Giving Compass' Take:

• Poor nutrition is causing a health crisis in low-income communities of color, and some chefs say that mindful eating could be the solution. 

• Emotional eating is mentioned as an intergenerational problem. What kind of support can philanthropy provide in this space?

• Read about how family meals can be tied to healthier eating behaviors. 

There is a health crisis in low-income communities of color caused partly by poor nutrition. Many traditional and healthy eating habits have been abandoned due to migration, immigration, and high poverty. The predominance of fast food chains and poorly stocked corner stores in low-income neighborhoods limits the food choices people can make easily.

What’s the solution to rebuilding the health of these communities? The first step should be a strong focus on mindful eating, according to a group of black chefs, a pastor, food activists, and changemakers. The roundtable discussion was organized by Kellogg Fellows Leadership Alliance (KFLA) in late-November during the KFLA Global Summit in Atlanta, which was supported by W.K. Kellogg Foundation with media sponsorship by Food Tank.

Four roundtable participants shared their thoughts on mindful eating, food equity and community resilience in the Beloved Community, which is a society that Dr. Martin Luther King envisioned would be based on justice, equal opportunity, and love of one’s fellow human beings.

What is the role of mindfulness in healthy eating among communities of color?

Chef Alex Askew of BCA Global is the founder of Black Chefs Alliance. A Kellogg Fellow, Chef Askew curated a book with food justice essays called Mindful Eating for the Beloved Community.


“Mindfulness is really a mental condition. Through trauma, social determinants, and environmental circumstances, there is emotional instability in communities of color.  One of the largest factors is these communities are eating with their emotions. They get caught in a cycle of eating poorly, feeling badly, and then because they are feeling badly, they eat poorly again. Many times, the cycle is passed down generationally.

Read the full article about mindful eating for communities of color by Teresa O'Connor at Food Tank.