Power outages remain a significant challenge for hard-pressed South African households, particularly when it comes to providing a tasty, affordable meal on these cold winter nights. In fact, the impact load-shedding is having on mealtime is such a burning issue that, when Eskort asked its audience on socials to share their Eskom fail stories in order to gain insights into the meal challenges they face, the company received more than 9,000 responses in a single day.
The feedback included a vast array of load-shedding mealtime challenges ranging from the significant increase in costs as people are forced to dine out and buy smaller quantities; additional costs in terms of appliances like air fryers and gas hobs; the impact on family time as actual mealtimes have had to drastically change in line with schedules; and, in one instance, a relationship was ended as the boyfriend did not appreciate cold cereal for breakfast.
And that’s where pork comes in—it’s extremely cost-effective and is versatile enough to be used in many ways.
To highlight how South African householders can use pork to create nutritious, healthy, and delicious meals—and make the most of mealtimes despite the frustrating power outages—Eskort, South Africa’s premier pork products brand, is taking over the popular Eskom se Push app this week in order to educate consumers about meal planning amidst load shedding.
“Pork is one of the most versatile, healthy, and affordable meat options, and that makes it the perfect way to turn even a power outage into a great opportunity for the family to get together over something delicious, be it anything from Stage 1 to 6 load shedding,” Marcelle Pienaar, Group Marketing Manager at Eskort says. “We are working with celebrity chefs to provide mealtime inspiration appropriate to each stage of load shedding. In true Mzanzi style, we aim to show the public how to make a plan with our ‘Pork it, It’s Easy’ campaign.”
Celebrity chefs collaborating with Eskort to provide tips and pork recipes include The Funny Chef, Neo Nontse, Tee’s Cooking, The Lucky Pony, Apriena Pummer, Kelly Njokweni, and Chef Dede.
At a time when food inflation has soared to a 14-year high, the economy is plummeting, and South African consumers are under tremendous stress, it’s worth reflecting on the fact that year-on-year pork has proven to be the most cost-effective protein in the meat basket.
Pork’s allure goes beyond price though. The meat is extremely versatile, and adapts to many different culinary traditions—pork is an integral part of Asian, Indian, and European cuisines. Think of Parma ham and spaghetti carbonara, mu shu pork, and pork vindaloo to mention just a few, not forgetting everybody’s favourite, bacon. Whether it is served hot or cold, pork is a winner.
Then there’s the health aspect. There’s a popular misconception that pork is fatty but in fact, the meat is extremely lean because the fat tends to be concentrated in an easy-to-see layer. Lean pork cuts are approved on the Heart and Stroke Foundation’s eating plan. Pork contains abundant quantities of nutrients necessary for heart health, and has low concentrations of cholesterol and saturated fats.
South Africa is fortunate to have an excellent pork farming industry, with the nation’s herd judged to be one of the globe’s healthiest. The industry has made huge strides in building resilience to the ongoing power cuts and is firmly on a sustainability journey.
“Eskom se Push has become South Africa’s essential tool for navigating the power crisis—and Eskort’s pork products are consumers’ secret weapon when it comes to ensuring tasty meals even when the power is out,” Pienaar, concludes. “Delicious, healthy, and economical meals are the best way to turn even the darkest moments into a time of fun and laughter.”