To quantify mean annual market price of commonly consumed foods in Western Kenya and minimize food budgets to attain recommended nutrient intakes (RNI).
Monthly market price data were collected from five markets in Western Kenya from June,2013 to May,2014. We calculated price per 100g converting food items to gram weight using the United States Department of Agriculture nutrient database as needed. Nutrient price was calculated as a ratio of Kenyan shillings (KES)/100g and then linear programming (SAS PROC LP) was used to minimize cost to attain the RNI for calcium, iron, zinc, vitamin B-12 and riboflavin. The RNI represented weekly requirements for a family of four composed of a man 19-30 yr, a lactating woman, and two children: one infant and one 4-8 year old.
Mean costs (KES/100g) were 4.7 maize flour; 8.9 beans; 8.1 rice; 5.0 dark leafy greens (sukuma); 30.3 beef; 26.0 egg; 5.5 milk; and 36.4 small dry fish (omena). Mean price per nutrient ranged from 1,212KES/100g of omena for riboflavin to 0.03KES/100g of sukuma for calcium. Optimizing RNI across eight food items yielded a household weekly budget of 1,517 KES (~$15) requiring 6,930g of sukuma, 10,660g of milk and 12,430g of maize flour. The weekly budget was 4,112 KES (~$41) and required 12,800g of eggs and 14,290g of milk if only animal source foods were included in the program.
Although nutrients are most bioavailable from animal source food items, they are expensive for meeting nutrient requirements. Our next step will be to minimize weekly food cost reflecting the bioavailability of nutrients.