Soul Food Junkie
Years ago, when I first started Divabetic, a full-day of ‘food programming’ would never have happened. Initially I didn’t want to focus Divabetic’s outreach efforts on food because I thought it was already being ‘covered to death’ by educators, hospitals and major diabetes organizations. Why did Divabetic have to talk about it? But I quickly realized that I didn’t agree with how many of these patient resources were choosing to deal with the topic. I felt then like I do now that the discussing topic ‘food’ isn’t just about ‘what you’re eating,’ it’s also important to talk about ‘what’s eating you.’
My former boss, Luther Vandross had a very public battle with his weight for years. In the 13 plus years that I worked for him I witnessed him gain and lose an excess of over 100 pounds at least seven times. It was difficult to watch someone, who was so successful in their chosen field, continually fail time after time at managing their weight. ‘Heartbreaking’ is the only way to describe it.
Tonight’s podcast, Serve, Taste or Trash! Game (6 PM, EST on blogtalkradio) is about letting people talk back about the foods they love and more importantly the foods they love to hate. Trust me, Luther knew what he needed to eat to manage his type 2 diabetes but he just didn’t want to eat it. And he’s not alone. I’ve heard these sentiments expressed by both men and women at various Divabetic Club meetings for years. The fact that so many of the foods that ‘we love’ so much are killing us makes the matter even more complex.
Serve, Taste or Trash! Food Game
This is why I’m excited to see the film ‘Soul Food Junkies’ with my good friend, Catherine Schuller. Inspired by his own family’s complex relationship with “soul food” — fried chicken, ribs, macaroni and cheese, peach cobbler, and the whole panoply of down-home foods made with grease, sugar, and love — acclaimed filmmaker Byron Hurt asks whether this diet is nurturing or destroying the African American community. With humor and heart, Hurt questions the effects of “soul food” on the health of not only African Americans, but all who guiltily consume this most comforting of American comfort foods
Baffled by his dad’s unwillingness to change his traditional soul food diet in the face of a health crisis, Hurt sets out to learn more about this rich culinary tradition and its relevance to black cultural identity. He discovers that the love affair that his dad and his community have with soul food is deep-rooted, complex, and in some tragic cases, deadly.
Through candid interviews with soul food cooks, historians, and scholars, as well as doctors, family members, and everyday people, Soul Food Junkies blends history, humor, and heartwarming stories to place this culinary tradition under the microscope. Both the consequences and the benefits of soul food are carefully addressed. So too is the issue of low access to quality food in black communities, which makes it difficult for some black people to eat healthy. In the end, Hurt determines whether or not black people are addicted to this food tradition that has its origins in West Africa and the black south, yet is loved all over the world.
I’ll be sharing my review of Soul Food Junkies on this blog tomorrow.
Watch News Yorkers try to identify the healthiest treat from three Serve, Taste or Trash! Food Game choices bought at a convenience store. You might be surprised by the results.
Let’s Talk About Sex! Here’s a sneak peak of Divabetic’s upcoming ‘Love On A Two Way Street’ free outreach program focused on ‘Sexual Health & Diabetes’ and presented at Thomas Jefferson University Hospital on Sat., Feb, 9, 2013
TUNE IN: Free to Diabetes Roundtable podcast Inspired by Rihanna with guests: Neva White DNP, CRNP, CDE, Connie Frazier RD, CDE, Patricia Addie-Gentle RN, CDE, author Elsie Spruill, poet Lorraine Brooks, hairstylist and makeup artist Charlene Wilson, Mama Rose Marie and Allison from Jersey City, NJ living with diabetes http://www.blogtalkradio.com/divatalkradio1/2013/01/08/diabetes-roundtable-inspired-by-rihanna
’Movie Girl Workouts’ with Mr. Divabetic and fitness expert, Katherine Adamenko
Experience Mr. Divabetic’s wellness with a wow programming in Tucson, AZ, Santa Clara, CA, Philadelphia, PA, Savannah, GA and Bethesda, MD in 2013. Get more details at www.divabetic.org