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AARP Presents Healthy Cooking Demonstration at Indian Event

As part of its ongoing multi-cultural outreach effort to American Indians, AARP Oklahoma recently collaborated with the Association of American Indian Physicians (AAIP), the American Heart Association, Chickasaw Nation and the American Diabetes Association to present a heart healthy, traditional cooking program.

See Also: AARP Oklahoma Indian Elder Navigator
“AARP’s Recipe for Better Health,” which was part of the AAIP Men’s and Women’s Health Summit featured a cooking demonstration by nationally-known chef Loretta Barrett Oden, a member of the Potawatomi Nation.

“Any good recipe calls for the collaboration of great ingredients,” said AARP State President Marjorie Lyons. “It is wonderful to work with these outstanding organizations to provide health and wellness information to Native Americans throughout Oklahoma.”

Using native ingredients, Oden prepared “Three Sisters and Friends Salad,” a dish that incorporated fresh, healthy foods that were part of traditional cooking. The goal of the demonstration was to show how traditional foods can be used to prepare healthy, everyday meals today, she said.

“It is exciting to present indigenous foods and give my perspective on health issues facing Indian Country today, not just to elders, but to children as well,” Oden said. “We need to bridge the gap between generations to have elders inform young people about the history and nutrition of the food.”

Oden also spent time dispelling the myth of foods that have been adopted as “traditional” American Indian and Alaska Native dishes which she says are having a devastating effect on not only the culture but the overall health of Native Americans – fry bread and Indian Tacos.

AAIP Executive Director Margaret Knight, said the collaboration between AARP and AAIP sets the stage for future joint efforts between the two organizations.

“AARP and AAIP definitely have the synergy to come together on projects like this demonstration as we continue to focus on health issues for all our communities in general,” she said.

You can also watch a video about the demonstration that includes an interview with Chef Loretta Oden on the AARP OK Youtube channel.

Three Sisters & Friends Salad
Recipe By: Corn Dance Cafe/Loretta Oden
Serving Size: 6
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