JIS News

Hundreds of patrons turned out recently for the annual ‘Taste of the Caribbean/African Food Expo’ held in Toronto, Canada to address the health and eating habits of Afro-Canadian and Caribbean people.
Staged in partnership with Jamaican-born chef, Victor Henry (owner of Tipper’s Restaurant), and the Association for the Advancement of Blacks in Health Sciences (AABHS), the expo was officially opened by Jamaica’s Consul General to Toronto, Vivia Betton. In her address, Consul General Betton highlighted the rich culinary heritage of the Caribbean, and noted that different peoples have influenced the region’s cuisine throughout history, namely the “Africans, Arawaks, English, German, Portuguese, Spaniards, French, Chinese and East Indians”.
Miss Betton praised the organizers of the event for “mounting this impressive display of fuel for our bodies and the link between food, lifestyle and good health”.
This year’s focus was on the ‘Big Cs’ – cancer of the prostate in men and breast cancer in women – with information on early detection as the key to prevention and cure.
This is the fifth staging of the expo, which began because of concerns over the high incidence of certain diseases in persons of Caribbean and African heritage. The health professionals and participating organizations said they are committed to helping the community obtain the necessary knowledge, skills and tools to improve its health and well-being.
Dr. Christopher Morgan, President of AABHS noted that the diseases of primary concern included hypertension, diabetes and high cholesterol, which could be controlled and were even preventable by adopting healthy lifestyle behaviours.
Members of AABHS made presentations on how Afro-Canadians can change their lifestyles to avoid becoming victims. Those represented included the African and Caribbean Diabetes Prevention Programme (ACDPP); Black Health Alliance; Women’s Health in Women’s Hands; Camp Jumoke, for children with sickle cell disease; the Olive Branch of Hope, a group which provides support for those affected by breast cancer; and Man to Man, a support group for those suffering from prostate cancer.
Several restaurants in Toronto had cooking demonstrations and taste testings, including Tipper’s, Club Paradise and Shanty’s.

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