In early April, I visited Jamaica to wait for the Destination Experience Visionaries Summit, a global business convention focused on inclusive, numerous and culturally actual growth techniques. The theme of the event became well-timed, given Jamaica’s latest push for the expansion of “untapped” economic sectors, consisting of food and agriculture.
Food is in particular widespread in the history of globalization. Global integration of food markets has been responsible for the earliest kinds of cultural interchange, monetary linkages, and diplomacy, while concurrently imparting jobs and boosting countrywide economies. Food globalization has concurrently raised a number of issues within the global improvement network; amongst these, the marginalization of domestically grown ingredients and the proliferation of unhealthy— high-sodium, excessive fat, particularly processed diets.
On my way to attend the Masters of Industry Reception in Kingston, to pay attention to cope with by way of Jamaica’s Minister of Finance and Public Service, the Honourable Dr. Nigel Clarke, I changed into inquisitive about the array of meals on providing on Knutsford Boulevard. I witnessed college students spooning whip cream into their mouths through the New York’esque Starbucks storefront, tourists walking out with their jerk chicken takeout from the Sweetwood Jerk Joint, moms with excited youngsters in line at Burger King and a woman in a business healthy biting right into a fried fish and bammy (fried bread) from Island Grill.
In Jamaica, quick service eating places are the quickest growing segment of the restaurant sub-sector, with 50% of the marketplace constituted of U.S. Fast-meals franchises (FAO, 2016). This fashion is not any doubt a direct reaction to increasing earning, urbanization, marketplace deregulation, and overseas direct investment— according to the World Investment Report, Jamaica is the main recipient of overseas direct funding inflows in the English-speakme Caribbean.
At the time of publication, there had been 19 Burger Kings, sixteen Dominos, eleven Pizza Huts, 7 Little Caesars, 36 KFCs, 9 Popeyes Louisiana Kitchens, four Subways, nine Wendy’s and a couple of TGI Fridays facing direct competition from nearby shops inclusive of 18 Island Grills, 61 Juici Patties and 32 Trustees, among others. This is a notable deal of fast food opposition for a 4,213 rectangular mile island.
The primary location wherein food globalization has raised concerns within the worldwide improvement network is within the region of public fitness. The growth of multinational food organizations has been a primary fear whilst tied to issues like the unfold of obesity and non-communicable sicknesses. The 2017 Jamaica School Health Survey, which looked at risk elements among 1,667 students aged 13 to 17 years old in 41 faculties across the island, revealed that 24% of college students have been overweight and nine% had been overweight. The survey additionally discovered that 68% of the scholars have been consuming carbonated liquids at least as soon as per day, at the same time as greater than 1/2 ate speedy food one or extra days in keeping with week. Other studies have proven that there are greater than 10,000 Jamaican children currently residing with diabetes.
The chief clinical officer inside the Ministry of Health, Dr. Jacqueline Bisasor-McKenzie, has said that those worries were addressed through fitness advertising techniques that “create a supportive environment for healthful ingesting” with the aid of attractive fast-food eating places to make the healthier preference “the greater handy choice” by providing extra healthy, inexpensive options to customers.
This technique is supported by Dr. Madhuvanti Murphy, Deputy Dean & Senior Lecturer of Public Health within the Faculty of Medical Sciences at the University of the West Indies, Cave Hill, Barbados.
According to Dr. Murphy, “The fact is speedy ingredients aren’t going anywhere, our busy lifestyles necessitate convenience, however, these food chains can produce healthful alternatives—and customers will buy them! The best example of this in Jamaica is the locally owned Island Grill speedy-food chain that has efficiently ‘gone wholesome’. They supply nearby ingredients, show calorie counts on their food, have wholesome meal alternatives, and have swapped sugar-sweetened beverages for healthy veggie juices, which might be very famous. Many of the overseas rapid-meals chains in developed international locations now have healthful options on their menus and do no longer use trans-fat in their education of their home international locations—so we have to preserve them to as a minimum that general when they arrive right here.”