Former NCA President Concerned Over ‘ Imported Tastes’ Amid Food Security Debate

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Amid increasing concerns over food security raised by the COVID-19 pandemic and the war in Ukraine, a former President of Saint Lucia’s National Consumers Association (NPA) believes people’s mindset regarding what they consume is an issue.

“We have imported our culinary taste,” Kingsley St Hill observed. “Our children have imported tastes,” he asserted, noting that youngsters do not have a taste for things like green figs, breadfruit, bouillon, and chicken backs which other citizens know and consume.

“We have to inculcate in them that taste for local produce so that when they have a mango they don’t say ‘yuck’,” he explained.

Kingsley St Hill believes because of that mindset, people consume unhealthy food, including fizzy drinks and corn curls.

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However, he spoke of the need to plant and consume local foods, including breadfruit and bananas, and get students to eat locally produced items in the school feeding programme.

 He asserted that consumption of unhealthy food and lack of exercise contribute to health issues and increase the nation’s health care bill.

“While we are buying the imported food we also have a health bill because it’s not healthy for the children and the nation,” the former NCA President stated.

“People say they don’t have time. It’s easier to go and buy something at Massy instead of cooking a warm meal,” St. Hill told St Lucia Times.

In this regard, St. Hill said it was time for Saint Lucians to examine what they eat.

He lamented that mangoes and other fruits go to waste.

“Our children are not eating mangoes, they’re not eating guavas, they’re not eating our local fruits, yet we have to go to the supermarket to buy for them to quench their addiction to junk food,” the former NCA President told St Lucia Times.

“It’s a reality that when we were young we were poor but we were not hungry. Now people have money and they’re hungry. Why? Because when we were growing up fruits, just like now, were in season. Mango season all children had their tree to go and pick mangoes. We ate mangoes until the mango season was over. Guava season – we went to pick guavas and our bellies were full. We knew how to take a dry coconut, break it and it or eat it with bread. Our children do not know those things,” St. Hill declared.

He urged Saint Lucian consumers to start thinking about food security for themselves, the community, and the nation.

“Every tomato tree one plants in his or her balcony or backyard means it’s a set of tomatoes we are not going to buy from outside,” St. Hill stated.

He pointed out that in this way, foreign exchange remains in Saint Lucia.

According to the former NCA President, the COVID-19 pandemic presented an opportunity, with some governments distributing seeds for their citizens to plant.

“So when I have tomatoes and you have lettuce etc. We share – we barter, so we are not hungry. Our children are not hungry,” he told St Lucia Times.

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Editorial Staff
Editorial Staff
Our Editorial Staff at St. Lucia Times is a team publishing news and other articles to over 200,000 regular monthly readers in Saint Lucia and in over 150 other countries worldwide.


  1. This is a foolish mentality to have. Such a closed minded man.

    The only valid point here is that we should grow our foods. Saying that food is healthy because it is prepared locally is nonsense. Even bouillon can be unhealthy if prepared with alot of salt and butter which many do.

    Another issue is that the fact that, people seem to believe local provisions, green figs etc must only be prepared in one way. This is why the kids don’t want it. There is a variety of ways to enjoy yams etc, but almost everyone just boils yams, fries plantain and makes green fig salad.

  2. I usually bake fresh cakes, pastries, sausage rolls , pizza and so on for my children to go to school every day. It saves me alot. I never practise my children eating junk food.

  3. Well said well said indeed ! best article I read in this Rag in a long time. We so foreign mind and that’s what killing St Lucians KFC, Dominoes, that’s all they want. Plant what you need and eat what you grow and I live by that example everyday I grow almost everything I want and consume it with pleasure. Mangoes, carrot, lettuce, cucumber, tomatoes, Corn, oranges, dozens of herbs and so many more all on the Highgrade Farm baby. Nothing beats going out in the yard and eat a mango off the tree.

  4. This St Hill guy sings the same tune as PJP. They are two old men with little vision and want to go back to the old ice age. Why don’t St Hill open a factory to produce local box juices. All these men do is hoard money and hold on to public sector jobs and buy vehicles and expand on their homes.
    Why are we importing juices from Caribbean islands when we have the same fruits we can process the juices from. What is wrong with our oil factory? Where is Magic cooking oil? Why must we depend totally on foreign cooking oil like Trinidad. Are we the problem or are our leaders the problem.
    In today’s world we need things readily available. We cannot always prepare or access it when we need it, hence the reason we buy. We just need to consume the unhealthy foods in moderation but we cannot completely erase it. We just have wrong people in positions as leaders. They point and talk about the problem but have no clue how to go about literally doing changes. They always leave it up to the people to fo for them.

  5. I do believe we must start planting a lot more, however, there is so much more to that.
    We also need to learn how to preserve what we have an excess of…. for examples the mangoes. We import mango juice from Barbados which in fact comes from Trinidad. I will ask again why is it impossible for someone to open up a factory to process all the wasted fruit we see/have…..and export it.
    Recently there was a showcasing of bananas in all their glory but to get the various products to the supermarket shelf is a nightmare.
    ….And what about all the other fruits and vegetables that we can grow right here in St. Lucia? For example St Vincent and St Kitts grow grapes . It is not a temperate plant . It needs sun. Has anyone ever considered making Avocado oil? I t costs about $60 in the supermarket from overseas.
    The problem with all of the powers that be is a lack of imagination…tunnel vision. There is the same old song of ‘fig and breadfruit’, and it is not to say that they are not a necessary staple(s) but we can try to plant other things. Even to export
    We even have enough wetlands for rice for those who like it.
    But don’t worry soon enough we will learn to eat again what we grow

  6. Remember man will not survive on bread alone, meaning you don’t eat the same things all the time. Eating mangoes for a whole month could result in diabetes, guavas as well rip fig. Thats why its good to experiment in other foods even fast foods you just got to know when to limit yourself with it. Our local foods don’t have a shelf life so we got to cook it on the day it has fully matured a reason why put on alot of weight.

  7. I do not agree with this article in its entirety. I will say this though. $5 for 5 mangoes by the market. Mango trees do not need fertilizer or any caring but we sell them to our own people at ridiculous prices. They normally go to waste all on the roadsides.

  8. These words have been said over and over. It is not something new St Hill. We are not living in the 60s,70s, or 80s to suggest we barter. To suggest we go back in the old days that many are not familiar with like the Millennials and Gen Z, it is like we are regressing. We can though incorporate the old and the new but not to go back to the old days. We are living in a new era with new generations. Everything now has a price. The amount of tomatoes I will want to give for lettuce will be very low since tomatoes has a higher value. Look now the digital wallet has been introduce here. We need to move along and be creative in this modern world.
    Also, you do realize many of us have careers outside of the home and what you are asking is that for us to stay home everyday to prepare these type of dish. Plus the local foods do not last (no shelf life) and after 2 or three days the start to spoil.
    What I do suggest is build factories and try to package them to last or have long shelf life like rice, macaroni. Also, we cannot be eating starchy foods and these foods like dasheen is heavy on the stomach.

  9. These so-called imported taste and preference for choice of food can b simply equate to laziness and the high level of underl ground prostitution which face us daily. While I agree with the article to some degree. The after effects we must deal with or accept as well such as Cancer , diabetes, hypertension, and so on because our race and genetics are very well suitable for these illnesses. The volume of food that ar being consume shows that many are cooking at home. The major issues here is that government only talks agriculture and manufacturing but does nothing with regards to subsides, only find it fit to used some farmers and manufacturer to prop up there so called fake trade shows. The ministry of agriculture should be privates to Trinidadian, Jamaicans or Guyanese. We still mply have a high percentage of lame quacks in there.

  10. Wow!!! Well said, that is the best news clip I’ve read in a long time.

    If only the now generation appreciate what they have at present, only then we can see a slight change in this country. As we all know our Food import bill is ridiculously HIGH. Like Mr St. Hill said they are drawn to the outside stuff which cost money, it is all about supply and demand.

    Mango is in season, how many of them knows how to make a Mango salad? All these none local fast food joints are included in the problem, KFC, Dominoes, etc and the local ones of which you cannot find any form of local juices. Such a shame.


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