The Cultural Food Journeys project focused on the younger second and third generations of south Asian and African Caribbean communities in northwest Birmingham.
The aims were to:
- Promote healthier food consumption and lifestyles while keeping within cultural traditions
- Promote cultural understanding and integration
- Help young people understand the history and nutritional value of their own food traditions and those of their peers
- Support young people to become positive role models for young siblings.
We worked with 12-18 year olds, exploring their experiences of and attitudes to food. The project encouraged them to plan meals, shop for and prepare food. Legacy WM documented this work by producing an e-booklet about healthy eating and cooking live on air for a local radio station.
This project was a response to the unhealthy diet of many children and young people in disadvantaged communities where fast food and sugary drinks are more-widely available and cheaper than healthy alternatives. This has contributed to growing levels of obesity and associated health problems.
There is also anecdotal evidence that children and young people do not know enough about nutrition and are losing touch with their cultural food traditions. At the same time, many are ill-informed about the food traditions of other communities and what they do know is often mixed up with prejudice and stereotypes.