African cooking class encourages healthy living to address racial disparities in health

2 years 2 months 2 weeks ago Wednesday, August 02 2017 Aug 2, 2017 Wednesday, August 02, 2017 11:17:00 AM CDT August 02, 2017 in News
By: Casey Edwards, KOMU 8 Reporter
loading

COLUMBIA - Not all Americans are equal when it comes to health, but one local class hopes to use cooking to educate and motivate people to change their behaviors in an effort to address these disparities.

The Columbia Center for Urban Agriculture, the Columbia/Boone County Public Health and Human Services Department and the nonprofit organization Oldways are hosting the “Taste of African Heritage” class in Columbia. The class lasts from July 24 through August 28 and is held at the Family Impact Center.

According to Oldways representative Kyle Potvin, the class is funded by a grant through the Walmart Foundation, so participants do not have to pay to take it. It is first come first serve, and there is a waiting list to get in.

But this is not only a cooking class. In this class, people learn the history and culture of African cooking in order to eat healthier.

According to the American Heart Association, African Americans are more likely to have heart disease and high blood pressure than other Americans. The American Diabetes Association reports African Americans are 77% more likely to have diabetes than white americans. Some of these health problems are genetic, but class instructor Verna LaBoy said the food education and community support offered in the class can help address some of these problems.

“I’m feeling better. I’m losing weight. I feel more energy. And I’m surrounded by people that are excited about the same thing and it’s contagious,” LaBoy said.

LaBoy said she suffers from hypertension, a form of high blood pressure, and wants to use what she teaches and learns in the class to naturally improve her health and stop taking medication.

To prove participants get positive results from the class, instructors measure a person’s weight, blood pressure and even waist circumference at each class. Columbia/Boone County Public Health and Human Services Health Educator Laura McCulloch said data is not yet available on any changes.

Dee Campbell Carter attends the class and said she has lost three pounds since starting. People aren’t only seeing change in their bodies; some participants have even started their own gardens and used what they grow in their cooking.

“We now have a garden with greens and we grow our own greens and we eat greens everyday, which we didn’t use to,” Campbell Carter said.

Though the class has a focus on African cooking, LaBoy said everyone can benefit from learning healthy eating habits in this style.

“You don’t have to be African American to be in the class and to enjoy the rich culture and the foods of the African continent,” LaBoy said.

The problem of disparities in health between African Americans and white Americans is a nationwide issue, but LaBoy said she believes the benefits of A Taste of African Heritage class can transform the health and lives of people of all races.

More News

Grid
List
COLUMBIA - The Sharp End Heritage Committee unveiled seven new markers Wednesday that will be placed on the African American... More >>
1 day ago Wednesday, October 16 2019 Oct 16, 2019 Wednesday, October 16, 2019 5:48:00 PM CDT October 16, 2019 in News
JEFFERSON CITY — Missouri Attorney General Eric Schmitt filed a lawsuit against Cory Mincey and Puppy Love Kennel of Dallas... More >>
1 day ago Wednesday, October 16 2019 Oct 16, 2019 Wednesday, October 16, 2019 5:48:00 PM CDT October 16, 2019 in News
COLUMBIA - In an effort to decrease the number of suicides across the state, a non-profit group is teaming up... More >>
1 day ago Wednesday, October 16 2019 Oct 16, 2019 Wednesday, October 16, 2019 5:45:00 PM CDT October 16, 2019 in News
MILLER COUNTY - A Tuscumbia man has been sentenced to 15 years in the Missouri Department of Corrections for failure... More >>
1 day ago Wednesday, October 16 2019 Oct 16, 2019 Wednesday, October 16, 2019 2:42:00 PM CDT October 16, 2019 in News
JEFFERSON CITY - Three former Cole County Emergency Medical Services employees filed lawsuits against the county on Monday, claiming discrimination... More >>
1 day ago Wednesday, October 16 2019 Oct 16, 2019 Wednesday, October 16, 2019 2:33:00 PM CDT October 16, 2019 in News
JEFFERSON CITY - A precautionary boil water advisory has been issued for Missouri American Water customers in Jefferson City after... More >>
1 day ago Wednesday, October 16 2019 Oct 16, 2019 Wednesday, October 16, 2019 2:16:00 PM CDT October 16, 2019 in News
COLUMBIA - A Pennsylvania law firm has filed a class-action lawsuit against Hy-Vee. The lawsuit comes after the grocery... More >>
1 day ago Wednesday, October 16 2019 Oct 16, 2019 Wednesday, October 16, 2019 1:31:00 PM CDT October 16, 2019 in News
DETROIT (AP) — Bargainers for General Motors and the United Auto Workers have reached a tentative contract deal that could... More >>
1 day ago Wednesday, October 16 2019 Oct 16, 2019 Wednesday, October 16, 2019 11:05:35 AM CDT October 16, 2019 in News
COLE COUNTY - A St. Thomas man is dead after a tractor crash Tuesday evening. According to the Missouri... More >>
1 day ago Wednesday, October 16 2019 Oct 16, 2019 Wednesday, October 16, 2019 9:53:00 AM CDT October 16, 2019 in News
COLUMBIA - New trail markers identifying places of interest in the African American community are coming to the downtown Columbia... More >>
1 day ago Wednesday, October 16 2019 Oct 16, 2019 Wednesday, October 16, 2019 3:53:00 AM CDT October 16, 2019 in News
COLUMBIA - The local segment of a national student film competition called "Campus Movie Fest" (CMF) is starting Wednesday at... More >>
1 day ago Wednesday, October 16 2019 Oct 16, 2019 Wednesday, October 16, 2019 3:52:00 AM CDT October 16, 2019 in News
COLUMBIA - The Columbia school district is investigating after a racist image imitating the web site of Columbia's Gentry Middle... More >>
1 day ago Tuesday, October 15 2019 Oct 15, 2019 Tuesday, October 15, 2019 9:24:00 PM CDT October 15, 2019 in News
COLUMBIA - The University of Missouri Police Department (MUPD) is investigating a sexual assault that happened over the weekend near... More >>
2 days ago Tuesday, October 15 2019 Oct 15, 2019 Tuesday, October 15, 2019 7:53:00 PM CDT October 15, 2019 in News
COLUMBIA - Twelve Democratic presidential candidates took stage Tuesday night in Ohio while mid-Missouri viewers watched on television. The debate... More >>
2 days ago Tuesday, October 15 2019 Oct 15, 2019 Tuesday, October 15, 2019 7:44:00 PM CDT October 15, 2019 in News
COLUMBIA - The University of Missouri released the results Tuesday of a survey on the campus climate surrounding sexual assault... More >>
2 days ago Tuesday, October 15 2019 Oct 15, 2019 Tuesday, October 15, 2019 7:27:00 PM CDT October 15, 2019 in News
JEFFERSON CITY- Missouri State Auditor Nicole Galloway said Tuesday Missouri is in no shape to handle a recession if financial... More >>
2 days ago Tuesday, October 15 2019 Oct 15, 2019 Tuesday, October 15, 2019 7:13:00 PM CDT October 15, 2019 in News
COLUMBIA - From ear to ear, it's hard to miss 94-year-old Elmo Winterhalter's smile. "I don't know I've always... More >>
2 days ago Tuesday, October 15 2019 Oct 15, 2019 Tuesday, October 15, 2019 6:40:00 PM CDT October 15, 2019 in EmVP
COLUMBIA - MU Health Care unveiled a new therapeutic, outdoor activity center for patients Tuesday. The area has a... More >>
2 days ago Tuesday, October 15 2019 Oct 15, 2019 Tuesday, October 15, 2019 4:14:00 PM CDT October 15, 2019 in News
Columbia, MO
Broken Clouds 54°
9pm 53°
10pm 53°
11pm 52°
12am 51°