Topical Area: Global Nutrition
Objectives : It is important to examine if healthy traditional culinary preparations can potentially be restored in the Chilean diet to promote sustainable diets and improve food choices, especially in vulnerable areas. Therefore, the study objective was to design and implement healthy and sustainable diet interventions at farmers markets in poor areas of Chile’s Metropolitan Region that contains over half the country’s population.
Methods : Multi-disciplinary methods were used to design and implement a healthy sustainable diet intervention in 6 different farmers markets in poor areas of Chile. A diverse focus group discussion, including researchers, chefs, nutritionists and farmers market managers, helped identify the healthy and sustainable recipes for the intervention; of which 9 healthy traditional culinary preparations, with a modern touch, were included. At each intervention site, three recipes were prepared for the public; and an informative recipe booklet was distributed. Trained research assistants gave brief surveys to adults ( >25 y, n = 147) about the acceptability and taste of each recipe. STATA v. 15.0 was used to conduct the study analyses.
Results : Most (≥80%) participants highly liked 7 of the 9 recipes; and reported being willing to learn how to cook each recipe. All liked mussel soup and 96% tomato-based lentils. Previous knowledge of how to cook each recipe was low (< 50%), except for mussel soup (77%), and homestyle lentils (55%). Participants were also asked if they were open to buying the recipes as prepared at least once; and if so, if they would include it in their daily food choices. On average, however, only 56% were open to buying any of the recipes as a prepared food item. Participants opposed this type of purchase because they: preferred preparing it themselves (46%); didn’t like the taste (15%); avoid buying prepared foods (11%); don’t like prepared foods (7%); and don’t see the reason to buy it, if they are going to learn how to cook it (7%).
Conclusions : Chileans in poor areas of the Metropolitan Region both like and are open to learning how to cook healthy traditional Chilean recipes. Thus, healthy traditional culinary preparations have the potential to improve the diets and food choices of vulnerable populations in Chile, but have barriers to sustainability that suggest areas for further research.
Funding Sources : CONICYT-FONDECYT Initiation Project