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Be healthier to be wealthier: healthy eating on a budget


According to the World Food Programme (WFP), the world produces enough food to nourish every child, woman, and man on the planet. However, nearly a third of all food produced each year is lost before it can be consumed. On Wednesday, September 2nd, 2020 Wambui Kariuki (Executive Assistant – Office of the Dean, Strathmore University Law School) umpired the 19th webinar on staff wellness. Serving their expertise on healthy eating on a budget were Ashley Kibutha – (Registered and Licensed Dietician) and Maryanne Wanza – (Nutritionist – Strathmore University Medical Center).

How do you eat on a budget? 

By growing your own food. This is not only cheaper but allows you to be in control of every step of the growing process. Gardening also offers you a magical way to connect with nature as you work with your hands. Secondly, up-grade your kitchen skills by experimenting with food. As you get more experience in the kitchen, you will gain speed and wonder why you ever paid for supermarket meals. Thirdly, reduce your animal protein for plant-based protein. Meats and poultry cannot be stored for long and are probably the most expensive items in your food budget, so it pays to trade. Buy different grains to bring variety to your meals.

How are our eating habits increasing food costs?

The World Food Programme (WFP) estimates that one-third of food produced for human consumption is lost worldwide. This calculates to a staggering US$1 trillion globally.   Some of the sources of such waste include prepared excess foods that go uneaten, food that spoils in fridges and kitchen cabinets, especially the perishables. Other contributors to food waste are limited skills on how to handle and store produce by most farmers and lack of accessible markets to sell their products over the seasons. Currently, the World Food Programme (WFP) has an initiative dubbed “Zero Post-Harvest Losses”. It helps farmers learn new skills and advises them how to access markets.

Making healthy choices on a budget takes time. However, there are some steps we can take to save money while we build on health. This includes eating foods that are in season especially fruits since the cost is lower, buying store brands which are cheaper and equally good, signing up for reward cards at supermarkets you frequent, and using your reward points for food purchases.

Lastly. the experts agree that you should avoid shopping when you are hungry for it encourages impulse buying that only increases your food budget.  Above all, remember, to take time to enjoy wholesome foods as healthy eating today impacts your medical costs tomorrow.

This article was written by  Annete Karanja.

Would you like to share your experience of living through the circumstances brought by the Covid-19 pandemic? Kindly email: communications@strathmore.edu