Independent Lens: Soul Food Junkies

Soul food is a quintessential American cuisine, with a rich history and an abiding significance for black cultural identity. But with its celebration of all things fried and smothered, it has also had lasting effects on the health of African Americans. Join filmmaker Byron Hurt for a look at soul food: from its roots in Western Africa to its incarnation in the American South to its contribution to modern health crises in communities of color. “Soul Food Junkies” also looks at the socioeconomics of the American diet, and how the food industry profits from making calories cheap, but healthy options expensive and hard to find.

A note from Independent Lens:

As filmmaker Byron Hurt shows in his eye-opening film Soul Food Junkies, soul food may be good for the soul, but it’s not always so great for the body. But with a little tweaking and creativity, soul food can be healthy and flavorful.

Here are seven recipe cards featuring delectable, nutritious, soul-food-inspired recipes. Enjoy! You may notice that the eighth recipe card is blank. Why? Because we’re waiting for you!

Submit your favorite original soul-food-inspired healthy recipe here, or email it to us at Include a photo if possible. We’ll choose one recipe to feature on this final blank card. We’ll also feature the winner on the Independent Lens blog. This is your chance for you and your favorite healthy soul food recipe to get some well-deserved spotlight time! Tell all your friends who like to cook!

Recipes must be your own, and not taken from another source. Submit your recipe by 5 pm PST Tuesday, January 15. If you use the comments area, be sure to input your real email address so we can get in touch with you. Independent Lens staff will make a selection and announce it at the end of the week. Good luck, and happy cooking!

  • TV: Monday, 1/14 at 9:00pm