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Food and Culture Assignment Nutrition
Introduction
Food is not just for nutritional purposes but it is also a symbol of cultural identity. Culture is extensively characterized as the qualities, convictions, frames of mind, and practices acknowledged by individuals from a gathering or network. Culture is learned, not taught; it is passed from age to age through language obtaining and socialization in a procedure called cultural assimilation. What one eats characterizes one’s identity, socially, and, then again, one’s identity not (Kittler, Sucher, & Nelms, 2011). For instance, people in the Middle East who consume pork meat are either Catholics or Christians. The food practices for each social gathering are frequently connected to religious convictions or ethnic practices. Eating is an everyday reaffirmation of social personality. Nourishments that show alliance with culture are typically presented amid adolescence and are related to security or great recollections. Such foods hold extraordinary worth to an individual, regardless of whether different eating regimens have been received because of changes in the home, religious enrollment, wellbeing status, or on the other hand everyday individual preference (Counihan, & Van Esterik, 2012). They might be eaten amid ethnic occasions and for individual occasions, for example, birthday celebrations or weddings, or amid times of stress. A good example of the use of food as a cultural identity would be in the African American community. They eat a food known as the “soul food” which may include pork ribs and greens as an expression of ethnic solidarity.
Part A
African American food habits and nutrition
African-Americans have dietary inclinations conceived from social impacts and need. The inclination for a specific kind of cooking called “soul food” has brought about different medical issues for African-Americans. It commonly incorporates browned nourishments and heaps of greasy meats arranged with rich sauces. African-Americans relate these foods to social collaborations and their history of slavery (Miller, 2013). In this way, any endeavors to inspire them to eat different sorts of more beneficial foods are met with obstruction and are viewed as attempting to kill the Black culture. Distinctive examinations have demonstrated that it is as yet conceivable to eat the food-related to soul nourishment in a healthier way so that African-Americans can conquer their high rates of stoutness and cardiovascular infection. Soul food is more than just nourishment. It connotes the historical backdrop of African-Americans in America and is viewed as a vital piece of Black culture. Shockingly, soul nourishment is definitely not a sound kind of sustenance, and African-Americans have the absolute most noteworthy rates of heftiness and coronary illness in light of eating this sort of sustenance. The need for cultural competence and how it impacts the health of African Americans
Cultural competence is characterized as the capacity of providers and associations to viably convey healthcare services benefits that meet the social, cultural, and etymological needs of patients (Betancourt, et al. 2016). A culturally aware healthcare framework can help improve the well-being results and quality of care and can contribute to the end of racial and ethnic health variations.
Due to their dietary habits mainly associated with their traditional food “soul food,” African-Americans suffer the most from chronic conditions such as heart disease, hypertension, obesity, and diabetes. Cultural competence positively impacts the health of the black community in America. The U.S. healthcare system has programs such as Medicare and Medicaid that enable the socio-economically deprived people such as the blacks to access services at an affordable price (Betancourt, et al. 2016). As a result, this enables the African-Americans who are largely poor to receive treatment for conditions that come as a result of their dietary habits, such as obesity and cardiovascular diseases.
African-Americans traditional health beliefs and practices
Traditionally the black community in America believe that natural illnesses are as a result of factors such as cold, uncleanliness, aging, and poor diet. Others perceive illnesses to be associated with witchcraft or punishment. When sick, the earlier blacks would see a traditional doctor who would give them herbs to ease their pain. Above all, they view God as the ultimate healer. They also believe that most pain medications have undesirable side effects such as addiction. They also view pain medications to have little ability to control pain but instead, cover up the pain (Miller, 2013). As such, when they are sick, most blacks refrain from medications and prefer natural products such as herbs and teas. The blacks also tend to eat plenty of natural foods including fruits and vegetables when they fall ill.
Part B
Islamic dietary habits and health
From birth to death, there are sure foods that Muslims devour and those that they evade. The Quran records nourishments that are legal, or halal, which are viewed as the main sorts of nourishments Muslims ought to eat. For instance, pasta, grains, vegetables, natural product, eggs, cheddar, milk, fish, nuts and certain store meats are altogether viewed as legal nourishments. Be that as it may, there are sure principles about which sorts of meat are legal. Unlawful foods, otherwise called haram nourishments, fall into two classifications: those produced using creatures that are taboo to be slaughtered and those perceived as destructive. Haram nourishments incorporate any sustenance containing meat-eating creatures with paws, flying creatures with hooks, pigs, pigs, jackasses, canines, and creatures that live on water and ashore, for example, frogs and crocodiles (Ambali, & Bakar, 2014). What’s more, nourishments containing vanilla concentrate, liquor, and different sugars are viewed as unlawful. Ramadan, a month-long festival, is an essential yearly occasion in Muslim culture that requires fasting from dusk to nightfall. Every Muslim who is fit for fasting is required to do as such; be that as it may, there are a few exemptions for Muslims whose wellbeing would be adversely affected by fasting.
Health benefits and concerns the practices may cause
Muslims are also not advised to eat meat from animals not slaughtered in the Islamic way. If they live in a community where the majority of the people are from other religions such as Christians, they may decline to eat meat. As a result, they might develop iron-deficiency. As for fasting, Muslims might overfeed during the other months to compensate for Ramadan (Ambali, & Bakar, 2014). As a result, they might develop digestive system complications.
Part C: Intercultural Communication on African Americans
Steps to effective intercultural communication
Breaking the held assumptions or stereotypes about African Americans is the first phase. For instance, a counselor might ask themselves why they think that the blacks are lazy and if it does not make sense, they should abandon this preconception as it can be a barrier. The second step is to empathize. It enables one to understand and appreciate the African-American point of view. More so, a counselor should shun from insensitive behavior as it can undermine the dignity of a black American (Martin, & Nakayama, 2013). Above all, one should communicate with wisdom. If language barriers exist, it is important to find a translator.
Intercultural nutrition education that would be effective for this group
Creating awareness would work for African Americans. It would involve informing the community about the dangers of their food practices associated with the “soul diet.” For instance, educators, would recognize that the soul food symbolizes solidarity for the group but o the other hand, inform the blacks that eating foods high in fats is attributed to heart diseases which are the leading cause of death among them. That way, African Americans would see the point of view of educators to change their dietary behaviors.
 
 
References
Ambali, A. R., & Bakar, A. N. (2014). People’s awareness on halal foods and products: potential issues for policy-makers. Procedia-Social and Behavioral Sciences121, 3-25.
Betancourt, J. R., Green, A. R., Carrillo, J. E., & Owusu Ananeh-Firempong, I. I. (2016). Defining cultural competence: a practical framework for addressing racial/ethnic disparities in health and health care. Public health reports.
Counihan, C., & Van Esterik, P. (Eds.). (2012). Food and culture: A reader. Routledge.
Kittler, P. G., Sucher, K. P., & Nelms, M. (2011). Food and culture. Cengage Learning.
Miller, A. (2013). Soul food: The surprising story of an American cuisine, one plate at a time. UNC Press Books.
Martin, J. N., & Nakayama, T. K. (2013). Intercultural communication in contexts. New York, NY: McGraw-Hill.