Soul Food Junkies Analysis

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An American Tragedy

“Soul Food is death food, it will kill you”. This bold statement was uttered by civil rights advocate, Dick
Gregory in the PBS film, Soul Food Junkies”. Today’s African-Americans are marching, in step, to a slow death. Taken from their homeland and inducted into slavery, in Africa about 80 per cent of the diet was organic and consisted mainly of fruits and vegetables with little meat, mostly roasted. The African-American diet which was healthy and nutritious has been transformed by the popularity of soul food and the adoption of the Western Diet into a death trap for the African-American. The death march starts as the former slaves moved to the great cities of the north, they came in contact with other food cultures such as Chinese, Italian and especially the white Anglo-Saxon American diet. Slowly over the years the African American diet has taken these roots and fused them with American and other cultural foods to create a unique cultural
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The introduction of fast food is another factor. Soul food and McDonald’s is a deadly combination. Byron Hurt in his film Soul Food Junkies argues that “It isn’t Soul food, but the industrialization of food that is the main cause of bad diet habits of the African American”. The future doesn’t hold much hope however. A main factor is a bad diet is the lack of fresh fruit and vegetables in ones diet. The Africans American has a distinct disadvantage, because for a large majority of them, there is no direct access to healthy and fresh foods. Karen Hess in High on the Hog: A Culinary Journey from Africa to America makes the point that African Americans in the big cities do not have access to high quality foods and are forced to pay higher process to what is available, and she calls this: “culinary apartheid”

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