FOOD, DESPITE BEING THE GREATEST OPPORTUNITY FOR A HEALTHY LIFESTYLE, COULD BECOME THE GREATEST THREAT AND CAUSE OF DEATH, PARTICULARLY ACROSS AFRICA.
When we speak about Italian, French, British or Zimbabwean cuisine, we are talking about more than spices; we are talking about culture. If food signifies culture, then so does agriculture. As Massimo Montanari said, "everything having to do with food—its capture, cultivation, preparation, and consumption—represent a cultural act."
Unfortunately, culture can sometimes trump—or lag far behind—what science and research tell us about health. The gap in Africa’s varied cultural understanding of food and the realities of a healthy diet is present across social and economic classes. Regardless of education, income, and geography, people across Africa are paying the consequences.
Despite the many years of financial resources devoted to modernising smallholder African agriculture and increasing the yields of staple crops such as maize, rice and small grains, malnutrition is on the rise. And the costs from malnutrition last a lifetime.
So why, despite growing more food, aren’t people becoming healthier? It’s our cultural understanding of food…