Barrington Flemming, Gleaner Writer
Nutritionist Rosalee Brown has challenged hoteliers and restaurant owners and operators to include more local starch-based foods on their restaurant menus in keeping with the Jamaica Agricultural Society's 'Eat Jamaican' campaign.
The campaign was launched in 2003 to spur efforts to secure the country's food security.
Brown, who was speaking at the Gleaner's Food Editors' Forum, at the Mystic India Restaurant, Whitter Village, Montego Bay, yesterday, said chefs could use more breadfruit, potato, banana and less rice, when they prepare dishes to feed visitors and locals alike. Food Month will be celebrated in November.
"People are trying to eat more healthy foods, and our local starches, including breadfruit, dasheen and potatoes have the potential to keep glycaemic index level (blood sugar) low," said Brown. However, when certain starchy foods are processed, they increase the glycaemic level which causes difficulty in the care of blood sugar and promotes weight increase.
Brown suggested menu items could include the use of the staples in casseroles or have them oven roasted with local herbs to improve the way they are presented for serving.
"Some of these foods are naturally sweet and we can cut them into cubes, put a little coconut oil on them and use some of our fresh herbs and spices ... . They can be roasted or baked and served along with their proteins or they could be presented in casseroles," explained Brown.