WHAT CHARACTERIZES STAPLE FOODS OR TRADITIONAL DIETS?
Central to issues related to dietary change and continuityu among migrant groups are characteristics of staple foods and traditional diets. Flores characterizes food patterns as static and dynamic with respect to the ease with which they are modified. More static food patterns are associated with consumption of staple foods. For example, static patterns are commonly associated with farming systems that are strongly traditional. Consumption of staple foods is difficult to change because their use is deeply embedded in the cultural values of a society. Flores notes that in the rural areas of Central America, for instance, maize has persisted as a staple food for many centuries, and it has always been the major crop. For the cultivation of maize, people still use the same implements and follow the same methods as their ancestors. Furthermore, the process of converting maize into food has not changed since the time of the ancient Mayan civilization. Similarly, in various Central American c