FoodCorps x EatingWell: Don’t Yuck My Yum!

We’re excited to share a spotlight on FoodCorps’ work in the January 2021 issue of EatingWell magazine! Read on for an excerpt:

We all attach stigmas to food— intentionally or not. Those snacks? “Bad!” These snacks? “Good!” That vegetable? “Gross.” This vegetable? “Yummy!

But these judgments can have a real impact on those around us. “Food is deeply emotional and cultural,” says Morgan McGhee, M.P.H., R.D., director of school nutrition leadership at FoodCorps, a national nonprofit that connects kids to healthy food in schools. When someone categorizes a food as “weird” or “bad,” it can make others— anyone who eats that food often—feel ashamed, embarrassed or stigmatized.

McGhee is working with schools nationwide to change the conversation around food. She says she’ll never forget one particular exchange with a Latino high school student: “He said his nutrition goal for the month was ‘To eat white people’s food.’ When I asked him what that meant, he said food from Whole Foods and Trader Joe’s.” Over time, the consistent messages that this student received— that white people’s food was healthy and his culture’s food was not—had instilled “a sort of shame,” remembers McGhee.