Cooking up healthy communities


The power and importance of food is unique in every culture. Food sustains us. It keeps us well. It preserves our history. It brings us together. Through food, individuals can transform their lives – and entire communities.

Aetna is proud to celebrate the rich and meaningful history of African Americans in the culinary arts in our 35th anniversary edition of the African American History Calendar. This calendar is a tribute to the flavors of community, and the role that African American heritage cooking has had and continues to have on our collective food culture.

This influence extends beyond the recipes, beyond the plates, and into the greater world. African American chefs, activists and food experts are building healthier communities. They are changing perceptions of healthy eating through their work in the culinary arts.

Food is part of the journey – and the journey itself is remarkable. Leah Chase’s famous Creole cuisine has fed presidents and fueled a historic movement. Rodney K. Taylor’s farm-to-school program is giving more children access to healthy food. Toni Tipton-Martin is reminding us of the African American roots in American cuisine. Haile Thomas is forging a path for a new generation of healthy eaters.

The 13 individuals you will meet in this 35th anniversary calendar are using food to improve lives and make an impact. Read about their contributions and sample their healthful recipes. Watch them tell their stories in the new online video series. Be inspired to create your own recipe for a healthier life in a healthier world.