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Minister of Agriculture, Dr. Christopher Tufton, has emphasised that persons should take a holistic approach to healthy living, and adopt lifestyle practices that are positive.
Addressing the launch of a Health, Home and Garden Expo, at the National Arena on Thursday, October 23, the Minister said the launch comes at a very critical point in time, as people tend to ignore that there are intrinsic links between health and lifestyle practices.
“We tend to compartmentalise our lives and we rarely, as a people, tend to look at things as a value chain and to connect things from one stage to the next, as part of a holistic approach to living,” Dr. Tufton said.
“I think the more we can make that association, in this case between our health, between what we do at home, between what we do in our gardens, whether it is the backyard garden or it is the farm, the more we make that connection, is the more we can appreciate our lifestyles and the more we will preserve our lifestyles,” he added.
The Minister pointed out that lifestyle diseases, such as hypertension and diabetes, are the leading causes of death in Jamaica and the world, and encouraged all to practice healthy lifestyles.
Dr. Tufton encouraged persons to consume local products, which are nutritious and healthy. “If you examine it strictly from the perspective of nutrition, I don’t know why we have allowed ourselves to believe that if we are not eating rice and flour dumpling in the evening, we are not eating dinner; because if it is banana and callaloo, then we are backward. On a very logical basis, when you examine the nutritional facts of those starches, you are probably 10 times better off, from a healthy living perspective, consuming those local staples,” he said.
The Minister commended the organisers of the expo, noting that, “it seeks to highlight and promote our local offerings, because it is better for us, it is healthier for us and it certainly generates economic activities and keep those activities within our local environment.”
In her remarks, Event Co-ordinator, Fay Wint-Smith, encouraged all to support the event. “Our hope is that each participant will take something home from the show, that will make a difference to his or her life,” she said.
“This is an interactive expo and this year, more than ever, with all that is happening and continues to happen, not only in Jamaica, but worldwide, we hope that each person who enters the Arena this weekend, will leave feeling uplifted and renewed,” she added.
The expo will be staged until Sunday, October 26. It features displays, decorating workshops, a children’s village, artist village, health checks, consultations, gardening workshops, floral displays, live entertainment and giveaways.
The expo is being held under the theme: ‘Positive Living’.