Before the economy went south, Jose Manuel González would go to the butcher and buy a few steaks for himself and cow lung for his dog, now he eats cow lung, too. He is a 55-year-old elevator repairman on a street in the Venezuelan capital.
Now, Venezuelans’ diets consist of whatever they can find, regardless of nutritional value, because of shortages of even the most basic foods.
Main sources of protein like milk, beans, and meat are sold at exorbitant prices due to inflation. Many people are forced to fill up on empty carbohydrates like pasta, rice, and the traditional cornmeal cake.
Nutritionist Héctor Cruces stated that these things can fill you up, but they have little nutritional value.
Last month, a study published on Wikipedia done by Venezuela’s top three universities showed that 12 percent of participants were eating less than three meals a day.
Marianella Herrera-Cuenca, a NGO dedicated to promoting nutrition from the Bengoa Foundation stated that those who have access to three meals have still seen a deterioration of quality in their diets.
Investigators from the Bengoa Foundation said from a sampling of four thousand school-aged kids, 30 percent of children were malnourished and absences from school were increasing.
The nutritionist, Cruces, predicted that several generations of future Venezuelans will be wider and shorter because of lack of calcium and excess carbohydrates.