BOSTON, September 11, 2017 — The food and nutrition nonprofit Oldways is bringing its popular A Taste of African Heritage (ATOAH) community cooking classes back to the Boston area for the first time in three years. The free classes aim to address health disparities in African-American communities by teaching participants to adopt healthy eating habits based on the traditional foods of the African diaspora.

Starting September 13, the six-class series takes place on Wednesdays through October 18, 6-8pm at The Daily Table (450 Washington St. in Dorchester). There will also be a single-session demo class on Tuesday, October 3, 6-8pm at THE KITCHEN at The Boston Public Market, operated by The Trustees (100 Hanover St. in Boston).

“A Taste of African Heritage cooking classes showcase the rich history and healthy roots of African culture and traditional cuisine while instilling cooking confidence, basic skills, and enjoyment as motivators for preparing regular home-cooked meals as part of a healthy lifestyle,” said Sade Anderson, Oldways’ African Heritage and Health program manager and African diaspora specialist.

At a time when African-American health disparities are frequently reported in the news, ATOAH works to reverse that trend. Supported by a grant from the Walmart Foundation, ATOAH brings the African Heritage Diet Pyramid to life, showing participants how to eat and cook healthfully, traditionally, and enjoyably through hands-on experience.

Since 2012, more than 2,500 students have participated in a total of 250 ATOAH classes nationwide. The results:

  • 62% of students have lost weight
  • 30% have reduced blood pressure
  • 53% have lost inches from their waist

The majority of students also report sustaining the positive lifestyle changes taught in the class, such as eating more plant-based foods and cooking at home.

About Oldways

Oldways is a nonprofit organization dedicated to improving public health via traditional eating choices. They offer educational programs and recipes based on cultural heritage, the goodness of whole grains, and the practices of traditional cheese-making. Find out more at http://www.oldwayspt.org.