FoodWIse's Healthy Community Corner by Amy Macemon, FoodWIse Healthy Communities Coordinator and Nutrition Educator
The old adage “treat others as you’d like to be treated” has been upgraded in many circles to “treat others as they’d like to be treated”. With the relatively recently (and newly!) celebrated “Indigenous People’s Day” and with the upcoming fall season, which is one for reflection, my hope is that you will take some time to reflect on that idea. We need to alter the trajectory for all people and part of doing that is honoring all people’s cultures, traditions, and preferences.
I recently came across an inquiry from a pantry leader in Virginia that was seeking information regarding provided foods that were aligned with all people’s culture. Responses were shared from a handful of pantry leaders that discussed applying for grants to include new foods in pantries, creating partnerships with local hunters to bring in local, traditional foods and more. These types of actions, and many more, will begin to create inclusive spaces where all people feel welcome, feel heard and feel like they can begin to thrive.
Even if we don’t run a pantry or service for those in need, we can consider what types of foods we purchase or grow to donate, think about the brands or styles of clothes we might donate to a present drive this holiday season, or, it can be as simple (and brave) as speaking up when you hear someone sharing very uninclusive opinions. Consider this article the next time you have the opportunity to lead a discussion to empower ALL voices around you. Alternatively, consider attending this Culturally Responsive Place-based Education Series to learn how to better incorporate the perspectives of those with whom we work in schools and educational programs.
With each of us making changes, we can be the change we want to see.
November is Native American Heritage Month. Consider exploring the roots of North America and the rich history of Native Americans.
“All across the continent, Native American food focused on these three staples. Corn was eaten as is, or ground up and used in a variety of recipes. Hard beans of various types were especially popular in the Southwest. Squash was just one of the families of vegetables commonly used in recipes both traditional and modern.
Native Americans were skilled farmers by the time the European settlers showed up. Even when they gathered natural food during their nomadic migrations, they enjoyed a host of vegetables, wild grains, and herbs to flavor their recipes. Some of these included melons, nuts, mushrooms, cactus, cabbage, onions, sage, mint, and pumpkins.”
For more insightful information on Native American food traditions and recipes such as wild rice and cranberry salad, succotash, savory baked pumpkin and many more, read on in the article! Or for seasonal recipes delivered directly to your inbox, email firstname.lastname@example.org for FoodWIse’s Weekly Featured Recipe!