Reclaiming The Space Of Traditional Foods
Amaica Restaurant, which serves exclusively Western Kenya Cuisines, is, in partnership with the Department of Culture in the Ministry of National Heritage and Culture preparing to host a two-day carnival dubbed Amaica Traditional Food Festival that will start from 9th to 10th, May 2008 at Amaica Restaurant, China Centre, off Ngong road Nairobi. The theme of the Festival will be ‘Eating for Health and Adventure’.The function will be officially opened by the Minister for National Heritage and Culture Hon. William Ole Ntimama, EGH, MP.
The festival will be used as a forum to sensitise the public on the nutritious, medicinal and commercial value of traditional foods. The event will also be useful in promoting a healthy lifestyle by reviving interest and appreciation of traditional foods; promote and preserve traditional foods for cultural identity and pride, and create awareness of the existing gap in the area of processing, packaging and preservation. In addition to this, the event is intended to bring together Kenyans and help heal the divisions created by the post-election violence. Amaica and the Department hope this initiative will go along way to stimulate related cultural food industry sector such as cultural tourism, food processing and export, hence contributing to economic growth and development.
This initiative comes on the backdrop of increasing concerns that the prevalence of modern diseases such as high blood pressure or heart attacks are associated with the continental cuisines we eat. Today influence of Western culture and urbanization are seeing majority of Kenyans drifting away from eating quality nutritious indigenous foods to fast foods, some of which are genetically modified. Due to this, lifestyle diseases such as diabetes, obesity, erectile dysfunctions, among many others, have set-in.
The failing interest in the Traditional foods can be attributed to either lack of knowledge on how they are prepared or a misconception among many people that these foods involve tedious preparation procedures. Yet these foods have innumerable advantages. They not only benefit you as the consumer, but also alleviate poverty and boost the incomes of farmers who grow these foods. And because they can be preserved for along time, they are likely to become handy in times of hunger.
Activities planned for the festival
- Traditional Food Exhibitions
- Demonstrations and competitions on food Processing, Preservation and Eating
- Cultural Performances and food sampling selected from Western Kenya, Coast, Central/ Eastern, and Rift Valley/North Eastern regions.
- The function will culminate into a Gala Night on the last day of the event.
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