Filtered by: Food Security <Back to previous page ‘Think like a chicken’ and other top tips from a poultry expertKeiron Forbes has earned the name ‘Chickenologist’ from travelling around the world helping people to start chicken projects, solving problems with… A real success storyby Renu Sherchan. The nutrition worker entered the small village house and found what looked like a living skeleton. His name was Som Bahadur Tamang. He was five years old. His mother had left him when he was ten months old and his father was struggling to raise him. Adding nutritional value to foodIncreasing the nutritional value of available food is often easy to do at low cost, simply by combining foods and fruits in different ways. Here are some useful ideas to improve nutrition for both children and adults. Adding value through storageEffective storage of food helps provide security and nutrition for households. It also enables food to be sold at higher market prices once the harvest period is past. Adding value to fruitsMost people enjoy eating ripe fruit such as mangoes, oranges, bananas and guavas. Children enjoy the taste so much that they will often eat unripe fruit! However, ripe fruit does not store well or travel well to distant markets. Other people’s fruit usually ripens at the same time, so market prices fall, making it hard to sell at a good price. Preserving fruit to enjoy its flavour throughout the year is therefore very important to avoid wastage and increase income. The simplest ways of ... An improved granary designAn improved granary design Simple improvements to traditional granaries may reduce the loss of grains to pests and diseases without requiring financial outlay. Bele a little known vegetable with huge potentialby Nicky Davison. Bible studiesThese Bible studies are designed to use in small groups. They may provide a useful introduction to a meeting where different topics from the Guide… Bible studiesThese Bible studies are designed to use in small groups. They may provide a useful introduction to a meeting where different topics from the Guide… Bible study: Enough is as good as a feastEnough is as good as a feast by Stan Crees God's word has much to teach us about food, its provision, storage, benefits and our responsibility to share it. Read Psalm 65. This provides a clear example of God’s generous nature. Here God is seen to bless the land with showers so that crops grow abundantly, providing more than is needed. There are similar passages in Psalms 68, 104 and 107. Bible study: God's provision in times of difficultyThe book of Ruth is set at the time of a famine in the area around Bethlehem (Ruth 1:1). Elimelech and his family left Bethlehem in search of food and went to Moab, where they lived for at least 10 years (Ruth 1:4-5). Following the deaths of her husband and sons, Naomi returned home with her daughter-in-law Ruth (Ruth 1:22). Bible study: God's provision of healthy foodGod’s provision of healthy food. Read Genesis 1:11-13 and Genesis 1:29-31. How does God provide for our need to eat? Breaking new ground – joint land ownership in NepalFor United Mission to Nepal (UMN), gender justice has always been a priority. We believe that men and women are like two wheels of a cart. When we… Community grain banksFollowing community discussions in 1989, people in Ekwendeni identified a lack of food security as a major problem affecting the whole community, particularly during the rainy season when food can be hard to find. After a number of meetings and discussions, grain banks were established in 1992. Each bank is managed by a committee of ten local people, eight of whom are women! They receive no outside support. During harvest time, people need money in exchange for their maize. During the rainy ... Community Grain Banksby Pasteur Samuel Yameogo. Burkina Faso is a land-locked country in West Africa with only one short rainy season. There are often severe food shortages in the drier northern areas. Since the 1980s when there were several years of famine, community grain banks have become popular throughout the country, providing a village-based solution to critical food shortages. Grain banks make food supplies available at the hardest times of the year at carefully controlled prices. ODE has supported the ... Conservation farming in Zambiaby Joan Mute Cooking with cassava leavesWhile reading Footsteps 43 on encouraging change, a reader from Kenya wondered whether cassava leaves are edible. Two people have responded with recipes. Mr Gilbert comments, ‘The majority of people in our country (Democratic Republic of Congo) eat them as basic green vegetables.’ He shares the most common method used in the Bunia region where he lives. Mr Ramampiandra of Madagascar says that cassava leaves are widely used in his country. Cooking without fuelTraditional cooking methods, using firewood and charcoal, prove more and more time consuming for women around the world as reserves of fuel trees are used up. Women find they either have to walk further to collect enough wood for cooking the family meal, or else buy expensive paraffin. The use of fireless cookers is not a new idea, but often the ideas are presented in ways which seem alien to people. Fireless cookers are unlikely to replace traditional methods of cooking, but they can be a very ... Coping with droughtby Pukuta N Mwanza. Luangwa and Gwembe are two regions of Zambia which have been severely affected by five years of continuous drought. These droughts have left farmers poorer than before because they have been forced to sell their assets – livestock, equipment – and use up their savings to survive. Developing grain banksby Abdoul-Azize Sarki Dried moringa leavesPrevious issues of Footsteps have mentioned the value of the moringa tree as a fast-growing tree for agroforestry, a good source of nutritious green leaves and beans and, in particular, the ability of moringa oil from the seeds to purify water. Researchers have now found another use for this tree. If the leaves are first dried (see drier on page 16) then powdered using a pestle and mortar, they can be stored in plastic bags or glass jars for several months. Early child careby Dr Patrice Engle. EditorialOur health is affected by what we eat. Without a healthy, balanced diet, we will not have healthy bodies able to fight off diseases. In this issue we are looking at ideas to help with farming for better nutrition. EditorialMost health workers would agree that working with mothers and children is the most important part of health work in a community. This is because the health needs of mothers and children are especially great and because mothers with children make up over half the population. In this issue we can only look at a few of the many subjects concerning mother and child health. But we hope that this issue will bring some helpful new ideas to discuss and try out. Let us know of other subjects you ... EditorialPlans for this issue began with the theme ‘storing the harvest’. But then we felt it important to widen this subject to that of food security which raises many more issues. A useful definition of food security comes from von Braun (1992): ‘Access by all people at all times to the food required for them to lead a healthy and productive life’. With over 800 million people in the world today known to be hungry, some 190 million children known to be underweight, 230 million children known to ... Encouraging young children to eatby Ann Burgess. The amount children eat depends on the food they are offered, their appetite and how their mothers or other carers feed them F21 Fruit trees All kinds of fruit trees can be grown near crops. They are often very suitable to plant as boundary trees, near to the home or as small plantations… F22 Moringa a tree with special propertiesMoringa is a small tree with many valuable properties. It grows fast and it continues to grow if cut back. The leaves can be cooked as a green… Farmers praise organic fertiliserSwitching from chemical to organic fertiliser can make a big difference to small-scale farmers. Before he received training from RURCON, a Tearfund… Feeding a family of five – Sylvia’s story in MalawiLife was hard for Sylvia’s family. Her husband had abandoned her and she had only one bag of maize to feed five people. Feeding young childrenThe three food groups A child’s diet should include food from the three food groups: Energy foods help children play and work. These are staple foods such as maize, rice and plantain, and oils such as vegetable oil and animal fat, and sugar. Feeding young childrenby Ann Ashworth. Good food is important for good health. Children who are well fed during the first two years of life are more likely to stay healthy for the rest of their childhood. During the first six months of a child’s life, breast milk alone is the ideal food. It contains all the nutrients needed for healthy growth as well as immune factors that protect against common childhood infections. Fermentationby Dr Ann Ashworth. The benefits of fermentation have been recognised from the earliest times. There are records of fermented foods being used by the Sumerians, ancient Egyptians, Babylonians and Assyrians. Chinese descriptions of miso from soy sauce go back to 1000 BC. Other foods that are commonly fermented are milk (to make soured milks and yoghurt), cereals and cassava. Floating gardensMany people around the world experience flooding. Where there is frequent flooding the growing season is affected and crops become damaged or even washed away. Another problem for poor communities is that there is little land available for growing food. Food coolersIn high temperatures, cooked meals and fresh food such as meat, fruit or dairy products, will not stay fresh for very long. Food will quickly become unsafe to eat, often after just a few hours. Here are two simple ideas which help to keep food cool – and also covered and free from flies. They cost little to make and will keep food fresh for longer. Food storage and preservationThere are many different blocks which may prevent the storing and preserving of food. Selling food Farmers may sell much or all of the food they produce immediately because: Fresh vegetables in the desertby Loiboku Jeremy Fruitful training brings hope and joy to cocoa farmers in Ivory CoastAward-winning British chocolatier Will Torrent will be pleased to know that chocolate consumption around the world is on the rise. The latest figures… G1 Storing the harvest How many of the crops which you produce with so much hard work are lost to pests and diseases, either in the field or during storage? G10 Good hygiene After emptying a grain store or granary, immediately sweep it out very thoroughly. Make sure no grains at all remain from the previous year. Repair… G11 Community grain banksGrain banks can be used to store grain within a community, that can be available to people at fair prices during times of shortage. Usually grain… G12 Establishing community grain banksThere must be a community decision to establish a grain bank. Outsiders should not make this decision. The community must own and control the grain… G13 Operating a community grain bank Successful grain banks need to obtain large amounts of good quality grain at harvest time. Make sure that stored grain is kept dry and free of… G14 Preserving other staple foodsGrains are a food source that can be preserved over many months. However there are other important foods that can be preserved for several months… G15 Building clamps for storing roots Tubers can also be stored in ‘clamps’. These are holes dug in the ground, lined with straw or leaves, filled with roots and then covered with more… G16 Drying root crops Root crops can also be stored by drying them. Peel and cut into small pieces and dry, preferably in a solar drier. Roots can first be stored in… G17 Drying fruit and vegetables When drying food, particularly if it is to be sold, it is important to keep food as clean as possible. To preserve the colour, fruit pieces should… G18 Preserving fish by drying Drying is a good way of preserving fish that cannot be eaten or sold fresh. Larger fish should be split to remove the guts and large bones and then… G19 Preserving fish by smoking Smoking is a traditional way of preserving fish. It cooks and dries the fish at the same time. There are many different types of smokers but each… G2 The benefits of a mixed harvest Commercial seed producers want to persuade farmers that their new varieties will produce better and larger yields. Often they do; sometimes they do… G20 Processing food jam making When fruit is plentiful, some of it is often wasted. All kinds of soft fruit can be used to make jam if plenty of sugar is available. Use ripe soft… G21 Processing food making pickles and chutneys In some cultures, making pickles or chutneys is very common. In others it may be a new idea. It is a good way of preserving vegetables and can add… G22 Processing fruit making juice Another way of preventing fruit from being wasted is to make it into juice. Again, good hygiene is very important. Citrus fruits are very good and… G3 Grain storageSimple improvements to local grain stores may help reduce the loss of grains to pests and diseases. Most areas have different requirements and… G4 Practical tips drying grain When storing grains, they should be completely dry. Otherwise mould and disease can develop. A simple test is to check by biting on the grains. A… G5 Solar grain driersThe simple drier shown below will heat grain to temperatures high enough to kill most pests, including weevils, beetles and other insect pests,… G6 Controlling pestsThere are many different ways of controlling pests without buying expensive chemicals. Coating beans with a thin layer of edible oil before they are… G7 Removing oxygen from grainAll insects and other pests need to breathe oxygen to survive. Here is a simple tip which can remove oxygen from a storage container. This is only… G8 Using protective plants to reduce pest damageMany local plants can be used to protect harvested crops from pests. What plants have traditionally been used within your community? Many new… G9 Using sacks for grain storageStoring grain in sacks is useful if there are large quantities to store. If theft from outside granaries is common, sacks can be stored in a room… Gardening for better nutritionby Ian Horne. Small food gardens near the family home have traditionally made an important contribution to family nutrition. Home gardens can help provide variety in the diet and supply vital vitamins and minerals, carbohydrates and proteins. Good nutrition helps the body to resist disease, so home gardens help improve family health. Glossaryanaemia a condition often caused by a lack of iron in the diet, so that the blood becomes weak. Other causes are malaria, hookworm, HIV and other… Glossaryaim broad, long-term, important goal chutney spicy relish made from fruits, sugar, vinegar and spices co-ordinate to manage activities by working… Goal 1 Eradicate extreme poverty and hungerThis goal aims to reduce by half the number of people whose income is less than $1 a day, and those who suffer from hunger. Grafting citrus treesMany of the fruits we eat come from trees. Fruits are an important human food, rich in vitamins. Some fruits, such as papaya and passion fruit, grow easily from seed. But if you have tried growing citrus fruit from seeds, you may have been disappointed with the results. Grain storage30% of fruit and vegetables are wasted due to the unavailability of proper processing and preserving. Here are some practical ideas from different sources. Green Mango ChutneyThe hospital of St Francis, Katete, in Zambia’s Eastern Province, is well supplied with mango trees. This is typical of hundreds of other hospitals throughout tropical Africa, Asia and Latin America. What may not be so typical is the waste of mangoes at the beginning of the season. Small boys knock down unripe mangoes by throwing stones or sticks. A few are edible but most are bitten once and them thrown on the ground. A good solution for this waste (and a way of making money) is to use them ... Healthy eating[Health] by Dr Ann Ashworth. The ‘double burden’ of disease Many low- and middle-income countries are facing a ‘double burden’ of disease. They continue to have the old problems of infectious diseases, but at the same time are experiencing a rapid increase in non-communicable diseases such as diabetes and heart disease. Being overweight is one of the underlying factors. Healthy eatingIdeas to help improve household nutrition at low cost – food groups, kitchen gardens, recipes, methods of food preservation and hygiene. How to make jamAll kinds of soft fruit can be used to make jam. If possible, use a book of jam recipes which will tell you exactly how much fruit, sugar and water to use for each different fruit. However, if you cannot find such recipes, here are the general principles of jam making. Ideas for health trainingI'd like to share some training activities which I have developed with the help of village people to encourage discussion on health and nutrition. Improved farming for better nutritionby Martin Rowland. Kagando Rural Development Centre is situated in the foothills of the Ruwenzori Mountains in Western Uganda. It started as a small hospital in 1965 and has continued to grow and develop since then. Improving food securityby Dr Ruvimbo Mabeza-Chimedza Improving food securityPractical information on pest control, grain banks and new techniques for food preservation and storage. Improving nutrition in Boliviaby Pastor Eduardo Barja Improving the benefits of the food we eatTo add to the nutritional value of a meal, always try to mix the staple food (such as maize, rice, plantain, potato) with some kind of vegetable, beans, meat or nuts as a relish. Even small amounts of relish add taste and nutritional value (vitamins, minerals, protein). Remember that even though women and children may eat less staple food, everyone needs the same amount of relish. Learning from a model villageA comprehensive programme to address food insecurity in a Dalit village in Nepal by Luma Nath Adhikari Mucua juiceWe prepare and sell a food product called ‘mucua juice’ which is made from the fruit of the baobab tree, commonly known as ‘imbondeiro’ here. (Its scientific name is Adansonia digitata). This fruit is rich in vitamins and minerals. To prepare the juice you will need two large metal containers, two buckets and a sieve. Mushroom growingMushroom growing can be a useful way of earning income when climate change makes farming less reliable. You do not need farmland to grow mushrooms, so it is a useful activity in both rural and urban areas. N1 A healthy dietGood food is important for good health. Most people depend on one or two staple foods for much of what they eat. This may be a cereal (such as rice,… N10 Customs and taboosAll cultures have various traditional beliefs and customs concerning food. Sometimes people eat special foods at festivals. Some foods may be avoided… N11 Herbs and spicesHerbs and spices are foods with really strong flavours. Every local area will have some familiar herbs or spices. These may include garlic, ginger,… N12 Doorsized gardensMany homes, particularly in towns and cities, have little or no room for growing vegetables. However, outside many homes is an area of ground that… N13 Fermenting foodsFor many centuries, people have used the technique of fermentation to prepare foods. Examples are fermented maize in Ghana, fermented legumes in Asia… N14 Drying vegetablesMany vegetables, herbs, spices and fruits can be preserved by drying. Tomatoes, onions, chillies and herbs are examples of crops that are easy to dry… N15 Preserving fruitsFruits tend to ripen at the same time of year. For several weeks there may be large amounts of mangoes, guavas or citrus, for example. During the… N16 People with special food needsOur food needs change through our lives. In the first few years of life, plenty of foods for building and protecting the body are necessary to build… N17 BreastfeedingDuring the first six months of a child’s life, breast milk alone is the ideal food. It contains all the nutrients and water needed for healthy… N18 Feeding babiesChildren who are well fed during the first two years of life are more likely to stay healthy for the rest of their childhood. Breast-milk alone can… N19 Improving porridges and soupsPorridges prepared from the staple, and soups, are often used as early complementary foods. However, these are usually watery and contain little… N2 Why we need different foodsThe food we eat has three main functions; to give us energy, to build and repair our bodies and to protect us from disease. Most foods have a mixture… N20 Encouraging young children to eatMealtimes should be happy times and an opportunity for the family to spend time together. Feed young children with the rest of the family but give… N21 Healthy snacksSnacks are foods eaten between meals. Nutritious snacks are an easy way to give a young child extra food. Snacks should be easy to prepare. N22 Fortified foodsFortified foods have special nutrients added by the manufacturers. Sometimes these are added to replace those lost during processing. For example,… N3 Improving a poor dietA healthy diet is directly linked to good health. It is particularly important for pregnant women, babies and young children. Well-nourished babies… N4 Traditional foodsOne hundred years ago, the diet of people in our local area was probably much better and more varied than it is today. This is not because people had… N5 Ideas for using pulsesAll kinds of pulses are excellent sources of nutrients. When dried they can be stored easily for a long time. Pulses should be an important part of… N6 Vegetables and fruitsMany people believe that newly introduced vegetables such as lettuce and cabbage are better than traditional vegetables. In fact the opposite is… N7 Preventing anaemiaAnaemia is one of the most common conditions resulting from a poor diet. It is often caused by a lack of the mineral iron in the diet. Iron is needed… N9 Food hygieneMake sure all pans, dishes and tools used in preparing food are clean. Dry them on a drying rack and avoid using a cloth to dry them. Uncooked meat… Natural pest managementArticle compiled by Rebecca Dennis ‘Natural pest management’ is a method of controlling pests without using chemicals. Instead, other insects, birds, animals, plants or mechanical techniques are used. Objectives and anticipated outcomesObjectives To increase awareness of the importance of a good diet in maintaining health and resisting disease To build understanding of the… Objectives and anticipated outcomesObjectives To raise awareness of the extent of post-harvest losses due to pests and diseases To increase awareness of the benefits of maintaining… Posters to encourage group discussionThe ideas for these posters have come from work carried out by Veronika Scherbaum with the Oromo people in South Ethiopia, who have many traditional beliefs concerning mother and child care. Posters can be used to help encourage discussion of what people believe and why. Together this can lead to developing a more positive understanding of healthy mother and child care. Try adapting these posters to use among your community. Promoting efficient marketsby Nigel Poole Q&A with Vincent Moyo, Country Director, Tearfund MalawiOur series of Q&As with country directors continues with Vincent Moyo, who has worked for Tearfund in Malawi since 2006. He shares his thoughts on… ResourcesPILLARS – Healthy Eating This Tearfund guide contains ideas to help improve household nutrition at low cost – food groups, kitchen gardens, recipes, methods of food preservation and hygiene. It explores the importance of a good diet in maintaining health and resisting disease, as well as the nutritional needs of pregnant and breast-feeding mothers, young children and older people. The PILLARS series provides practical, discussion-based learning on community development. The Guides are designed ... Revealing climate change - information for facilitators Review of Footsteps 110: Farming for the FutureThis feels like a timely edition of Footsteps magazine. And a great one to kick off the crucial decade ahead of us. The effects of climate change are… Rural women and food insecurityby Drs Neela and Amitava Mukherjee. For the 350 million people in India who live below the poverty line, food security is literally a matter of life and death. Agriculture supports nearly 70% of the population in India, most of whom own less than 2 hectares of land. Solar drierThis drier is very effective for drying large quantities of fruit, leaves or herbs. Unlike other driers there is no need to remove the contents when it rains. It also allows fresh material to dry in the shade, thus maintaining high vitamin content. Soya recipe bookThe Soya Nutrition Project has gained great popular support in Zambia. Through our work, soya beans now grow more widely here, and our booklet provides good ideas for growing, cooking and eating soya beans. The 36 page booklet How Can I Cook Soya Beans? costs just $1.00. It is available in English, Bemba, Nyanja, Lozi and Tonga. As an example, here is a recipe for making soya coffee. Sustainable farming helps family face climate change in EthiopiaIn recent years, climate change has meant Abebech* and her husband have faced some hard times. They are farmers in the village of Offa Esho Kebele in… The importance of soya in human nutritionWe work with a programme aimed at preventing malnutrition in Guayaquil. We encourage the growth and use of soybeans. Though they are not traditionally grown in this area, local people have accepted them readily. Soya is a very useful food, high in protein, which can be substituted for meat, cheese, milk, eggs or fish. Traditional leafy vegetablesby Dr Patrick Maundu. The Kenya Resource Centre for Indigenous Knowledge (KENRIK) has documented all food plants in Kenya. Their work shows the potential of indigenous food plants in improving food security. In Africa, around 4,000 species of plants have the potential for producing food, with about 1,000 species used as leafy vegetables. Traditional saltCOMPETITION WINNER by Revd Francis King’ang’a. African traditional salt or lye (uvusaaru) has been used for generations in our area of Western Kenya. In recent years it has been replaced by common table salt. Lye was used for cooking vegetables, soap-making and for some medicinal purposes. Older people believe that using lye for daily cooking helped people to live longer because of its medical benefits. Traditional ways of preparing foodThere is a lot to be learned from previous generations as Professor Andrew Tomkins explains... 1. Fermented foods Update on vitamin ABy Professor Andrew Tomkins. It has been known for many years that Vitamin A deficiency can cause blindness. In the early stages, the individual complains of not being able to see well at night (night blindness). As the deficiency develops, the lining of the eye becomes dry and cloudy. Eventually, small ulcers may develop and unless vitamin A is taken quickly, the eye is permanently damaged. Vitamin A deficiency is often brought about by illness, particularly diarrhoea and measles, and is ... Useful resourcesNutrition for Developing Countries by Felicity Savage Kind and Ann Burgess An excellent, detailed and informative book looking at all aspects of good… Water some of the problemsThe World Health Organisation has estimated that 80% of all sickness and disease in the world is caused through lack of clean water and poor sanitation. Weaning practices in Nepalby Sanjay Kumar Nidhi. In Nepal, weaning traditionally begins with the Rice Feeding Ceremony (Pasne) where children receive their first meal. The ceremony is performed at five months of age for a girl and six months for a boy. Wheat bread‘Footsteps 21 showed us how to build a wood stove, but not how to make bread.’ A RECENT READER’S COMMENT Wild edible plants and leafy vegetablesby Dr Angelika Dietz. Wild edible plants and leafy vegetables often make an important contribution to the diet, particularly in a rural population. This can often be overlooked by community workers. The role of wild edible plants in the diet is described here for the subsistence farming community of Magar, living in a remote area of the mid-west region of Nepal.