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Heal Thyself/Sacred Woman
by ren

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  • Black People Just Say No!   by  ren     17 y     4,702       8 Messages Shown       Blog: Heal Thyself/Sacred Woman
    Just say no to the premise of this article! Hogmaws, chiterlings and all the rest are SLAVE FOOD!!! I do hate getting racial because it's not in my personality but this article really got under my skin. Also, if I hear one more black doctor say he wished black folks would get better drugs, I'll scream.

    You can still have great Southern food without cracklin' pig skins and all the rest. Collard greens can be made without fatback!


    Backstory: Southern discomfort food (Food Nazi Alerts
    Yahoo! News ^ | 2/6/06 3:00 AM | Patrik Jonsson



    SELMA, ALA. - On stage, the famous jazz pianist Thelonious Monk wore a collard-leaf pin in his lapel - an act of solidarity, in the guise of a key Southern food, with his sharecropper roots.

    Standing in front of Selma High School the other day, principal Roosevelt Wilson broke with Mr. Monk and proclaimed war on the humble but proud collard, the leafy green usually cooked with lard, and all the other unhealthy Southern foods it evokes.

    "If I could, I'd tell them never to eat collards again," says the appropriately lean Mr. Wilson, as he surveys gossiping gaggles of students after a recent day of school.

    Wilson is part of a growing crusade to cinch a few notches on the nation's Barbecue Belt. He and others are breaking with the tradition of Southern grub - fried chicken, pulled pork, crawfish pies - not to mention school-lunch pizza and french fries to help stem a national obesity "epidemic."

    In black communities across the South, the healthy foods movement is finding converts who want to replace bacon-soaked beans and corn pone with baked chicken and steamed broccoli - all in the name of keeping people, particularly young people, healthy.

    But as they do, critics say it undermines a central element of Southern culture - one shared by both blacks and whites. "If you look at the aspects of Southern culture that we ... can celebrate as a joint creation, they are music and food," says John Edge, director of the Southern Foodways Alliance in Oxford, Miss., a group working to to preserve food traditions of the South. These are "byproducts of a multiracial culture, something in which we can take pride, not something we should be ashamed of."

    Eating one's way across the South yields a trove of treasure or trouble, depending on your point of view: red link sausages, pig pickins, chicken fried steak, red-eye gravy, even, as at Big Ed's in Raleigh, N.C., "brains with eggs." It's a culture of food tied in part to the provincial survival of the South: collards and other field greens provided the necessary nutrients to a population that, in the early 20th century, had suffered deficiencies from the "Three M diet:" meat, meal, and molasses.

    From the fried chitterlings at The Varsity in Atlanta to the fried chicken with gravy at Mama Dip's in Chapel Hill, N.C., it's popular fare - and increasingly controversial in a health-conscious age.

    Alabama's Black Belt Action Commission, a group formed to improve living conditions in the state's poorest counties, is among those trying to change dietary habits. It is pushing to replicate Wilson's efforts at Selma High across the state. Last year, the school started doing health screenings on students and brought in older blacks to talk about how their "harmful" food choices impacted their health in later years. That led to a revamp of the cafeteria menu to favor baked foods over fried, as well as the removal of soda and snack machines from the halls.

    For Wilson, it's a broader philosophical battle, one backed by top doctors in the state. As a health major in college, Wilson says the causes of problems in his city - recently deemed the "fattest in the state" - are obvious: an older generation cooking rich foods that contribute to obesity and health woes.

    He's quick to note that lard-soaked Southern foods are adversely affecting black people more than whites: Statistics show African-Americans gaining weight faster. BlackHealthCare.com, a website devoted to African-American health issues, recently wrote that increased health risks among blacks in the Carolinas and Georgia is rooted partly in "a regional preference for salty, high-fat foods."

    In a city that once awakened the country to civil rights issues, it seems everyone from Mayor James Perkins to School Board member John Terry is reevaluating their daily vittles. "We have the obligation to alert students that a lot of your good stuff has got plenty of fats in it," says Mr. Terry, who has had to temper his own consumption of favorite foods: fried chicken, fried catfish, barbecue, and ice cream.

    Terry acknowledges that food is hardly the only cause of the city's health issues. "Some of it is also hereditary, and part of it would be laziness, a failure to exercise," he says.

    But there's more to this tale of the table. In this historically poor region, food became entwined not just in stories of survival; it became a symbol, to some, of white persecution of blacks. The coining of the term "soul food" in the 1960s was a way to separate foods that originated with slaves and indigenous people from "plantation food." "What we may be seeing today in some African-American responses [away from Southern food] could be influenced by a pejorative association to a plantation diet," says Mr. Edge.

    But the problem with Selma High's approach, critics say, is that research is conflicted about what constitutes a proper diet - and what, exactly, the factors are that play into obesity. They concede that rich foods can contribute to weight problems. But the question, really, is whether a traditional diet can be part of a healthy, moderate life style.

    "It's particularly unfortunate that communities that might be vulnerable to invidious targeting on these matters get fed, metaphorically speaking, misleading information, like traditional Southern food being bad for you," says Paul Campos, a University of Colorado sociologist and the author of "The Obesity Myth."

    Certainly healthy food advocates face an uphill fight in changing perceptions across the South. Take the scene at Arthur Cato's House of Southern Food in Hogansville, Ga., where the waitresses write in Magic Marker on wide pads. The grits come topped with butter. Lots of it. Fried catfish comes out of the kitchen in schools. The smoked sausage is dished out in large proportions.

    "This is roots food," says Mr. Cato, wiping his hands on his apron. "I've never eaten anything else. I'm 77 years old, and I'm skinny as a rail."

    At the Autagaville Cafe, a cinder-block restaurant in the heart of the Black Belt, Mary Wright shrugs off the food controversy, too. "No matter what we do, we're all going to leave here one day, so we might as well go happy and full," she says.

    According to Wilson, the low-fat diet at Selma's gothic-looking high school caused a lot of "belly-achin' " as well. But a year later students are adjusting. Senior Clarence Walker, for one, resisted the idea of baked chicken over fried. Now, he says, "it all tastes pretty good."
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    • collards   by  #36464     17 y     1,814
      Hey, nice to see another devotee of Queen Afua.

      I agree about the soul food, however, it's not the poor old collard green's fault.

      I eat collards all the time, in green smoothies.

      They are also good marinated (raw of course) with some oil, vinegar and spices.

      swingbolder

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      • Re: collards   by  ren     17 y     1,763     1 of 1 (100%)
        The collard green has more calcium and nutrients in the juice than milk. You're right. It's not the collard's fault! :-)
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        • Collards and Kale   by  Dazzle     17 y     1,812

          I love collards, mustard greens, kale, the whole shebang... including and maybe even especially in raw juices.  I have three charts in my blog listing the foods with calcium to prove there are more plant sources with higher calcium than milk, including human milk which is listed last.  You can check them out here...  

          http://curezone.com/blogs/m.asp?f=573&i=15
          http://curezone.com/blogs/m.asp?f=573&i=16
          http://curezone.com/blogs/m.asp?f=573&i=17

          I think it's quite apt that collards et al., are considered SOUL food.  They're so delicious with powerful healing properties that they not only heal the body, they touch the spirit.  I think of this family as the happy veggies.  I honestly believe that it was the collards and kale I profusedly drank that made my recent 30 day juice fast go so smoothly.

          Great blogs, Ren!  I've really been enjoying your writing and style of thinking!

          All the best!

          ~ Dazzle 

           

           

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    • Right on Lady... It is not raciest, it is the truth!!   by  kerminator     17 y     1,819

      The diet of many mainly black Americans needs to be revised.... It may be a symbol of solitary, but it is killing folks too....    It is time that many of the Black citizens start acting "white" if that is what you have to do to improve their station in life...    Talking about, the old days, is OK but sooner or later you will have to come around and change for the better....  Tomorrow is the first day of the rest of your (our) life... The typical black diet would be a fine place to start.... 

        What do you think...  The good book says that "pride goes before destruction"...   See Ya... K

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      • Re: Right on Lady... It is not raciest, it is the truth!!   by  ren     17 y     1,914
        Yes it's time to get off the plantation. This is the one time I'll get racial just because the discussion on the other message board was really heated and everyone thought it should be okay in the name of 'Southern culture and pride'. That's also the problem. Being slim and fit is seen as 'acting white' and in danger of losing one's 'gorgeous African ass' and also the VERY VERY VERY ANNOYING 'I'll sweat out my perm doing all that exercise'. Being healthy and in shape and at one's right weight isn't acting white, it's acting IN ONE'S BEST INTEREST!
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        • Re: Right on Lady... It is not raciest, it is the truth!!   by  Kerminator     17 y     3,202

           You are correct Lady...   I never felt being slim or fit was "White", further more I feel there are people of all sizes in all races...  Period !!   Now I do feel that the so called or often refereed to "Slave diet" is on the whole not a very healthy way to live...  It has lead to a lot of problems for all those who follow it... Sad but true... 

          So I think it is time for anyone who eats such to change...  BTW: I know many whites as well as Blacks who eat that poor southern style diet...  Shame on them, they should know better, by now...  Maybe I will post on the poor southern diet, and recommend to anyone that it be abandoned;  in favor of a good balanced diet with plenty of raw foods...  That is my view anyway... 

          A better life is for the educated and those willing to change...

          See Ya... Kermit 

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      • BTW, it's not everyone...   by  ren     17 y     1,926
        If you put yourself in the right circle, you can meet many vibrant, healthy black people, esp. women. There are a lot of black people into raw foods, herbs,etc. This article even proves it. I worked in a health food store for five years that was owned by black people from the Caribbean. I find that black Americans from the South who were older tended to be more receptive to herbs,etc. Black people are just like everyone else, surrounded by the onslaught of cheap carbohydrate foods and advertising media that wages war against the waist line. I do think it's important to look back and see why certain things are done, repeated over and over, like where the eating of all this poor quality food comes from (slavery). I do believe that there is such a thing as post-slavery syndrome but not the PC-democrat welfare way. I could talk more about it but that's not the point of this blog *LOL*
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