Why Black Food Isn’t To Blame For Health Issues

plate of soul food
Briona Lamback
February 9, 2023

We’ve all heard it before. People love calling our food unhealthy and blaming our plates for health problems. But Black food isn’t killing us. It’s deeper than that.

Before millions of our people moved to condensed cities in the North from the rural South during the Great Migration, we farmed, fished, and hunted. Chefs like Edna Lewis were doing farm-to-table before it was a trend. 

Our food has always been fresh, seasonal, and healthy.

It’s systemic racism - living in food deserts, medical neglect, and environmental racism - that kills us, not the food that has lovingly sustained us for generations. The Migration’s distance put a wedge between many of us and our agricultural traditions. 

But we don’t have to let that stop us.

As systemic racism continues, we can make moves to determine our futures, right down to the very foods we eat. Organizations like Black Farmers Market encourage us to spend our money autonomously by buying Black-made produce.

Our cultural foods have never been “low vibrational” and aren’t inherently unhealthy. They’re quite the opposite. Black foodways hold so much of our rich histories. We should never let anti-Blackness taint how we view ourselves, our food, or our traditions.

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