Nonprofit organization creates food and diet pyramid geared specifically toward traditional eating patterns of African Americans
SANTA MONICA, California
November 28, 2011
– To help African Americans improve their health and eating habits, Oldways, a nonprofit food and nutrition education organization along with an advisory team of experts, recently unveiled The African Heritage Diet Pyramid. Diet details are featured in the November issue of Food Nutrition & Science.
According to Oldways, the Pyramid celebrates the individual foods and the traditional healthy eating patterns of African Heritage, with roots in America, Africa, the Caribbean, and South America.
"While this diet is targeted to a certain population, what we've seen with other cultural diets like the Mediterranean is that various ethnicities will try it out for health and food variety reasons," says Phil Lempert founder of Food Nutrition & Science and CEO of The Lempert Report and SupermarketGuru.com. "This gives retailers a great opportunity to merchandise their store in a way that supports the diet and results in increased sales."
Traditional African Heritage meals are based on an abundance of colorful fruits and vegetables, especially leafy greens; tubers like sweet potatoes; beans of all kinds; nuts and peanuts; rice, flatbreads and other grain foods, especially whole grains; healthy oils; homemade sauces and marinades of herbs and spices; fish, eggs, poultry and yogurt; and minimal consumption of meat and sweets.
Also in this month's Food Nutrition & Science, results from an International Food Information Council (IFIC) and Foundation's 2011 Sodium Survey that details how only 57 percent of consumers know how much sodium they actually consume. According to the IFIC, the average consumption of sodium, per consumer, is more than 3,000 mg a day, but the current Dietary Guidelines for Americans recommend that healthy Americans without risk of hypertension consume no more than 2,300 mg of sodium per day. Reducing sodium is an important factor in lowering high blood pressure.
"The message to consume less sodium has been around for decades, but the survey also reveals that numbers and restrictions don't resonate with consumers and as a result, consumption is still up," says Lempert. "Perhaps it's time for our messages to focus more on behaviors and evolve to include more "how to's" while also encouraging food manufacturers to reduce the sodium levels in its products."
This month's Food Nutrition & Science includes information about a recent report from the Chicago Council on Global Affairs called Girls Grow: A Vital Force in Rural Economies. The study highlights the importance of girls, who are the backbones of rural economies.
According to the study, on average, girls and women living in rural, poor areas handle 43 percent of all farming and almost 100 percent of all household work. The report suggests if women farmers were given the same productive resources as men, the results could be significant. An integrated, well-supported rural economic development strategy that includes a focus on women could increase women's agricultural yields by 20 to 30 percent – in turn increasing national output by 2.5 to 4 percent. Undernourished people could be reduced by 12 to 17 percent.
Also in the November issue of Food Nutrition & Science, a video tour of a 500 acre Gonzales, California vegetable farm with Farmer Mike Pisoni; and interviews with Benjamin Linsley, vice president of Business Development and Public Affairs for BrightFarms, a company that designs, finances, builds and operates hydroponic greenhouse farms at supermarkets – subsequently eliminating shipping, and reducing fuel consumption, carbon emissions and water use; 30 year old Travis Gebhart who operates a family commercial cow calf operation in Northwestern South Dakota; and Chef Duskie Estes who, along with her husband, loves all things pork and runs two restaurants called Zazu Restaurant in Santa Rosa, California and Bovolo Restaurant in Healdsburg, California and also operates the Black Pig Meat Company, which makes bacon, piggy pops and a whole host of other pork products.
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With more than 26,000 readers, Food Nutrition & Science from The Lempert Report is the only monthly newsletter that provides readers analysis and offers discussions on all issues relating to the food industry. Founded by food industry analyst and CEO of The Lempert Report and SupermarketGuru.com Phil Lempert, Food Nutrition & Science was created so that all industry players could communicate about the safest, most efficient and healthiest way to get food to our plates. Anyone interested in learning more about healthy foods, trends, and maneuvering the supermarket can visit iTunes and download Lempert's free iPhone mobile app called "Smarter Shopping with Phil Lempert."
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