Food is essential to all of us. This issue looks at ideas for simple, low-cost ways from around the world for adding value to our food. We look at adding nutritional value through frying foods and adding vegetables, herbs and legumes. We look at adding value by preserving and processing foods - either to use in the household or to sell. We look at adding value to traditional foods and products that can sometimes be sold in other countries. Good storage techniques not only improve the value of food but can also avoid the risk of poor health due to mouldy grains. We also look at adding value through the marketing of food products.

Please find below articles from Footsteps issue 65 in html.

To download a pdf version of Footsteps issue 65 click here (530K).

  • Adding nutritional value to food

    Increasing 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.  

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  • Adding value through appropriate technology

    Many women process food using traditional methods, which are often time-consuming. New technologies may improve processing, but are not always adopted, especially in rural areas. Although the technology seems appropriate to the people who design them (usually men), they are often not appropriate for the women who use them.

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  • Adding value through storage

    Effective 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.

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  • Adding value to fruits

    Most 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 ...

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  • Improving the benefits of the food we eat

    To 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.

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  • Letters

    Cooking sorghum.   Sorghum is a widely used grain crop in many parts of Africa. It is often used as a grain that bridges the gap at times of food shortage. It is ground into flour and used as a staple food to make into eba, a thick porridge eaten with vegetables and meat. However, some households may find sorghum too expensive to grind and go without food because they have no flour. But sorghum grains can also be cooked whole – we call this choko. The grains are washed and boiled until ...

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  • Market Research

    by Alison Griffith. Market research is a key tool for helping small producers to sell their products. Marketing is about selecting and designing products that are likely to sell, rather than making products without checking to see if they are likely to sell. There are several key stages to consider.

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  • Ojon oil

    by Osvaldo Munguia and Judith Collins. The Miskito people in Honduras have traditionally always used batana oil – extracted from the nut of the American palm (Elaeis oleifera) – as a skin and hair treatment. It encourages thick, shiny hair and repairs damaged hair. Oils for cooking are also extracted from both the nut and husk, and the husk is used to make a type of porridge. After extracting the oil, the waste products provide a nutritious feed for the local pigs.

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  • Resources

    Small Scale Food Processing – a directory of equipment and methods.  by S Azam-Ali, E Judge, P Fellows and M Battcock

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  • The immunisation hand

    Many people have difficulty remembering the schedule for childhood immunisation. This means that children often miss some or all of a series of immunisations that can protect them against polio, hepatitis B, diphtheria, tetanus, and other preventable diseases.

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  • Traditional leafy vegetables

    by 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.

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