"“There is substantial evidence that grants, including the child support grant, are being spent on food, education and basic goods and services,” said Katherine Hall, a senior researcher at the Children’s Institute, adding that the evidence showed that the grant not only helped to realise children’s rights to social assistance, but was also associated with improved nutritional, health and education outcomes.
However, Isobel Frye, director of the Studies in Poverty and Inequality Institute, said: “The value of the grant is not enough to do more than impact on destitution. The value of the grant is still significantly lower than the food poverty line, as no indexing is done between needs and the value of the grant, and this also speaks to the high number of children still living in poverty.
And, she said, “Grant income is also often the main source of regular income into households and so its value is diluted among the whole household and is seldom used for the needs solely of the beneficiary.”
Elizabeth Dlelembe, a grandmother of a 10 month old boy in Khayelitsha, said: “The grant is better than nothing but because my daughter couldn’t breast-feed, she spends the grant on one or two tins of formula and then it is finished.””
This article contains links to some useful consumption data.
"(Reuters) - Zimbabwe has banned imports of fresh fruit and vegetables with immediate effect, the agriculture ministry said on Wednesday, arguing that increased local production will meet domestic demand.
The ban will mostly impact supplies of tomatoes, potatoes, mangoes, grapes and apples from neighbouring South Africa, the ministry said in a statement.
South African fruit and vegetable exports to Zimbabwe are worth at least $1 million a month, according to trade data.”
SAMP and AFSUN have both found that cross-border trade by small traders is both an important livelihood, and source of food for the food insecure. This political decision is not good at all.
"According to recent figures, 64 per cent of people in Birmingham are overweight, obese or morbidly obese, above the national average. There is one fast food outlet for 1,097 people in the city overall – and nowhere is it more obvious than in Lea Village, where 22 per cent of the shops are takeaways.
It was statistics like these that prompted Birmingham City Council to crack down on fast food. Just over two years ago it declared that only one in 10 premises in any shopping area should be a takeaway and began limiting the number of new openings. Since the policy came into force, the planning department has had 36 applications for hot food takeaways, refusing 15 of them.”"
With one fast food restaurant for every 1,100 people, Birmingham takes a stand against the takeaway
"It is easier to conceptualise the world as a fair place, in which individuals get their just deserts, than to accept that there are systemic problems, games rigged in which some win big and others will never win. In boom times, this individualism is visible in a febrile therapy culture, in which, Manhattan-style, everyone is involved in a talking cure. In a bust, as the Midlands Psychology Group points out, "The quasi-religious belief in the power of the individual to overcome their own problems, embedded deeply in Anglo-American culture, and within much of psychotherapy itself, has long been used by the powerful as a justification for disciplining the poor."
So, what, if not a mere knowledge deficit and discipline failure among the poor, does cause obesity? The anthropologist Elizabeth Throop points to a culture in deep conflict – idealising thinness on one hand while characterising anorexia as the result of “low self-esteem”; depicting, in films, diets that will definitely make you fat (or “obesogenic behaviours”) while the characters eating them simultaneously deride obesity and are, themselves, very thin. An obesity systems influence diagram depicts the interplay between social psychology, individual psychology, physiology, food consumption, food production and the activity environment; it’s too dense to summarise. Some of it I don’t even believe (suspecting strongly that it came from self-reported calorie intake). And yet we’re mad to fixate on the losers in this obesogenic world. We should be fascinated by the people who create it, protect its methods; the handful who win from the processes that create obesity. What makes them tick? Why can’t a manufacturer make a pro-social decision every once in a while? Why is processed food so bad for us? Who gains from that?
As interesting as it is to pick apart the drivers of ill health, we can ask more searching, immediate questions of, and demand more accountability from, policymakers. Rather than ask why their five-a-day message fails, they simply repeat a more demanding message, at greater volume. It’s a level beyond Einstein’s definition of stupidity, a modern giga-stupid.”
The story is similar in South Africa. In order to eat a nutritionally adequate daily diet, households need to be earning significantly more than the minimum wage. The problem isn’t food price, it is the food system and other systems interconnecting with it.
University of Cape Town