Dear <<First Name>>,

Welcome to the Kitchen Catalyst!

Many of the resources  you’ll receive from us over the next year will be centered around a set of themes designed to guide, inspire, and support your teaching kitchen efforts, whether you are embarking on starting a teaching kitchen or wish to  grow and refine your existing programs. We like to think of these as the “mise en place” for starting a teaching kitchen.

First, we will introduce you to our perspective on the world of teaching kitchens to help set the stage for the practical advice and best practices that will follow. Let’s jump into the “why” of teaching kitchens.

It's complex...

With staggering rates of obesity, diabetes, high blood pressure and heart disease, it’s no secret that we are in the midst of a public health crisis.
  • In 2020, the U.S. adult obesity rate surpassed 40% percent, the highest yet (source).
  • One out of six children and adolescents ages 2 to 19 are obese (source). Early obesity not only increases the likelihood of adult obesity, it also increases the risk of chronic disease in adulthood (source).
  • Globally, 537 million adults are living with diabetes - that’s 1 in 10. This number is predicted to rise to 643 million by 2030 (source).
  • Approximately 35% of Americans under age 20 are estimated to have diagnosed diabetes (source).
  • Nearly 1 in 4 households in the United States experience food insecurity (source). Food insecurity is linked to lower-quality diets and higher levels of obesity in many population groups (source).
  • Having obesity may triple the risk of hospitalization due to a COVID-19 infection (source).

The leading contributors to this crisis are vast and range from a history of systemic exclusion based on race to deceptive food marketing tactics to an overabundance of fast and ultra processed foods to a decrease in physical activity to confusing nutrition advice. All of these elements create barriers to making healthy lifestyle choices.

But there's a solution...

The statistics are staggering and policy and systems level changes are needed to address and reverse these trends on a large scale. Luckily, we know a simple solution that can be implemented now on a smaller scale – the teaching kitchen. 

Teaching Kitchens are gathering spaces that promote and support the healthy lifestyle changes that prevent and even reverse chronic disease. They are  affordable, effective, life-affirming, and appropriate for all ages, cultures, and settings.

We’ll be back in your inboxes in a couple of weeks to take a closer look at the makeup of a teaching kitchen.  In the meantime, below are some resources that will further explain the “why” of teaching kitchens.

If you’re new to teaching kitchens and want to understand their origins or if you are curious to learn from  some organizations, this hour-long recorded webinar is a great place to start.
David Eisenberg, TKC Founder and Executive Director,  and colleagues published this study in the American Journal of Lifestyle Medicine, one of the first assessing the implementation of a teaching kitchen model in a workplace setting.
In 2017, PBS Newshour profiled the growing trend of teaching kitchens in their feature “To improve patient diets, the doctor is in…the kitchen.”
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