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RICH FOOD POOR FOOD

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Food has become a much more major concern for the world. For the first time in generations we are hearing of hunger riots, food rationing and acute food shortages.

Rice is a huge worry since many of us can’t imagine life without rice.

When The World Bank announced the price of rice went up more than 140 per cent from January to April, we shuddered.

I stepped down a couple of grades for my household needs.

There was also far less meat and fish like cod or salmon at the dinner table. These were replaced by smaller and cheaper fish like ikan bilis and mackerel. Root vegetables such as sweet potato and tapioca now take center stage more regularly as does local fruit. Strangely, I found this diet familiar and it hit me that this was how I used to eat in my younger days when Mother was always on a tight budget. I wasn’t fat then. As I graduated out of this diet to cheese, milk and more fish and meat, the pounds have been piling on.

This is exactly what has been happening all over the world. As people grow richer they eat more and eat richer foods, a trend that has been identified as a cause of the food shortage. This is happening even as millions are dying of hunger, something experts refer to as the “stuffed or starved” phenomenon.

As we try to manage rising food prices, perhaps it is also time to consider reverting to the simpler fare of our forefathers to ease the food shortage and also for health reasons. Do we really need to eat rich foods all the time? That could well be the silver lining in the current food situation.

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