Editorâ€™s note: This is a guest post from Danielle Edwards – a Literature and History student and an aspiring Journalist.
Weâ€™re all battling with the phenomenon of inflation. In fact, the price of oil is likely to rise by much more throughout the summer, forcing supermarkets to raise the prices of goods, and leaving many of us with bare pockets and even some sour faces. Though we canâ€™t do much about the price of oil and many of the items of food we just love to eat, we can try to adapt so that we do not get overwhelmed by the cost of living.
In the past, our forefathers ate what they grew, and their diet was largely based on home-made innovations. In todayâ€™s world weâ€™ve become so dependent on grocery stores that many of us have unfortunately become handicapped in the face of exorbitant shelf prices. Judging by Barack Obamaâ€™s interest in bio-fuel energy and the ever-growing vast populations on China and India, it is inevitable that we will have to change the way we eat sooner or later, so why not start now?
I think the problem is that many of us have forgotten how easy and rewarding it is to make a big batch of golden bakes stuffed with only a few slices of cheese, or even served plain. Or a big mug of rich local cocoa tea with fried plantain, pumpkin fritters and breadfruit chips. And what about a delicious entrÃ©e of titiri and herring accras to accompany an appetizing calaloo soup! These Creole dishes seem to be very tantalizing alternatives to expensive imported cereals, canned soups and branded powdered chocolate mix, which could soon become delicacies for the breakfast tables of our low income earners. However, they seem to be taken for granted.
It has been said that â€˜tough times donâ€™t last, but tough people doâ€™. Perhaps, in many cases, tough people have just endured difficulty until they barely notice it exists.
We should all make the effort to resist rising food prices by being more innovative with our meals. The challenge is to think of something delicious, local and affordable on a weekly basis- we need to exploit our creativity and natural resources. The reality is that many persons- in India, Africa or Latin America- really wish they could do so.
Whatâ€™s on your menu?
This made me remember someone’s poem ‘Eat what you grow, harvest what you sow’ I felt bad after hearing that though because there isn’t anything but grass growing in my yard. We need to start planting people!
I agree 100% with this article. We have become so lazy and complaisant with this world and its need to acquire everything fast, fast cars, fast food etc. Because of these hard economic times, we have no choice but to develop other means of survival. Its time we go back to the old days of how of ancestors lived, mind you some will have a hard time adjusting but others will have a head start because in some cultures including West Indian certain customes were passed down from generation (which the ms edwards so eloquently mentioned in her article). I think that ‘going back to our roots’ just may eradicate many of issues that plague our people today i.e. autism, cancer, diabetes, obesity etc which I believe is connected to our in take of a lot of processed food. Its time to take charge folks, ride your bikes to work, cook organically and who knows in the process of trying to stay ‘green’/survive (whatever you choose to call it) we may indirectly tackle another issue that many avoid, by that I mean reinvesting in our childrens’ future/putting money aside for a ‘rainy day’ (and for some of us, it has already began to pour).
*** side note: banks are beginning to close as well so we may have to yet again take example from our grand parents and stuff our money in our mattress:-)
the idea of being innovative with local foods sounds very good, theoretically. however, many locals are also feeling the pinch when it comes to buying locally grown foods. not all of us are blessed with our own backyard gardens to cultivate our own foods, therefore many people still rely on market vendors to supply the local foods needed. these too are becoming, have become, quite high and has strained the pockets of many local persons. it is often much cheaper to buy a sack of rice which can stretch over the course of a few meals than buying a piece of yam and when cooked you realize more than half of it is spoilt (money down the drain). so i think we have to be fair here; yes shelf prices on imported goods are high, most of the foods are laden with preservatives and hormones that may cause health issues, however they are sometimes more affordable (especially when family/friends are able to send barrels for their loved ones). its a tough call, but local is not always more consumer friendly even though it may be cultural, healthier and home grown. having better local prices would be ideal, but that does not seem feasoble at the moment.
It is interesting how we take for granted the 2 or 3,000 mile salad
Modern transport and especially fast truck travel is something very new
Previously , an d not that long ago , people had to make do with local ingredients
It is interesting how different cultures in the same geographic would have in their repitoire similar foods , with different names
It was all from the same local ingredients
How different could the dishes be
It is true that there would be some overlap , some copying by admiration
All give and take with extra flair and specialties put in
In Winnipeg we have a local celebration of different cultures called “Folkorama”
All the different communities host pavilions with local foods and cultures
including dances and the local food of that community
By the end of the evening – after several pavilions the food, foods, meals and even the dancing all begin to seem very similar
Its so true
We take such concepts as using locally made and produced food preferentially as basic
Yet even in such places as Barbados with its tourist industry and high costs of transportation to the islands it took a local stalwart to start this concept and apply it to great effect
Now a local even international food eatery of renown stressing and teaching these concepts
Certainly better than the 3,000 mile salad