Good health and well-being are the key targets of the sustainable development goals (SDG) 3. They are meant to steer the world towards a sustainable future. One of the most common ways of maintaining a healthy lifestyle is by adopting a healthy diet. Unhealthy eating habits and a lack of physical activity are the primary causes of global health problems. Heart disease, stroke, and type-2 diabetes are all major disorders that can be prevented with a good diet. It may also assist to lower your chances of contracting some malignancies. If you get sick, following a nutritious diet can help you get better faster. Eating a nutritious diet is also a key factor in avoiding obesity and being overweight.
According to World Health Organisation (WHO), a healthy diet includes limiting free sugar intake to less than 10% of total energy intake. In the adult population, low salt intake to fewer than 5g per day (equal to less than 2g sodium intake) helps prevent hypertension and lowers the risk of heart disease and stroke. By 2025, WHO Member States have promised to cut worldwide salt consumption by 30 percent, and prevent the rise in childhood obesity and diabetes in adults and adolescents.
Today agripreneurs have shifted their focus to farming crops with great nutritional value to the consumers. Vegetables, fruits, and starchy foods should make up the most of your meals as a general guideline. Milk, dairy items and protein meals should make up the rest of your diet. Agriculture enthusiasts are devoting themselves to such lifestyle changes and even going to the extent of farming indigenous crops that have health values.
One such crop is mushroom. Mushrooms are rich in fiber, proteins, antioxidants and minerals; essential components for a healthy lifestyle. For instance, the antioxidants in mushrooms may help prevent lung, breast and prostate cancer. Moreover, fiber content also contributes to cardiovascular health. This is according to the National Cancer Institute.
Dennis Macharia, Director of Garden mushrooms, had no idea that one day he would be a mushroom farmer. But people’s bad eating habits motivated him to start mushroom farming.
The former maize farmer bowed to pressure from his clients who were demanding mushroom sources. “Initially I was farming normal cash crops like dhania and maize. Most of my clients started to change their eating habits and focused on organic crops. They were eager to get a mushroom source because of its numerous nutritional values,” he said.
With that pressure, Gideon laid down his maize farming tools and decided to try out mushroom farming. To his disbelief, today, he is the owner of a lucrative mushroom business, offering his clients a healthy and nutritive alternative for beef.
Dennis says the transition to mushroom farming was not only a source of income to him but a drive to promote a healthy eating habit in his community.
Garden Mushrooms limited has been receiving support from Kenya Climate Innovation Center (KCIC) since 2017.
Apart from selling mushroom products, the enterprise also trains farmers on mushroom farming and its nutritional benefits.
Through proper eating habits and knowledge dissemination on healthy feeding patterns, the country can achieve Good health and well being.