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Re: What is the role of social relations and networks in household food security and nutrition?

30.10.2013
Future of Agricultural Economics

The immediate family is the first interaction that an individual will ever experience from the time they enter this world; that is, all the morals, ethics, manners, nutritional habits and anything relating to the social development of anyone all starts in the home. We would like to steer this post in the direction of the nutritional habits that are formed in an individual’s immediate social interaction at home.

Family plays a very important role in the nutrition of its members. Usually most nutritional habits are not by the individual’s own decision, but because that individual was born into that way of life in their household or because of some constraint or another. For instance, if someone is born into a vegetarian family they will most likely develop vegetarian habits; if an individual is born into a family who lives in poverty then that individual may be constraint to a different diet from someone who is better off; if an individual is born into a busy working class family then they will probably eat a lot of fast food than those individuals who have persons to prepare home cooked food. Given these scenarios, it can be seen that the nutrition of individuals are habits that are formed in the home and some of these habits may not be by choice but by constraints such as time and finances.

It is also known that habits are hard to be broken, especially when it is an instilled way of life. Hence, major intervention will be needed in order to reach out to the different types of families and their different cultures in society in order to break the bad nutritional habits in pursuit of a healthier life. These interventions can be in the form of public awareness that there is malnutrition in society through the civil society, private sector and government by means of the media in terms of advertisements.  Another worthy venture to intervene is through public outreach programmes such home garden/farm or community farm establishment in order to grow healthier food for those who cannot afford to buy and those who are too busy to go to the markets.