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AFH Challenge 1: Nutrition in the Local Context

Slices of papaya on white background

Slices of papaya on white background

Editor’s Note: This is the second in a series of articles, in partnership with Fabulously Fit Fine, to introduce the Accra FoodHack (AFH) event and challenges to be addressed during the hackathon weekend. Accra FoodHack is brought to you by esSense 13 and powered by City Investments Company Ltd.


Eating healthy takes discipline. This means turning down a lot of attractive meals which are unhealthy for you. Sometimes giving in to tasty and sweet aroma of detrimental food feels as normal as breathing, but it takes the determined soul to resist the urge for prolonged destruction.

So if you are on the journey of healthy nutrition, push on Soldier! You doing good! We are proud of you.

This new wave of enlightened nutrition brings to light an unsatisfied demand with a lot of potential. Approaching the hurdle of healthy nutrition with design thinking, we realized people do not take up this holy cause because there are usually no sweet, tasty, mouthwatering alternatives out there. If a person is encouraged to reduce or halt the intake of red meat (goat, steak, pork, chicken), they usually ask for alternatives, but what they do end up hearing is ‘blah, blah, blah, fish’ since FISH is mostly accessible, easy to prepare and affordable. 

We went into the field to interact with a couple of food venders. We came across most of them when strolling through the streets of Accra. We took turns to mimic a ‘Flexitarian‘ (Flexitarian is a union of two words: flexible and vegetarian. This word has been around for a while but started getting acknowledged because of the healthy nutrition craze) and vegetarian who wanted to purchase waakye, boiled yam, jollof, plantain, plain rice, banku, Tuo-zaafi etc., and we wanted other sources of protein other than meat and fish. The only and readily available option was boiled egg. Yup, so if these are your common options then it’s fair to understand why folks fall off the wagon of healthy nutrition so easily.

As you can tell from our field test, there aren’t many obvious options for flexitarians and vegetarians when it comes to alternatives to meat in Ghana. This undermined sector of the food industry in Ghana is yearning to be tapped. If this sector gains momentum, just imagine the financial projections for a tasty, mouthwatering, easy-to-get alternatives. That’s a lot of guap! It might not look probable for an individual to tackle this on their own. Maybe a communal approach to this gold mine would be the answer. 

Organizations that handle consumer goods have a more candid challenge; because there is already growing demand for healthier food including alternatives to meat .The struggle will be to produce distinctive protein-alternative and packaging / delivering services not forgetting to price them affordably for consumers looking for quick and easy ways to consume nutritious food.

Based on the premise that you should love what you eat and what you eat should be nutritious and delicious, ‘foodies’ and interested entrepreneurs who are willing to campaign in this section of the food industry should make sure the alternatives they introduce are equally (if not more) mouthwatering, has a good aroma and of course, less harmful to the environment. Are you thinking of partnering with us? The Accra FoodHack is the ultimate place to get started. Join myriads of foodies and techies to start the foundation for what will be Ghana’s first and biggest food hack. Be part of the conversation to change the future of food in Ghana and on the continent. Don’t prolong your registration any further. Log on to http://essense13.com/hack/ for more information and to accrafoodhack.eventbrite.com to register your team.

This article was written by Fabulously Fit & Fine @fabfitfine, for the Accra FoodHack

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