#TurksandCaicos, June 7, 2021 – The Caribbean region has been undergoing a nutritional transition. This is reflected in a shift in diets away from indigenous staples, locally grown fruits, vegetables, legumes, to diets with excessive amounts of added sugars, fats/oils and sodium, and often more alcohol.
Overweight/obesity are major risk factors and drivers of the non-communicable diseases (NCDs) epidemic in the Caribbean region. Unhealthy diets are increasingly being recognised as the leading cause of NCD mortality. Due to the availability and abundance of food there is overconsumption, including processed foods.
Caribbean Nutrition Day is observed annually on 1st June. The aim of this day is to create an awareness of the importance of healthy eating and active living towards reducing this burden of disease among our Caribbean communities.
This year’s theme Healthy Eating Active Living: Be a Good Label Detective – Read It Before You Eat It! focuses on the importance of improved consumer health literacy. In light of the COVID-19 pandemic and the repercussions of this unprecedented event, now more than ever, consumers need to understand nutrition label language and how to negotiate front and back of package labelling. This year’s theme provides an opportunity for dietetics and nutrition practitioners across the Region to educate consumers on how to decipher nutrition label facts.
“Reading labels can help you make informed healthier food choices for you and your family, thereby improving your dietary habits. Before consuming any packaged food, it is recommended that you read the nutritional facts on the food label and decide if this is a food you should consume and how much of it you should eat,” stated Dr. Tamu Davidson, Head of Chronic Diseases and Injury at the Caribbean Public Health Agency (CARPHA).
Through extensive multi-stakeholder consultations, the CARICOM Regional Organisation for Standards and Quality (CROSQ) has developed a draft CARICOM Regional Standard for Specification for labelling of pre-packaged foods (2010) to incorporate front-of-package warning labelling specifications. This draft standard is guided by the highest level of scientific research, which found that the octagon-shaped front-of-package warning label “High-IN” model based on the World Health Organization (WHO) nutrient profile model, is the best choice for protecting consumers. Octagon warning labels allow consumers to correctly, quickly and easily identify foods high in nutrients of concern- sugar, sodium, total fats, trans fats and saturated fats.
CARPHA along with international and regional public health partners recommend front-of-package warning labels as a key evidence-based policy measure to tackle obesity and NCDs.
In order to support a healthy food environment, CARPHA, in collaboration with its partners, continues to implement the 6-point policy package to reduce childhood obesity in the Caribbean, and share a tool to assist countries with implementing sodium reduction strategies in populations including food labelling. CARPHA’s Parents’ Guide to a Healthier Child provides tips parents can use to ensure that their children have a healthy start in life. The brochure examines the daily percentage required from the six food groups, calorie counts of some favourite foods that are consumed in the Region, and how to read food labels.
CARPHA supports the implementation of the draft CROSQ standards for labelling of pre-packaged foods (CRS 5:2010), that Member States voted on 31st May 2021 for adoption.
The observance of Caribbean Nutrition Day originated from the former Caribbean Food and Nutrition Institute (CFNI), one of five Institutions subsumed under the Caribbean Public Health Agency.
Students display culinary skill and creativity in Bahamas Young Chef Competition
#TheBahamas, October 19, 2021 – – Despite setbacks and limitations due to COVID-19, Lamont Missick, H.O. Nash; Gerardo Annacius, Anatol Rodgers and Brianna Butterfield of Kingsway Academy, overcame the odds and finished first, second and third respectively in the second phase of the recent 29th Annual Bahamas Young Chef New Providence District Culinary Competitions.
With hybrid lessons and just two weeks of in-person classes supervised by teachers, the three students, who are enrolled in Family and Consumer Science Education, stepped up to the plate and earned the right to enter the upcoming third phase (National Round) of the annual contest.
Now into its 29th year, the annual district competition, sponsored by the Ministry of Education along with Robin Hood Flour and Mahatma Rice, was held at Anatol Rodgers Senior High School, October 7 and 8. Under the watchful eyes of judges who are all professional chefs — Clement Williams, Jimmy Dean, Chief Judge Gerald Rolle, Hazel Rolle, and Celeste Smith — the students were required to use Mahatma Rice and Robin Hood Flour to prepare a dish and dessert based on the theme “Bahamian Culinary Resilience: Going Back to Our Roots.”
Following the grueling round in the kitchen and interviews by the judges, Raquel Turnquest, Education Officer congratulated the students and parents, and offered advice to the teachers.
“We appreciate all of the time and effort that you put into your children. This competition is a true partnership between home, school and industry. The chefs are willing to give their input and give them [the students] the benefit of their experience.
“We have three young persons who are very much into what they are learning in school. They are putting their best foot forward. All of them are automatically in the national round,” said Ms. Turnquest.
“COVID-19 is forcing us to use technology in new and creative ways. You are now able to bring industry professionals into your classroom almost on a regular basis who don’t have to leave where they are to get into your classroom to give the students the benefit of their knowledge.”
She urged the students to use the judges’ critiques to refine and elevate their dishes.
“You saw the experience of working in the kitchen with persons viewing and walking through while you are working. That is something valuable. Take advantage of it and we’ll see you again for the National round. Congratulations to all of you today.”
Lamont Missick, 14,
Flour dish: Pineapple upside down muffin
Rice Dish: Land and Sea Rice
Lamont said he used the opportunity to sharpen his culinary skills.
“I realized my love for culinary arts from the age of 8. I remember watching Ratatouille, and hearing that “anyone can cook, but only the fearless can be great. I aim to be great and one day become and executive chef in my own restaurant,” said the ninth grader.
Flour dish: Sugar apple almond muffins
Rice dish: Spinach Carrot Rice Cup with grouper pineapple sauce
“I love to cook and I wanted to boost my cooking skills,” said Brianna.
Gerardo Annacius dubbed his dishes ‘Fall ‘n’ Love’.
Flour dish: Toasted bennie spiced cream puff with native pumpkin and coconut crème filling topped with ginger caramel
All of the judges commended the students on their dishes and encouraged them to continue to work hard.
Lamont was praised for his organized and sanitized kitchen-station. Also noted was his flavorful ‘spot on’ rice dish from which exuded flavors of conch, lobster, salt beef and coconut milk.
Chef Williams encouraged him to improve his presentation and move away from serving rice the old fashioned way of “cupping” in a bowl.
The judges were impressed with Annacius’ theme: “Fall ‘n’ Love’ and gave him pointers on how to improve his dish and dessert.
“You experienced a slight setback in the kitchen and your dessert dish did not come out as expected — but you did not stop, you made an effort to present something. Your dessert was flavorful; it did not rise like it should but you executed based on what you had,” said Chef Smith.
By Kathryn Campbell
Nine Grand Bahama residents have had their minor criminal records expunged
#TheBahamas, October 19, 2021 – The Davis Administration is fully committed to ensuring that young Bahamians get second chances where possible, by expunging minor offence records, where necessary, according to Minister for Grand Bahama, Hon. Ginger Moxey.
“One of our mandates in our ten-point plan in the ‘blueprint for change’ is compassionate social relief and the expungement of records for offences that are due, based on the violations of the Emergency Orders. So, we are going to continue to ensure that those records are expunged,” said Minister Moxey.
“For Grand Bahama Island, this ministry is responsible for the promotion of employment and entrepreneurial opportunities for the island. So, this is an ideal time for those who have not been able to find jobs, based on these criminal records, to be able to re-enter the job market.”
During a press conference in the Office of the Prime Minister on Thursday, October 14, 2021, Northern Bahamas representative for the Rehabilitation of Offenders Committee, Mr. Dudley Seide, paid a courtesy call on the Minister for Grand Bahama, during which time he announced that nine people from the island of Grand Bahama have had their minor criminal records expunged through the efforts of the Committee.
Minister Moxey called it a great day for Grand Bahama and for Grand Bahamians. She noted that overall, many people in Grand Bahama are hurting financially, adding that those people with minor criminal offences were held back from supporting themselves and their families because of their inability to gain employment because of their criminal records.
“On behalf of the government, we are excited that this day has come and to also let the community know that we are committed to this effort,” added Minister Moxey. “We want to also appeal to those people who may have received criminal records during the Emergency Orders to come forward and apply and begin the process to have their records expunged.”
Mr. Dudley Seide of Reach Out Organization and a member of the Rehabilitation of Offenders Committee said that nine Grand Bahamians who had applied to the committee to have their records expunged have had their applications approved.
“The mandate of our new Minister for Grand Bahama is to help young people who have been arrested on minor offences and who were arrested or charged during the Emergency Orders,” said Mr. Seide.
“This is a golden opportunity for these people to get their lives restarted. These people can now go on and live their lives. These offences prevented these people from getting jobs, obtaining a U.S. Visa, travelling – but now they can begin to do all of these things. What was hurtful was to see so many people who were arrested during the Emergency Orders, who paid the fines, but who had no idea that these offences were still on their records.
“I want to thank the Minister for National Security for giving young people an opportunity to restart their lives.”
Minister Moxey thanked the members of the Rehabilitation of Offenders Committee for their tireless work in helping people “get their lives back.”
By Andrew Coakley
Photo Caption: PART OF SECOND CHANCE – Minister for Grand Bahama, Hon. Ginger Moxey (second from right) was on hand when Mr. Dudley Seide, member of the Rehabilitation of Offenders Committee (left) presented Brian Bullard Jr. (second from left) with an official declaration of the expungement of his record, during a press conference in the Office of the Prime Minister (GB) on Thursday, October 14, 2021. Bullard was one of nine Grand Bahamians who’ve had their records expunged through the efforts of the Rehabilitation of Offenders Committee.
(BIS photo by Lisa Davis)
Statement From Hon. Fred Mitchell, MP Minister of Foreign Affairs On the Passing of Colin Powell
#TheBahamas, October 18, 2021 – I learned this morning of the death of Colin Powell, the American general and diplomat. I worked with him as Foreign Minister in my first term, particularly on issues related to Haiti.
Yesterday in the CARICOM meeting, I recalled while discussing Haiti his role in the crisis of that time. I recall his life, times and work as generally thoughtful and considered. He was also an example of Caribbean success in America, one to emulate. He was the son of Jamaican parents. He was an example of success as a Black man in America. I am saddened by his passing.
On behalf of the Prime Minister the Hon. Philip Davis, the government and people of The Bahamas, and in my own behalf, I extend condolences to the United States of America and his family.
Ministry of Foreign Affairs
Commonwealth of The Bahamas
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