Family Food Traditions and Nutrition

Here’s a bit from an article on food traditions and how they play into food security and access and consumer power, especially within minority communities.

Michelle Obama talks family food traditions and nutrition at Hispanic conference in New Orleans

“For many of us, food is love,” said Obama. “Food is how we knit our families together,” she said. “It’s how we pass on our culture and our heritage.”

Obama said her childhood was also full of walking and playing outside and eating much leaner fare, often greens from the garden, during the weeks between visits to her grandfather’s house. And that is where lifestyles often differ for contemporary families, she said, pressured by finances and time, less physically active and grabbing the most expedient, less wholesome, food available.

Obama described high rates of obesity among Hispanic children and less access to supermarkets in Hispanic neighborhoods. She described the temptation facing families of limited means to give children the food they want in the absence of other activities that carry costs.

“While food might be love, the truth is that we are loving ourselves and our kids to death,” she said. “So we need to step up. We need to own this as a serious problem in our communities.”

She described efforts such as her campaign’s focus on improving the quality of school food and urged people to use their power as consumers to influence food producers to offer better options. She said the Hispanic community nationwide has about $1 trillion in buying power.

“With the choices that you make,” at stores and restaurants, she said, “you can completely transform the marketplace. You all have that power today.”

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