy then junk food is the only option they are left with,” says Mohsin Naqvi.
“I love Junk food, in fact, I have it during breakfast lunch, and dinner, my favourite, of course, is hamburger. The more busy people like me get the more fast food. Fine dining has a cost,” says Mehdi Hasan.
“Fast food is easier to make. Imagine someone cooking a home dish from scratch for you for lunch between your office hours. Do you really think one can make a nihari or a karahi or cholay or biryani or pulao or daal chawal freshly for you in half an hour,” adds Mehdi.
Irum Batol says, “Yes, the traditional food takes time and labour to prepare compared to fast food. Moreover, do not forget that traditional food tastes best when it is made fresh and served hot. We cannot do this in our lunch hours can we?”
“Another thing is that now everyone in houses has to work to maintain a decent lifestyle so you can’t expect your wife to come from work and cook you something awesome every day,” says Intezar Hussain.
“This is no excuse. My wife works nine hours five days a week. Yet she still finds time every evening to cook a fresh meal. My sister works ten to twelve hours, seven days a week. She still gets up at 9 am and prepares a fresh breakfast. Let us face it. Most Pakistanis are too busy wasting time doing nothing productive,” says Ali Reza.
“I think the key is to moderate the consumption. Our local food in the subcontinent is not exactly overly healthy either if you look at it. Nothing that is tasty is ever healthy,” says Samar Abbas.
“Do burgers have more fat than fat-laden paya, nihari, halwa pooris, and average homemade curries? We have our own fair share of fatty foods; some get biased against the burgers as they are not traditional,” adds Samar.