What is it really like to be a family farmer from a developing country – Part 3

Before I give you this part of the interview with Cristela the family farmer, if you’re not familiar with the concept of food security and are curious, I explain it in this video 2:24-4:09.

ÁD: So overall, do you consider your family is healthy? Do you think your children are well fed?


Quinoa is a grain-like seed high in protein and easy to grow in the Andean mountain range. It’s from there. It also needs little water and is capable of withstanding harsh environmental conditions.

C: Yes, since I feed them everyday with vegetables and quinoa from our farm. But because of that, there are things they stop liking. They see and eat the vegetables from the farm everyday, sometimes they say: “I don’t want broccoli again.” Even though they know how nutritious they are, they will take them for granted and try to avoid them from time to time.

ÁD: Do you consider your family farm to be complete in the sense that you get a broad range of macro and micro nutrients from it?

C: Yes. I think so. All the greens and the carrots provide essential micronutrients and I believe the farm also has all the macronutrients: protein and starch from quinoa, fatty acids from the chia and flaxseeds.

ÁD: What is your relationship towards meat? Do you maybe eat meat from time to time?

C: Meat, meat from a cow, we rarely see that around here. Sometimes, because my dad is sick and we need to make him soups, we prepare fish and chicken soups, and I also make some for the children, mostly I add these white meats to change the flavour. But overall red meat is rarely consumed here.

ÁD: So do you save a lot of money on groceries because of your family farm?

C: Absolutely! It’s almost as if I don’t have to buy anything. What I mostly need are red tomatoes for the guiso [a lightly fried mix of tomatoes and onions used to season most Colombian dishes]. But besides that, sometimes days and days go by without us needing to go to the village centre to buy food.

ÁD: Is there any waste? 

C: We rarely have any losses that become waste. Sometimes we might have so much surplus and if I know that it might not get sold in the market, I give it out to others or figure out something but I don’t allow things to go to waste.

Click here to read part 1

Click here to read part 2

Click here to read part 4

Click here to read part 5




4 thoughts on “What is it really like to be a family farmer from a developing country – Part 3

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