The food crisis in many parts of the world, compounded by the novel coronavirus pandemic, has required many to tighten their budgets, especially amid job cuts and losses.
Many are forced to eat less. In countries like Venezuela, some eat only once per day. Other areas see some people eating every other day. What has it been like for you? How can you maximise on reduced portions of food as the food situation worsens?
Less food, less weight
Many people are struggling with being overweight. Having less to eat may coerce people to consume less, especially when it comes to more expensive junk foods.
The healthy appetite Jamaicans have may not be so healthy after all. If you have had to cut your budget, lowering meat intake and fat could work in your favour. Some fast-food establishments still attract long lines of customers amid the novel coronavirus crisis, but not as long as before. This could mean that more people may be eating less fast food, which is not a bad thing.
More value, less money
Not only should you consider buying in bulk, but try to seek out healthier foods, too. Note that there are many less expensive foods that are healthier than more expensive ones. Also, eating small amounts of healthy food is better than eating large amounts of unhealthy ones, which can be more expensive.
Take time out and study the nutritional value of foods. Cookbooks are good for showing you appetising ways to create meals from legumes and vegetables that may not be as appealing when eaten by themselves. The Internet is also a helpful source. Try, too, to use different sites to corroborate information when finding the value a particular food holds.
Grow more in times of less
I went to the vegetable man, who hit me with an eye-popping $600 per pound for tomato, recently. I am seriously considering planting “cash crops” in the backyard, and you should too, as you can grow your own and save more as you reap more.
More nutrition from less food
One who is shrewd in food preparation will maximise the nutritional value in each food. So, try to not soak fruits and vegetables in water for more than a minute, as they start losing some of their value.
Food to be used for the next meal can be safely covered and refrigerated. Foods to stay for longer periods should be dried and tightly shut in plastic bags to prevent air from entering. Where salads are concerned, prepare only enough for one meal.
Peeling fruits and vegetables takes away much of their nutritional value. Where you know fruits and vegetables are grown free of pesticide, you only need to wash them properly. Sadly, with pesticide use so widespread, peeling may be necessary. Some, nevertheless, use a brush with stiff bristles to have dirt and such removed.
We have a culture of stuffing ourselves with food, and unhealthy food at that. As we tighten our food belts given the worsening economic situation, lest we forget, eating less may be best.
Warrick Lattibeaudiere, PhD, a minister of religion for the past 23 years, lectures full-time in the School of Humanities and Social Sciences at the University of Technology, Jamaica, where he is also director of the Language, Teaching and Research Centre. E-mail him at email@example.com
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