To me, hatred is like a bright shiny object. The more hatred I see, the more I am attracted towards figuring out why the hatred exist. Of all of the negative accusations aimed at African Americans, none of them irritates me more than the attacks on the cuisine, also known as "soul food". The fact of the matter is that "soul food" is the healthiest food in the world, when prepared properly. Let's breakdown three "stereotypical foods" associated with the African American community to see if it's the food or the preparation. Collard Greens I'd recently bought a 14oz can of collard greens and a 7.5 oz can of spinach. I turned both cans around to look at the "nutrition facts" labels. did you know that collard greens led in all nutritional categories, per 1/2 cup serving, except one... Vitamin C! What's wrong with collard greens? The water is being discarded. Anytime you cook any form of greens, you risk the chance of the vital nutrients being drawn into the broth. If you accidentally overcook the collard greens, all of the nutrients will drain into the broth; so if you drain your collard greens, you're probably robbing yourself of vital nutrients. Solution: Put the collards in a ramekin and fill it to the rim with the broth you'd cooked it in. Eat the collards, then sip the broth. Fried Chicken Everyone loves fried chicken, but no one loves dealing with the health issues concerning use of cooking oils. Two solutions are in order to make this dish healthier. 1. Use either canola or peanut oil in it's initial cooking. These oils are high in monounsaturated fat. But be aware; such oils are not very tolerant to high temperatures; you can't just drop them in the deep fryer and walk off to watch "The View". 2. Cook until lightly brown, then bake to finish. The best way to cook any meat is to quickly sear the outside, then slowly bake the inside. This cooking method ensures that your meat retains both moisture and nutrition. In the case of fried chicken, the baking process allows the grease to escape, leaving your chicken as grease free as possible. Watermelon Who needs Viagra, when you have watermelon... Watermelon May Have Viagra-effect Uhhh, I feel like I don't need to explain that to you. Just read the link. Solution: Eat it and breed well!!! These are some of the examples of how African American cuisine can help you live a healthier lifestyle. The key lies in four elements. 1. Encourage your family to consume the broth of which the vegetables they were prepared in. 2. Use cooking oils that are high in monounsaturated fat 3. Any meat you cook, should be seared on the outside, then baked on the inside. 4. Don't let your prejudice prevent you from eating vital foods Food for thought.