The Alliance for Food Sovereignty in Africa (AFSA) is pleased to announce the publication of “My Food is African: Healthy Soil, Safe Foods, and Diverse Diets,” a new book in the Barefoot Guide Agroecology Series.
The book’s release on World Food Day will be accompanied by the official virtual launch ceremony of the “MY FOOD IS AFRICAN” campaign. AFSA invites everyone to attend and participate in this continental-wide campaign for the revival of African foods.
This book takes you on a journey through Africa’s farms, gardens, local markets, and kitchens to learn about the unique, delicious, and healthy foods and cultures that make up this magnificent continent.
Many of us may be feeling uncertain, even lost, about how to eat healthily. There are many theories and interests behind these theories, some genuine but many focused more on their profit than your health. Eating healthily is not that complicated. New scientific research is simply telling us what many of our grandmothers, and their grandmothers, have always known.
The guide, which focuses on how to grow food and eat healthily, was created by the AFSA Natural Food Barefoot Guide Writer’s Collective. At the height of the COVID-19 pandemic, the first Barefoot Guide in the agroecology series, “Surviving COVID-19: The Neglected Remedy,” was published.
This guide can be read individually or used in groups. The goal is to enable readers and users to explore more deeply the question of how to eat much more healthily. Using a variety of methods such as stories for discussion, illustrations, information boxes and fact sheets, it guides readers and users towards the often-difficult behavior changes needed, as it celebrates indigenous knowledge and our connection with nature. The direction proposed by this publication is a safer, healthier and more sustainable solution towards food sovereignty.
“We have a problem when an increasing number of young people in Africa prefer fast food to home cooking,” said Dr. Million Belay, General Coordinator of AFSA. In Africa, obesity, cardiovascular disease, respiratory diseases, cancer, and diabetes are all on the rise. “What Africa has is healthy and if we grow the diversity that we desire, not only will we rejoice, but so will nature around us, because resilience comes from diversity.”
This book explains why our African diet has so many health benefits. It contains examples of practice, culture, health, and science. It honors our food cultures while also warning us about the dangers of chemicals and misguided approaches such as biofortification.
“As a Public Health Physician turned Sustainable Development Practitioner and passionate advocate of preventive interventions, I strongly recommend reading and using this book as an awareness creation tool resulting in dietary behavior changes,” said Dr. Peter Ogera Mokaya, Executive Director of Organic Consumers Alliance (OCA) and a Public Health and Development Practitioner. “Coming at a time when the current conventional food system is broken and has failed by producing toxic food, this book fills a gap, it provides a much-needed alternative healthy diets solution to food insecurity, rising chronic disease burden, and the climate crisis, by providing an Afrocentric roadmap to safe and healthy diets and a healthy ecosystem”
“African solutions are required to address the continent’s problems of food insecurity, malnutrition, and poverty. We have the solutions in our hands,” said Prof. Cecilia Moraa Onyango, Senior Lecturer at the University of Nairobi’s Department of Plant Science and Crop Protection “Africa’s crops are resilient, contain a variety of nutrients, and are the solution to our problems. Africa should wake up and start celebrating the rich diversity in our cultures, languages, fashion, and food,” she added. “We cannot afford to rely solely on a few food crops. This is more than just boring to eat; it significantly lowers the quality of the diet and renders farming systems unsustainable and extremely vulnerable, particularly during extreme weather conditions.”
This Barefoot Guide is free to download and offered with love and care for every person, every family, and every community in Africa (and beyond).
AFSA, taking advantage of the occasion of World Food Day will hold a three-day campaign to officially launch MY FOOD IS AFRICAN campaign and spread the book that guides the journey and accelerates the transition towards agroecology and food sovereignty in Africa.
The official hashtag of the campaign is #MyFoodIsAfrican
For further information or interviews please contact:
John Wilson: Member, Natural Food Barefoot Guide Writer’s Collective.
Dr. Peter Ogera Mokaya, Member, Natural Food Barefoot Guide Writer’s Collective,
Prof. Cecilia Moraa Onyango, Senior Lecturer at the University of Nairobi’s Department of Plant Science and Crop Protection