A young woman from Croydon is aiming to improve the health of young people by changing the eating habits of those on a tight budget.
Elisha Goodridge (20) wants to show young people that there are alternative meals to convenience food – and you do not have to be rich or an award-winning chef to cook healthy food.
Elisha, who lives in the South London YMCA hostel, Croydon, has a budget of around £30 a week for food. Despite the small budget, she cooks every meal from fresh food.
She is now producing a resource pack for young people containing recipes, shopping tips, and information about nutrition and healthy eating on a tight budget. (This is currently in the production stages and will be online soon. Keep checking for updates)
“You do not have to be rich to eat well and be healthy. I’ve been really interested in cooking now for a few years, and now I would consider it a hobby of mine. I’m really at peace when I cook,” said Elisha.
“I really love dishes that are Caribbean and Indian, but people think curries and other dishes like this are expensive because of the ingredients. But they are not, and once you know what to buy, a lot of the food lasts for multiple meals.
“I decided to change this after having quite an unhealthy childhood myself, and seeing so many young people become more unhealthy in society. My idea is to show that a tiny budget does not mean you have to settle for cheap, unhealthy food.”
With the acting help of her friend Brookie Grimes (23), and the expertise ‘Medicinal Chef’ Dale Pinnock, Elisha is also creating a short film showing the types of food you can create on a small budget.
“I wanted to get Brookie to be in this film because her diet is not always great,” said Elisha jokingly. “I hoped that with Dale’s help it would make her - and other young people – realise the amazing foods they are missing out on.”
Chef Dale – who helped Brookie cook his Anti-Inflammatory Curry – was pleased with Elisha’s idea.
“While convenience food is very cheap, it is not good for you at all. Basically what you are getting is fat, salt, and sugar. It is quick and convenient, but people can do a lot better than this sort of food on an equally cheap budget,” he said.
“Your body becomes what you eat – it runs on the fuel you give it. So, if you are giving it the wrong fuel, then you cannot expect it to perform at its best.
“Elisha’s idea is innovative and just the sort of thing people need to make them aware of how to eat better and, ultimately, live better too.”