The Traditional African Foods (TAF) Club is a modern internet based club that has been initiated by Farm Concern International to mobilize consumers to incorporate nutritious foods in their diets. It aims to change consumer attitudes and perceptions of Traditional African Foods which are nutrient -rich so that they become prime foods of choice in all kitchens and dining tables. Traditional Foods include traditional vegetables such as Amaranth, Spider Plant cowpeas and African night shade; staples and pulses such as cassava, sweet potatoes, millets and sorghum. The TAF club will be successful when it succeeds in making in households or restaurants discontent any time they do not have a selection of traditional foods in their kitchens and menus. The club is riding on the growing interest by consumers in nutritious foods and healthy living by providing food facts and insights to visitors. Information will be provided on nutritional value of foods, food selection and preparation, and recipes ideas for African traditional foods. The club was initiated to respond and engage with the high number of visitors that visit the Recipes section of the Traditional Foods site on the Farm Concern International website.
Lifestyle disease trends
In recent years, traditional African foods are gaining popularity with urban consumers who are becoming more conscious of changing their habits to adopt more healthy lifestyles that incorporate nutritious foods in their diets and physical exercise. This is as a consequence of personal experience that affects Kenyan households who know patients suffering from a lifestyle related disease either as family members, relatives or friends and acquaintances. This has contributed to consumers gaining knowledge about the link between unhealthy lifestyles, choice of foods and disease.
Kenya is not exempt from experiencing a rise in lifestyle related diseases faced by other countries the world over. Conditions such as obesity and diseases like hypertension, high blood pressure, diabetes Type 2 and renal diseases have increased and stem from the type of foods being consumed and a sedentary life style. These foods include fast foods and processed foods which characteristically are stripped of important nutrients or contain a lot of oil due to being fried.
The appetite by consumers to safeguard their health through utilizing nutritional supplement has attracted companies that market nutritional supplements. Consumers are spending substantial amount of their income on different types of nutritional supplements in an effort to be healthier. Consumers are also searching for information on how to live healthy. The TAF Club will this play a role to address the needs, offering food based solutions which is cheaper , affordable and more healthy to households as compared to purchasing nutritional supplements.
How the TAF Club will function
Visitors on the TAF club website will access general information that will be updated on regular basis on foods and nutrition with emphasis on African Traditional foods, and food and nutrition events. Visitors will be required to register as members to access more information on recipes and nutrition, and videos on food preparation. They will also be able to engage in interactively so that their concerns and views are taken care of.
FCI VISION : To have commercialized smallholder communities with increased incomes for improved, stabilized & sustainable livelihoods in Africa and beyond