Bbc News
December 19, 2007 - 3:43pm

As part of the BBC's season looking at sustainable food, we take a peek in the fridges of people in cities around the world and ask what motivates their food choices.

Khalil Abu Arqub is a 50-year-old Palestinian headmaster who lives in Jerusalem.

Contents: tomatoes, peppers, lemon, cucumber, bananas, apples, hummous, labneh (yoghurt), tuna, spam, sugary water (for Arabic desserts), potatoes, pepper sauce (for chicken) and ketchup. In the freezer are 2kg of chicken and 2kg of chicken liver.

Origin: Most of the food is bought from a local market. The vegetables and the fruit are all grown in the West Bank. The bananas come from Jericho. The hummous, labneh, potato and pepper sauce and sugary water are all homemade.

I buy all of my food from a man I know at the market. I've shopped there for 12 years as he offers a good quality of products. He also gives me credit if I don't have any money.

The local market is also a lot cheaper than the supermarket. For $2.50 I can buy 3kg of tomatoes at the market. The same price at a supermarket would only get me 2kg of tomatoes.

I'm very conscious about the quality of food that I buy for my wife and our five children. I know that some Palestinian farmers use water tainted by sewage to irrigate their crops, and I don't want my family to eat this produce.

In the summer I grow tomatoes and peppers in the garden - it's cheaper and fresher.

I can't afford to buy goods from outside the West Bank, apart from some meat from Israel. Israeli and European goods are too expensive for my family.

I like unpackaged food. It means you can hand-pick and smell the produce before you buy it. With packaged food, you never know what you are getting.

The BBC explores the global food chain - on TV, radio and online


American Task Force on Palestine - 1634 Eye St. NW, Suite 725, Washington DC 20006 - Telephone: 202-262-0017