Do you really know what you’re eating



SMH (Scratching My Head)  I saw a very disturbing and disgusting thing the other night at a local gas station.  As you can see from the image above, there is: McDonald’s, Burger King, Wendy’s and Dunkin Donuts all in one oily overflowing trash heap.  Looking at this festering mountain of grease laden paper bags got me thinking about the health and wellness of the Black community.  Yes, the Black or African American community.  That’s where I was, that’s where I saw it and that’s where I’ll be talking about.

Seeing this sort of affirms why childhood and adult obesity cases are up in inner city communities, while suburban community obesity rates are dropping every year?  Is there too much access, are there not enough options, and is convenience the biggest downfall of African Americans?

If you travel outside of the city, say Newton, you will not find half of the crappy food joints you will find in say, Roxbury.  Roxbury is filled with fast food, check cashing places, liquor stores and churches.  In Newton, you will find, sports apparel stores, ski stores, fitness clubs, massage parlors, more fitness stores and yoga studios.  There are two McDonalds in Newton.  What does this say about the citizens of Newton?   It’s about controlling what you allow or don’t allow in your neighborhood.  That’s power, that’s control, that’s smart.

There’s no reason why Roxbury or Dorchester residents can’t raise their voices in opposition to allowing these eateries to run us down near our homes and schools with unhealthy chow.

Did you know that Burger King has a delivery service?  Just how much Nuclear Radiation do you think they put in the containers that guarantee that your meal will be “Hot & Fresh”?

Now You’ll Never Have To Leave Your Couch

We like to have what we want and what we like when we want it.

How’s that working for you?

Can’t be doing that well when African Americans are still dying at young ages due to heart attacks and strokes.  Black women lead the nation and all races in heart disease and illnesses related to stress.  Black people in general are at the bottom of the best health lists and at the top of the worst health lists.

How can we change these statistics?

First it involves, completely abandoning (boycotting) all fast foods and the establishments that carry them.  Convenience, is great but so is living; Healthy Living.  Of course it’s easier said than done and this blog by no means is a judgment of those people that frequent fast food restaurants, I’m only expressing my views with a little dash of salt-flavored truth.

Put that on your fish!



Here are some disturbing statistics.  Based on (American) spending.

In 1970, Americans spent about $6 billion on fast food; in 2000, they spent more than $110 billion. Americans now spend more money on fast food than on higher education, personal computers, computer software, or new cars. They spend more on fast food than on movies, books, magazines, newspapers, videos, and recorded music – combined.

I’m sure that in 2013 it’s even higher.  One stat that is staggeringly upsetting is that the fast food industry in 2013 spent $4.6 billion to advertise and promote unhealthy processed products while only $116 million was spent to advertise fruits and vegetables.  What is wrong with this picture?

The majority of the “junk food marketing” was directed at children, teens and low income families.  As hard as I researched, I couldn’t find any particular stats that would show how much money from the Black community went into the $110 billion however, I’m sure it’s significant.

In urban areas, you can find: Burger King, McDonalds, Dunkin Donuts, Crown Fried Chicken, dozens of Chinese Food places and variety stores or Bodegas.  These multi-purpose corner stores are where you can get your sugary snacks and a screwdriver, go figure but, they don’t always or never offer much of anything that can be considered healthy.  Yes, I know there may be a bunch of bananas by the “Take a Penny, Give a Penny” box but, it would be a lot more encouraging if local neighborhood stores sold fresher fruit and less processed fruits in candies and in drinks.

So, the question remains, what do we do about it?  How big is the issue?  I mean, kids are dying from obesity related illnesses at alarming rates.  Parents are allowing this and are suffering from it as well.  Fast life + Fast food = a Fast Death.  Short life spans are accepted in the Black Community and sadly many of us take it as, “We all gotta die someday”, which to me is morbid and self-defeating and it leaves room to make excuses for all of the unhealthy things we conscientiously do to ourselves.

We have to get back to gardening, urban farming, home cooking and balancing our diets with good foods.  We have to ask our single mothers and fathers to stop using McDonalds as meal replacements.  Yes, we understand you are busy and are tired but, is it worth the health of your children and of yourself.

Of course it’s easier said than done but, it all begins with a choice, do or do not, there is no trying to stop, it’s either you stop or you don’t and if you don’t, look at the consequences.

Imagine a world like this: Neighborhoods covered in trash – fast food wrappers from Burger King, Wendy’s, McDonalds and Dunkin Donuts.  The streets are never cleaned; and our homes become live-in junkyards because we are lazy.  We become too unhealthy to want to change our condition, to want to clean up the garbage.  We are no longer able bodied citizens in the communities; we are tired, lethargic and overweight.  Burger boxes blow down the streets like cardboard tumbleweeds.  Our kids no longer play; they sit around eating and complaining about how they feel.  We have become very nonproductive people and useless members of society and the only time you see us is when the new Air Jordans come out.

Consumerism aids and abets our bad food and life choices.

Consuming in excess can breed violent and irrational behavior in those that are cut off from consuming.  Take Air Jordan’s for example, deprived people claw and scratch and maim and kill for a pair of the $300-$500 shoe.  People sleep in the streets and crowd the sidewalks just to get their hands on the latest pairs.  If the stores run out – there’s a riot.  If someone cuts the line – there’s a fight.  These capitalists, fueled by corporate greed are banking on poor people to spend their small savings on their products.  Michael Jordan and Ronald McDonald don’t care that their products are getting people sick, hurt or killed.

However, the objective blogger in me can’t lay all the blame on the corporations.  People need to stop with the foolishness.  We don’t have to buy the sneakers, we don’t have to eat fast food, and we can fight the urges to fit into the collective norm, where superficial judgment is more important than internal health and happiness.  I’m sure that some shrink somewhere recognizes this as a social disorder that can diagnosed and in some form compared to excessive fast food consumption and the insensible desires to fill our stomachs and our children’s stomachs with quick and fast fare in order to save time.

In closing, eat better, live better, BE BETTER!



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