Saturday, July 18, 2009

The Culture Of Food

Pictured is the grand opening of a "Golden Crust Caribbean Restaurant and Bakery". According to the holding company - this is the 120th Golden Crust franchise location to open and the 5th location in metro Atlanta. They operate in 9 states in the USA.

These locations are typically owned and operated by Jamaican business owners. The Jamaican ambassador to the United States spoke. He told of the importance of having entrepreneurs risking their capital in order to provide quality goods and services to the community. He told of the importance of keeping the Caribbean culture alive, providing the food that many in the expat community desire as they are away from home but also providing jobs and a location for socialization in the communities that they presently live.

This little expose' on "food culture" is timely. In a recent discussion about the high occurrence of obesity in Black America the issue about healthy eating and the availability of healthy foods came up as one of the reasons for our current problem set.

As a brother who has thrown down on some Jerk Chicken, Curry Chicken, Ox Tail, Stewed Peas, Jerk Pork as well as Goat Head Soup and, amazingly "Cow Cod Soup" - I can't claim that Caribbean food is low calorie food. It surely is good but it is likely fattening. Any Jamaican restaurant that skimps on portion sizes won't have too many return visitors either.


I say this as a Black man who is in a boot camp, seeking to shed a few pounds:

If it is true that a group of people can maintain a set of dishes that are attributable to their homeland. A land that did not always have these dietary choices but which obviously had them developed based upon the availability of foodstuffs and spices. Why is it not thought possible that the African-American, seeing the problems with our current lifestyle choices - can't develop a new culture of food that yields better "directed outcomes"?

(Here goes the conservative part:) We are more inclined to take offense at someone attributing Fried Chicken, Watermelon, Collard Greens (note - I just had some Glory Collard Greens for dinner - and YES I like collard greens) than we are interested in making note about our dietary choices and fielding some new alternatives that might assist those who choose to participate in this dietary experiment in achieving a health zone of weight management.

The unspoken component of a national health care policy is the importance of healthy lifestyles. The increase of obesity had lead to an increase in high blood pressure and Type II diabetes and all of the associated damage that these ailments cause us as a people.

If there a more significant motivating force for the establishment of a culture of health living than the benefit of longer, ailment free living for our people?


researchbuff said...

I was disgusted today while shopping for organic foods. I have completely given up meat and I am a vegetarian. Please don't get me wrong, meat is good for you. In God's word he says that "Everything that I made is clean." It's not clean once man starts adding and subtracting. I began to think about people who simply want to eat healthy, and perhaps becoming a vegetarian is not for them. Perhaps within black communities we could have plants that dealt with processing meat. Perhaps these plants could differentiate themselves by not adding certain chemicals that take away the nutritional value of the meat. That could be an economic opportunity also.

Constructive Feedback said...


I was in the bookstore yesterday looking for something that closely approximates the "Diabetes Bootcamp" routine that I saw on the news about a month ago. I could lose about 50 pounds to put me back into "stud status" physically.

I purchased a book called "The Flexitarian Diet" which is mostly vegetarian. I would prefer to keep fish and the occasional chicken.

I never had to worry about the quantity of food that I have eaten in life. When I was younger with a high metabolism rate I could eat at a buffet each day and not gain weight.

Now that I am over 40 I am forced to moderate my intake and choose my food more wisely.

I agree with you about the processed food. I always imagine myself 20 years from now looking back on what I should have done. There is no doubt that sound eating and physical activity habits is one of those things.

What good is working so hard for stability if you die from a heart attack at a relatively young age?