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The Edible Movie: Soul Food Junkies

Fried chicken? Collard greens? Corn bread? Yams? Yes, please. Sure, I know it would be healthier to have a salad, but every now and then I have to get my soul food fix.

I’ve always been aware that some of the most traditional soul food dishes are made from ingredients that could generally be bought cheaply, and I’ve always known that eating too much of it can lead to health consequences like obesity, diabetes, and heart disease.

But I’ve never given deeper thought to soul food’s real historical context until I watched Soul Food Junkies, a documentary directed by Byron Hurt.

During the course of the film, Hurt looks at his own family’s food history—particularly his father’s relationship with soul food—and its effect on his father’s health, goes back to soul food’s origins as fuel for slaves brought to this country, and examines the state of food deserts and food system injustice in predominately African American neighborhoods across the country.

“Soul Food Junkies” 2012 Trailer from Byron Hurt on Vimeo.

It left me with lots to think about. I already spend a good deal of my workday thinking about food systems and food justice, but I am humbled to know so much more about how soul food came to be, and though I’ll continue to eat it, will do so with new awareness of its complicated place in history.

You can watch Soul Food Junkies on PBS Video until January 22. Take an hour of your time and watch it—it’s worth the history lesson. It’s given me an entirely new perspective on how this food has come to tables around the country.

4 Comments on “The Edible Movie: Soul Food Junkies”

  1. #1 Karen Davis
    on Jan 23rd, 2013 at 7:12 am

    Good tip I’ll check it out.

  2. #2 inadvertentgardener
    on Jan 27th, 2013 at 2:53 pm

    Kären, I highly recommend it!

  3. #3 katie
    on Jan 29th, 2013 at 11:09 am

    How interesting…. I know nothing about soul food but I love learning about history – food and otherwise. Sometimes, those shows even make it to this side of the pond.

  4. #4 inadvertentgardener
    on Feb 1st, 2013 at 1:53 pm

    Katie, though it’s not available online anymore, it’s still available on iTunes — definitely worth a download!

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