Determining the Honduran Basic Food Basket: A Mathematical Approach
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Honduras is a country in Central America with both a high poverty and underemployment rate. An essential basic food basket exists and consists of 30 food items that stands at an average of $176.01, nevertheless it was not established considering nutritional requirements. Binary linear programming was utilized to determine a basic food basket that could both fulfill this requirement while doing so with the least possible cost. Two optimization models were created with different constraints to evaluate which offered a better solution both in terms of cost and food item variety. A family of 4 people was considered for the study and 6 scenarios were tested for each of the models with 3 sets of repetitions of food items per month allowed. All scenarios obtained an optimal solution that complied with the constraints given. Scenario 2 which consists of a teen male, teen female, adult male and pregnant female was used to determine the BFB since it was the scenario that required the most amount of nutrients and portions of the diverse food groups. Final basic food basket contained 66 items and had a total cost of $235.86; item variety increased more than double but cost also increased as a side effect.