Session 20. Custom and food
Step 1. (5 minutes)
Step 2. (55 minutes)
Step 3. (15 minutes)
Step 4. (10 minutes)
Step 5. (10 minutes)
Step 6. (10 minutes)
Step 7. (15 minutes)
PLANNING A LOW-BUDGET, NUTRITIONS AND CULTURALLY APPROPRIATE DIET
The following foods and their prices are typical of the diet in the Ecuadorian highland region. Plan a day's menu that provides sufficient protein, fats, vitamins, minerals and caloric requirements, and falls within the guidelines of available time or preparation and economic and cultural constraints.
* There are six people in the family, including four children (ages 1 to 12).
* Corn products are usually available and need not be purchased.
* There is a scarcity of quinoa, a high-protein grain, and it is available only in limited quantities.
* Fava beans must be purchased, since the crop has failed this year.
* You have the equivalent of one dollar to spend for the day's meals.
* Milk and cheese are available only in the city (an hour's walk away, or a 12-cent bus ride) and meat is sometimes available only in the city.
* Wild greens are in limited supply, since the rains have not been constant.
* There is squash available in the fields, but only in limited quantity.
* The woman in the family suffers from "white discharge" and will not eat milk products, squash or pork because it may make her condition worse.
* Two of the under-five children have diarrhea and will not be allowed to eat "cold" foods: squash, pork, oranges, papaya.
* Guinea pig (cuy) is used for festive occasions (as is any other meat product, except for fat/lard).
* The family has an income of approximately $60 (U.S.) a month, of which $20 must be spent on the children's education: bus, books, uniforms, fees, etc.
* The rains have not come and grasses (at about 4 cents a bunch) must be purchased for the guinea pigs each day since there is no other food.
* There are a few vegetables in the family garden, left over from a previous Peace Corps project, but they are withering rapidly from the lack of water and care.
* Firewood must be brought down from the mountain (where the hacienda owner has his land), a job requiring two days. In addition, the family must pay with labor for the wood carried out.
* The husband must be taken his lunch. He works at a construction site temporarily, in a city nearby which is accessible by walking or by bus.
* Water comes from the community tap, but the nearest one is not working, so a trip must be made down into the village,
* There is a fiesta to be held this weekend at the house of relatives. The family is expected to bring food and drink, so money must be put aside to buy extra potatoes, lard, beans and a bottle of trago.
* The woman's breast milk is drying up, and the one-year-old is losing weight.
* One of the children is expelling worms when he defecates. The mother restricts his intake of milk and other "cold" foods until the worms are gone.
* Money must be kept aside for cooperative dues (20 cents per month).
* The bean water (from cooking beans) cannot be used, due to the woman's illness (the white discharge).
* The family is afraid of extremely "cold" foods, especially in the early morning or at night. Such foods are: cabbage, pork, squash, oranges, and any leftovers that have not been boiled.
* The biggest meal is at mid-day and must include beans, corn, soup (with a corn or oatmeal base or a broth with potatoes and suet), and potatoes.
* There are two other meals: early morning, where herb tea and sugar are drunk with a piece of bread or toasted corn or leftover soup; and the evening meal, where soup or leftovers from lunch are served.
Foods and Prices
Beans: 20 to 40 cents per lb. (Some may be available from crops.)
After completing the exercise, take time to discuss, in writing, the following:
1. Name several economic constraints that limited the amounts or types of foods purchased.
2. Name several social/cultural considerations you followed in planning the diet.
3. What was the most difficult aspect of the planning (i.e., the economics, cultural factors, availability or scarcity of foods, etc.)?
4. Which major nutrients are included (in proper amounts) in the diet? Which are lacking?
5. Do you think that a rural family can eat nutritious meals based on the information included in this exercise? Explain.
6. What would you add or delete from the exercise?
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