Member Login

Food History Month

Black History Month has come and gone. It’s great that we have a month where we can recognize all the wonderful accomplishments African Americans have achieved (although it should be happening throughout the year). However, lately I’ve been thinking about the ancestry of African Americans, food systems and how food choices impact us today. My reflection made me think that there should be a Food History Month.

Food History Month would be our time step back and look at food systems, food culture and how it has changed. Unfortunately, over the years a lot of the changes haven’t been for the good of our community.  If you think about it, my friends and I really don’t know what food was like “in the old days”. All we know is the “it’s cheap so I’m going to buy it” foods, the “$1 menu” foods, the “it tastes good so I’m going to eat it even though it’s not good for my health” foods.

I think people would be surprised how much the food system has changed. We went from growing everything we needed to processing, packaging, and buying everything that is a luxury to our everyday lives. We went from cooking everything at home to drive-thru windows. We went from whole foods to refined foods. We went from fish to fish sticks. We went from 3 ingredients to 30 ingredients that we can barely pronounce. We went from freshly squeezed orange juice to Kool-Aid. The food and drinks that our ancestors consumed has dramatically changed from something that is good for the soul to something that could cause you to live sicker or die earlier. Sometimes we are so ignorant when it comes to food and the lack of choice we really have and how this impacts our health. I think communities would be healthier if people knew about the food that they consumed instead of being ignorant and shoving anything that looks good down their throats. A food history month would be a great step towards creating greater awareness of our current food reality and what we need to do to change it to support our health.

SHIFT Demand.

George Walley-Sephes, SHIFT Crew Leader

© Copyright 2011. SHIFT. All Rights Reserved. Terms of Use | Contact

Support for this website was provided by a grant from the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation