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Moving to Guinea - Where there is very little protein!

Answered on August 19, 2014
Created February 21, 2013 at 11:06 AM

July 1, I am moving to Guinea, West Africa for over two years. For the first few months of this, I will be living with a host family and will have very little control of my diet. After the first few months though, I will be living on my own and can make my own food.

First of all, anyone live in West Africa able to comment? I posted before I knew the specific country and did find some helpful information! Anyone know anything specific to Guinea though? I have read that bean and egg sandwiches are pretty standard meals and that they eat little meat. I have heard that fish and rice is a common meal though, so I could work with that. I would love to hear more details on the Guinean diet, if anyone here knows.

Also, I heard that the diet is pretty much all carbs. They eat tons of rice, millet, and bread. Breakfast usually consists of bread with some sauce with it. I think my plan will be to bring some food with me to at least supplement what I get. Specifically, good protein sources. Everything there is cooked in oil so I will be getting plenty of fat. Any suggestions on good protein sources that will last 3 months? Jerky comes to mind, which I have never made, but probably could figure out easily. Maybe some trail mix too? I only get to bring 80 lbs of luggage for the two years so I can't bring anything too heavy but I would like to include a few protein sources.

Thanks!

2e777bbcd49262eb31a24f821abec6bc

(1974)

on March 07, 2013
at 08:13 PM

Its not too unstable. Mali, next door is of course. The lack of stability doesnt change my desire to keep a decent diet while I'm there!

Medium avatar

(39821)

on March 07, 2013
at 07:00 PM

Guinea doesn't currently appear to be at all stable. Am I missing something?

Cb9a270955e2c277a02c4a4b5dad10b5

(10979)

on February 21, 2013
at 07:26 PM

Local dairy? Or maybe add butter or whatever saturated fat oil extra to your food.

32f5749fa6cf7adbeb0b0b031ba82b46

(41747)

on February 21, 2013
at 06:04 PM

Is coconut a major foodstuff in Guinea though?

32f5749fa6cf7adbeb0b0b031ba82b46

(41747)

on February 21, 2013
at 02:07 PM

I can only assume that your meager savings have substantial buying power in Guinea. I'm never a fan of folks moving into a new culture and taking a very artificial diet with them as opposed to fully integrating. Be it Italy, Japan, or Guinea…

2e777bbcd49262eb31a24f821abec6bc

(1974)

on February 21, 2013
at 01:49 PM

Thats a good idea. I am 22 and just out of college so I am by no means loaded... but I could occasionally bring some meat home for the family. That would improve all of our diets. I think it is pretty common for the volunteers (Im going with the peace corps) to bring snacks from the US to eat on days they feel extra homesick so I was just thinking maybe I should bring some higher protein ones. I am pretty gluten sensitive so I am just kind of torn between wanting to integrate into the community and not wanting an upset stomach for 2 years.

2e777bbcd49262eb31a24f821abec6bc

(1974)

on February 21, 2013
at 01:44 PM

right, I agree. I definitely plan on eating the local cuisine, as I am there to learn the language and culture and basically live like they do for a couple years (should be awesome!) I guess I am more worried about the first few months, when I am living with a family since I can eat the aspects of the diet that suite me best once I am on my own. I guess I should just go with the flow and not worry about my diet as much for the couple years. The experience will be worth it. Thanks for the comment!

Eed7dabde3d61910685845e04605267f

(2934)

on February 21, 2013
at 12:24 PM

*that should be 'sound'

Eed7dabde3d61910685845e04605267f

(2934)

on February 21, 2013
at 12:24 PM

It might be a bit awkward reaching for foods popular in the west while the others are eating the local cuisine. If you plan on packing enough food to 'supplement' a diet over the course of two years, good luck ;). I can't speak form extensive experinec ebut when travelling it is harder to eat whatever 'ideal' diet one thinks one has, and flexibility is often required algonside effort to seek out the foods you want. Your next two years sounds exciting though I must say!

F5a0ddffcf9ef5beca864050f090a790

(15515)

on February 21, 2013
at 11:23 AM

What about some roasted Guinea pigs?

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4 Answers

1
32f5749fa6cf7adbeb0b0b031ba82b46

(41747)

on February 21, 2013
at 12:49 PM

How about you bring cash so that you can provide for your host family? I suspect that meat is occasional because it is expensive.

If you want to come across as the weird foreigner who brought meat in her luggage, by all means, pack jerky.

2e777bbcd49262eb31a24f821abec6bc

(1974)

on February 21, 2013
at 01:49 PM

Thats a good idea. I am 22 and just out of college so I am by no means loaded... but I could occasionally bring some meat home for the family. That would improve all of our diets. I think it is pretty common for the volunteers (Im going with the peace corps) to bring snacks from the US to eat on days they feel extra homesick so I was just thinking maybe I should bring some higher protein ones. I am pretty gluten sensitive so I am just kind of torn between wanting to integrate into the community and not wanting an upset stomach for 2 years.

32f5749fa6cf7adbeb0b0b031ba82b46

(41747)

on February 21, 2013
at 02:07 PM

I can only assume that your meager savings have substantial buying power in Guinea. I'm never a fan of folks moving into a new culture and taking a very artificial diet with them as opposed to fully integrating. Be it Italy, Japan, or Guinea…

0
582e89904fef55ad5c7dac673653ef8c

(281)

on March 07, 2013
at 05:47 PM

The only thing I can add on this is for your jerky. I make my own jerky at home in a food dehydrator and it's fairly cheap and easy because I make it with ground beef (awesome, right?)

Recipe: 1 lb ground beef (that's all that fits in my food processor and dehydrator.) 1 or 1/2 an onion Some cloves of garlic or minced garlic Salt and pepper to taste, especially salt

I throw all of this into my food processor until it is all mixed very well. If you don't have a food processor then chopping your garlic and onion into the smallest pieces you can manage and then hand-mixing your meat with it all very well would work. I then shape the meat into small patties with my hands (it helps if you rinse your hands with water and let the excess drip off after each patty so the meat doesn't stick to you.) I make them fairly thin, 1/4"-1/8". Throw them on the dehydrator rack and let them go for at least 3 hours. I wait until they are the perfect dryness for my taste. You can also sprinkle them with some extra salt to add a good taste and help the drying.

You can also do this in the oven. Turn your oven on to the lowest setting (170 degrees is the best, my friend got it to work fine at 200 though.) Place your patties into a pan or directly on the rack or a grill rack with a pan underneath for the drippings. Leave the oven open a crack so the moisture can escape. Check every hour. My friend reported that after 5 hours his was perfect.

I second what people are saying about integrating yourself with the culture and diet though. "When in Rome, do as the Romans do." It may not be "paleo" but, you don't want to be that snobby American either. I think you'd be more miserable spending time sourcing foods than you would be from the side effects of eating foods that you normally wouldn't. Keep your activity up, eat good when you can, go with the flow when you can't.

0
75d65450b6ff0be7b969fb321f1200ac

(2506)

on February 21, 2013
at 05:05 PM

I think you'll need to learn to eat lots of coconut. Fortunately coconuts are healthy and delicious. In years gone by native cultures survived heavily on coconuts, fruits, fish and little meat.

_Lazza

32f5749fa6cf7adbeb0b0b031ba82b46

(41747)

on February 21, 2013
at 06:04 PM

Is coconut a major foodstuff in Guinea though?

0
Cfe88f41d0f90c6355a58eddbe78c9f8

on February 21, 2013
at 03:10 PM

I believe most meals are eaten communally from the same bowl, so that's something else to consider. It might be considered rude to have your own separate food. Just something to keep in mind.

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