What do you eat in 12 de Junio?
Answering this question was presented as the initial "assignment" in the first Nutrition-Based workshop in 12 de Junio. Transitioning from the general concept of self-care, I have been partnering with my colleague EB to teach a series of nutrition-based workshops here in Lima. EB and I have been collaborating to develop lesson plans that use photography and other forms of creative expression to facilitate teaching adolescents and children about nutrition.
The concept for our initial nutrition workshop was inspired by two interesting food-based photography projects- 'What I Eat: Around the World in 80 Diets' and Mark Menjivar's Refrigerator Photos. From a sumo wrestler to a Latvian beekeeper, "What I Eat" uses photography to document the daily diet of 80 different people from around the world. Mark Menjivar's project is centered on the photo documentation of open refrigerator doors and what their contents reveal. Each photography project provides visual displays of nutritional intake for a diverse group of individuals. After seeing these different projects, the idea came to complete a Photo Food Diary within the community of 12 de Junio.
A food diary is a Written account of all the food a person eats each day. Food diaries are utilized for a variety of different reasons, but in general, food diaries work by revealing nutritional intake and personal eating habits. The concept of the Photo Food Diary was to change the documentation format from written to visual, revealing nutritional intake and eating habits through photography. We began the implementation of this concept by first viewing and discussing the two food-based photography projects with the group. The girls participating in the project were then given digital cameras to take home overnight. The girls rotated the use of three different digital cameras, with everyone being given the directions to document food intake across a three day period.
Below are a series of photos that were taken as part of the Photo Food Diary Project.
1.) Fried fish, yuca, avocado. Tomato and avocado. Tomato, avocado, cucumber. Grenadilla. Refrigerator shot.
2. Cau Cau. Salsa. Stovetop. White Rice. Counter shot.
3. Pear. Bananas. Chicken soup and bread. Rice and Quinoa. Potatoes.
4. White rice, vegetable fritters, lentils, cucumber, potatoes. Spaghetti! Potatoes. Spaghetti. Cucumbers.
It is great to be able visualize some of the foods that the kids are eating at home. The group did a great job documenting their food intake and their photos all provide glimpses into their individual eating patterns. Moving forward, we will use these photos (along with the with food-based photography projects) to further discuss nutritional concepts. The next phase of the project will center on learning about the 5 food groups and balanced diets. In addition, the girls will use photography to document the different types of food that are available in their community.