Film Explores African-Americans’ Unhealthy “Soul Food” Habit

Harriet McLeod, Reuters, December 27, 2012

After interviewing food historians, scholars, cooks, doctors, activists and consumers for his new film “Soul Food Junkies,” filmmaker Byron Hurt concluded that an addiction to soul food is killing African-Americans at an alarming rate.

The movie, which will premiere on January 14 on U.S. public broadcasting television, examines how black cultural identity is linked to high-calorie, high-fat food such as fried chicken and barbecued ribs and how eating habits may be changing.

In the deeply personal film, Hurt details his father’s fight and eventual death from pancreatic cancer. A high-fat diet is a risk factor for the illness, according to researchers at Duke University in North Carolina.

{snip}

Hurt, who also made “Hip-Hop: Beyond Beats and Rhymes,” decided to examine the link between calorie-loaded soul food and illnesses among blacks after his father was diagnosed in 2006.

He delves into his family history, as well as slavery, the African diaspora and the black power movement in the film and provides photographs, drawings, historic film footage and maps.

{snip}

The origins of the diet lie in the history of American slavery, according to food historian Jessica B. Harris, who appears in the film. Slaves ate a high-fat, high-calorie diet that would allow them to burn 3,000 calories a day working, she explained.

Southern food began to be called soul food during the civil rights and black power movements of the 1960s, according to Hurt.

“There’s an emotional connection and cultural pride in what they see as the food their population survived on in difficult times,” he said.

{snip}

Black adults have the highest rates of obesity and a higher prevalence of diabetes than whites, and are twice as likely to die of stroke before age 75 than other population groups, according to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

Besides tradition and habit, poverty and neighborhoods without good supermarkets also contribute to an unhealthy diet, Hurt said.

{snip}

In her book, “High on the Hog: A Culinary Journey from Africa to America,” Harris said the prevalence of over processed foods, low-quality meats, and second- or third-rate produce in minority neighborhoods amounts to “culinary apartheid.”

{snip}

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  • Puggg

    The origins of the diet lie in the history of American slavery,
    according to food historian Jessica B. Harris, who appears in the film.
    Slaves ate a high-fat, high-calorie diet that would allow them to burn
    3,000 calories a day working, she explained.

    I was wondering how far down in the article it would take before this would be turned into our fault.

    • AutomaticSlim

      Yeah, they stuff themselves goldfish-like until they almost burst, but it is not due to their own gluttony…just ridiculous.

    • Nathanwartooth

      A Black problem isn’t complete until you find a way to blame White people for it.

      I would put money on a correlation between obese people and IQ. No offense to anyone who considers themselves overweight, I could lose a few pounds myself. I’m talking more about the morbidly obese who are going to die because they are so fat.

      • The Worlds Scapegoat

        “A Black problem isn’t complete until you find a way to blame White people for it.”

        The white man stole the black mans’ skin and made him black. The white man stole the black mans’ long blond hair and mad his turn to wire. The white man stole the black mans’ castles and made him live in grass huts. The white man stole the black mans’ IQ and made him and idiot. The white man stole the black mans’ civilization and turned Africa into chaos.

        I am sure there are more, but that should cover the important ones.

    • IstvanIN

      It was a perfectly fine diet when they actually WORKED!

      • dukem1

        Now THAT’S funny!!

    • The__Bobster

      Slaves got the scraps from their owners’ tables, things they didn’t want to eat. I doubt that caloric content was even considered….or even known at that time.

      • MikeofAges

        Chattel slavery existed full scale for more than two hundred years and geographically spanned a quarter of the present continental United States. Does anyone really know what everybody everywhere ate over all that span of time? Black slaves in many cases must have had what most of the world would have considered an opulent food supply, from both cultivated and wild sources. Opulent food supplies have been the norm throughout American history.

        • The Worlds Scapegoat

          Fredrick Douglas, the black slave, wrote that he had better living conditions than whites. He ate better food, and slept in a warm comfortable bet. He actually traded his food to white kids for school lessons.

          • FourFooted_Messiah

            Yes. What people forget is that a slave – human or animal – is a very valuable thing. You want that individual to do work for you, that either you cannot do, or simply do not wish to do, yourself. Therefore, you provide for that individual, so s/he can continue to work for you.

            Only a fool mistreats a slave.

          • MikeofAges

            Along with that, in the ante bellum South, all of the dangerous work was done by hired whites. Most like anyway.

    • MekongDelta69

      6 1/2 seconds?!?!

      • http://www.facebook.com/richard.jalbert.14 Richard Jalbert

        A bored soldier (is there any other kind?) in Iraq tried an experiment: how long would it take for a sandwhich to be fully covered with flies after unwrapping. They probably thought a couple of hours to while away…it took seven seconds.
        Black flies, no doubts.

    • http://twitter.com/LavMenace Crystal Lee Evans

      Well for one thing, that particular diet was cheap for the slave masters who provided the food to the slaves. Obesity was not a problem because the slaves would burn off enough calories working.

      • http://www.facebook.com/richard.jalbert.14 Richard Jalbert

        WORKING being the operative word, here.

    • MikeofAges

      Didn’t white folks on the farm eat just about everything? I seem to remember some archaic cooking methods designed to preserve every fat calorie from every kind of meat. How about eggs fried in bacon grease? Never heard of that? Or do these idiots not know that white people in American actually performed agricultural labor and did other heavy work? And ate 5,000 calories a day while they were doing it. Of course’n, that’s why pa corked off of a heart attack at 54, if he was lucky to live that long. But that’s another story.

      And here’s another revelation for the clueless. Ever seen one of those pictures of hundred of black floks dressed in rags pickin’ cotton? Just so you know, right across the road, there might been another cotton field, one full of white folks pickin’ cotton. Everybody picked cotton. Maybe except the fancy folk.

      • Michael_C_Scott

        My mother has a Scottish cookbook which includes instructions like “First, milk the cow.”

  • Biff_Maliboo

    I feel like a “Food Historian” every time I clean my refrigerator and freezer. Who do I speak to about getting officially credentialed as such?

    • dukem1

      Really!!

  • pcmustgo

    It’s not so much that they eat Soul Food which is basically just Southern Food… It’s that they eat it all the time and don’t know how to counter-balance it with healthy food…

    • OlderWoman

      It because they cook everything with grease.

      • http://www.facebook.com/george.clark.7545 George Clark

        Good lord, this is semi-tangential, but…I knew a lot of southern whites, my parents included, who would fry bacon or sausage and then fry things like potatoes in the grease. Not exactly healthy, but…tasted good. I had a buddy in Las Vegas, and every time I visited him at his apartment at a certain time, it had this horrible smell, putrid. Turns out the exhaust fans for the stoves were all hooked together, the floor below sort of pumped into the floor above. He had no explanation, until the negroes directly downstairs invited him to dinner one night. They saved up the grease from frying ground beef, I am sure it was the 70/30 variety, and then fried all of their soul food in that grease.

        • IstvanIN

          I cook in bacon fat to this day. Makes eggs, potatoes, string beans all taste great!

        • http://twitter.com/seedymedia r j p

          The rare occasions I do cook bacon, I strain the grease and put it in a jar in the refrigerator for later use. The reason I don’t cook bacon often is the smell it will leave in my apartment for a week after.

        • Honky_lips

          Beef fat goes rancid very very quickly. The only ‘safe’ fat to save for any length of time is bacon fat. Even then, it only keeps for a few days at room temperature. That would explain the horrid smell your friend experienced. Soul Food! Mmmm-mmmm, sho’ am good!

        • MikeofAges

          Don’t pick on people. The worst ground beef I ever see is 73/27.

    • OlderWoman

      ‘…and don’t know how to counter-balance it with healthy food…’

      Excuses, excuses. They know, they just don’t care.

  • Luca

    Just like Mexicans, blacks claim to be poor but By God, they sure don’t look underfed. Because they lack self-control and rarely associate their actions with future consequences perhaps the all-knowing and wise Government which enables them in the first place, could limit exactly what can be bought with food stamps. Maybe they could limit food purchases to fish, poultry, dairy, bread, fresh fruits and vegetables etc..

    Oh Goodness, I forgot, that would be racist.

    • Mark

      Thre fact is that lower income people of all ethnic groups tend to be overweight. This is due to diet and the fact that they have to eat cheaper foods that are often higher in fat.

      • OlderWoman

        The don’t HAVE to eat cheaper foods. If they didn’t waste their money on sweet drinks and junk food they could afford to eat healthy food. I’ve seen their shopping carts on food stamp day. It’s ridiculous how much junk food they consume.

      • Luca

        Give $50 to me, a Mexican and a black and watch what we walk away with from the grocery store. Mexicans have their kids addicted to junk food, sugar, salt and fat by the time they are 2. They’ll walk out of a grocery market with cigarettes, beer, potato chips, soda, etc. Not to mention how much fast food they consume instead of cooking at home. Your money goes a lot further in the produce section than it does in the junk food aisle.. I can’t tell you how many times I see them drinking soda instead of water or juice. Chicken is cheaper than steak and doesn’t need to be fried. i was raised poor and always helped with the grocery shopping, we knew how to stretch our hard earned dollars and eat healthy at the same time. Please, stop with the excuses, your logic sounds straight out of the liberal media or academia. Many times (not always) people are poor because of poor choices in education, shopping, saving money, making money, choosing a mate and other poor habits. I attribute poor diet more to entitlement mentality, poor choices and low IQ than I do to low income.

        • Honky_lips

          Give $50 to me and another $50 to a black and see what we come out of the store with? I’ll end up buying whole ingredients, as that’s the way I cook.

          The black(s) will end up with 2 shopping carts full of chips, soda, cookies, pork rinds, shrimp, ribs and prime cuts of beef, and then whip out the EBT card to pay for it all. That $50 cash will get spent on liquor and cigarettes. I guarantee it.

          • The Worlds Scapegoat

            I would like to know where you can get 2 shopping carts full of junk food for $50. Maybe 1 hand basket would cost $50 around here.

          • http://www.facebook.com/kareem.ofwheat.5 Kareem OfWheat

            You have to shoplift the second cart of junk food. Dats da way it be dun!!!!!!!!!

          • http://www.facebook.com/kareem.ofwheat.5 Kareem OfWheat

            You forgot the lottery tickets with the liquor and beer.

      • http://www.newnation.org/ sbuffalonative

        On a side note:

        A few years back, I switched to an Adkins like diet of my own making. Lots of fat, little to no carbohydrates and sugars. I quickly lost 35 and have kept it off for about 5 years now.

        Fat doesn’t make you fat. Carbohydrates make you fat because carbohydrates are quickly and easily digested and converted to fat and stored in the body. Fat, on the other hand is a complex lipid that takes longer and more energy to digest.

        I used to eat lots of carbohydrate rich foods simply because there are so many of them and they were inexpensive. Now I eat smaller amounts of fat-rich foods simply because it ‘fills me up’ faster and they leave me satisfied longer without cravings for carb-rich snack foods in-between meals.

        If anyone is serious about loosing weight, try Atkis.

        ps: I say it’s a modified Atkins because Atkins recommends not eating fruits which are high in sugar. I will not give up eating fruits even if it would mean I would lose more weight more quickly. Sorry but I will not give up peaches and strawberries and a perfectly ripe watermelon.

        • Michael_C_Scott

          Don’t forget Spanish clementines, blueberries, raspberries and blackberries, cantaloupes and fresh limes.

      • MikeofAges

        Have had personal experience with the connection between being poor and being overweight. And I still don’t completely understand how it happens almost automatically. Maybe a low level of activity. Maybe excess portions of carbohydrates. Maybe gratuitous fats. Maybe beer and wine consumption. Maybe junk food, party food and snacks. Maybe all of the above in some proportion varying with the individual. Women may have a greater propensity to gain weight anyway, and on a poverty or low income regimen regularly turn into absolute behemoths, white, black or brown it doesn’t seem to matter.

      • OlderWoman

        It mostly because they’re sedentary. Spending time vegging out in front of tv is their way of life.

    • http://countenance.wordpress.com/ Question Diversity

      And they can’t say “food desert.” Even when offered inexpensive fresh food, they ignore it’s even there (except the bananas) and head to meat markets and meat counters to buy junk fatty choices of meat. Then they’ll hit the spice shops and ask for any spices or flavorings that’s high in either sodium or MSG. St. Louisan, head to Soulard Market on any given Saturday that’s not bitter cold, and you’ll see what I mean.

      • longing4abetterworld

        Don’t forget the chitterlings. ‘Chitlins’

      • http://twitter.com/seedymedia r j p

        There is no such thing as the “food desert”. All it means is a black neighborhood without a supermarket within two blocks. A similar white neighborhood is never regarded as such.

    • http://twitter.com/LavMenace Crystal Lee Evans

      In order for that to take place, the food stamps amounts that each family is given would have to be increased to pay for fresh fruits and vegetables at the grocery store. These are more expensive that the processed food that food stamp receipients buy. I agree that things like soda, snack food, and things like that should not be purchased with food stamps.

      • Remington

        They don’t want to eat “fresh fruits and vegetable” even if they were free, silly. Your minority bias as an asian woman never fails to rise as usual…

        • GeneticsareDestiny

          This is true. Black children never eat the fruits and vegetables they get for free at school in their school lunches. And black adults are the same way.

      • OlderWoman

        They could purchase flash frozen veggies in place of fresh. Food stamps could be spent wisely with a little planning.

    • http://www.facebook.com/kareem.ofwheat.5 Kareem OfWheat

      Foods that you mention have to be cooked, which take TIME to do. It’s so much easier to get KFC or MickeyD’s. Blacks are a busy people, they don’t have TIME to do tedious things like cook for themselves. They SAVE time by ordering from the Colonel and then robbing him, SEE , they’re already there, so why not? Same goes with pizza, order same, rob delivery guy (after taking pizza) when he comes—shooting him is optional.

  • pcmustgo

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8o66h8o10CU

    White person cookin’ Chitlins…

    My white southern friend grew up eating squirrel meat… And she said even collards whites eat…

    Soul Food? Is there anything about it unique to blacks? Maybe the pig feet , neck bones and other odd cuts of meat that were leftovers from the slave master.

    • IstvanIN

      My grandfather ate head cheese (disznosaj). Not my cup of tea, as much as I like pork and pork products.

      • FourFooted_Messiah

        We now know it’s not a good idea to eat brain. Prion disease and all that. Cooking cannot kill what is not actually alive.

  • pcmustgo

    ANOTHER ISSUE IS HOW INACTIVE BLACKS ARE… they just never exercise. Oh, and why blame soul food when they scarf down so much Mcdonald’s too.

    They seem to love fast food in general. Their hoods are full of fast food joints.

    • Born_In_The_Pineywoods

      They exercise plenty running from the po-leece.

      • Skincognito

        While holdin they draws up. Multi-taskin son.

  • pcmustgo
    • GM (Australia)

      What a totally disgusting parade, we do not have Wal Mart here, is it really that down-market? Those pictures, don’t you have privacy laws in the US?

      As for obesity, it appears to be a pretty common problem in many developed nations, the health authorities here are spending big money to try and educate people as to sensible eating and lifestyles. It should also be noted that there is more obesity in poor and indigenous communities. yes, we even have the “blame whitey” syndrome here as well. There have even been calls for a ban on advertising by the major fast-food chains such as KFC and McDs.

      Soul Food, is this just a euphemism for a high fat junk food diet?

      The bottom line (excuse the pun) is that we all need to make some personal choices in the matter of diet and lifestyle, healthy alternatives are always readily available. (like go into a supermarket (most are open 24/7) and enjoy say a banana and apple for a meal on the go, much cheaper and healthier that KFC with coffee.

  • MekongDelta69

    Culinary apartheid

    I mean c’mon – you gotta hand it to the Left. They NEVER cease to run out of ‘catchy’ phrases for every insane ’cause’ they promote.

    I sure hope you can use that EBT card at KFC. ‘hep yo’ seff’. Eat up. Don’t get any exercise and play NBA Thug vid games all day. And when you DO get up and outside, make sure you do the ‘Welfare Shuffle’ or the gangsta ‘ditty-bop’. And when your arteries look like the residue at the bottom of a frying pan that’s been sitting on the stove for hours after you made ten pounds of bacon, make sure you tell the docs in the ER that you’re there because of “culinary apartheid.”

    • purestocles

      Gotta echo you’re highlighting “culinary apartheid”.

      Ever notice how agenda-driven liberals always turns a verb into a noun? E.g. to oppress becomes oppression. And then they reify the noun into a thing. And who can deny the existence of a thing? Ergo, the oppressing occurred.

      “Culinary apartheid” seems to be just such a creation.

      There is no need to specify the who, what, when, where or why of such and such an act of oppressing or waging war upon another race. No empirical evidence need be cited. Nothing that could stand up to scientific scrutiny or in a court of law is allowed to stand in the way of assigning blame for a state of affairs consequent upon an event that has not even been proven to have occurred.

      Pure genius.

      • 5n4k33y35

        You are correct. There is a linguistic standard called E-Prime http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/E-Prime which is intended to do away with such ambiguities, to force people to think clearly by requiring them to communicate clearly. E-Prime is a great method for preventing the spread of Progressive mind rot.

  • You Are Now Enriched

    The origins of the diet lie in the history of American slavery, according to food historian Jessica B. Harris, who appears in the film. Slaves ate a high-fat, high-calorie diet that would allow them to burn 3,000 calories a day working, she explained.

    It IS a legacy from slavery, and a marked improvement from their native diet in Africa.

    Here, they ate pork belly. There, they ate each other.

    Now, what exactly are we supposed to apologize for this time?

    Aren’t we owed some sort of collective human rights award from elevating their dinner fare from African to pig?

  • Vlad Dracula

    When I was in the army the smell of chitlins had to be one of the worst I can remember.

    • OlderWoman

      I’ve been told that in certain areas of my town blacks eat possums.

      • http://twitter.com/seedymedia r j p

        In either St Louis or Kansas City, I can’t remember, river carp is available in some markets.

        • http://countenance.wordpress.com/ Question Diversity

          Both. I’ve had it, don’t like it. Tasteless, even by fish’s standards, and tough. The dreaded Asian carp that Jupiter here has been warning us about, that has pretty much taken over the Illinois River and is now showing up in the Mississippi and Missouri Rivers, is also showing up in fish markets around here.

          • FourFooted_Messiah

            The so-called “Real Canadian Superstore” here sells lots of Asian-oriented fish, and all that fish is awful. I tried to make that basa stuff one night, what an awful fail that was, it was horrible and rubbery.

            Excewpt for salmon, it’s hard to find white man’s fish there, like trout – and the trout they do have is pale and looks suspicious, usually.

          • http://countenance.wordpress.com/ Question Diversity

            Canadian Tire, which sells everything but tires?

          • Michael_C_Scott

            Mea culpa. I prefer fish – especially salmon – raw, and alive is better.

  • bigone4u

    “Neighborhoods without good supermarkets” also contribute to the problem. This accusation would seem to be another red herring, as blacks sure love Walmart and Walmart offers up the good and the bad, dietary wise. Shuffle on past the deli fried chicken to the fresh fruits and vegetables folks. This movie would serve a useful purpose if it encouraged the acquistion of dietary knowledge and individual responsibility, but it apparently does not.

  • JohnEngelman

    There is nothing traditional about America’s fast food diet. It can be healthful if one knows what to eat. I rarely eat at a fast food restaurant. When I do, I will have a hamburger with lettuce and tomatoes, and orange juice. There is food value in that. I avoid soda, milk shakes, and French fries.

    The traditional soul food diet can be healthful if one uses canola oil or olive oil instead of lard, if one uses less of it, if one reduces cooking time for vegetables, and if one emphasizes grains and beans rather than animal protein.

    As the name suggests, macaroni originated in Italy, although I have never seen it served in Italian restaurants. I cook it with whole wheat elbow noodles, non fat ground Cheddar cheese, olive oil, some salt, and soy milk. I will usually add Italian herbs, and powered garlic. Except for the non fat Cheddar cheese, everything else can be kosher.

    There are various kosher certification agencies which use one of the following certification symbols:

    http://www.kosherquest.org/symbols.php

    With a few modifications traditional peasant diets can be healthful. People will not eat something for centuries if is is unhealthful.

    ———

    Isolated staples of a soul food diet do have pronounced health benefits. Collard and other greens are rich sources of several vitamins(including vitamin A, B6, and C) minerals (manganese, iron, calcium, and folic acid), fiber, and small amounts of omega-3 fatty acids. They also contain a number of phytonutrients, which are thought to play a role in the prevention of ovarian and breast cancers.[9]However, since traditional-style cooking of soul food vegetables requires high temperatures and/or long time periods, the water-soluble vitamins (e.g., Vitamins A and C) are either destroyed or leached out into the water in which it is cooked. Peas, rice, and legumes are excellent, inexpensive sources of protein; they also contain important vitamins, minerals, and fiber. Sweet potatoes are a tremendous source of beta carotene and trace minerals, and have come to be classified as an “anti-diabetic” food. Recent animal studies have shown that sweet potatoes, if consumed plain and in modest amounts (i.e., the opposite of how they are served in traditional soul food dishes), can stabilize blood sugar levels and lower insulin resistance.[10]
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Soul_food

    • OlderWoman

      Correction: pasta actually originated in China.
      Also, it isn’t soul food unless it’s cooked in bacon grease.

      • JohnEngelman

        Macaroni (“Maccheroni” in Italian) is mentioned in various medieval Italian sources, though it is not always clear whether it is a pasta shape or a prepared dish.[7] Pasta and cheese casseroles have been recorded in cookbooks as early as the Liber de Coquina, one of the oldest medieval cookbooks. A cheese and pasta casserole known as makerouns was recorded in an English cookbook in the 14th century.[8] It was made with fresh, hand-cut pasta which was sandwiched between a mixture of melted butter and cheese. It was considered an upper class dish even in Italy until about the 18th century.[7]

        “Maccaroni” with various sauces was a fashionable food in late 18th century Paris. The future American president Thomas Jefferson encountered macaroni both in Paris and in northern Italy. He drew a sketch of the pasta and wrote detailed notes on the extrusion process. In 1793, he commissioned American ambassador to Paris William Short to purchase a machine for making it. Evidently, the machine was not suitable, as Jefferson later imported both macaroni and Parmesan cheese for his use at Monticello.[9] In 1802, Jefferson served a “macaroni pie” at a state dinner…

        Since that time, the dish has been associated with the United States and especially the American South.
        http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Macaroni_and_cheese

        ———–

        Definition of MACARONI

        pasta made from semolina and shaped in the form of slender tubes…

        Origin of MACARONI

        Italian maccheroni, plural of maccherone, from Italian dialect maccarone dumpling, macaroni

        First Known Use: 1599
        http://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/macaroni

        • Guest

          …But I thought Marco Polo brought noodle back from the Chinese in the 13th century. …along with the Plague

        • TeutonicKnight67

          …But I thought Marco Polo brought noodles back from the Chinese in the 13th century. …along with the Plague

          • Michael_C_Scott

            Bubonic plague was introduced to the west by the Tartars when they catapulted their own dead into beseiged a southern Russian city who’s name escapes me. It eventually went into pneumonic and septicaemic phases. By the time it reached Spain, people were dying within 24 hours of first showing signs of illness. The Plague of Justinian in 512 AD was probably also Yersina pestis – bubonic plague.

        • pcmustgo

          And to think- it’s blacks favorite dish, and they still scream “whites’ don’t have a culture, blacks invented everything”… even collard greens are not from Africa. Yams are… Okra might be.

          • Michael_C_Scott

            Yams are from South America, and okra is just disgusting.

    • http://twitter.com/LavMenace Crystal Lee Evans

      Actually, the salads served at most fast food restaurants have more calories than a plain hamburger sandwich.

    • GM (Australia)

      One minor correction/observation, canola oil is now a bit suspect, it has been connected to hardening of arteries. (Go for olive oil based products)

      • JohnEngelman

        Thank you. I prefer olive oil, and flax seed oil. Flax seed oil raises HDL, which is the good cholesterol, while reducing LDL, which is the bad cholesterol.

        The bias should be in favor of what our ancestors have eaten for hundreds and thousands of years. We have evolved in response to that diet.

        • MikeofAges

          In addition to eveything else, Mr. Engleman is a food snob too!

  • PesachPatriot

    I’m pretty sure some white guy from Illinois in a top hat freed the slaves about 150 years ago. Old massah isn’t stopping any one from buying fruits, vegetables or healthier food in general. If someone chooses to eat KFC five nights a week they should expect to gain weight. The reason there are so few supermarkets in the inner cities is because the EBT card users don’t really like to cook and just use their cards at fast food places. Its also prohibitively expensive to get insurance due to theft and frivolous lawsuits. I’d wager that more blacks have been killed by KFC and McDonalds with heart disease and diabetes in my lifetime than ever died from abuse at their masters hands during the entire time slavery was legal in the US from 1776-1865. There is a pretty funny episode of the Boondocks cartoon that actually makes light of this whole issue. The radical black militant grandson Huey Freeman calls his grandfathers soul food destructive…the grandfather says that soul food is their culture…Huey then says that maybe their culture is destructive…a rare moment of honesty I guess. Maybe the terrible diets have something to do with their behavior.

    I am not exactly a health nut and happen to love fried chicken and ribs myself, but I realize I can’t eat it 7 days a week without serious health repercussions. I could probably stand to lose a few pounds but I feel like a super model every time I set foot in Wal Mart.

  • APaige

    Blacks in control-they starve to death (until aid comes)
    Whites in control-they blame racism for having food-lots of food…tasty deep-fried food..damn white people should let them starve. Only is the U.S can poor black people have too much food. So when does the Culinary Rights Movement start? I have a dream that one day people will be judged by the quality of the good food they have not the quanity of the bad for you food they eat. What do we want? Whole foods! When do we want it? Now! No quinoa No peace.

  • Skincognito

    I presented a paper for the Honors College at Wayne State in Detroit. The luncheon talk was all about integrating urban gardening (roof-tops and abandoned plots) with food social justice. This latter euphemism describes the ongoing efforts by White activists to bring produce to the liquor store in the hood. As if the mere presence of locally grown asparagus will dissuade sub-Saharans from buying rapper-endorsed vodka, iconic malt liquor, chips and scratch tickets at 9 am. Insanity.

  • http://www.newnation.org/ sbuffalonative

    When ISN’T our fault?

    These people never take responsibility for their own actions It’s always someone else’s fault and that someone else is always us.

  • LHathaway

    I remember the story a few months ago posted on AmRen. . . in the news article a black lady claims she coulnd’t have committed a crime, because she didn’t know how to cook. No one AmRen caught this. . . It was intended to be a joke, toward the larger audience. Every black woman in America believe she’s the best cook in the world. Most of them.

    They say smells trigger the memory more than anything else. Black women always must cook chiterlings. . . They stink more than anything else on this earth. No wonder black men leave for greener pasteurs. . . Maybe that’s a good thing, cause if they don’t, clogged arteries will kill them.

    I actually like black women, but don’t really wanna die for it.

    • pcmustgo

      Funny, they think their soul food is “too spicy” for us bland white folks who are used to eating the really spicy stuff like Thai and Indian food, unlike them.

      • Michael_C_Scott

        Thai pad phed talay is glorious, and I blend my own curry spices: I do vindaloo, saag, tikka, and tandoori. I also make chile rellenos using egg roll wraps which I deep-fry in (you guessed it) bacon grease. At six feet even, I weigh 155 pounds, and have a blood pressure of 88/45, so I must be doing something right.

        I make laksa here, using mixed shellfish. Laksa is the Malaysian national dish, and is gloriously spicy. I don’t think Chinese restaurants have it here in the US.

      • FourFooted_Messiah

        I can’t stand spicy crap, and my husband’s stomach can’t stand it. Curry? get that stink away from me before I puke, thanks.

        I would be quite happy to see curry banned along with the east indian types who promote it.

        Red Dwarf, yeah, Lister is a disgusting guy, and his love of curry is supposed to add to the “disgusting” factor, as you know he would smell BAD from eating it all the time.

  • bluffcreek1967

    The problem in their diets is NOT the saturated fat, but the high amounts of chemical and processed foods they consume – high carbs, enormous loads of daily sugar, and bread. Their consumption of cheap and chemically-processed foods, altered grains, corn sugar and vegetable oils are doing bad numbers on their health.

    Incidentally, there’s been a gradual paradigm shift in the field of nutrition recently in which saturated fat is no longer seen as the enemy it once was. In fact, meat, eggs, pork, organic butter (not margarine), coconut oil, olive oil, lard are now viewed as rather healthy or at worst benign. Lots of vegetables are good too. Among many, author Gary Taubes has written a compelling case for this very thing in his, ‘Good Calories, Bad Calories.’

    It’s interesting to observe that, once again, it’s whites who are most informed about matters of science, the world we live in, and even nutrition. Blacks will eat almost anything that is set before them regardless of any thought of health – yet whites, by and large, are concerned about what they consume and they always seek ways to improve their health. This is just another indicator of the higher IQs of whites.

    • pcmustgo

      Yeah, blacks always make jokes about how they like to make their kool-aid with twice as much sugar as whites… “sweet tea” too…Also, they love those sugary Tropical Fantasy sodas and other sugary drinks,. I have NEVER seen a black person drink a diet soda.

      • http://countenance.wordpress.com/ Question Diversity

        Except blacks hardly “make” Kool-Aid anymore.

        You see, all that hard arduous work of adding just the right amount of sugar and dried up food coloring to just the right amount that oh-so-dangerous substance dihydrogen monoxide, while we with frontal lobes can grasp it, it’s a little bit beyond the capability of the Vibrant-American community. It so confuses them that the confusion often leads to violence:

        http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2012/05/31/kool-aid-gun-fight-shooting-detroit_n_1559612.html

        So now, they go out and buy these things called “Kool-Aid Jammers” from the big box marts. What a “Kool Aid Jammer” is, you ask? Kraft makes the actual Kool-Aid, stuffs it in Capri Sun style plastic pouches, and sells them ten in a box for two bucks. From what I’ve seen, Bellcurvius absolutely needs Kool-Aid Jammers to survive, much like we need oxygen. Unfortunately, the volume cost for Kool-Aid Jammers is probably ten times that of regular Kool-Aid, so Kraft is laughing all the way to the Swiss Bank, though since a lot of Kool-Aid Jammers are purchased with the “It’s Free Swipe Yo EBT” card, the joke is on you and I.

        I am surprised that the fast feeder choke-n-puke that has gone 365BellCurve hasn’t thought of selling Kool-Aid, for, e.g. a buck and a half for a 32-ounce cup. It would be the most lucrative profit margin in the history of retail business.

  • StillModerated

    … poverty and neighborhoods without good supermarkets also contribute to an unhealthy diet ..

    I would think EBT cards would take care of the poverty end of things, but in their crappy, run-down neighborhoods, grocery stores refuse to do business because the adults refuse to tell their sprogs to stop stealing. Serves them right!

    • FourFooted_Messiah

      Wait what? When I need groceries, the nearest place is a half hour walk away. It’s either walk, call a cab, or starve. I generally walk, unless the weather is that bad (-20 or so).

    • OlderWoman

      Kroger has left the slum areas of some cities because of massive theft. Blacks rob businesses in their neighborhoods. They CAUSE the dearth of food in their neighborhoods.

  • TTownTony

    What a bunch of c**p! There is no such thing as “soul food.” It is merely Southern country cooking. I grew up in LA (Lower Alabama) and everyone ate the same thing. Yankees began calling it “soul food” when blacks went north.

    When I was young my mother could make the best fried chicken cooked! Many a time I stayed up all night with my Uncle John when he would barbecue a 200 pig for all the deer hunters on one of our club hunts. Man that was good food!

    SOUL HAD NOTHING TO DO WITH IT!

    • IstvanIN

      How could completely soulless primates “invent” anything with soul? Of course it is Southern food.

    • TeutonicKnight67

      As a Yankee I must take exception. I resent the wholesale appropriation of the word “soul” by the Bantu! Are white people then “soul-less”? If the Bantu are “people of color” does that make us “colorless” people? I seriously doubt that the term “soul food” was coined by a white Yankee. BTW – I love the white south, its culture, its food and it’s people, whom I consider my kindred.

      • FourFooted_Messiah

        For some reason, the “Blacks Without Soul” skit from _Amazon Women on the Moon_ came to mind when I read that.

    • Xerxes22

      It wasn’t Yankees who called it “soul food”. it was Blacks. They were claiming it as their food alone. If it was just southern country food than it wouldn’t be special.

    • FourFooted_Messiah

      Yup, I remember going to a family reunion in what I think was Spruce Grove, AB. A whole pig was on the spit, and family members were giving it a squirt of wine for the pig, a squirt for me, kind of rotation.

      Best pork I ever had.

      Too bad the Muzzies want to take those moments away from us.

  • shmo123

    “In her book, “High on the Hog: A Culinary Journey from Africa to
    America,” Harris said the prevalence of over processed foods,
    low-quality meats, and second- or third-rate produce in minority
    neighborhoods amounts to “culinary apartheid.”

    Culinary apartheid? How idiotic. Does food have a race, or am I missing something here. Ms. Harris doesn’t seem to realize that at profit margins of around 1 – 2%, it doesn’t take long for ghetto types and five finger discounts to wipe a grocery store owner out.

  • http://www.facebook.com/page.turner.56884 Page Turner

    Didn’t the Irish and Chinese who built the railroads burn lots of calories, too? How about the coal miners, dock workers (before machinery), bridge builders? Did their manual labor not burn calories, too? Why is it only the blacks are incapable of changing – and it’s the white’s fault?

    Re: lack of vegetables in poor areas – I would think that if there’s a demand for it someone (maybe even a black person) would see an opportunity to make a nice profit by providing it.

    If you’re too stupid to operate in your own best interest you self-select for extinction.

    • Michael_C_Scott

      One can always grow vegetables. Last summer we grew lettuce, tomatoes, peppers (a very nice bell/jalapeno hybrid), mint, chives, radishes, cilantro and parsley. The cilantro plant is now in Ariadne’s room. We have a townhouse with no yard; we use a pair of half-barrels and various pots. We save kitchen scraps in a five-gallon bucket, and these get buried twice a year, along with pistachio shells and hibachi ash. The soil started out as the usual infertile stuff normal to Colorado’s front range, but over a decade’s worth of dead pigeons and compost has done wonders.

      Someone “too poor” to have a kitchen garden in the United States is poor only in spirit.

      • StillModerated

        Well done, fellow gardener!

      • AutomaticSlim

        I have seen similar contraptions in urban areas when I visited South Korea. They are very ingenious in their use of space to grow vegetables.

      • FourFooted_Messiah

        Hell, I even had a garden one year, and my thumb is as brown as can be – I even failed recently at growing grass indoors for the cat.

        My philosophy for the garden was “put the seeds in and let it grow” Now, the garden was next to a swamp, so it didn’t need watering. It didn’t get weeded much, either, because of the mosquitoes.

        However, the stuff I planted DID grow – lettuce, carrots, and onions, mostly. I would just go out and harvest what I wanted for a meal, and that was it.

        The deer didn’t even seem to bother it – I had three of them come around a couple times a week. I found them cleaning up after the first frost when I didn’t want anything else out of there and it had all gone to seed anyway, and they were welcome to it.

        And this was pretty far up north, too, short growing season. Most of the farmers up there just raise livestock and grow hay.

        I also managed to raise red chili peppers indoors. I had five plants survive, and they would bloom like crazy on a two or three month cycle. I eventually had to give them away, but then I gave most of the peppers away – there were just too many to use.

    • purestocles

      And loggers in the Pacific Northwest, miners, farmers etc. Hell, just about every man’s work involved some expenditure of calories in those days.

      But the author, Bryan Hurt, doesn’t acknowledge this because he is probably a deeply ignorant, narcissistic person who believes that blacks built America (a debt that reparations is supposed to repay). Additionally, to recognize that whites worked (like slaves) is to tacitly admit that they didn’t all benefit from the effects of that intangible, mysterious ether that permeates everything and yet remains invisible–”white privilege”.

    • ATBOTL

      Chinese did less than 1% of the railroad building in this country. Let’s stop repeating that myth.

  • Michael_C_Scott

    The heavy, fried diet actually has Celtic origins, and southerners both black and white tend to continue this cuisine. If one is going to work from dawn to dusk in the fields in cold, rainy Ireland or Scotland, this food makes absolute sense. It isn’t quite as good for sedentary work in an air-conditioned office.

    • pcmustgo

      Heard the deep-frying also has to do with poor Southerners not having kitchens, so making outdoor make-shift deep frying vats of oil to cook in instead… also helped keep the house cool.

      Yeah, lots of Scots-Irish in the South.

      • Michael_C_Scott

        “Yeah, lots of Scots-Irish in the South”.

        This is also why Southrons are particularly good at war.

      • FourFooted_Messiah

        “You’re Scottish, fry something” – 11th Doctor, Doctor Who, The Eleventh Hour.

        • Michael_C_Scott

          Why is it that while everyone else becomes hot and bothered about ethnic stereotyping, Scots, Welsh and Irish don’t mind it?

          We’re cheap, and a cross with Japanese is even thriftier. A mouse would starve on the food we throw away.

          My best friend in Australia was asked about me by an Englishman, and Dan explained that I am Celtic and American Indian. The pommie asked, “What’s that, REALLY aggressive?”

          The jury is still out on that.

      • OlderWoman

        Often kitchens were detached from the main house.

        Don’t forget the English.

  • pcmustgo

    What percentage of Blacks actually know what a Carbohydrate is, or a Protein or Fat or can identify which foods have these in them? What percentage of whites… ? I had a dirt poor white friend who was also ridiculously confused about these things… had no concept of diet balance, would eat , for example, cheese fries 3 times per day for several days straight, then go on crash diets, etc. I tried to explain it to her, but it never sank in.

  • Ronn Ciulo

    An African diet, lol. In the Roots movie I caught another lie. They compared a young Kunta to a brave warthog and spoke on how they would EAT the warthog when they caught one, but when Kunta came to America as a slave he said eating pork was forbidden unto him and was considered bad meat. Now the last time I checked a warthog is a pig made up of pork. Oh right I forgot, no-one was suppose to notice that and ESPECIALLY not say anything on top of it.

    • FourFooted_Messiah

      So Kunta Kinte was a Muslim? No surprise there, really.

      No, I didn’t watch that stupid boring series when it was out. I was a kid then, with no interest whatsoever, and still have no interest in seeing it.

      Throw a dragon or three into it, I might watch it – if only to see how lame and bad the dragon rendering is.

  • Brady

    Healthy food is actually not expensive at all. Fresh produce in the grocery store is actually one of the cheapest things there. The catch? You actually have to make the effort to cook.

    • FourFooted_Messiah

      Even meat is cheap if you buy in bulk, and have a decent sized freezer for it.

      • MikeofAges

        Actually, you only need an average sized refrigerator. I buy meat at one of the chain supermarkets, when they have their buy one — get one sale. Usually get a solid cut of beef and lean ground beef. $20 buys about eight pounds. With two people eating moderate portions just about daily, this seems to last a month.

        I live in a rented apartment with an 18-foot refrigerator with a top freezer, which is typical for rentals. I often get free bread (not the cheap stuff either) and store that in the freezer as well. I never run out of room in my freezer, and probably could store triple what I do. A little intelligence and minimal planning, and you can eat very well even on a low income. Of course, if you buy everything at double or triple price at a tiny neighborhood market, you won’t eat very well and your money, whether its EBT or earned income, won’t last very long.

        Admittedly, many people have transportation issues. But even poor people can move to be closer to the amenities they require.

  • 5n4k33y35

    Boo hoo.

  • http://www.facebook.com/steven.edwards.353 Steven Edwards

    Wouldn’t it be easier to just admit they took “soul food” from southern whites, and just create a new healthier diet for themselves that would promote heart health and more? Oh wait, they couldn’t blame modern whites for something their ancestors did over a hundred years ago if they took that approach.

  • odius liberal

    Plantations owners were serving BBQ ribs, fried chicken and macaroni and cheese? Who knew?

    • FourFooted_Messiah

      Ribs and chicken were cheap. That’s the only reason that stuff was looked down upon, and was fed to slaves. Good food, really. But hey, if you want a slave to do work for you, you’d better feed him up good, and make sure his quarters are comfortable enough.

  • marko

    With all we have known about the risks of high fat diets, one wonders why negros have not adjusted their diet. Dick Gregory has been hitting his head against the wall, I suppose.

  • Greg Thomas

    How much is this going to cost Whites?

  • FourFooted_Messiah

    Bah. People eat what they eat.

    I don’t understand why blacks get upset over “fried chicken” jokes. Who doesn’t like fried chicken? I do, and I still tell those jokes, because I know I’m not different in that sense. Shake and Bake Southern Fried for the win, if I can’t get KFC.

    Ribs? My white Scots-Irish husband loves them, I made a point of making some for Christmas. They were a critical hit; he’s still kissing my feet, so to speak.

    The thing is, a lot of stuff that was “poor people food” and frowned upon in the past are now delicacies. “Spare” ribs are but one example – lobster, ironically enough, is another. Maritimers would often live on lobster and crab, as they could just wade around on the beach and catch the things in the early days of North American colonization. Rich people then thought such fare was beneath them. I just bought lobster tail at $8 a pop – for Christmas.

    Leave blacks alone. Leave whites alone. We eat what we eat. I would not agree with Chinese eating dog in North America, but I can’t say crap about what they do in their OWN LANDS. All I can do is decide whether or not I want to visit these people – and I do not want them forced into my face, tyvm.

    • Michael_C_Scott

      Cheese fondue for Christmas dinner at my mother’s place.

  • Yaspar

    My (white) grandmother in North Carolina made fried chicken, country ham, fried cornbread, blackeyed peas, collard greens, snap beans, butter beans (all cooked with side meat), biscuits, sliced fresh tomatoes, iced tea, pecan pie and ice cream every Sunday for dinner.
    Gettin’ hungry, Yankees?

  • Nate Higgers

    N1ggers always blame human beings for the problems that the n1ggers themselves cause due to their flawed, failed genetics, DNA, and complete lack of intellect or humanity whatsoever, they then blame us for not fixing the n1gger’s problems, then if we attempt to temporarily fix it (there is no permanent fix to n1ggers and the problems they cause all of humanity, except for their deaths) we’re labeled as oppressors and racists.
    N1ggers truly are worthless, through and through. No one can truthfully ever deny this.

    • Michael_C_Scott

      Perhaps you might have phrased that a little more kindly. I hate them – and almost everyone else – more than you can probably imagine. Do you also hate Orientals and federal felons? I was once banished from AmRen for my boundless hatred of Muslims; you don’t have to take my word on this – ask them. My hate has cost me my freedom, my right to possess firearms, a wonderful friendship and more than one romantic relationship.

      It’s not worth it. I hope you are still young so you have a chance of figuring out what cost me so much to learn.

  • Gereng

    I thought white slave owners starved them! I’ve read that assertion by negroes many times. So, providing them enough food to enable them to put in a day’s work was wrong? I’ve lived in the south. What blacks call “soul food” is actually what most southerners ate regardless of color. The major difference is- when whites learned that this type of food was unhealthy they had the sense to modify their traditional diet.
    But If you squat on the front porch all day and do nothing more physically demanding than beat the living shxt out of some one and maybe scratch a bit, then naturally all that fat is going clog up the system.