Food and Black History Month

Since we’re more than halfway through Black History month, I thought I’d merge the month’s focus with my ever-present topic of eating raw foods. Through the years, I have built a mini-library of raw foods, vegan, vegetarian, and general food books. I have been preoccupied with the topic of food for some time now. I thought I’d use this blog post to recommend a few books that have served me well through the years.

I initially started dabbling with a raw food diet in 1997. There were two books I used during that time. I’m not sure they’re still in print today.

1) Sunfried Foods: Cookless Recipes – Aris La Tham :This book is more of a pamphlet of raw recipes written by a Jamaican man who toured the U.S catering events. Last I heard he was preparing raw foods at a resort in Jamaica. I learned how to make almond milk from scratch using this book. At the time, I was able to get fresh squeezed sugar cane juice for my almond milk and raw cactus juice for my salad dressing! Beyond yum 🙂

2) 30 Days @ Delights of the Garden – Imar Hutchins: I just did a google search, and I believe the book is still available on I was a huge fan of the Greener Hummus recipe. This book was a great help because it gave daily affirmations and the back story on the importance of eating raw foods if only for 30 days. The brother that wrote this book had a restaurant named Delights of the Garden in Washington, D.C. I’m not sure if it’s still open.

A vegan cookbook I’ve taken to lately is Vegan Soul Kitchen by Bryant Terry. On the back cover Terry is described as an eco-chef in Oakland, California. He uses his recipes to debunk the notion that soul food, African-American southern cuisine born out of slavery, is always bad for our health. If you saw the independent film “Soul Food Junkies”, you would have seen him in it. This book was at least published in this century (2009). 🙂  He also pairs the recipes with a soundtrack generally from jazz, African, or blues music.

Two other books that have broadened my understanding of food are Animal, Vegetable, Miracle: A Year of Food Life, and terra madre: Forging a Global Network of Sustainable Food Communities. The first is Animal, Vegetable, Miracle: A Year of Food Life by noted author Barbara Kingslover. The book journals Kingslover year long commitment to eating only food she grew on her Virginia farm or bought in her neighborhood. The book chronicles the intense preparation needed to maintain a commitment to eating mostly what she grew. The book gives perspective on eating local and the challenges that go along with it. She comes up with a catchy term: vegetannual. The second book is terra madre: Forging a Global Network of Sustainable Food Communities by Carlo Petrini. Petrini is a journalist turned activist as well as the founder of the Slow Food movement. He began the Slow Food movement as a reaction to the ever-increasing “homogenization of food and culture”. Every two years Terra Madre hosts an international event that highlights indigenous and traditionalists who share their food cultures in Turin, Italy.

Lastly, all books by food guru Michael Pollan helps with understanding the history of the American food diet how it began and how it has effected our present-day lives and lifestyle.

Until next Sunday,



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