Changing Local Diets and Food Expectations with Subsidized foods

School Feeding Program.  Source:  Moses Ouma Migoya

School Feeding Program, Kenya - after the clashes.

Mukuni basic school feed ing program, Zambia. Source:  Butterfly Program

Mukuni basic school feeing program, Zambia.

Sources:  Top –   Moses Ouma Migoya; Bottom –  The Butterfly Tree

In my last blog I talked about the impact of food assistance on local diets in the Southern Hemisphere; programs such as the two depicted above.

But food assistance to the poor or to schools by means of  federally-assisted food programs can also impact on diets – or diet expectations –  in the Northern Hemisphere, as a recent article in ‘The Pig Site’ suggests:

…USDA announced last week that it would purchase $30 million worth of pork products for public feeding programs, well short of the $50 million purchase that had been requested by the National Pork Producers Council (NPPC). USDA cited federal budget constraints….

…The most popular product in the spring USDA buy was a pre-cooked pork patty that could be made of either sow or butcher hog trimmings…

Pig raising - as many other agricultural activities in North America and the EU -  suffers from the global recession.

Pig raising - as many other agricultural activities in North America and the EU - suffers from the global recession.

Is this going to substantially change the diets of the poor or of kids receiving federally-supported lunches?  No, certainly not this one example.  But it is the cumulative effect of a variety of federally-subsidized foods and food products that could lead it that direction.  Has any work been done on this topic?  Maybe – though I’m not aware of it.  If you know or have thoughts, let us know about it!

P.S. – I’m certainly not against federally-supported programs in supplying food – but am concerned about the implications and unintended outcomes.

About dianabuja

With a group of BaTwa (pygmy) women potters, with whom we've worked to enhance production and sales of their wonderful pots - fantastic for cooking and serving. To see the 2 blogs on this work enter 'batwa pots' into the search engine located just above this picture. Blog entries throughout this site are about Africa, as well as about the Middle East and life in general - reflecting over 35 years of work and research in Africa and the Middle East – Come and join me!
This entry was posted in Cuisine, Food Aid, Research & Development, Uncategorized. Bookmark the permalink.

1 Response to Changing Local Diets and Food Expectations with Subsidized foods

  1. Great article, thank you. I am very interested in finding a diet that lowers my sugar intake. I currently have a sweet-tooth, and am finding it difficult to find meal plans, what to eat for snacks, etc. While diabetes is not something that runs in my family, I am still concerned and would like to be smart and take a proactive approach to my health.


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