Discount Offers for Food Item Attract the Pockets of Poor People in Gaza
during the inspection at one of the shops in Gaza
Exclusive to Environment and Development Horizons:
A young man shopping for his family puts 7 cans of broad beans (priced 10 nis only) into his shopping basket. He has chosen cans with almost out of date products. Mumin Hassan is a taxi driver. He is not the only person to buy products that are on clearance. It has become a ritual when buying groceries. Mumin buys groceries that are near expiration because they are cheaper. When food products are on sale they are usually out of date or near to it. He does not have a high income. Mumin Hassan says that his low income always puts him on the lookout for deals. It is the only way he can provide for his family. It is the only way to stock his pantry.
He explained that he does not buy products that are out of date only the ones that are close to finishing.
Mahmoud drives on a distribution truck for a local Gaza company. He says that he buys from his employer when products are close to expiring. He then takes them home to sell from his house. He insists that he only sells products that will expire.
Abu Nayef a Gaza resident says that he stays away from products on reduced sale. The products are usually spoiled and can cause harm. He told Afaaq/Horizons that he bought milk that was almost out of date. The milk was spoiled and exploded in their face.
Afaaq/ Horizons went out amongst the people of Gaza. The situation of expired and rotten food was an issue all the people gave feedback on the necessity and the extent that exist in Gaza. It was necessary because the 2 million people in Gaza lived mostly on foreign aid. Many spoke and said they try to avoid them but the low prices attracted them. While others said they totally avoid them because of the health dangers.
Doctor Suad Abid, nutritionist, warned about consuming products that have expired. Expired, out of date food has dangerous microbes. These microbes can occur at any time and the consumer must exercise caution at all times regardless of the date.
Emad Albaz a representative of the Ministry of Economy, refused to consider the marketing of spoiled food as a phenomenon in Gaza Strip where the majority of the population live in poverty. The authorities have not been able to keep up with the amount on the market. They can only dispose of a small percentage of the unhealthy food. He also complains that there is a lack in the manpower and system necessary to help keep up with the amount of food on the market. In other countries there are infrastructures to help funnel the rotten food off the market. In Gaza they don't have the manpower, and the ratio for inspector to population is 1:35,000.
He blames the crooked businesses and businessmen who sell with no conscience. The poor budget of the Palestinian authority does not allow to develop better measures.
Translated by: Kefah Abukhdeir