I was born and raised on the island of Antigua in the West Indies. Growing up on a Caribbean island definitely had its advantages (sun, sea and sand..what more could a kid want?) but a common misconception is that there is an abundance of fresh food. My friends in the US don’t believe me when I tell them this…I think they’ve all envisioned a tropical paradise with food growing everywhere! LOL Antigua has always been a particularly dry island which has made it hard to maintain a sustainable agricultural industry. Because of this, Antigua imports almost all of its food from the United States and it is typically not the best quality stuff! Needless to say, it was not until I came to live in the US that I discovered all of the amazing foods that I now get to eat whenever I want. Yum!
The island has however come a long way in the last 30 years…there is actually a farmer’s market on Tuesdays and Fridays now!! If you know anything about Antigua, you know this is a huge deal. I’m visiting for a friend’s wedding in a week and I can’t wait to check it out. This is exactly what the island needs….when strawberries are considered a luxury item, and people spend upwards of US$800 a week on groceries for a family of four, you know there is a serious problem! The solution is cheaper, better quality local food and less imported, heavily taxed junk!
My home country was actually part of my motivation for enrolling at Integrative Nutrition. Diabetes, high blood pressure and heart disease have reached epidemic proportions in the entire Caribbean region and it is entirely diet-related. I just knew I had to figure out a way to reach people there too. I’ve already signed up clients on the island and plan to acquire a lot more by the time I leave. Eventually, I want to get my hands on the island’s school meals program but that may take some time…Wish me luck!