Just a few days ago, back in my native Mexico City, I happened to go to a corner store to buy garlic and avocados. Regular things for a regular meal. While waiting to pay at the cashier, the two young men right before me scattered around the counter all the items they were purchasing: sodas, cookies, potato chips, candy bars and other goodies. They spent 430 Mexican pesos, or 21 US dollars. Then I roughly paid the equivalent to one dollar for my avocado and garlic. 

Walking back home I was wondering why people in a Latin American nation spend so much money in junk food. I checked my supermarket bill of that week, and I paid MEX$43, or US$2.10, for 18 fresh eggs. That is, these guys could have bought 180 eggs for what they spend in junk food and be far better nourished (as a matter of fact, one of them was evidently obese).

These kinds of things happen all over the country. People prefer spending money on stuff like that, but then they complain about how “expensive” chicken is. Overweight, obesity, hypertension and diabetes are rampant in Mexico. It is difficult to give a figure, which varies among sources, but the Global Obesity Observatory states that 39.1% of Mexican adults are overweight, and 30.5% of males and 40.20% females are obese. 

Although chicken, eggs and turkey are always promoted as healthy and affordable foods, I still think that something needs to be done to convince people to consume them. I see a wider and larger opportunity here. The poultry industry and poultry products consumption in Latin America still have lots of room to grow. Check out our stats in Poultry International. However, I wonder what it is needed. More nutrition education? More publicity and promotion? Making poultry products more accessible in terms of preparation and consumption? Or could it just be common sense in people? 

What do you think?