On 1st April 2017, the annual Fruit and Juice Party was organized from 10am to 6pm under the theme; Biodiversity, Nutrition, Education and Networking. It was hosted by the Nile Basin Convivium and took place at Narambhai Primary School. More than 500 people attended the party, including students and pupils from 7 primary and secondary schools* and the local branch of Makerere University Business School, parents, community members, Slow Food Uganda and SFYN members.
Since 2006 the Fruit and Juice Party is an educational event organised by Slow Food Uganda in Jinja town, Eastern Uganda, to sensitize on local healthy fruits growing and consumption. “Kids who were asked which food they would like to eat and most of the answers were yoghurt, chips and none of mentioned about fruits and this is where the idea of the Fruit and Juice Party came in from”, says Edie Mukiibi, President of Slow Food Uganda. The participation of students in food production does not only enhance their taste behaviours and nutrition status, but can possibly lead to social transformation. Slow Food Uganda and Project Disc are working to celebrate the cultivation of interests into young people in Uganda to take agriculture as a venture of life change, socially and economically.
During the day, many activities have taken place: a garden was set up thanks to SFYN volunteers and Amule Mansur, a young agronomist from West Nile (Northern Uganda) gave technical agronomical advise on planting and handle indigenous fruit trees.
The sensory education workshop was conducted on 31 people. “The major reason for the sensory education was to teach students how to taste and describe fruits using four human senses”. Said John Wanyu, graduated at Gastronomic Sciences University in Pollenzo. “This will help them in the straggle to fight again modified and hybrid fruits that have a bad taste and harmful to human health.” Four fruits were evaluated by using hands (blind tasting) to define the shapes, texture and weight, then by eyes (sight) to describe the colour and shape, then with the nose to define the smells and lastly with the mouth (taste).
The fruit transformation workshop aimed to demonstrate good ways juice extraction and how to minimise waste during the process. The flesh of a fresh pineapple was used to extract the juice, the peeling for making a cold tea and the top was replanted to ensure reproduction. Participants were advised to avoid market juices with plenty of additives and solicited to stick to traditional fruits, homemade juices and/or trusted venders.
The fruits juices preparation was done in the morning by students and pupils themselves with the help of teachers. Eight types of juice were prepared: watermelon, orange, pineapple, mango, passion fruit, star fruit, pawpaw and tamarind. No sugar and no water were added. Visitors were invited to taste them. One parent said that he had been seeing watermelons in the markets but never tasted since he was fearing it but he found it good and delicious thanks the event and sensitization work done by Slow Food Uganda.
Lunch was prepared by Dembe Catering service, a member of the Chefs’ Alliance, and served to the visitors together with fruits thanks to SFYN volunteers.
“We have gone western and forgot our indigenous fruits which are healthy to our lives and on this note we thank Slow Food for reviving our indigenous fruit so young children learn whatever you see here today and go back and teach others”, said the Headteacher. Edie Mukiibi: “It is through such events that we can bring together young people and tell them about good food so everyone can organise events from your respective areas, we have to fight for our heritage by reviving our local food.”
  1. Narambhai primary school
  2. Spire Road primary school
  3. Maggwa Day and Boarding primary school
  4. Gonzaga primary school
  5. Jinja Senior secondary school
  6. Massese Senior secondary school
  7. Jinja Police Barracks primary school