Rede Mulher de Educação (Women Network) has been developing activities in the area of food security and environmental education.

Today, the partner-educator and counselor Ruth Takahashi is working with groups of women from São Paulo city and region, with a project of food reeducation and live and enriched alimentation.

Courses and workshops are being organized to share with women an another way to take care of the alimentation. It is a challenge, because in this modern world, with lack of time to take care of the alimentation, we started to consume the already prepared food, canned food, fast food, etc. All of this is being justified as an advantage to the woman, commodities, facilities, and way to win time, etc, but today we are sicker.

The diseases of the civilized world are directly connected to the quality and the way we prepare our meals.

Here you can find delicious receipts meals produced by women from the Casa de Solidariedade de Caieiras (Caieiras Solidarity House), which is providing lunches to events and meetings. They are receipts that talk about this new/old way to feed ourselves, showing a little of the result that is being achieved in this work with women and the challenges that are present.

But, first of all, it is very important to now more about Food Security.

 

Food Security: reflections from some experiences

Today is already known that the quality of life is directly related with the quality of feeding, and that most of the diseases of our civilization is related with the way we feed ourselves.

Thinking about food security is reflecting about the process the production of foods and your and your quality from the rural regions to the table. This presuppose a process of production environmentally correct, with organic preference and non-trangenic and a way of distribution of the food types that guarantees the access to the feeding by all the population.  

 

Woman and Food

Historically, women play a fundamental role in the alimentation of the family, according to the following information:

 

  • Women produces more than half of the food cultivated in the world;  
  • In many regions, women dedicate up to 5 hours of the day to get firewood and water, and another 4 hours to prepare meals;  
  • Since the 60´s, the number of women that lives under the line of poverty increased 50%, comparing to the 30% of men;  
  • More than 70% of the 1300 million of poor people in the world are women and girls;  
  • Women do not receive more than 5% of the resources.

 

Here are the principles of women’s sustainability, with the purpose of feeding everybody, according to women’s movement in the World Security Food Platform: 

  • Localization and decentralization, instead of globalization and centralization of production and of distribution;
  • Pacifism, instead of aggressive activities of domination;
  • Reciprocity and equality, instead of competition;
  • Respect for the integrity of nature and its species;
  • Human beings as members of nature, instead of dominators of nature;
  • Protection of cultural and biological diversity, in the production and consumption;
  • Sufficiency, instead of permanent growth;
  • Own supply, instead of global commerce;

 

The care with the preparation of meals requires today more time from the whole family to achieve this work, and the biggest challenge for the women will be on how to guarantee a better quality, without doing all alone the domestic work in the production healthier feeding.

 

What is enriched food?

The enriched food is the one that combines many meals, mainly the parts more nutritive, making an integral improvement of them. Presupposes an access to information about quality, nutritive value of each meal, the way to prepare and to consume in a way to preserve this quality. It is the way to prepare the meal, appropriately, for any human being.

The enrichment of meal or the offering of enriched alimentation is made in a procedure usually associated to the combat to a severe child lack of nutrition, specially for the characteristic of being a instrument of fast answer. Meanwhile, the application field of this procedure could be way more wide and could involve many different aspects of feeding techniques, that are usual in families and programs of nutrition and alimentation conduced by the public power.

Based on the principle that the quality in the alimentation is given by the variety and not by quantity, it was developed along the last two decades a technology simplified in nutrition that stimulates the use of regional products and mainly using non-conventional parts of the food. 

The conception of alimentation propitiated by these feeding alternatives has the following characteristics:

1.     Low cost

2.     Easy to prepare

3.     Regional taste

4.     High nutritive value

5.     Stimulus of autonomy of own population to the combat against hunger.

The access is facilitated by the fact that this quality is found in the backyards, in vegetable leaves before despised, herbs, seeds little known and residues from factories of rice and wheat.

The production of these nutritional complement - bran, leafs powder, seeds - is made through a very easy technology and of wide knowledge: to select, to grind, to toast and to sift the ingredients that compose them. It could be made individually or in crowd regime in a community.

Through a combination of diverse kinds of meals, with multi-mixture, it is possible to take advantage of all nutritive potentiality of the meals.

According to the idea of multi-mixture, it is more nutritive to use less quantity and more variety, because different meals offers a bigger richness of nutrients and bigger possibility of balance. The multi-mixture – enriched flour or multiple flour as it is been called – is produced starting from the balanced mixture of components normally wasted, such as: rice bran and toasted wheat, flour of cassava leaf, sweet potato and pumpkin, watermelon, melon, sunflower, chestnut, sesame, peanut.

The utilization of multi-mixture is given from a wide idea of alimentation that rescue traditional actions and works with local and non-conventional products, since the optic of “complete alimentation”.

This kind of work could go against by the feeding preconception by the fact of the utilization of non-conventional products, even if they are present in the region: suggest that refers to “poor´s food”. Still added, the risk of being creating a citizenship feeding of second category, in contrast with the alimentation of the rich based on products more noble. According to this, the Pastoral da Criança (Children House)  tries to demonstrate that the proposal is not directed only to the poor, looking to reduce the cost of alimentation in the budget. Even children and adults with a high level of consume suffers deficiencies mostly of micro nutrients, in function of industrial super procedure of the meals, creating undesirable habits and visible consequences to the health: the diseases of civilization - obesity, allergies, diabetes, rheumatism, cancer, hearth attack, hemorrhage, etc. According to the Pastoral da Criança, the methodology of feeding reeducation is facilitated by the fact that everything is taking off from experience lived by the families and that they look for ways to enrich what the mother or the family members likes to eat.

Connected to what was said before, it is put the necessity to follow how the new feeding habit is learned by the family and to verify if it remains. This and other questions are contemplated by the partnership methodology used by the Pastoral da Criança, which is turned to the formation of community leaders to act with the mothers. So, there are a small number of leaders that participates in the day by day of the communities and are close to the families, being the responsible by making the follow-up of the work in many aspects, meeting monthly to evaluate it.

The Pastoral da Criança has overall an information system and a follow-up with indicators of impact. The results obtained in the 15 years of actuation revealed a healthier growth of the child inside and outside of the uterus, a bigger resistance to infections, the prevention and cure of nutritional anemia and the reduction of diarrhea and respiratory diseases. The decadence in the child mortality verified in the period of 1994 and 1997 was of 43%; in the specific case of Piracicaba city (State of São Paulo), the index of children innutrition decreased from 47,3% to 3,8% and of mortality from 13,2% to 1,3% of the population attended. The monthly cost estimated in the actions is of R$1.00 per child, in a way that the annual total costs of the Pastoral da Criança would correspond to 108 day of a only federal hospital.

The formulation of multi-mixture is made in articulation with institution of research like Embrapa. With all, was registered the relative absence of researches and of available information about plants considered to be herbs that could be eatable or to be used as a medicine, a fact particularly serious in face of the country richness on bio diversity. The quality control of the Pastoral´s work is made by a capable team of technicians to execute it.

Not obstructive, there are professionals of health that are against the utilization of “multi-mixture”, including medical plants as a substitute of the medical treatment. According to the directors of Pastoral, the pediatricians’ initial resistance was changing with the work evolution and with the improvement showed by the children, in a way that they are, today, partnerships.
 

The enriched alimentation as a public politic

The project of enriched alimentation developed by the Instituto Pólis (a non governmental organization) makes part of the activities in the area of security feeding and keeps proximity with the focus of Pastoral da Criança, but, looking to introduce a enriched alimentation directly as a component of municipal public politic of food security. The strategy adopted is to use the integral use of the meals and the enriched flour in the school alimentation offered by the districts. The project was initiated in 1994 in Rio Branco (State of Acre), being later applied in Apucarana (State of Paraná) and actually today in Ribeirão Pires city, located in the São Paulo City region.

In the Rio Branco´s experience, were used products from the Amazon (purpunha, chestnut, cassav a, corn and rice). It is an action articulated with two programs from the municipal city hall: the creation of job and of income and the valorization of the florest´s products (FLORA). In the case of Apucarana city, were attended 13 thousands children through the enrichment of school feeding.

Together with the Casa de Farinha (Flour House) were constructed a community bakery where bread, cakes and sweets were also enriched. Also, a bus “steering wheel school”, that has a kitchen inside, started to give courses to mothers and district associations, and in the city’s periphery.

This Parana´s project was one of the winners of the prize “Gestão Pública e Cidadania”, from Fundação Getúlio Vargas and Fundação Ford.

The actual actions in Ribeirão Pires city are developed in 10-day nursery for poor children, reaching around 900 children. The responsible persons for it call the attention to the fact that to involve all the teams from the day cares in this process of feeding reeducation unleashed many actions:

Necessity perception of a work more integrated in the day cares between the kitchen’s team of educators and of the administration; of the secretary between the many departments: supervision of the educative work, meal service and the the articulation of inter-secretaries program and with the civil society, to configure a public politic and assure a continuity of these actions. Starting from this project is being established partnership:

With the secretary of health to:

  • Identification and follow-up of children in risk groups. This work goes through the creation of lecture instruments; documentation established from fluxes e routine inter-secretaries to this attendance. In this process there are being created indicators and evaluation with the functioning of the intestine and the use of the washroom. Indications of skin and of the hair, total number of medical occurrence in the month, the reduction in the use of medications, the consume of sugar, etc.
  • To the incentive of breast feeding

Today, as the day cares gives priority to give the place for the mothers that works, this ends ups contributing with the short period of breast feeding, since there is no organized support to the continuity after the ingress of the child.

  • To the follow-up and control of the situation of children’s mouth health.

Among the challenges now placed, is just the one to create indicators of diagnostic and evaluation, as well to make a study of cost-benefit of the program and of empower mechanisms of follow-up and control by the civil society of projects and actions of public politics.

A evaluation made by the University of Brasília, together with 3 day cares, comparing  children who was used to eat the enriched and conventional alimentation, showed that the last presented some caries, tooth loss, etc, much inferior to the first. In the written report made by the city hall in the city of Palhano, in the state of Ceará, is said that the alternative kitchen using enriched alimentation provoked a significative reduction in the volume of expense with school meal- from 70% to 20% of the resources volume designated to the education- and improved the school work. Belo Horizonte city is an example of massive use of enriched alimentation, organized effectively as a part of the politics of alimentation.

The impacts of enriched alimentation adoption are of distinct orders, going since the evident economy in the domestic budget until the combat to the wasting and the reduction in the production of organic garbage, passing by the valorization of importance of the micro-nutrients in the challenging of the so called “hidden hunger”, that not only the skinny children and of poverty pockets, involves the inadequate alimentation. In the other hand of the homogeneous way created by the market, this focus looks to rescue regional habits and traditional meals of the Brazilian culture like the corn, the cassava and savage vegetables. Trying to give more value to the place that the ritual of alimentation always occupied in the people’s life, this focus contributes to the reflection about production standards and of sustainable consumption, when we establish the links between feeding standards., the environment and health. It means an optic of autonomy that substitutes the one of dependency of basic baskets, promoting a reeducation and the own knowledge, bigger perception and determination about the own body. These are components of feeding citizenship that the project of enriched alimentation wants to promote. 

RECEIPTS

LEAVES JUICE

(Cabbage leaves, pitanga, acerola, chayote, etc) with maracock, lemon or pineapple)

Ingredients:

  • 1 liter of water
  • 2 leaves of cabbage
  • 1 leaf of serralha
  • 1 maracock (or 2 small ones) or 1 lemon or pineapple sugar as desired.  

How to prepare:

Beat first the leaves in the blender. Filter and put the residues on the soup or farofa (beats of meat). Beat the juice with the rest of the ingredient, filter and serve.

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ENRICHED BREAD WITH VEGETABLE AND SEEDS

Ingredients: 

  • 1 kg of good pumpkin, or sweet potato or yam or uncooked cassava  
  • 1 kg of flour
  • 2 pieces of ferment
  • half a cup of sugar  
  • half a cup of sunflower oil  
  • 3 cups of warn water  
  • 3 cups of bran wheat  
  • 1 short soup spoon of salt  
  • sesame seed or linseed or sunflower or laminated oat as desired 

How to prepare:

Liquefy the pumpkin in 2 cups of water, with sugar, salt, and, for last, the ferment, only to dissolve it. After, beat these ingredients in a pan, and add the wheat flour and the hydrated bran wheat before at part, with 1 cup of hot water. Mix and batter very well. Let it rest for 1 hour. Mix once again, adding the seeds or hydrated laminated oat. After, models the breads as you wish.

Observation:  To make sweets threads, add more half a cup of sugar and oil. Before baking them, prepare the cover with 1 egg yolk, sugar, oil and add any seed or laminated oat. Let it grow until folds the volume. Put it to bake on a pre-warmed oven.

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SEMI-INTEGRAL BREAD ENRICHED WITH SEEDS

Ingredients:

  • 1 kg of wheat flour  
  • half a kilo of bran wheat 
  • 1 cup of sunflower oil  
  • 3 cups of warn water  
  • 1 tablet of ferment  
  • 1 spoon of sugar  
  • 1 dessert spoon of salt  
  • sesame seeds or linseed or sunflower or laminated oat as desired

How to prepare:

Liquefy or dissolve the ingredients in a pan; add the wheat flour, the bran wheat, the hydrated bran wheat, at part 1-cup of hot water. Mix and batter very well, letting it rest for 1 hour. Mix it once again, adding the seeds or the hydrated laminated oat. After, model the breads as you wish. Let it grow for 1 hour.  

Observation: to bake you must put the bread in oven pre-warmed.  

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LEMON OR MARACOCK MOUSSE ENRICHED WITH BUDDING JUICE OR LINSEED SEEDS  

Ingredients:

  • 3 maracocks or lemons 
  • 1 jelly with maracock or lemon flavor  
  • 3 spoons of hydrated linseed seeds (optional)  
  • 100 grams of budding (for example, alfafa

How to prepare:

Beat the maracock in the blender, filter the seeds, dissolve the jelly with this juice. Return to the blender, adding the budding, the linseed or the condensed milk. Put them in the refrigerator for 2 hours.

Observation: the quantity of water recommended in the packing to dissolve the jelly must be substituted by the juice extracted from the maracock.

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