Saturday, March 02, 2013

Healing recipes: A multicultural potluck

Today I completed week five of my six-week Coursera class on nutrition for health promotion and disease prevention. This week's assignment was so interesting I thought I'd put a poll out there to see what you would do if this was your homework.

Professor Ferraro asked us to identify a food with cultural, personal, religious or political importance to us, with "purported effects on health promotion or disease prevention". We were to prepare the dish (eliminating my obvious choice of madzoon), keeping notes on the ingredients and step-by-step instructions, take a photograph of the food and prepare a nutrient analysis of the food we prepared. She continues:

No matter the culture you align with, to some degree, food in your culture is polysemic. Polysemic symbols are those that carry several, simultaneous meanings. For this assignment, you will create a food item or dish that represents the ability to prevent disease or promote health in your food culture.
Examples of food items with perceived therapeutic benefits include:
  • Use of nopales (cactus) in Mexican food culture to help lower blood sugar in people with diabetes 
  • Use of chicken soup in the United States to convey healing for people who are sick with the common cold or flu 
  • Kimchi used in Korea is thought to promote digestive health among other health benefits

So, my questions for you are: if this was your assignment, what would you make? And, of course, what do you think I turned in for my homework?


Anonymous said...

Hmmmm. Knowing you it was meatless and had lots of veggies...maybe your root veggie casserole or some herbal tea.

I'd fix chicken noodle or matza ball soup.

Katie said...

what about a oatmeal breakfast meal with nuts and dried fruit and different grains.....hmmmmm