22 March 2013

Hungry Planet - Chad

This is the Mustapha family (9 members) living in the village of Dar Es Sallam with 210 inhabitants (from the book Hungry Planet by Peter Menzel and Faith D'Aluisio).

Their PICTURE is here.

The list of the food types they eat is very limited. I have more sorts of food in my fridge right now, than they ever had in their whole life. Yet, if you observe the picture carefully, they do not seem to display deficiency diseases, and they don't seem to be overweight.

Here is what they eat (7.6 kg per person, per week):
  • 36% starches (millet, millet flour and sorghum)
  •   1% sweet foods (sugar)
  • (no dairy, only milk, see beverages below)
  • 10% meat (chicken, goat, no fish or eggs are consumed)
  • 18% fruits (watermelon and dates)
  • 35% vegetables (squash, okra, onion, garlic, tomatoes, red pepper, peanuts)
Beverages (1.5 litres per person, per week):
  • 100% milk, this equals to one cup per person per day.
I know that peanuts do not really enter the "vegetables" category, but I just wanted to group all plant foods under the same name to make things easier. The focus of this grouping was to point out the sweet food consumption: only 1% of their diet is sugar, the amount a person consumes a day is approx. 1 tablespoon. It is very low compared to our modern diet.

They consume quite a bit of grains, but it is unprocessed, whole grain. They also exercise a lot as they are herders. They carry their water from a well, half a mile away.
"Twelve-year-old Amna Mustapha and her cousin Fatna tie gourds and plastic jugs to the wooden saddles on their father's donkeys, then hoist themselves up for the morning ride across the plain of east central Chad to fetch the day's water. There are no family arguments about whose turn it is to go, or who herded the cattle yesterday and twice last week. Children learn at a young age what's expected of them, and there's no room for argument if everyone wants to eat."
                                                                      - the authors
Meat is not often consumed. When they eat some, it is usually in the form of dried meat soaked in their porridge (aiysh: millet flour, water, vegetable oil), eaten three times a day. 

Facts about the country (from the book):
  • Population that are subsistence farmers and cattle herders: more than 80%.
  • Population with access to safe water: 27%.
  • Households with access to electricity: 2%.
  • Overweight population: male 10% male, 17% female.
  • Obese population: 0.3% male, 1% female.
  • Number of McDonald's. Burger King, KFC, Pizza Hut restaurants: zero.

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