Farewell, 2021, and hello, 2022! As we look back on another year of tremendous change and exciting new endeavors, we’re so thankful for our creative, passionate team at Oldways, and for our wonderful partners, collaborators, and the community of food lovers we get to interact with every day.
This year, we expanded our webinar series, made new strides with our African Heritage program, made big plans for culinary travel—and so much more. Here’s a look back at some of our favorite moments and proudest accomplishments of 2021.
1. More Mediterranean Diet followers than ever
We kicked oﬀ 2021 with a group Mediterranean Diet Challenge that began on January 4th, and we oﬀered this 4-week challenge again during Mediterranean Diet Month in May.
As people from all over the world participated in these healthy eating challenges, they connected and shared their experiences in our Facebook group. Participants made delicious recipes, lowered their cholesterol numbers, lost weight, shared more meals with family and friends, and tried new foods (like the Rowley family in the video above!)
Ready to try the Mediterranean Diet Challenge yourself? Join us on January 3, 2022!
2. An exciting year for A Taste of African Heritage
First and foremost, we’re so grateful to our A Taste of African Heritage Ambassadors, and our amazing partner organizations like the Philadelphia Free Library! These incredible teachers bring our six-week A Taste of African Heritage cooking curriculum to life in communities across the country, teaching healthy, traditional cooking techniques and recipes inspired by the African Diaspora.
In 2021, some of these teachers even helped us launch our A Taste of African Heritage e-course! This self-paced, online class allows anyone, anywhere in the world to learn more about healthy, delicious African Heritage food. Through video cooking demonstrations, historical, cultural, and nutrition lessons, and worksheets, you can learn about the cultural food traditions of the African Diaspora. This e-course is available for both individuals and organizations.
This year, we completed the A Taste of Latin American Heritage curriculum, which celebrates the traditional eating patterns of our ancestors, Indigenous people and immigrants whose food traditions shaped the four regions of Latin America: Mexico, Central America, South America, and the Caribbean. Each lesson is based on a diﬀerent plant-based food group in this culinary tradition. This curriculum will be available for purchase very soon—stay tuned, or reach out to us at email@example.com for more information!
3. The return of travel
As the world has reopened to travel, Oldways has been at the forefront, planning exciting culinary tours that will be led by acclaimed chefs in exciting destinations.
Join us in 2022 in:
We’ve introduced new guidelines and policies in response to Covid, and as always, our travelers’ safety and peace of mind are our top priority.
Additionally, Oldways has pledged that for every registration, we will donate money to oﬀset the environmental impact of travel. Oldways’ funds support earth-friendly initiatives like tree planting in the United Kingdom and reforestation in Kenya. Talk to us about our culinary tours!
4. Interviewing food and nutrition rockstars
This year, we have had exciting conversations about food, culture, and nutrition with some of our heroes, including author Toni Tipton-Martin, chef Pierre Thiam, long-time Oldways friend Walter Willett of the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health, cookbook author Bryant Terry, and many more. Plus, Oldways staﬀ members appeared on several podcasts, including President Sara Baer-Sinnott on the Let’s Talk About Food podcast!
Look for an upcoming Instagram Live with Dr. Jessica Harris. Follow us on Instagram here.
5. Expanding our library of webinars for dietitians
Calling all dietitians! This year, Oldways greatly expanded its free CPEU webinar series. We invited experts from around the world to present on topics ranging from The Cardiovascular Beneﬁts of Tea to Understanding the Role of Pasta in a Healthy Diet.
These hour-long webinars are free-of-charge, and earn dietitians one CPEU credit for each webinar they watch. Go back to our library and watch a replay, or sign up for a future (live!) webinar
6. Partnering with our Whole Grain heroes
In 2021, we expanded our work with the Whole Grain Initiative Network, which is a world-wide, interdisciplinary collaboration aiming to increase whole grain intake.
November 16th was International Whole Grain Day, and the Whole Grain Initiative celebrated with a webinar discussing how the daily consumption of whole grains is a vital part of not only healthy, but also sustainable diets.
“Partnering with the Whole Grain Initiative is one of my favorite things about 2021,” said Whole Grains Council Director Caroline Sluyter. ”It’s a relationship that both expands our reach and enriches our own knowledge and experience promoting whole grains. It’s a group of kind, smart, passionate people who care deeply about whole grains and that’s really special.”
7. More and more infographics
Together with our partners, we’ve been converting some of our nutrition information to a visual format! Infographics are a great way to learn, and this year we’ve covered everything from What Heritage Diets Have in Common (right) to the Beneﬁts of Parmigiano Reggiano and how Le Gruyère AOP is crafted by hand.
8. Dancing our way onto TikTok
Oldways has dance moves! (Sort of). This year, we expanded our social media presence into TikTok, where food, nutrition, and music come together. Download the TikTok app and give us a follow @oldways_pt for fun, food-focused video clips from our staﬀ.
9. Presenting the K. Dun Giﬀord Award to Dr. Jessica Harris
This year, we were honored to present Dr. Jessica Harris with the K. Dun Giﬀord Award at the annual Readable Feast ceremony.
Boston’s Readable Feast is an annual event celebrating food, food writing, and people who make a diﬀerence. The K. Dun Giﬀord Local Hero Award, named for Oldways’ founder, honors “a New Englander who through some medium of food (author, writer, educator, chef, grower, producer, activist, nutritionist) has positively aﬀected our local foodways.”
Educator and culinary historian Dr. Jessica B. Harris is a longtime friend of Oldways and is a member of Oldways’ African Heritage & Health Advisory Committee with strong ties to New England, as a frequent visitor to Martha’s Vineyard. She is an expert in African Heritage food traditions, and the author of 12 cookbooks. Learn more about her amazing accomplishments and career in the video above!
10. Meeting and gathering, virtually
In another year of (mostly) social distance, we’ve been incredibly grateful for the opportunities to “meet” and gather with people through online platforms. Whether that means meeting a new collaborator face-to-face on a Zoom meeting, or getting the Oldways staﬀ together for virtual tastings of traditional cheese and wine, we’re more grateful than ever to meet, connect, and share with others. As Julia Child said: “People who love to eat are always the best people!”