Health Department posts videos exploring the relationship between culture and food

The Minneapolis Department of Health and Family Support has posted a series of videos aimed at encouraging more community dialogue about health. The newly posted videos are part of the VOICE Project, which uses storytelling and story-based dialogues to encourage people from various cultural backgrounds to share their insights about how culture is connected to food, healthy weight, and body size.

The VOICE (Valuing Our Individual Cultures through Engagement) Project began in June 2011 and continues through January 2012. The video dialogues feature people from the American Indian, African American, Latino, Hmong, and Somali communities talking about these seven VOICE themes:

  1. Cultural foods are connected to feelings and memories.
  2. Family-friendly spaces and social connections make exercise easier.
  3. Good eating habits are shaped by mealtime.
  4. Cooking together and sharing knowledge increases awareness about healthier food options.
  5. Close food should be good food.
  6. Eating habits and food choices should be talked about and can spark change.
  7. Cultural foods once associated with sustenance and healing, today may harm health.

If you’d like to view the videos, which are posted on the City’s YouTube Channel, Twitter, and Facebook accounts, visit  The videos will be used to continue food-related dialogues and apply the story-sharing method to other public health topics. In November, the department will issue a dialogue guide to further engage residents in community transformation that results in health equity and healthy living.

For more information about the VOICE project, visit



Published Oct 10, 2012