To complement this week’s two stories on growing vegetables, our Script of the week sends the same message: Eat your veggies.
We eat to live. Without food, we would go hungry. But hunger is more than not having enough to eat; it is also about what you eat. “Hidden hunger’’ happens when people suffer from micronutrient malnutrition. Micronutrients are vitamins and minerals which, unlike macronutrients such as calcium and magnesium, are only needed in tiny quantities. Nevertheless, they are essential for good health. Millions of Africans, and especially those who live in rural areas, eat large amounts of staple foods such as maize, cassava and sweet potato. While these foods fill stomachs, they cannot by themselves provide people with enough micronutrients.
Plant breeders have started to develop crops with higher levels of micronutrients. While these efforts are underway, there are many indigenous African leafy vegetables with high levels of vitamins, minerals, and other micronutrients. But these local vegetables are often underused due to lack of awareness.
This script—written by a Ministry of Agriculture employee in Ghana—shows how communities can use indigenous leafy vegetables to boost health and well-being.