Are Kenyans ignoring diversity of diet?

A long press release from Tufts University in Boston, USA, tells us how faculty members have assisted Kenyan policy-makers in a series of workshops

“to build strategies for implementing Kenya’s National Food and Nutrition Policy. … The scope of the plan ranges from agricultural production, strategic grain reserves, and post-harvest protection, to nutritional interventions for high-risk groups, and the interrelationship of nutrition and diseases such as malaria, tuberculosis and HIV/AIDS.”

But I see no mention whatsoever of either dietary diversity or the value of local species as a contribution to nutrition. I’m hoping this is just an oversight by whoever wrote the release, but I fear it may not be. Using local food diversity to boost dietary diversity has so many benefits, I can’t imagine how the team overlooked it.

4 Replies to “Are Kenyans ignoring diversity of diet?”

  1. Do we have sufficient information about diet diversification interventions? I guess you give people training about the importance of a diverse diet. But the problem is that most poor people cannot afford it. When you are worrying about just getting your next meal, do you have time to consider diet diversity?

  2. I believe we do, although I also believe that stronger, simpler evidence would be very valuable.

    Poor people in cities are indeed buying the heapest calories they can, with no thought of nutrition. But in rural areas it is possible to promote diverse diets, especially to women who both grow and gather those plants and feed their families.

  3. Here is an interesting study addressing urban purchases, along the lines of your comment. And Michael Pollan just had a piece in the NYT Magazine on how subsidized corn in the US lowers prices for foods high in carbs and calories….

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