06 April 2010

What Poor Filipinos Are Eating

Last January 2010, the Social Weather Station (SWS) published the results of a poll undertaken on the last quarter of 2009. This poll said that the number of Filipino families that claimed to be hungry reached 4.4 million, with 24 percent as the hunger measure. This figure was more than five points higher than at the end of September and worse than the previous record of 23.7 percent in December 2008.

Government statistics reveal that nearly 40 percent of the Philippine population can be considered poor. Additional data say that an average Filipino family composed of 6 members (father, mother, and four children) can survive using only an income of P38.00 a day. That's not even equivalent to 1 US dollar using today's foreign exchange rates.

What can P38.00 buy and what do poor Filipino families really eat?

Based on my own observations, the poor among us survive by:
  • eating only ONCE a day; a worse case scenario means eating ONCE every OTHER day
  • eating rice with salt alone
  • eating rice with soy sauce alone
  • eating rice with coffee alone
  • the 'lucky ones' eat rice with instant noodles which sell around P5.00 - P9.00 per pack, and cooked diluted with plenty of water
  • the so-called 'clever group' NEVER eats and opts to sniff rugby instead
If you analyze it, the poor families get a carbohydrate and salt-riddled diet which is very unhealthy and can result in chronic malnutrition in the long run.

NUTRITION FACTS on a Noodle Pack

Those mothers who care for babies are also known to give their babies not the usual pediatric milk formulas (which are very expensive), but cheaper milk brands which are either powdered or in the condensed form and like the cooked noodles diluted to a final product that is wanting in the needed vitamins and minerals a growing baby needs.

Feeding the baby: ONE NOODLE at a time
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