Tackling obesity: Making fresh farm produce fashionable

Fresh farm produce is the way to health.
Fresh farm produce is the way to health.

An entrepreneurial Limpopo farmer has a fresh solution to many of South Africa’s problems: to instil a culture of eating fruit and vegetables, especially among youth in rural areas. Lindelani Maraganedzha (26) from Mangondi Ha-Jim Kone village, outside Thohoyandou, is determined to make farming fashionable among young people to help alleviate obesity, food insecurity and unemployment in rural areas.

Maraganedzha is the founder of Delta Racklers, a farming entity established in 2016 to provide fresh vegetables to local communities and traders. “The main reason for the high obesity rate is because we have abandoned our values of eating fresh produce. People who lived before us were able to live for over 80 years because they never ate junk or unhealthy food,” said Maraganedzha.

'High price' of junk food

Food insecurity among most rural families in Vhembe usually forces people to rely on junk food which may be affordable but comes at a high price - the person’s health. Maraganedzha said fresh produce is available at an affordable price to local communities.

“Eating vegetables and exercising is the best cure for obesity. Farming benefits the local communities through the supply of fresh vegetables at low costs, while also keeping youth away from the streets by offering them job opportunities,” he said.

Nurse Phumudzo Themeli has encouraged people, especially those with chronic diseases such as high blood pressure and diabetes, to eat more fruit and vegetables to keep healthy and fit.

“Eating fresh produce helps to strengthen your immune system and build your tissue cells. It also promotes growth while giving you energy,” said Themeli. Petrus Ravhuhali, an 85-year-old resident of Mphego village, believes the years he spent working in farms and eating fresh produce is the reason he is still healthy, strong and active.

“I haven’t been to a clinic for years. The only time I went to the clinic was when I was bitten by a dog,” he said. – Health-e News.

Image credit: iStock

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