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October 22, 2007

How the World Eats

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Magazine Bureau Chief
Johannesburg, South Africa
Percentage of obese South African adults: 21.6

BREAKFAST: Boiled egg; whole-wheat toast with tomato slices; coffee

SNACK: Ouma's muesli rusk biscuit — an Afrikaans specialty of twice-baked dough with muesli, dried fruit, seeds, nuts, oats, and honey — dunked into coffee

LUNCH: Chicken drumsticks brought from home; salad with cucumber, nuts, tomato, roasted butternut, watercress, and anything else I can find in the fridge (if I go out, it's usually for a special occasion; eating out for dinner is expensive).

SNACK: Biltong (strips of dried, raw ostrich, beef, or game)

DINNER: Pasta with salad or roasted vegetables; glass of red wine

Average calories per day: 1600

WHY IT WORKS: Black people in the suburbs are losing their culture in terms of food. Traditional dishes like umngqusho (a stew of boiled samp and sugar beans served with meat) or ulusu (sheep tripe) take a long time to prepare, so I don't have them often. We either pay tourist prices for them or yearn for a visit home, when our mothers can make them for us. In general, we are not adventurous eaters. We love pastas and red meat.

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