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KNorthrup

The evolution of soul food

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In what ways do you see soul food evolving and are they all positive? Are there cases where it should stick more to its roots? What innovations are out there that excite you?

And thanks so much for participating.

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Hi KNorthrup,

I am real excited about the future of soul food. There are many food writers out there, beside me, who continue to preach this good gospel. Wilbert Jones, Donna Pierce, Donna Hodges, Lisa Lenoir, all of Chicago, and Jonell Nash, Essence food editor, come immediately to mind. Their food is creative and innovative, putting new spins on a food that been around almost 300 years.

All of us are trimming the fat and pork "seasoning" in pots of greens and peas and beans, and boosting flavor with more herbs and garlic and hot peppers. But we are also aware that many of the dishes created in the Old South by our ancestors are full of nutrients. That's what got us here.

For example, I recently read in a health magazine that collard greens are the world's most nutritious vegetable. Sweet potatoes are in the same class; full of fiber and plant vitamin A. Peas and beans are a good non-meat protein source. Okra and corn offer the B vitamins.

I hope we don't throw out all that good stuff for a plate of French fries and an iceberg lettuce salad doused with "ranch" dressing, offering a lot of calories but no nutrients.

By the way, I eat a plate of some type of greens everyday.

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