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Food and Culture Report Valerie Blemur Florida International University HUN3122 - Applied Nutrition October 12, 2012 Food and Culture Report Reason for Choosing this Ethnic Minority Group The African-American ethnic group has of recent been faced with more nutritional related diseases more than any other ethnic group in America…
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Food and Culture Report

Download file to see previous pages... The most prominent nutritional ailment is obesity, which has a higher prevalence among African-Americans, as compared to any other group in the United States. These facts have motivated the interest on focusing on this ethnic group’s health habits. Approximate number of people belonging to this group living in the U.S. According to the 2011 U.S Census Bureau estimates, African-Americans number approximately 40 million and account for 14.1 percent of the total population in the United States.1 Traditional Food Habits Core or Staple Foods When African slaves were brought into the United States, they carried along their food practices and styles of cooking. Some of the staple foods they brought along include okra, peanuts, sesame seeds, rice and black-eyed peas. The slaves also learned to prepare the food provided by their masters such as pork, vegetables and cornmeal. They also used molasses as a sweetener in food dishes and drinks such as iced tea. These are still being applied to date. African-Americans also celebrate their cultural holidays through the promotion of unique cooking, characterized by ethnic styles which are sometimes referred to as soul food.2 For instance, fish has always been considered a staple food among the African-Americans. ...
Food Preparation Methods and Seasonings Many African-Americans prepare food using a frying or barbecuing method and serve the prepared dishes with heavy sauces and gravy. They also prefer making baked goods from scratch, as opposed to using commercial mixes, which come pre-packaged in a box. Meal Composition and Cycle It is customary for African Americans to consume a lot of food for breakfast. In the morning, they prefer eating grits, sausage, ham and freshly baked biscuits with syrup and butter. Lunch usually consists of bologna, which is eaten in sandwiches. The dinner is normally baked chicken with corn bread, baked ham, green vegetables, rice, candied yams and baked macaroni and cheese. Dessert is comprised of fruit cake and/or apple pie. Foods Associated With Superstitions Most of the superstitions revolve around the consumption of black-eyed peas. If the black-eyed peas are served with greens the food represents money i.e. the peas represent coins while the greens represent notes.2 If the corn bread is added to the black-eyed peas and greens meal, this represents gold. If eaten with stewed tomatoes, it represents health and wealth. The culture dictates that for one to witness everyday luck, they should eat at least 365 black-eyed peas during New Year’s Eve. Foods Used For Therapeutic Purposes Most contemporary African Americans have become more health conscious and realize the significance of ensuring that their diets contribute to their well-being.3 This has resulted in an increase in the addition of fruits and vegetables in every dish. They have also ventured into healthier and lighter cooking with the traditional fattier foods being left for special holidays and occasions. Foods for Traditional Celebrations ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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