FOOD FOR SOUL OVER SOL FOOD: WHY WE AS BLACK PEOPLE SHOULD CHANGE OUR DIETS

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“Taste good, but not always good for you.”


soul food

Going back to slavery, soul food has been a meal as described by the African American community. There was limited amounts during the time period, and we had to make due with what we had at that time. So we came together with our scraps during these harsh times to make soul food. And still to this day we consume meals as a community, but there is a problem with these meals. As amazing as it may seem, the food has lead to so many health problems throughout the community. So much so, that there has to be a shift in how we care for ourselves because our lives are cut short due to illness from the food.

“soul” food

Now, in today’s society, we still eat soul food, but so many of us are switching over to food for the soul. Meaning, there is no dish that Black people in America eat that is a traditional dish from another foreign country like Chinese, Italian, or Greek. Since we were slaves and our traditions were lost, we had to make due with the food from slave masters in America. Yet our spin is adding more to the food that tends to be unhealthy: more salt, more pepper, more sugar, more oils, more fat. Flavors have to be taken back now that we are more aware because these extra ingredients lead to more debilitating sicknesses.

nourishment for our bodies

Foods that are rich in the nutrients that we should be eating for our health are as follows:

WHOLE GRAIN
  • These are the grains that contain endosperm, bran, and germ that are vital to the human body for lower risk of heart disease, cancer, diabetes, and stroke.
    • Wheat

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    • Rye

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    • Oats

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    • Maize

    • Rice

FRUITS
  • This is an angiosperm flowering plant that is formed from the ovary when flowering.
    • Apples

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    • Bananas

    • Grapes

    • Lemons

    • Oranges

    • Strawberries

VEGETABLES
  • A savory meal that is good for the human body where it provides vitamins, dietary fibers, and minerals.
    • Cabbage

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    • Spinach

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    • Pepper

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    • Carrot

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    • Lettuce

    • Beans

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    • Peas

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    • Potatoes

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    • Tomatoes

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    • Onion

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    • Pepper

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    • Sweet Potato

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WATER
  • A clear, transparent chemical that is vital to the human body. It does not only serve a purpose for drinking, but necessary for plant growth. Up to 78% of our human bodies is water, so we need quite a bit per day to function properly.

JUICES
  • This is the natural pressing out of fruits and vegetables that contribute for Potassium and Vitamin C. But be sure to not over juice considering some juices are richer in sugar than soda.

DAIRY
  • The harvesting and processing of animal milk from mainly goats and cows. Other animals used are sheep, horses, and camels. Dairy is a good product for Vitamin D and Calcium.

Image result for dairy

lifestyle changes

With all that has been said, when will come the time for us as a group to change our lifestyles. Because if dying at a young age is not good enough then what is good enough. But something has to be done otherwise you will start to see a group’s numbers diminish from poor health choices.


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GENETICALLY MODIFIED: HOW THE SCIENCE OF HARVEST/LIVESTOCK EFFECTING HARVEST/LIVESTOCK

Grayscale Photography of Three Cows

“Taste good, but is it good for us?”


moo, cluck, meh, oink

Everyone, I would be lying to you if I said that I was not a fan of meat. I love meat, and if PETA saw some of my eating habits over the years, there would be a march against me alone, not to mention the industry of slaughterhouses. Now, in recent months, I have decided to slow down on some of the food that I consume. Now because I am this huge animal activist, it’s because of the health risk associated with certain processed foods we eat. And on top of the food we eat, you have to take into consideration how meals are prepared. This further adds to the health problems.

from farm to fridge

As we all know, food on the farms of America as well as other parts of the world are just grazing fields for nurturing meals for us as humans. Not only with the animals we eat, but also harvest the crops we consume. But the process of getting the food from the farm to the people have changed drastically over the years. We no longer want to wait the time it takes to really grow crop or attain livestock. We no longer want to eat small portions of food, we want bigger portions. So what do we do now, we now genetically modify everything to make it more plump or taste more delicious. So much so, certain crop seeds can’t even be replanted because it won’t grow properly. The video from YouTube explains below genetically modified foods from → SciShow.

where from here

Now, as we become a more health conscious society, we may see a decline in how food is process. As for now, we are going to keep pushing along. But will we really slow down the process of how we modify food? The population on Earth continues to climb and we need more food for the growing population. So unless we find a means to grow crop elsewhere outside of Earth, we may have to continue this trend. Yet with all the modifications comes the health concerns.


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BODILY SHIFT: HOW THE BODY SHOWS YOU HOW TO CHANGE YOUR LIFESTYLE

appetizer, close-up, cucumber

“Nourishment for our bodies.”


CREATURES OF THE EARTH

Throughout history humans have found means of feeding ourselves that could aid in our continued existence on this planet. And eating animals were one of those means because there were so many people to feed. But as time progress, do we still need to eat the animals that we have always eaten? Maybe not as much as we think because everything is so enhanced. The enhancement has made eating certain foods unhealthy for the human body. Even some of our plants and fruits are genetically modified for our liking. But still, the plants we eat are more healthy for us than the meat we consume. So we have to find ways of getting the most in us that contribute to our health.

TASTE GOOD TO US, NOT GOOD FOR US

When your body gives you signs you have to listen to the signals that your body gives you. So for example, when you are starting to have health related problems due to certain food and beverage choices, then you have to make a shift. And trust me, I know; coming from an African American community, we love our foods. But it’s these same foods that put our ethnic group at such a high risk for illnesses: (Click the listed items below to view the website stats.)

  1. High Blood Pressure
  2. Hypertension
  3. Sickle Cell Anemia (not directly associated with food, but we’re at higher risk)
  4. Diabetes
  5. Stroke

So with the listed above sicknesses you can attain, you have to work overtime, especially if you are of an ethnic group prone to certain sicknesses. That means settling for baked over fried foods, and drinking more water over acidic beverages.

WHAT SHALL WE BE DOING

As for our meals, the daily intake should consist of something fresh in the morning: eggs, cereal, sometimes bacon, oatmeal, and apple or orange juice. The lunch should consist of a salad, and if it has chicken in it, baked Caesar Salad. And when you eat dinner, that entree shall be something alone the lines of rice, beans, cabbage, cornbread, collard greens (with less salt and sugars), corn (no pepper or salt), and some form of meat, but baked. Frying your food can be hard to digest through the system. Now, don’t forget to try to incorporate some type of exercise in your daily activities. For me, I will walk to work when the temperature allows me, which in a day can easily be 10 miles. So for me, I am turning a new leaf in 2018, how about you.


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HEALTH FOR THE SOUL: WHY IT’S SO HARD TO EAT RIGHT

abundance, agriculture, bananas

“What’s good for you does not always taste good.”


GOOD EATIN’

One of the hardest things you’ll ever have to do in life is eat right. It’s so hard because all the bad stuff taste so good. How come they can’t figure out how to make good for the soul food taste just as good as soul food? For me, growing up in the family I grew up in, it was always festive to have the family come together for dinners. There would be so much food, you were literally asked to take it home otherwise it would have to be thrown away. But we’re not talking about healthy eating like fruits and vegetables, yet if there were, they even had a nice touch of salt, pepper, or even a sugar additive.

ETHIC CONNECTIONS

Image result for soul foodI come from a predominantly African American family, and we eat a lot. As a matter of fact we eat so much, that as an ethnic group we are more genetically predisposed to sicknesses sometimes stemming from the food we eat. And who can blame us: catfish, meatballs, fried chicken, baked chicken, pork chops, pig feet, rib tips, turkey, ham slices, ham hocks, and that’s just the meat. The vegetables are cabbage, cornbread, yams, sweet potatoes, corn, stuffing, collard greens, and black eyed peas. And if you thinkImage result for soul food desserts that’s a lot, well how about our dessert menus: sweet potato pie, egg pie, chocolate pie, banana pudding, peach cobbler and German chocolate cake.

HEALTH RISK

The health risk stemming from this type of good eating can have long lasting effects on the human body. As a matter of fact African Americans at a much higher risk of illnesses already, but it increases once you observe the food we eat. According to an article on WebMD entitled, “Why 7 Deadly Diseases Strikes Black Most,” it explains the disparities with sicknesses in Black people as oppose to their White counterparts. We are at higher risk of Diabetes, Strokes, Heart Disease, and high blood pressure. So being already susceptible, on top of the food doesn’t make the situation better.

NOW WHAT?

So making sure you not only eat right but also exercise is beneficial in the long run. Because there has to be a fine blend of the two. And yes, even a guy as healthy as myself, I hate having to eat right, but it’s a must that we take care of ourselves. Because the last thing we want is to be a burden on ourselves, or others around us who have to care for us when we get ill.


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LIFESTYLE CHANGES: CHANGING THE FOOD WE EAT

appetite, apple, close-up

“Your body is a machine, keep it clean.”


Recently, I have been thinking about making a lifestyle change regarding the food I consume. And it’s not because my health is bad, I just would like to try something new. I thought about trying a raw diet or even becoming a pescetarian for a while. I love eating seafood, so becoming a pescetarian would actually be easy. But since I was a baby I have had a diet that consisted of eating meat. And to add to it, it’s part of the culture that I grew up in as a child. Meat was so part of our daily intake, I don’t know if I could give it up at all. But some people have never even had meat a day in their lives. It was just how they were raised. But not me, I grew up in a family that we had more meat than side dishes.

Now if you’re one of these animal lovers, then you would hate to be apart of my family. But just because you eat meat does not mean you hate animals. As people on Earth we have had to survive off of the land as much as possible. That includes any creature that inhabited the land. And given we had to feed so many people, animals were the meal. But vegetarians and pescetarianism has been an aspect of society for forever. You just now have this wave of people who are going back to eating less meat. And it does not have anything to do with preserving the animals on our planet. It has everything to do with health. When eating meat you have a digestive tract that consist of thin lining. And meat pushing through that track is hard to digest. So eating too much meat, especially the tougher the meat, makes digesting more difficult.

Now, with digestive problems comes illnesses because meat lying in the tract for too long causes problems in the intestines. Over time, you start to develop sicknesses because the meat is basically rotting inside of your body. So people have become aware of this and have made moves to eat less meat if any at all. It just makes sense considering we want to prolong our lives as much as possible because this is our only life to live. And caring for yourselves is what we must do for longevity. There is no guarantee, some people eat healthy and still die of sicknesses. But the point is to care anyways because it’s about playing the odds. And in the end, my thoughts of changing my dining choices comes from better eating habits. I just turned thirty years old last week. This is best time to start eating differently because staring later in your forties could be too late.


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COLOURS: WHY I HAVE DECIDED TO GET INTO PHOTOGRAPHY

adult, Analogue, aperture

“The art direction and production design: practice in lieu of filmmaking.”


I am currently in the process of making my second short film. In the meantime, I am working on this blog, writing my novel & book of short stories, and thinking about what screenplay to write next. But filmmaking is so much of a hustle that I am going to need a consistent pay. But I don’t want to be out of the groove of things as it pertains to the artistic aspect of filmmaking. And that’s when it hit me, photography. And not necessarily because I am a huge fan of photography itself. It’s the artistic direction, the production design, and the person being shot in frame. Lately, I have been interested in the fashion world’s photographic imaging.

Image result for fashion shoot
Olga A, 2013 Nino Yap http://www.ninoyap.com

I guess you wonder, what does this have to do with filmmaking. To me, a lot; it has a lot to do with making film simply because of the in frame imagery. Not long ago I sat down and started coming up with ideas for various photo shoots that drive that imagery out of me. And the reason why I felt close to fashion is because of the artistic direction that is similar to the picturesque look I want to achieve through film. I love the use of colors in telling a story. And being able to tell a story through imagery is is like putting together my storyboarding. What’s interesting is that photographers have a story board process as well. Another type of photography interesting to me is food photography.

You ever been driving down the road and see a billboard. Or better yet walking down the street and your eye catch the sight of a sign out front of a restaurant. The photo on the billboard or signage on the street has always been of interest to blur, breakfast, close-upme. I always wanted to know the process of how they achieve the look they do for the food. Then I did a little research and found how they set everything up. The process is just as interesting. Even when photographing a meal, you are telling a story in that frame. Which is yet another reason why I have come to respect photography.

Image result for art direction
art direction | food still life photography – Vanessa McKeown

And in the end, that is my real connection to photography. Being able to tell a story in pictures is what you must do after writing your script. Explain in pictures/animation what you are aiming to achieve with this script. This will aid in working with your artistic director and production designer. So for me, like I said earlier, fashion has that interesting artistic and production aspect I find interesting. Because it’s the combination of the look of the photos, background, and clothing worn by the models. Hopefully the journey to where I want to be is as enjoyable as it has been so far.

 


 

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EAT TO YOUR HEART CONTENT: HOW WE BINGE ON DAYS LIKE TODAY AND MEANING BEHIND IT

Image result for 4TH OF JULY

“Comfort food is the best food.”


Today is the 4th of July, marking the 241st year that the Declaration of Independence was signed. But this topic today is not about the celebration. Today’s topic is about all the food that will be consumed from cookouts today. We all look forward to the holidays because it gives us an excuse to binge on all the food we want to eat. As a kid growing up, my mother would take my sister and I to the parade. We would sit there until the parade was nearly over, then head to the cookout at a family member’s house. And you can just about guess the food that lined the picnic tables.

I’m talking all kinds of good eating: Catfish, meatballs, fried chicken, baked chicken, pork chops, meatloaf, turkey, honey ham, brats, BBQ ribs, collard greens, macaroni and cheese, cabbage, sweet rolls, black eyed peas, mashed Related imagepotatoes, fried okra, yams, sweet potatoes, corn bread. The meat would be smothered in two to three types of gravy; soda, Kool aid, juice, sweet tea, some brews, and water would be the beverages of choice. And it didn’t stop there, you can’t forget about the desserts: banana pudding, chocolate pies, sweet potato pie, lemon pies, egg pies, German chocolate cake, pound cake, and ice cream.

The above food was the meals my family would consume on this holiday. But now that I am an adult, I don’t look at the holidays the same anymore. Not that they are not important, it’s just that living on my own, cooking on these days are not as special. I could always go to visit family, yet it’s not the same. Now most would say, start your own family. But I am far from ready for a family of my own. I think back to when I was growing up and the meals the family would have together. As time went on, people married, moved away, and some even passed away. Now, it seems far less special as when I was young.

And I guess that’s why these once great times to eat together have changed. There were children that used to fill the premises, and adults as well. But eating as a family, especially on holidays takes on new meanings. That Image result for soul food desserts banana puddingfeeling of being stuffed and sitting back with your pants zipper undone is not quite there anymore. Now the portions have gotten cut down because we have to live after the cookout. Fewer children and more teens who themselves are thinking about moving outside the home town for college. So now, there are middle aged to elderly adults left.

 

 

And in the end, the 4th of July reminds me of the great meals as a child. The firework show, even consuming small portions of leftovers the next day. You know, I never looked at the 4th as an Independence holiday, rather a special day family came together to have a feast.


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