Diets and health are the topics on everyone’s minds right after the new year, which brings us to the topic of soul food. The traditionally Southern foods of the black community are rich in not only tradition, but also in many things that nutritionists warn against: sugar, fats, starches and cholesterol. That is why acclaimed filmmaker Byron Hurt took a long, hard look at foods like candied yams and fried chicken to investigate whether the diet nurtures or adversely affects the health of the black community in his film, Soul Food Junkies.
The one hour “Soul Food Junkies” will be screened at the Cultural Center in the Claudia Cassidy Theatre on January 19, followed by a panel discussion of food policy experts and health workers who will be on hand to discuss and answer questions about soul food’s merits, disadvantages and myths. Angela Odoms-Young, an expert in Kinesiology & Nutrition at UIC’s College of Applied Sciences will moderate, while Orrin Williams, Director of the Center for Urban Transformation, and LaDonna Redmond, the Senior Program Associate for Agriculture & Trade Policy, will discuss diabetes, obesity and other risk factors that affect the Black community. It will take place from 2:00 to 4:30 p.m., and is free and open to the public.