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Food Culture = Health Culture - Updated 7/ 31 Wireframe Mock Ups

Multicultural communities bond over food cultures, not work out routines.

Photo of Avani Arora
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Who is the target audience for your idea and how does it inspire the end user to lead a healthier life?

My idea focuses on the preservation and promotion of food cultures amongst multi-cultural communities. Target audience includes anyone who loves cooking or anyone interested in continuing (or starting!) family food traditions. Healthy lifestyle is promoted through documented and sharable food cultures, e.g. fresh ingredients, home cooked and nutritious meals. Also, eating is a human necessity and therefore has a 100% participation rate - making food a critical part of the health solution.

Context: I have been thinking about food culture for a while and recently, I heard Magnus Nilsson (chef) say something that completely aligned with my thoughts:  "After one generation there will be no one left who knows what to do with their hand. After three generations, we might have photos [of meals]…but you can’t go back to see how people did something with food like you can with art or sculpture.. Food culture is very special- [it is the] very most important cultural manifestation that we have because we [all] have to eat." - Chef's Table (documentary film)

Research Highlights: During the research phase of this challenge, there was a range of fantastic ideas that included healthy activities, food and other avenues to promote healthy lifestyles. As I contemplated on this research for the ideas phase, I wanted to know where to focus my efforts-- food? healthy activities? wearables for health? To help answer this question, I had a series of discussions with friends/ family members including those who practice medicine in areas of different socioeconomic and multicultural groups. Here is what I learned:

Many multicultural groups are generally not proactive about their health.  There are many reasons why this is the case, including:

  • Cost
  • Access to care
  • Sense of urgency, e.g. need to worry about now, not something 5 years from now
  • Cultural nuances, e.g. don't go to doctors because people will think I am flawed

Although this is not an exhaustive list or the result of extensive, statistically sound research, it does provide some insights that are useful. First, it confirms my beliefs that food is a critical avenue to promote healthy lifestyle. Food fits within the window of time called "now"and thus brings with it a consistent and reliable mindshare of individuals. Second, food harnesses the positive influence of culture and community as opposed to potentially negative influences of community, as illustrated in the example above.

My Idea:

A platform that lets users capture and grow family traditions (food, special occasions, etc.) 

Here's how it could work:

Content Creation to Link Food Culture with Healthy Meals

- Users can create a family profile, invite family members to join and contribute content in specific food related areas (ingredients, recipes / meal preparation, etc.).  

- Content can be tagged or enriched with additional data. Examples include occasion (e.g., bat mitzvah), allergens, reviews / comments,  substitute or rate ingredients, health score, etc.

- Users can also subscribe to content "channels" in the app, e.g. Indian Diwali celebration meals, Diabetic-friendly Latin foods, etc.

- Content channels could be generated in two ways: 1) Within the app, by mining the data submitted across users and 2) By leveraging media (e.g. NBC Universal, Telemundo, etc.) ability to periodically post famous chefs recommendations on healthy ingredients / substitutes or preparation options for popular foods.  

Strengthen Family Traditions through Food Culture

- Create a digital family repository of their family traditions that can be shared with new family members , examples: newlyweds

- Pass on a digital repository for future generations

- Discover new recipes and add new traditions 

- Allow users to communicate with each other through the app, not only one-to-one but also the ability to share ideas or pose questions to groups of people in a virtual community center

- Allow the creation / visualization of virtual potlucks, where the sharing of recipes can be seen as they are shared and you can receive post cards from your recipes on where they have been 

What early, lightweight experiment can you try out in your own community to find out if the idea will meet your expectations?

For a prototype, I can start experimenting on documenting recipes and healthy meal preparation tips within my own family. This way, I can understand barriers to adoption or ways to accelerate the growth to create the network effect required to build this app.

What skills, input or guidance are you keen to connect with from the OpenIDEO community to help you build out or refine your idea?

People with technology and app development experience, people who have experience working with network effect dependent business model and of course diverse cultural backgrounds.

This idea emerged from

  • A group brainstorm
  • An Individual

Evaluation results

10 evaluations so far

1. Can you see this idea fitting into your daily life?

Yes, I think so - 70%

I'm not sure - 20%

No, I don't think so - 10%

2. Do you think this idea will help people lead healthier lives?

Yes, I think so - 60%

I'm not sure - 20%

No, I don't think so - 20%

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Team (5)

Avani's profile
Chris's profile
Chris Lee

Role added on team:

"Chris, I thought your comments on privacy and family trees are important to keep track of and would love to keep developing this further as the phases progress!"

Hima's profile
Hima Batavia

Role added on team:

"Hi! Not sure if you have seen this one: Looks like we have similar interests and passions :-)"

Cecilia's profile
Cecilia Reifschneider

Role added on team:

"I'm really intrigued by the Health Score concept... thanks for sharing this! Perhaps this is something to add to as we consider upcoming phases!"

Ayano's profile
Ayano Ota

Role added on team:

"Hi Ayano, I wanted to add you to my team- I thought you and your friends gave awesome feedback and that is exactly what I need to help make this successful! Keep it coming! Avani"

Attachments (1)


Join the conversation:

Photo of Karen Sorensen

Hi Avani,
Your idea is a really cool idea. From a techie point of view, I see this as a multicultural social network that helps connect family and friends to traditions. It would be awesome to have the 65+ age group involved. I developed my prototype with . I like using this because after initial testing, I can drop databases of content into the program. If I want to go to a quick MVP, based on feedback then I can actually publish it on iTunes and Google Play. Looking at your prototypes which are really nice, I think you could easily build a prototype on this tool. Good Luck! Karen

Photo of Avani Arora

Thanks much for your suggestions! I will have to play around with appery- would be awesome to make this a viable MVP!

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