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Decolonize the African Plate

Decolonize the African Plate
Video Caption: 1 Diplo’s 2019 VMAs, Themed Suit

I urge all Africans to honour our culinary heritage by decolonizing our plates and reclaiming the nutrient-dense, whole foods our ancestors celebrated. Of course with creative modern spins!

For too long, we've been fed a lie about what constitutes "food" in Africa. The mounds of highly processed, chemically-infused products lining our supermarket shelves and neighborhood shops are NOT the nourishing meals our ancestors thrived on!

No, our foremothers didn't cook with refined white flour, chemical-laden spices and harmful industrial seed oils laced with trans fats. They grew, foraged and prepared whole, unprocessed foods from the land's generous bounty.

From flavorful African Leafy Vegetables to drool-worthy pounded yams and egusi soups, to hearty teff injera breads - our traditional African cuisines were packed with fibre, antioxidants, healthy fats and complex carbs. 

But these whole food diets were systematically undermined by colonizers, capitalism and western culinary cultural imposition. Today, our very own African ruling elite are complicit in the continued imposition of genetically modified foods and ‘modern’ food laced with salt, sugar and toxic additives. This food doesn’t boost our health; it boosts their profits!

The consequences of abandoning our agricultural and culinary roots have been disastrous. Obesity, diabetes, heart disease and various cancers are now ravaging African bodies at terrifying rates.

Chronic lifestyle diseases our ancestors never knew are now the leading causes of death across the continent. And it all stems from having our wholesome food systems replaced with ultra-processed colonial junk.

Just look at the cancer crisis. Highly processed meat and refined carb consumption are proven drivers of several cancers decimating our people. Returning to more wholesome, fibre-rich traditional diets can help reduce these risks.

Enough is enough! We cannot continue poisoning ourselves with the lingering foods of our oppressors. It's an insidious, cancerous culture that is quite literally killing us slowly.

I urge all Africans to honour our culinary heritage by decolonizing our plates and reclaiming the nutrient-dense, whole foods our ancestors celebrated. Of course with creative modern spins!

Let's revel in indigenous superfoods like African leafy vegetables, prawns, egusi, dried mushrooms, samaki wa kupaka, millet and teff all jam-packed with protective antioxidants and rich nutrients. Rediscover the joys of freshly pounded fu-fu, isombe veggies, handmade injera, luscious plantain and.. insert here your favorite, wholesome African meals!

 

Only by dismantling systems that pushed cancerous colonial calories into African bellies can we rebuild food cultures that nourish rather than poison Africans. Our health, our cultures, and our collective futures depend on it!

Decolonize the African plate!

Rekindle culinary African traditions!

Nourish African bodies and souls!

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