October 16: World Food Day

Celebrate (Food) Culture and Diversity this October

What foods do you traditionally enjoy with your family? Everything from what you eat to what time of day you eat to what utensils you use (or don’t use!) contributes to your personal food culture. Food brings people together for festivals, weddings, birthdays, and simple social gatherings or romantic dates.

Take a chance this month to celebrate cultural diversity and embrace the nutritional aspects of a culture you have always been interested in trying. Grab some friends and make it an adventure. You may just find a fruit or vegetable you have never had before and love it! And if you do, you just have more diversity to add to your own diet.

What are some interesting foods you may want to experiment with?

Buddha’s Hand: Although it may look odd and almost like a hand, this fruit provides a significant amount of lemony zest for a variety of recipes. This hand is packed with vitamin C and antioxidants and makes a wonderful garnish or interesting centerpiece. Check your local Whole Foods for this divine fruit.

Manoomin is often mistaken for rice but is more similar to corn. It is indigenous to North America and harvested around the Great Lakes. This is an heirloom plant grown, harvested, and protected by Native Americans. If you are looking for a new rice-like ‘grain’ to incorporate into recipes, you will want to check online to find out where to buy this special crop.

Lopsided, uneven, and maybe ugly to some, the Ugli Fruit can be found in a number of grocery stores. Ugli fruit has vitamin C, antioxidants, fiber, and is easier to peel than one might think. If you like grapefruit or tangerines, you might want to give this beauty a try.

These ears are found on the side of trees and not animals so don’t be worried by their appearance. Wooded Ear Mushrooms are a source of vitamins B, C, and D as well as iron. You may encounter these mushrooms in Asian cuisine so the next time you’re at out for an Eastern-inspired restaurant, look to see if you can sample these strange looking creatures.

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