Hello my loves I am back! Had a bit of a break due to a mini break down about my dissertation, but that is nearly finished now! (handed in my first draft to my supervisor so waiting on feedback and then perfecting things). I’ve got a few updates but if you wanna stay up to date with me and what I’m doing then head over to my instagram! (Biased but I highly recommend it, especially as I’ll be announcing things to do with my own clinic in the next coming months there and also via my newsletter). Updates will be at the bottom of the post x
Privilege in nutrition, something I think people don’t tend to think about (hello privilege) but something that needs to be talked about as it’s one of those things that people use as a way to bash others. Not seeing the privilege you have in any aspect of your life is problematic, and with nutrition it’s just as important.
A super important aspect of nutrition, having the knowledge on the what, when, how and where when it comes to food. As many of you may know, nutrition is incredibly confusing! I mean I’m going to be a nutritionist and I find it super confusing! But I have the tools in order to help people to detangle what is good and bad advice, but not everyone has that privilege!
Nutrition isn’t taught in school as a regular subject, so most of the time what people know is what they see on social media, and most of the time its harmful advice catering towards diet culture – being smaller and eating less.
Not only having the knowledge on what to eat, but also how to cook it! Cooking food so that it tastes nice and that you want to eat it is vital! For example on why cooking food is important – imagine ordering a steak from a restaurant, you ordered it to be medium but you got rare. You ask for it to be sent back and cooked to medium as you can’t eat the meat like that as you don’t like it. For some people rare is the way they want to eat the food but for others they have to have it done more or less, the same goes for cooking vegetables and other foods! But if you were never really taught as to how to cook food or the different ways to cook food, you’ll assume you don’t like that food item and so wont eat it.
Not only education to cook food but also to help with budgeting and buying food.
Money really is a gateway to a lot of opportunities. Most of the ‘health’ food that you see that are on trend tend to be really expensive. Not only that but fresh fruit and veg tend to be expensive!
‘But Scarlet, it’s only like a pound or so to buy some vegetables and a piece of fruit is about 50p?’ you’re right there! But what happens when you have £5 to spend on your family of 4 meals for the week? Breakfast, lunch and dinner? Are you going to spend that £2 on a few vegetables that are gonna last you 2 days? Or are you going to buy pasta and rice and a couple of sauces and maybe a cake as a treat?
Still don’t understand what I’m saying? Okay let’s break it down for you here with an example.
£10 worth of food including fruit and veg for family of 4 (all prices from tesco)
- Extra large cauliflower: £1.80
- Loose broccoli: 57p each
- 400g diced chicken breast: £3
- Tesco wheat biscuits cereal (off brand weetabix): £1.06
- Tesco skimmed milk 4pints: £1.09
- Tesco wholemeal medium bread 800g: 0.59
- Bananas: 73p
- Tescos butter: £1.50
How long do you think this will last a family of 4? 2-3 days? It’s only about 1 meal worth for dinner and it’s over budget.
Now lets do it while trying to maximise the amount of food that we get
- Tesco fusilli pasta twists 1KG: £1
- Tesco bolognese pasta sauce jar 500g: 64p
- Tesco tomato mascarpone pasta sauce 500g: 64p
- Tesco corn flakes cereal 500g: 60p
- Tesco skimmed milk 4pints: £1.09
- H W Nevill’s wholemeal bread 800g: 36p
- Tesco buttery spread 500g: 85p
- Eastmans wafer thin cooked ham 125g: 86p
- Tesco salt and vinegar crisps: 77p
- Cadbury dairy milk buttons chocolate treat size minis 12 pack: £2.79
See the difference? This isn’t including cleaning products, sanitary products, and all the other essentials that are needed.
When I was a student and buying just over a week’s worth of food including fruit and veg and everything I liked to eat, easily £30-40 no problem and that was just for me. So when you say, food is cheap, REALLY look at what you are saying. Because if I was in this situation, I would prioritise feeding my family and making sure they have enough to eat then worrying about how healthy it is.
Now some of you may be confused as to why environment is important, but have you heard of a food desert?
Definition: An area that has limited access to affordable and nutritious food.
A study in 2002 found that 1.2million people in the UK were living in a food desert (Wrigley, 2002). So what happens if you can’t even buy fresh food? Typically in food deserts all you’ll have is a corner shop, which only stocks long life cupboard food. Not exactly the healthiest.
Not only are food deserts a problem but some people may not even have the capability of being able to cook or store fresh food. Many people (yes even in the UK) will only have a microwave and a kettle. And the only way they can eat is by utilizing these products and again, most of the time that will be food that isn’t the healthiest. Even if you can use the microwave in order to help to cook some fresh food, there is no fridge or freezer that can store this food. Saving money for one may not be a viable option as every last penny they have may be spent on food.
This seems like something that everyone will be able to do. You just have to prioritise! I hear you cry, but what happens when you work full time, maybe even more than one job and have children to take care of? They’re crying because they are hungry yet you still need to do the housework or clean their clothes for the next day and have some time for yourself. So you cook something quick, pot noodle, or chicken nuggets.
Time is precious and I mean how often do you say ‘i didn’t have time’ so dont do something? Everyone is in the same boat when it comes to time and some things take priority.
‘They should just learn how to do these things’ again with what time? Would you be willing to work full time, look after yourself and other people and also have to teach yourself the right nutrition information? If you said yes, great that’s amazing and you find time for that, but for some people (and probably the majority) it isn’t.
There are so many factors that you need to take into account when it comes to eating healthy and it isn’t simple. If it was everyone would be doing it correct now, but thats not the case.
There are so many other factors that also come into account but these are just a few. So before you go belittling someone for what they are eating, think of these (plus it’s not really any of your business).
Much love my babes,
- I’ve basically finished my masters course and it makes me kinda sad but also excited to get things started with my work!
- I’m getting a new pet…. CHICKENS!
- Signed up to the London centre of intuitive eating course and I am so excited to use this in the future!
Wrigley, N (2002). ‘Food Deserts’ in british cities: Policy context and research priorities, Urban Studies, 39(11), p.2029-2040.