MOSAIC Celebrates Health Heart Month With First Healthy Eating Guide For New Canadians

VANCOUVER – MOSAIC celebrates February heart month by launching its first healthy eating resource guide for new Canadians. For the past 25 years, the organization has provided information and guidance to newcomers about food and nutrition, and promoted field trips to local grocery stores in order to educate clients about locally available foods.

The free new resource guide focuses on British Columbia’s local fish and seafood and, in keeping with the theme of heart health month, presents the benefits of eating more fish to help reduce the risk of heart disease. Teaming up with six Metro Vancouver chefs, MOSAIC is able to provide newcomers and immigrants with easy-to- cook recipes that are heart-healthy and delicious. The resource guide is designed to whet the appetites of readers, directing them to mosaicbc.org for additional recipes, as well as stories about the chefs.

According to The Heart and Stroke Foundation, heart disease and strokes represent two of the three leading causes of death, with 9 out of 10 Canadians, having at least one risk factor.

“There is a high prevalence of heart-related disease in the South Asian population in British Columbia, which is caused by several factors including genetics, lifestyle choices, and diet,” said Dr. Manjeet Mann, Department Head Cardiology / Executive Medical Director of Heart Health for Island Health. “Along with regular exercise, eating a balanced diet that includes oily fish – such as farm-raised or wild salmon, sardines or mackerel – twice per week can help reduce and/or delay the onset of heart disease. Salmon is a nutrient-dense lean protein that is high in Omega-3s, as well as a variety of vitamins and minerals. Many studies have shown the benefits of eating oily fish and, as a cardiologist, I encourage people to eat more oily fish to remain healthy and mitigate cardiac disease.”

In B.C. we’re very fortunate to have a vibrant aquaculture industry to provide a variety of locally grown seafood (mussels, clams, oysters, scallops) and fish (salmon, sablefish, trout, tilapia) throughout the year – all of which contribute to the West Coast diet in the province.

Coming from South Korea, Seungmin Han, Chef/Owner of Kosoo – Korean Kitchen + Raw Bar recognizes the multicultural nature of Metro Vancouver and loves the fact that there are so many fresh, local products that he can use to create Korean dishes in a whole new way – fusing traditional recipes with his French and Japanese culinary training.

“Meat, fish, seafood, and produce sourced locally are all easy to access and not much different from local ingredients in Korea,” explained Chef Han. “Here I can have salmon delivered to my kitchen door within a few hours of leaving the ocean. Atlantic salmon is easy to work with, and the flavour works well in Asian dishes which require the freshest fish possible.”

Incorporating fish and seafood into recipes has never been easier, since it is available fresh all year round. In fact, Chef Boban Kovachevich, Corporate Chef, Executive Hotels and Resorts, credits the availability of these products for making it fun to create and cook new dishes.

“Thanks to the abundance of fresh, local ingredients here in B.C., I am always learning new things and collaborating ideas with my team,” said Chef Boban. “My curiosity allows me to experiment with unique ingredients and flavours to create new and exciting dishes.”

Sharing their passion for food with new Canadians, the chefs that contributed to the resource guide are proud to pass on some healthy recipes that are easy to cook at home.

“We recognize that some cultures aren’t accustomed to incorporating certain fish and seafood in their diets,” said Ninu Kang, Director of Communications and Development, MOSAIC. “With the prevalence of heart disease on the rise in some of Metro Vancouver’s multi-cultural communities, it is our desire that through our partnership with Coast Fresh, we can inspire our clientele to incorporate locally-raised salmon, and other seafood in their diets – helping them reduce their risk of heart disease.”

This project is supported by the BC Government’s Buy Local Program; delivered by the Investment Agriculture Foundation of BC with funding from the BC Ministry of Agriculture.

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