Book Launching on Food Diversity

Good afternoon and I would like to welcome all here. I was very honored when Wonjae and Olivia asked me to say a few words at this special book launching.

Thank-you so much for this friendly, energetic couple. The cooking classes were a great learning experience for me and I met many new friends.

Food is intrinsically powerful it can bring us together through meals and celebrations or tear us a part through embargoes on food stuffs and spark arguments between nations.

Food diversity defines us all! We remember, where we came from and this is important to value our food heritage. Our new food guide has a broader approach not only what to eat but how we should eat.

Health Canada has updated its advice for Canadians to help them eat better and develop healthier food habits.

What’s new? Recommends eating plenty of veggies and fruits, whole grains and protein foods.

  • Promotes choosing proteins that come from plants more often
  • Says water should be your drink of choice
  • Provides tips on what to avoid or limit: processed, prepared foods, added sodium and sugar
  • Emphasizes reading food labels and being aware of marketing influence

What’s out?

  • No more food groups or portion sizes
  • Dairy no longer its own category; healthy dairy options now included with proteins and unsweetened drinks.
  • Daily intake of oils and fats no longer promoted and saturated fats discouraged
  • No more promotion of juice or sweetened milk.

New healthy eating lifestyle tips include:

  • Cook more often rather than buying meals.
  • Be mindful of eating habits
  • Take time to eat rather than eating while working or doing other things
  • Involve others in planning and preparing meals
  • Food traditions can be part of healthy eating, share them across generations and cultures
  • Eat with other people

My experience with The Diversity Times and The Korea Time cooking classes was very positive. I find seniors can be somewhat hesitant and non-trusting to new ideas and suggestions. It took a buildup trust with Olivia and Wonjae before some of our more senior members accepted the idea of a year long cooking class.

Olivia and Wonjae did not give up. They were faithful in attending our weekly Tuesday breakfast, traveling all the way from Winnipeg. This impressed me how spirited and faithful they are.

I could see how this cooking class would unite us together. We learned about each others culture and heritage. We tried different tastes, and textures of foods on our palates. This was a pleasant experience enjoyed by all!

I realized how others wanted a better life, a freedom, that Canada could offer, but still difficult for others to leave many friends and loved ones behind. There was a driving force to better one’s self!

My personal image of seeing my Mother pull me back with one hand and pushing me to go with the other hand, at the Halifax airport still is fresh in my mind. She understood! She wanted me to experience adventure she never had the opportunity too.

I have been able to experience so much more in western Canada exactly in the middle of Canada than if I had remained in my small town of Nova Scotia. We learn from each other and I am so grateful for this wonderful opportunity for the grant money from our government.

Grateful for The Diversity Times to our organizers Olivia and Wonjae for arranging all our recipes and pictures of our times together and putting it in print form.

Now our memories will always remain with us as we look through the book. (Written by Len Penner)