Kenyans turn to Sukuma wiki amid rising beef prices
For a long time, vegetables were traditionally considered food for those with limited means, as more affluent families preferred chicken and beef to complement their diets.
Due to the high cost of living in Nairobi, many people have now chosen to adopt a vegetarian diet because the prices of these meat products have become unaffordable.
In the past, numerous families frequently included beef in their meals, but they have had to relinquish this delicious option in favor of more basic foods to meet their daily nutritional needs, as explained by Benard Ochieng.
“Currently, meat is no longer a staple in my family’s diet. We eat whatever is available, which mostly consists of a basic meal of ugali, sukuma wiki, cabbage, and sometimes kienyeji. Meat is no longer a necessity, but before the commodity prices surged, my family used to enjoy beef at least twice a week. Now, we rarely have it, and our meat consumption has been reduced to only once a month.”
Patrick Lumumba, a Nairobi resident, shared his sentiments on the matter, “I used to relish meat, especially when dining out in restaurants. However, now I have to either bring a packed lunch from home or eat at home. I particularly enjoyed goat leg, which I used to buy at least twice a week, but currently, my family only has beef every three weeks, depending on the month. We’ve had to cut back on many things, which can be challenging to explain to your children, but we have no other choice.”
Before the price increase, 1 kg of meat used to be around Sh360, but presently, 1 kg of steak is sold between Sh600 to Sh800, depending on the area of residence.
Vegetables, especially sukuma wiki, cabbage, and other more affordable food items, have gained prominence in many households.
The rising cost of living has made it difficult for many families to even afford eggs as a meal. A significant number of people who dine out at restaurants have now turned to more economical options like chapati, beans, rice, and legumes, as the affordability of meat dishes has become a challenge for many.