We’ve been working in vibrant communities to grow Positive Food Environments: the physical and social spaces that help to normalize healthy eating by making it easier to grow, sell, and eat good food.
We’ve created a series of ‘Food Snapshots’ to learn more about each of these communities with the communities themselves. Each of the snapshots is based on workshops in community with people telling us in their own words what they are all about. Many volunteers helped to create these snapshots by transcribing interviews and analyzing data. We then sent our first drafts back to community partners to ensure we’d captured the information as best as possible.
One interesting part of these are the ‘food profiles’ or determining what a typical diet is comprised of for distinct eating groups. For example, in the Halifax community of Bayers Westwood distinct eating groups included Canadian-Born families eating a much higher proportion of processed food and Newcomers bringing with them home-cooking traditions from their countries of origin. In the Immigrant Services Association of Nova Scotia (ISANS) Food Snapshot, we learned that the longer Newcomers are in Nova Scotia, the more processed foods make their way into the diet – often through the children and pressures from school peers. What an opportunity to learn from Newcomers for healthier diets!!
We plan to do an updated snapshot for each community in 2016 to compare and track changes.
These Food Snapshots were inspired by North York Harvest’s Food Friendly Neighbourhoods.
~Miranda Cobb, Community Food Research, Evaluation and Storytelling, miranda at ecologyaction.ca