African Eating Habits

South African Eating Habits

Rural South Africans eat much more healthily than city dwellers, despite ongoing food shortages in some areas, according to a major national food consumption report released last week.

By far the most common meal in South Africa, the study shows, is a plate of maize porridge and a cup of tea. In urban areas the tea is more likely to contain sugar and milk.

However, city dwellers also eat substantially more fat, sugar and salt than rural dwellers, and much less fibre contained in “wild” vegetables such as beetroot, pumpkin leaves and morogo (wild spinach), according to the report by the Medical Research Council.

Jointly funded by the council, the Department of Health and the World Health Organisation, the report – a summation of surveys conducted over the past 17 years – will be used to calculate how many toxic chemicals and pesticides the average South African consumes.