Ghana Volunteer Option Borgla or Bolgatanga, Ghana West Africa Monday, September 3, 2007
Salad Making Schools
Malnutrition is one of my pet obsessions; I think an inordinate amount of time about this topic. I cannot remember exactly, however Josef Garvi of the Eden Foundation in Zinder, Niger was explaining how the world uses food. It went something like this, and do not quote this as fact, it is not. However, as I remember he says, less than 20 foods provide the staple food sources for nutritional needs of the 90 planet. http://www.eden-foundation.org
What we eat is cultural; I like Potatoes, the Ghana people like Yams, no problem and great, food diversity.
I am making this video about Fufu, a food made of yams and plantains, something like a banana. Something comparable to eating mashed potatoes, and a staple food in the Ashanti region and many others areas.
A person ask, - Do you know Fufu? - I say, - I do not know Fufu. - - Try Fufu. -
Ok, I am a carbo-a-holic or starch-a-holic, if I allow myself to eat what I want; I would eat only French Fries with Mustard, or A1 Steak Sauce and lots of black pepper or better yet, white pepper. As my life has evolved, I have slowly went from eating French Fries with Catsup to combinations, and moved away from the stereotypical American French Fries.
However, I know eating French Fries is a great way to get fat; I must tell myself and force myself to eat Vegetables and Fruits.
Fufu is a probably considered Carbohydrates, I do not want to learn to eat another food or learn to love another food that could help me to become fat. West Africa is full of the foods that supply a lot of calories and energy, however incomplete for good nutrition.
To describe the diet of West African people, it is analogous to a person in the USA eating Mash Potatoes with Catsup every meal.
- The Banana is not native to Africa; sailors brought it here from Southeast Asia and lead to large population growth in Africa.
- Carrot, common name for a plant, native to Eurasia and northern Africa. -
- Apples - NOT native to the USA…
American as Apple Pie and the food is not a native of the USA; the seeds were brought here by boats from Europe.
The food culture of Africa is lagging behind in West Africa; there is a lack of diversity of foods. It is nice to say, easy to say, however telling me to eat spinach will not make me like spinach.
Telling a person in Ghana to eat lettuce and vegetables is nice, however to get them to like to eat a more nutritionally diverse diet requires a good cook or chef.
In a way, I think the pivotal solution to malnutrition is by changing the foods they eat, and finding more foods they like. One solution would be to have volunteers have cooking schools to promote the vegetales they do not grow or eat properly.
For example, salads, how to makes salads, the French introduced the Baguette Carbohydrate, lets-get-fat food to the Francophone countries, it would be nice if they came back introduced some great salads.
Volunteers learn to eat the local foods, and a good cultural exchange would be to bring into the diets of locals many new types or new ways to eat a variety foods and change the channel.