Street foods provide a source of affordable nutrients to the majority of the people especially the low-income group in the developing countries. Street foods are ready-to-eat food items retailed by vendors and can be snacks, main meals, or beverages. They are usually sold from pushcarts or baskets, or stalls or shops. Urban Street food vending provides employment and income for many people, and can provide economic support to small farmers as an outlet for rural produce. In Botswana the majority of street food vendors are women, while in Bangladesh the opposite occurs with women-primarily the vendors` wives and female children-are involved in food preparation. Examples of street foods in Botswana are Fat cakes (magwinya) doughnuts; corn-on-the-cob (mmidi) crisp (madubula) extruded products, roasted beef and chicken, apples, bananas, pears, oranges, grapes and mangoes. Dried mophane worms-a high protein larvae of the emperor moth, imbrasis belina (Westwood), soft drinks, juices, and ice pop, Rice served with chicken or beef with gravy and salads, Maize meal with meat served with beef or chicken with gravy, "Samp" (broken maize corns) served with beef or chicken with gravy, "Dikgobe" "Samp" cooked with beans, "Bogobe" sorghum meal served with meat. Street foods are also prepared in a variety of ways including frying, roasting, boiling, baking and steaming, as well as served raw. Some populations, such as students and the homeless, are almost totally reliant on street foods, whereas other population groups buy them occasionally. Further an EU study in Botswana showed that the consumers of street foods in Gaborone and Francistown included both the working class and professionals. The number of customers served per day varied form 20 to 40 people. The vendors reported that the most food sold was maize-meal porridge, followed by rice, "Samp" and sorghum porridge in that order. Also dumplings, plain "Samp", "Samp" and beans were sold in smaller quantities. Due to lack of transportation, the street food vendors in this study reported that the frequency of buying raw materials was high. Finally the paper reviews the importance of the nutritional issues of street foods due to the fact that most villages in Botswana today are urbanizing and more street foods are likely to be consumed. Also the improvement of the health of the population must be of paramount concern to every one as it had been shown that HIV/AIDS has a relationship with nutrition. PDFCitation
How to cite this article
Omo Ohiokpehai, 2003. Nutritional Aspects of Street Foods in Botswana. Pakistan Journal of Nutrition, 2: 76-81.