African American News

Oldways Celebrates 10 Years of A Taste of African Heritage

BOSTONDec. 5, 2022 /PRNewswire/ — The nonprofit Oldways announces the 10-year anniversary and celebration of A Taste of African Heritage, a groundbreaking 6-week cultural cooking & nutrition curriculum that has been taught in communities across the country.

Oldways celebrates 10 years of A Taste of African Heritage

Years before Juneteenth became a nationally recognized holiday or Netflix debuted High on the Hog, this curriculum began helping African Americans reclaim their health through the often-unsung benefits of traditional, plant-based African cooking.

“My soul—my inner self wept because [A Taste of African Heritage] celebrates healthy food traditions relevant to my culture. Foods that my Grandmother Sylvia and my Mother cooked were linked back to healthy food traditions in the African Diaspora,” said one instructor in Washington, D.C.

To celebrate the 10-year milestone, Oldways is celebrating the impact this curriculum has had over the past decade with a 10-Year Anniversary Report, as well as setting a new goal of bringing A Taste of African Heritage to all 50 U.S. states.

The curriculumintroduced in 2012, is based on healthy plant foods (like leafy greens, whole grains, and beans) from across the African Diaspora. For 10 years, this curriculum has brought to light a culinary legacy and the often-unsung cultural ownership of healthy eating for people of African descent. It was designed by Oldways in collaboration with an expert committee of nutrition scientists and culinary historians, including award-winning culinary historian Dr. Jessica B. Harris and Harvard School of Public Health nutrition scientist Walter Willett.

Recently, it was admitted into the USDA SNAP-Ed Toolkit, and a new article published in the Journal of Nutrition Education and Behavior detailed some of the health and lifestyle benefits that participants experience. The article found that participants showed improvements in weight, systolic blood pressure, and waist size, as well as higher intake of fruit, vegetables, greens, and higher frequency of exercise. Ninety-eight percent of participants also reported that heritage was a motivator for change.

Looking ahead, Oldways hopes to bring A Taste of African Heritage to all 50 U.S. states and is seeking new instructors to license the curriculum and bring it to their own communities. Everyone can teach A Taste of African Heritage—you don’t need to be a teacher, chef, or dietitian to get started.

Please contact Oldways for more information about A Taste of African Heritage.


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