The reality of community food insecurities

We all know the saying that says you are what we eat. So if most of South Africans live on refined and processed foods, which is very unhealthy, then what are we?

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Atlantis Shopper at refined foods section

Walking around in my community I see a need for change and that is mostly an awareness of foods, especially healthy foods and getting to the point of household food security, mainly known as food poverty. The people of my community – Atlantis, choose to be ignorant when it comes to complex problems and using money on things that seems wasteful and because healthy foods tend to be more expensive because it takes longer to process, it is fresh and comes from a place that is expensive from the beginning to the end – people turn the other side. The poor are specially exposed to the foul trend that consist of foods that has very little nutritional benefits, like maize meals, basically food that fits the pocket.

Before a solution can be enhanced, understanding what the problem is and where it exists is the first step to getting to a solution for the existing problem, like the conflict that exists between the young and the old over how income is used; poor communities that faces problems of crime and instability, as well as the feelings of separation and hopelessness that grips the youth; also people often forget how strong communities are, so they lack in building on resources a community already has – all  these that can make a change.

As a journalist, creating awareness in my community by writing about the issue – daily food columns on ‘need to know’ facts or interviews with city councillors or organisations; could bring change. Also to build connections with organisations or individuals that focuses on fostering a healthier food system in small communities, not just in the community but also bringing people from surrounding areas to train, support or participate in reaching the goal. As well as finding a way in bringing government in to support the attempt of addressing the issue, even if it is just by speaking with city councillors, it is a step forward.

Health is not about the weight you lose but about the life you gain -Food Matters

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Organisations like FOOD MATTERS acknowledges the issue of food poverty – the causes and the impacts involved in food poverty. Food Matters also understands that effectives strategies to create change and approach the issue is mostly aimed at the short-term response. The community of Atlantis needs the kind of support that food matters offer to get to the point where the people of Atlantis wants to and chooses to make a change in which foods they consume and even if they just think about it, it is one step towards fostering a healthier and conscious food system.