The Break: Mics Off! The Final Episode of 2012!

Listen in as KC and the family have an unedited, unfiltered conversation for your listening pleasure! Since we are keeping it raw, this is a Members’ Only podcast so enjoy. This one goes out to all the LA Babies!

Stay tuned for 2013 where we will be bringing you SO MUCH MORE! Thank you for your continued support!

A Growing Problem

When I was a child, I never thought twice about obesity. It simply was not an issue that I ever had to encounter. None of the children I knew ever experienced that problem, either. We were always up and out of the door at sunrise, ready to conquer the day, sure to not be seen by our parents again until the street lights came on. Armed with a bicycle, a basketball, and a football, we would travel miles for a good game, a water gun fight, or a rock war. When we thought about eating, we usually would stop at someone’s home and wolf down a quick peanut butter and jelly sandwich before retreating back to our refuge, the streets.

As a result of our nomadic lifestyle, I can honestly say that I did not know any obese children. How could I? My life was so full of activity and adventure that every day, I was bound to lose more calories than I was putting into my body, and everyone who hung out with me exhibited the same mindset. Our parents assisted in this low calorie intake by limiting the amount of junk food that we were eating weekly. Going to a fast food restaurant was an event seen as a gift by my parents. Perhaps it was due to the income that my parent possessed that would not permit them to feed us what we thought we wanted, but we ate at McDonalds so infrequently that I never truly developed a love of their food, and can now avoid it thoroughly.

Unfortunately, that was then, and this is now. As the children of the 80’s grew up to be new millennium parents, we brought with us some truly bad habits, habits that we are now impressing upon our children. As a result, childhood obesity has more than tripled in the past 30 years (Childhood Obesity – DASH/HealthyYouth). Obesity amongst children aged 6 to 11 increased from 6.5 percent in 1980 to 19.6 percent in 2008 (Childhood Obesity – DASH/HealthyYouth). The reason for this epidemic, in my eyes, is quite simple. Parents have allowed our bad habits to flourish, and in doing so, have regulated our children to a sedentary lifestyle.

According to, the average video game player is 35 years old and has been playing for 13 years (Video Game Statistics, Industry Figures, and Information – That means that the generation that is now raising children grew up playing video games, and are now passing the trend on to their children. The problem with passing that love on is that the older video game player does not set the boundaries that their parents did. Since my mother and father did not play video games at all as children, the idea of allowing me and my brother to play video games all day was foreign to them. They would much rather had seen us running around outside for hours at a time, getting into fights and playing war. As a result, video game players in the 80’s and 90’s tended to feel like they were deprived of the time that they spent with their first true love, and like many children do when they are not given what they want as often as they want it, decided that when they had children, they would let them play video games as much as they wanted. Unfortunately, they kept that promise.

E! Science did a study of time spent viewing television and playing video games by children in 2010. The average time spent per child was a staggering 4.26 hours a day (Study Finds TV Viewing, Video Game Play Contribute to Kids’ Attention Problems | E! Science News). A child goes to school for seven hours a day, five days a week. If they get out of school at 3:15 pm, and get home at 3:30 pm, that gives them roughly 2-3 hours of sunlight in the fall to go outside and play. Factor in an hour of homework, and that leaves them time from 4:30 pm until 6:30 pm to play with friends before it is time for dinner, bath, some time with the family and bed. But if the child plays video games, they get out of school and sit down in front of the television, and do not move until dinner is ready four hours later. If the only activity the child has outside is during a 20 minute recess at school, they are not burning enough calories to counteract the food that they have eaten that day. Especially if they are like the 33 percent of American children who eat fast food every day.

In 2003, CBS News reported that 1/3 of U.S. children aged 4 to 19 eat fast food every day. That amounts to six extra pounds per child per year and increases the risk of obesity (Fast Food Linked To Child Obesity – CBS News). When you eat fast food daily, but only go outside weekly, you are bound to be unable to eliminate the massive amount of fat that your body is taking in, which will lead to dramatic health issues. Dr. Gary Plotnick, a cardiologist at the University of Maryland Medical Center and professor of medicine at the University of Maryland School of Medicine was asked by the University of Maryland Medical Center paper if the results of a 30 day McDonald’s diet was surprising to him. He responded by stating the following:

‘…They should have expected those responses. We know that a high-fat meal has multiple effects. It increases a fat in the bloodstream called triglyceride. When the triglyceride levels are high, there may be acute detrimental effects on blood vessels that result. In addition, the metabolism of LDL, which is the bad cholesterol, is affected. That’s probably why, over time, the cholesterol went up (Effects of High Fat Meals).

As a child, I was unable to eat fast food on a consistent basis. Although both of my parents worked 8 hour shifts at their respective jobs, they made sure that our family was able to eat a home cooked meal the majority of the year. Every once in a while, we would go to a fast food restaurant and eat. It was looked upon as a gift, or an event akin to a birthday gift. When I asked my mother how much fast food we ate, she responded by saying, “Not much. I did not have the money to buy fast food, and it was easier to make a large pot of stew that lasted for the week than to go purchase fast food all the time. Plus, I did not like the greasy taste that it left in my mouth, and you and your brother would always seem different after you ate it. You two were whinier, and always seemed more tired. It was worth the extra time cooking to ensure that the two of you were not in my ear whining all day long, or sleeping all the time”(A Talk with Melna Jones).

Personally, I take no issue with my mom withholding fast food from my brother and me. It gave my body an opportunity to appreciate other foods, and it instilled a blueprint for my life that I now use with my own children. My wife and I allow our children to eat fast food two to four times a month. While that may be more than my mother did, we counteract that by ensuring that the other food that is prepared in our house is as healthy as possible. We cook with brown rice instead of white rice, and we utilize ground turkey meat in substitution of ground beef. We feel that this allows our children to eat a healthy, filling meal with the family. It also gives us a chance to talk with our children about any issues that they may be having at school, or in the neighborhood.

Stranger Danger. It is a term that got its start in 1963 according to the Idiom Dictionary. It was a statement that was used in various campaigns in the United States, and largely confused children into thinking that all people that they knew were safe. (Stranger Danger). As a child, I knew not to talk to strangers, but I was still allowed to travel the neighborhood, even the surrounding area, with my friends and without an adult present. As a child, it was a regular occurrence for my friends and me to leave our homes at 9:00 am, and not be seen again until 5:00 pm. I know that there was still a fear of kidnappings, child molesters and every other demon that parents fear now, but our parents still wanted us to enjoy life, so we were never truly told the terrifying truth about the outside world. We were advised to not talk to creepy looking adults, and to stick together. With those rules, we hit the streets, and none of us ever experienced any issues. But in the latter part of 1998, things began to change. Kidnappings and brutalization of children began to be reported almost daily on news shows such as CNN’s ‘Nancy Grace’. Shows such as ‘NBC Dateline: To Catch a Predator’ began to show on television, introducing people to hosts of sexual predators who would prey upon our children, if given the chance. A website was opened that would allow people to see how many sex offenders lived in their neighborhood, or within a radius of their neighborhood, and we all tuned in at least once, and were suitably horrified by the amount of molesters living so near to our precious children. As a result of this new information, we declared martial law on our children, and would not allow them to leave the front of our lawns without our supervision. Children would only be allowed to play in their backyards, or on their driveways. As a result of our vigilance, children in the neighborhood never met one another, and what used to be the number one exercise for a child, playing with friends, never came about, as children simply got tired of playing alone and went back inside the home. We as parents were happy, because our children were safe and where we could monitor them at all times, but without the friendships outside the home, children made friendships online in video games, or in chat rooms, and became enmeshed in relationships that do not require them to leave the home at all.

So what are the best steps to take to combat childhood obesity? The solutions are simple, but involve such a radical change of mind by adults that it is difficult to believe that they will be undertaken wholesale. The average parent will look at their child and tell others that their child is not obese, when, in fact, their child is overweight and often pressing into a dangerous level of obesity for a child. According to the Canadian Family Physician, in a study of 770 pairs of children and parents in 2007, in which 487 children and 406 parents participated in the study, 22 percent of parents wrongly classified their normal-weight children as underweight, 63 percent considered their overweight children to be normal weight, and 63 percent considered their obese children to be overweight. About 26 percent of parents of overweight children and 15 percent of parents of obese children were not concerned about their children’s weight (Are Parents Aware That Their Children Are Overweight or Obese?: Do They Care?).

We as parents need to realize that we have failed our children. As an adult, it is our jobs to guide our children’s lives in regards to everything, including the friends they hang out with, the amount of time they spend indoors, and what they eat. We have gotten into a mindset of wanting dual roles in our children’s lives, both being their friend and their parent. We need to cease that desire immediately, because what it leads to is a population where we are afraid to tell our children no, afraid that if we deny them the slightest treat, we will send them spiraling down a path that will lead to their destruction. By being afraid to fail them in one aspect, we are failing them in others. Our children have become accustomed to eating fast food when they want to, and as fast food restaurants have lowered their prices, we have become accustomed to stopping at those restaurants more often to speed up the amount of time we spend with our children on a nightly basis, so that we can spend more time doing what we want to do, whether that is playing video games or watching television. We need to tell our children that we are willing to turn off whatever our addiction may be, be it videogames or television, poker or talking on the phone, and we are going to spend time with them outdoors. Our children need to see us maintaining a healthy lifestyle that involves them, so that they will grow up willing to maintain a healthy lifestyle with their children.

We as parents need to realize that it is highly unlikely that our children will get kidnapped if they walk down the street, or go to a friend’s home. According to Mark Gado, only 100-130 cases of stranger abduction occur per year in the United States (Child Abduction, Analysis of This Crime and Major Cases — The Facts — Crime Library on Our children cannot be afraid to talk to strangers, or to exhibit outgoing personalities with strangers, because if we allow our children to become scared of the outside world, they will be unable to interact with strangers throughout their lives, and will instead continue to barricade themselves indoors, buttressed by online friends who they can interact with from a distance.

We as parents need to limit, if not eliminate completely, the intake of fast food by ourselves, and as a result, our children. It is widely acknowledged by groups such as KidsHealth magazine that the best way to improve nutrition and encourage smart eating habits is to be a role model by eating healthy foods with and without your children, and to involve your children in the planning and preparation of meals (Healthy Eating). If your children enjoy eating pizza, have a make your own pizza night with turkey sausage, low fat cheese, and wheat pizza crust. If they are asking for cheeseburgers and fries, peel the potatoes yourself, and bake them in the oven instead of frying them. Use ground chicken or turkey instead of beef, limit mayonnaise usage, and use wheat buns and low fat cheese. During the meal, be sure to compliment the chef for a magnificent job, and the children will eat the food with relish, and likely ask for more. Children follow our lead, and if we eat all the healthy things on our plate, children are likely to enjoy those foods as well. As a child, it was rare for me to encounter an obese child, and I never wondered why. It was just a part of my childhood that all the kids I knew were active thrill seekers. As an adult, however, it is rare for me to encounter a child that is a healthy weight, and I often wonder if that is because the children that I knew grew up to be overprotective helicopter parents, hovering over their kids at every moment, and stifling their growth. We as parents need to learn to embrace the ideologies of our parents, and intersperse them with our own. Only then can we truly combat and control childhood obesity.


Works Cited

“Are Parents Aware That Their Children Are Overweight or Obese?: Do They Care? — He and Evans 53 (9): 1493.” Canadian Family Physician. 9 Sept. 2007. Web. 17 July 2010.

“Childhood Obesity – DASH/HealthyYouth.” Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. 20 Oct. 2008. Web. 17 July 2010.

Fruits, Eating. “Healthy Eating.” KidsHealth – the Web’s Most Visited Site about Children’s Health. Web. 18 July 2010.

Gado, Mark. “Child Abduction, Analysis of This Crime and Major Cases — The Facts — Crime Library on” Not Reality. Actuality. Web. 18 July 2010.

Holguin, Jaime. “Fast Food Linked To Child Obesity – CBS News.” Breaking News Headlines: Business, Entertainment & World News – CBS News. 5 Jan. 2003. Web. 17 July 2010.

Murray, Michelle W. “Effects of High Fat Meals.” University of Maryland Medical Center. 11 May 2007. Web. 17 July 2010.

“Stranger Danger.” The Meanings and Origins of Sayings and Phrases | List of Sayings | English Sayings | Idiom Definitions | Idiom Examples | Idiom Origins | List of Idioms | Idiom Dictionary | Meaning of Idioms. Web. 17 July 2010.

“Study Finds TV Viewing, Video Game Play Contribute to Kids’ Attention Problems | E! Science News.” E! Science News | Latest Science News Articles. 6 July 2010. Web. 17 July 2010.…..

“A Talk with Melna Jones.” Personal interview. 14 July 2010.

“Video Game Statistics, Industry Figures, and Information –” – Directory of Industry Statistics, Facts, Figures, and Information. Web. 17 July 2010.

Rashanii is the host of Single Simulcast and Sin and Solace. He is also a husband and father of four. You can listen to his shows at or on iTunes.

Let Food Be Thy Medicine

I have reached day 8 in my 15 day cleanse. It’s been interesting over the last week feeling how my body is responding to this new way of eating, and the effects of detoxing. For the first three days I either had long midday naps or was in bed that evening by 7:30. My body rested for 12 hours periods – something I hadn’t experienced since pregnancy. Even if I had wanted to stay awake, my body ws telling me it was time to rest. I woke up each morning feeling a bit more energized than the next.

I know this week will present a greater challenge because I am back at work, but I am well prepared. I will take my juices and other raw fruits and vegetables to keep me sated during the day. I also have plenty to keep myself busy to avoid idle snacking. What’s interesting is that I usually am tempted by the food that exists near my workplace, primarily hamburger stands and liquor store treats. However, I watched three documentaries this week: Fat, Sick, and Nearly Dead, Forks Over Knives, and Food Matters. All three showcased how eating a plant-based diet helps alleviate any risks for cardiovascular diseases and diabetes, two diseases that run rampant in our community. Even more, both show how the creation of supermarkets and mass production of food have brought unhealthy fast food into our communities that is low in nutrients and full of preservatives, which is why I could buy a cheeseburger with all the trimmings for a mere $0.99.

I know in order for me to see true change in my body, I cannot stop this way of life at day 15 of the fast, but continue to eat food that is alive and able to heal me from the inside out. I am committing myself to chronicling this experience for the next 90 days and sharing that with all of you. Feel free to join me.

2012: A New Year, A New Me

I decided to not make any resolutions this year, but to continue to move forward with decisions I have made for my life. One of those decisions is to live a healthier lifestyle. I would blame this on the need to drop some pounds, but I’m more vain than that. What triggered this choice is my current battle against the onset of adult acne.

I’ve never had acne before and all my life have had nice, clear skin. I come from a family of women with this trait and when I started to break out, I didn’t panic since I knew how to treat and care for my skin. However, these breakouts were different; they didn’t clear up quickly using my usual methods. I tried facials and eventually tucked my tail and went to the dermatologist. I was prescribed an antibiotic, but was overwhelmed by the nauseating side effects. I went back to try something else and was prescribed a drug I had never heard of before. Through some online research I discovered this drug had worse side effects, including “drug-induced lupus”. I definitely was not putting that in my system.

It was then that I decided to focus my attention on how to clear up adult acne naturally. I learned that the origins of acne lie in both my kidneys and liver not being to do their jobs effeciently, and that in order to correct this my body needs to be detoxed. I thought about this: what had occurred over the past year to fill me up with these high levels of toxins?  The answer: Plenty. Working full-time, running my own business, and being wife and mother is a serious load, on top of daily occurrences that cause stress that I don’t consider, like driving in crowded LA streets. Dealing with different people, different personalities, and different issues in a high pressure environment was more than enough to bring this on. Now it’s time for me to correct it.

I’m starting this year with a physical and mental detox and continuing with the exercise plan I implemented in 2011. For the next 15 days, I will be eating only raw fruits and vegetables, and juices made from both sources to bring my body back to center. This won’t be an easy task, but as my husband always reminds me, nothing worth having ever comes easy. I am committed to this 15 day fast – no matter how hard it gets I won’t break. I’m excited to see how the body can heal itself with food and even more, I’m looking forward to seeing my complexion improve. Additionally, I’m purging myself of 2011 stresses – especially those things that aren’t personal to me. My focus is making me a better me so I can reach my highest potential as wife, mother and entrepreneur.

What changes are you making for your life in 2012?

Black Myths: The Urge to Eat the Swine

With Thanksgiving around the corner I came across an article that may be helpful, humorous, and informative to some of you pondering on having The Ham, over for dinner. Here are a few myths and religious beliefs that are out there regarding Blacks and eating pork. Read on!

I get really excited when I meet a black man who eats pork. This is not so simple if you live outside the South and want to date a man younger than 45 years old. In certain parts of the black community, eating swine is a cultural no-no.

Alas, this can be a dating challenge in my world.

I went on a blind date with a guy who didn’t eat pork. I know this because he had trolled my Facebook page and had seen that I was a “fan” of bacon. He confronted me and turned up his nose as I rhapsodized about the beauty of bacon. He told me why he didn’t eat pork by quoting a 20-year-old Rakim rap song.

We never went out again.

Recently a friend came by my house, and I had just finished cooking my favorite Saturday snack of sliced avocado with crumbled bacon. The lingering smell of fat offended him. I had to tune out as he extolled the virtues of turkey bacon. Turkey bacon is crap.

Pork bacon, on the other hand, makes me smile. The juiciness of a pork roast is more succulent than a pot roast. Broiled pork chops with balsamic vinegar and fresh basil is a quick, yet fine, meal. Luckily for me, pork is the “it” meat in many restaurants — from pork belly to high-end pork rinds. Yes, there is such a thing as high-end pork rinds.

For some black folks, however, the pig is not the “other white meat.” Instead it represents filth and a nasty animal that will afflict you with all kinds of diseases. (See Elijah Muhammad’s How to Eat to Live.) Anti-pork ideology is a throwback from the black power era, when militants demonized pork. “Pig” also became a pejorative for the police.

As black consciousness in the hip-hop generation — those growing up in the 1980s and 1990s — blossomed, pork didn’t fit into the diet. In Ice Cube’s classic “It Was a Good Day,” he raps: “I don’t know but today seems kinda odd/No barking from the dog, no smog/And momma cooked a breakfast with no hog.”

I don’t begrudge eating choices that are based on religion. But even for non-Muslims, this no-pork edict is weighty. When my friends and acquaintances deride pork, I think it’s more out of habit than based in fact. Something clicked in the black community about the pig.

Leni Sorensen is an African-American research historian at Thomas Jefferson’s Monticello estate who specializes in food. She says it’s a myth that slaves ate parts of the pig because it was the nasty animal that slave owners dumped on them. A butchered hog was not considered a punishment for slaves.

Sorensen says everyone back then chowed down on the hog. “Pork was the primary protein because it stored easily, salted easily, cured easily. It was more subtle and varied,” she explains. White elites called all pork “ham.” And the idea that pigs are inherently dirty? Not true, she says.

“Certain kinds of political ideas come out of the last third of the 20th century. I do think much younger people have bought into layers of mythology,” Sorensen says. Black people today — especially urban Northerners — are less connected to agriculture, soil and cooking. Sorensen also says that many urban blacks, as a result of political ideology, began rejecting soul food or traditional country food that harks back to their ancestors’ Southern roots. In a way, they’re rejecting images of an enslaved past.

Full disclosure: I stopped eating pork at age 12 because of aforementioned peer pressure not to eat “swine.” A close friend and neighbor shocked my impressionable mind about the “disgusting pig.” My bemused parents indulged me and would fry me up turkey bacon. They also talked about me when I once sneaked a barbecue rib, all the while protesting that I didn’t really eat pork.

But all roads lead back to bacon for me. At age 22 I had a piece of real bacon, and I’ve never looked back. I couldn’t believe what I had given up! To this day my mother says she doesn’t trust anyone who doesn’t eat pork. I think she’s joking.

I know that the American diet is fatty. Black people have higher rates of diabetes and hypertension. Healthier eating is paramount for our individual and collective survival. One friend who stopped eating pork says she did so because her family cooked too much of it in every meal. I get that. My relationship with food involves moderation, culture and socialization.

The pig is not the sole culprit when it comes to bad health. I have a small group of pro-pork foodie friends who trade emails about bacon marmalade, heirloom pigs and pork recipes. We realize we’re an anomaly, but slowly we’re trying to convert our peers. (Seriously, take a bite of real bacon.)

I’m dating a new guy — a wonderful, engaging man. On our second date, he ordered pork chops. Jackpot! I shouldn’t have been surprised. He’s 45 years old.

Source: The Root

Have Good Hair With a Good Workout

Many a black woman throughout history has shunned a swimming pool or a workout routine because she didn’t want to “sweat her style out” or get her hair wet. But what if you want to be healthy? Exercising is a must. If you want to work out without messing up that perfect coif, try these tips:

Wrap it Up

For short to medium hair, wrap a cotton or silk scarf around your hair. You don’t have to cover your entire head. While you can always place a cotton bandana over your head and knot it at the nape of your neck, you could also just wrap the scarf around your hairline, leaving the crown exposed. This will preserve the volume without flattening your ‘do. Cotton is generally not recommended, but in this instance, it can absorb your perspiration and keep it from getting into your face.

Style a Ponytail

Longer-haired ladies can pull their hair back into a ponytail. Fashion a high ponytail that doesn’t rest against your neck if possible. Not only does it keep your hair out of the way, you can wear a matching covered elastic if you like your hair accessories to match your exercise outfits.

Braid It

If your hair is long enough, braid it into one or two French braids, or simply one braided ponytail. You can then wrap it with a scarf or pin the braid or braids up. Post-workout, unravel the braids for a wavy look.

Wear it Natural

Your hair doesn’t have to be natural, but you can style it in more of a “wash n’ go” way if you have a texturizer instead of fully straightening it. Of course, if your hair is natural, then you probably don’t mind wetting and/or conditioner washing more often. When you have other options besides the bone-straight look, you won’t spend as much time straightening after exercising. Instead, you can either shake it out and go, or wash and go without too much effort.


Black Women – We Want Curves….Part II

“Curves Not Cul-de-Sacs” was initially meant for another blog site.  As soon as I sent it, a woman told me “You know you’re going to catch hell for this, right?”  There were certain things I didn’t expect, but much of it I did.

When I read the post to a group of men and women, a few of them pointed out 2 parts of the post that I hadn’t thought about, that they felt were the reason many women felt the entire post was offensive:

“Looking like the Michelin Man is not sexy or cute.”

“It’s hard to hold on to you if your stomach is in the way.”

I understand why people would take offense to those parts.  I apologize for that.  I see how that was harsh.  I could go back and erase those lines, but I feel like I would be cheating and wouldn’t be owning up to it.

What surprised me were the levels to which women saw things I never said.  Women I personally know who thought I was speaking in a tone that I don’t speak in.

A woman told me when she was younger she was rail thin, but her brother called her fat to the point where she believed it.  This created a skewed vision in her mind of her body image.  In essence, she told me when I wrote that piece, it would’ve been safer to think that most women who read it have a body image issue.  That women, especially Black women, live with a cloud over their head everyday that tells them how they must be, and even the most beautiful of women may think I’m pointing at them.  I don’t think anyone has ever taught me how to address a woman with that level of psychological oppression in a concerned way.  If anything, I’ve been told how to exploit it.

When I said I’m talking about obesity, a lot of women included themselves, thinking that the pictures I posted were actually THEM.  I remember in college me and my friends made a point to tell Black women we knew that they were beautiful.  Nearly all of them said they knew we were sincere, but they didn’t believe it themselves when they looked in the mirror.  I don’t know if it’s healthy for me to assume that every woman I encounter has some kind of body image issue by default.  If this is so, then where do we go from here?

LA EVENTS: Back 2 School Health Fair

TOMORROW, there will be FREE Health screenings in Leimert Park from 10:00 am to 5:00pm. This event is open to the public and offering health screenings for diabetes, hypertension, cholesterol, vision, lung function, HIV and STD testing and more. The Health Fair will be located at the southeast corner of 43rd Street and Degnan Boulevard.

Parents, please take advantage of this opportunity to get your children screened before the first day of school! Let’s keep this community strong and take care of our health!

The Black American Diet

Moving to Leimert Park from the Mid-City area of Los Angeles was a dream for my family and I. We are within 5 minutes from both sets of grandparents, daycare is within walking distance, and our grocery stores, boutiques, and all sorts of shops are in abundance in this area. The drawback of moving over here has been our food options on nights when I don’t feel like cooking. In Mid-City we had a plethora of options to choose from. Chinese, Sushi, Mexican, Indian, Thai, and Vegetarian foods were all within a short distance and many of them delivered. Here in Leimert, our food options are extremely limited. The only places that deliver are Pizza Hut and Dominoes; the closest food spots are M&M’s Soul Food, McDonald’s, and Krispy Kreme; and healthful options are just far enough to be inconvenient on weekday night.

In my old neighborhood, the demographic was extremely diverse. We had a little bit of everybody over there off of Venice and Fairfax, but as you moved north, there was a larger proportion of White and Jewish residents in the neighborhood. Here in Leimert the demographic is predominately Black with a fair amount of Asian, Hispanic, and White residents in the neighborhood. Yet, food-wise, we are getting the shaft.

Why is this? Why is there always a disproportionate amount of unhealthy food in Black neighborhoods? When you think about it, it sets up Black middle to low-class families at a major disadvantage when it comes to their health. A single mother who works 40+ hours a week and has to depend on the convenience of fast food to feed her family doesn’t have the time to consider that the meals she serves her children are 1000 calories or more. Furthermore, the food that they are eating is setting them up to be predisposed to the many health issues Black folks fall victim to, such as hypertension, high cholesterol, and diabetes. So often we aren’t taught what to eat or how to eat – we just eat what’s been given to us, and maintain that same diet throughout our adult lives. The end result is 65% of Black Americans being overweight.

Filmmaker Storm Talifero, who has also been a raw vegan for the last 30 years is putting together a film project called B.A.D. (Black American Diet) which is currently in production. The film showcases how Black people (and all people) can adopt healthier ways of eating by making better food choices every day. Although we are at a disadvantage because our neighborhoods are littered with fast food (2300 fast food restaurants in South Central compared to 7 in Santa Monica) there are options around us that will make us healthier and assure that our children don’t fall victim to these diseases that are killing us in mass numbers.

We will keep you posted on the progress of this film, but please check out the trailer and pass this information on. The more support this film receives, the quicker it can get made and be in our hands.