Food Justice: Education and Access the Key to Minority Health

by Compassion Over Killing Staff

MinorityDid you know that April is National Minority Health Month?

Minority populations may have higher health risks due to genetic predisposition, cultural dietary preferences, or socioeconomic or geographic factors limiting access to fairly and sustainably grown, fresh, and healthy foods. This issue is at the core of the food justice movement.

For example, according to the American Diabetes Association, African Americans are disproportionately affected by diabetes as compared to the general population. Mexican Americans are nearly twice as likely to have diabetes than others, and 50% more likely to die from the ailment.

Worse, people with diabetes are at increased risk of heart disease. African American adults are 40% more likely to have high blood pressure than Caucasians, and 30% more likely to die from heart disease. And, due to higher rates of obesity, hypertension, and high cholesterol, Hispanic women are 20% more likely to have a stroke than other women.

Without knowledge about and access to healthy foods, many people in minority communities develop illnesses. And, without affordable healthcare, these illnesses may be inadequately treated or even go untreated.

Fortunately, eating a diet rich in whole, plant-based foods not only helps to prevent both type 2 diabetes and heart disease — but it’s also been shown to actually reverse these ailments. By sharing recipes and resources for vegetarian eating with minority populations, as well as improving access to plant-based foods in minority communities, we can literally save lives.

Check out COK’s recipes for Tofu Tacos and Quick Quesadillas, which are both easy and affordable. Or how about some Champion Chili, BBQ Seitan Sandwiches, and Mac Un-Cheese? There are many more great options on VegRecipes.org.

Interested in reaching out to minority communities or even schools and restaurants in food deserts about providing healthy vegan options? Contact us now.