Who remembers the recess/break time snack economics and politics of back in the day?
The hierarchy was simple and straightforward:
We had the chips and sausage kids, coupled in with those bringing such exotic playground delicacies as bacon, polonies and pizzas once in a while
At a distant second were the Rice regulars; these kids where always guaranteed to show up with oily food containers of rice and a variety of relishes ,from chicken to fried rats (there was this one occurrence of rice a la rat one time at my primary school, true story)…attached here were also the dudes who came to school equipped with no food container but were given money by their parents to purchase whatever snack of their liking…these were the Chiwaya kings and you had to befriend at least one of them.
Trailing the above were the Crisps and biscuits guys…nothing special or nothing fancy, just regular.
The bottom rung was filled with the bread and stork guys, the roasted groundnuts weirdos, the banana carrying freaks and all other sorts of abominations that were considered embarrassing to show up in your snack container.
So serious were the repercussions of bringing what type of snack for break time that one could be a hero during the early morning periods in class but quickly turn to a zero over the unfortunate disclosure of boiled maungu (pumpkins) for their break time snack.
Even playground friendships and cliques would form, restructure and disband basing on kids’ consistency of break time food…you had to plead dearly with your mum to not bring ‘Bread and stork and Sobo’ 3 days in a row at school for that was an automatic dismissal from the cool-food squad and then you had to recluse yourself to act hero among the roasted maize bringing heathens and boiled cassava hermits.
After school arrangements were also quite similar, sometimes one would decide what friend’s house to visit for a play date founding on what type of 4 o’ clock tea time snacks their home arranged (or was that only me?…maybe that explains why in my childhood I always made sure to have at least one friend of mixed race or Indian ancestry…a steady supply of quality samosas was obviously very dear to me)
Back within the dynamics of our individual homes the mathematics were also simple and quick: the younger siblings were always given priority over the choicest foods like cheese, deli cold cuts like polony, salami, sausages and the good chicken parts…to the extent that mumakomo mwina there were such sentiments as ‘cheese cha mwana’,
juice wa baby, etcetera…the older siblings just had to look on in disdain and not mess with viz arrangements lest they find ‘bread and stork’ in their school food container the next day…the punishments were harsh and severe.
Years later on, nothing much has changed for most of us who can relate to the above mentioned arrangements. Nobody wants to go hang at their ‘Kholowa enthusiastic’ buddy’s place most Saturday and Sunday mornings following a heavy night of drinking or night of prayer….anthu timakhala tikusaka kwamazira, zipalapasiro, bacon, nthumbwana, ma sauage etcetera
…hence the birth of such forward thinking social establishments as the ‘Breakfast club’, but we are not here to shed light on those pretentious pricks who are unable to find meaningful relationships outside of that toxic circle…we understand that there is a Blantyre chapter now…good luck with that…
I envision 10 pairs of fashion trendy torn jeans jostling over 4 soya sausages ena akufinyira dollar kuti akaphake okha pa zodesa later…Blantyre kuwumira.
Anyhow, the whole point of this here article was not to reminisce over food or primary school glory days nor was it to make some of you folks hungry.
Rather let’s get to the joust by asking ourselves whether this background and context of food politics was and whether it’s still healthy or not…
Here are a few fun facts: the World health organization of the United nations classifies processed meats as group one carcinogens…the same level as tobacco, asbestos and plutonium…meaning that they have the same cancer causing properties as cigarettes
…so essentially meaning kuti in ‘cancer lingua’ all those cool kids who used to regularly bring polonies, bacon, sausages etcetera were in effect bringing the equivalent of cigarettes or scaves (as the kids call them today) for their break time snack…
….red meat is considered a group two carcinogen…also very high up… FYI…
Gives you an eerily feeling don’t it? These were foods we used to look up to when we were young, and most still do till now.
Diabetes is another hot topic in health convos countrywide, and there is always this talk about staying away from sweet foods and high carbohydrates …but hey I did my research and encourage y’all to do likewise, because Diabetes is not and never was caused by eating high carbohydrate diet and not caused by eating sugar…
Our bodies deal with sugars in two ways: burns them as energy or converts them to glycogen full stop.
Diabetes rather is a result of a diet that builds up large amounts of fat in the blood causing insulin resistance…meaning kuti the sugars and carbs lack access to the body cells lining the blood vessels because of fat lining the inner walls hence the sugar remains unprocessed in the blood stream causing in effect the diabetic condition…pikene?
Kungoti enanu basi just want to be fancy, when others are being offered sugarly soft drinks then special arrangements should be made for you to get that expensive 100% fruit juice which also contains sugars, only difference is that these sugars (fructose) come laden with fibres
So ask yourself again: what food causes the largest deposits of fats that clog our blood systems? Your processed meats and red meat is the answer.
Then there are others who always blame their so called genetic disposition to getting diabetes and simply resign themselves to that fate…akuti sugar ndiya ku ntundu kwathu…if there is one thing I hate more than prophesies is self-fulfilling prophesies…
yes granted some people can be more prone to acquiring certain conditions more than others, but that doesn’t mean they can’t prevent them…and prevention is right there in what they choose to feed themselves, their families and their friends.
Also, No one wants the fat shame but this movement to be comfortable with our bodies has made us comfortable with being sick…I’m just saying.
Sometimes it doesn’t even have to do with how people look on the outside, we are having occurrences of fit 35 year olds collapsing in the gym, simply because they were too concerned with how they look on the outside ignoring what they are putting into their bodies which is affecting the setups inside, and trust me for a lot of us our insides are screaming at us
….we are slowly dying…
but this doesn’t mean that reversals cannot be made…again we should refer to food choices.
Its 2018, it is not too late to start making the right food choices…go out there and your own objective research
PS: I challenge the breakfast club to showcase a healthy meal setup in one of their get-to-gethers