This edition of Hood Health 101 focuses not only what to eat, but when and when not to eat it

Fresh is the word.”

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In the infancy of Hip Hop, we took the word “fresh” and flipped it. Fresh no longer referred to food or a smell. We remixed that word so that it referred to unique, the height of style and original. With HoodHealth, though we need to go back to the foundation and apply fresh to our dietary needs. We need fresh food in our lives. We need to smash up both meanings so that it is the height of inner city style to seek out fresh food to improve the quality of our lives.

Many of us live in the hood and fresh food isn’t something that is abundant. Many of us don’t even have access to a proper grocery store. We utilize the corner store or bodega as a surrogate grocery store. Even with store limitations, there are some tricks that we can learn to put more fresh foods in our lives. You know how your car acts up when you put cheap gas in it? Well, the same thing happens when you are putting subpar fuel in your body. The food is the fuel. You’re putting the highest premium gas in your car yet you are putting the lowest premium food in your body. Stop that.


When you go to markets today, there are a lot of buzz words that can confuse you. There is organic food, natural food, low fat food, gluten free, etc. We aren’t going to concern ourselves with that right now. When you level up, you can start to deal with all of those different areas. Right now, all we are concerned with is that you are putting more fresh food in your body. Fresh food has the greatest concentration of nutrients. When you are buying fresh food, you are getting the best bang for your buck. You may think that less fresher foods are a “bargain”, yet the reality is that you many times would have to double or triple up on the item in terms of quantity to get the same nutritional quality. And as a side note food is supposed to spoil. That means that it hasn’t been hopped up with chemicals and stuff.

With all that, we have been talking about what does the average person do? Well, here are some quick tips that will help you out no matter where you are at.

Expiration Dates: Read the labels. Check expiration dates. They are there for a reason. Usually there are two types; The first type is the sell by date and the second type is good until date. Get into the habit of learning the shelf life of fruits, vegetables and meat.

Ring of Goodness: If you pay attention to the layout of the average grocery store, you will notice something. The fruits, vegetables, milk, cheese and meats are usually around the outer circle of the store. In simple terms the real food is in that outer ring. Do most of your shopping from that outer ring. When you go into the inner circles, you start to get into that processed food that is loaded with salt, chemicals and other preservative.

Up Front: With dairy products and some other products, notice that they put the oldest dates upfront. They put the newer items in the back. This is so that the row will flow in order of the expiration dates from oldest to newest. Dip in the back when you grab that stuff so that you have the freshest product.

Your Fridge: Despite the fact that many of us use the refrigerator to just keep our drinks cold, that was not its original intent. It was used to extend the freshness life of items such as milk and meats. Back in the day, you often had to have milk delivered daily or go to the butcher frequently to get edible food stuff. Bring back the foundation of your fridge as a preserver of freshness. Master the art of buying fruits and vegetables and seeing how long they will keep. See what combination of food stuffs in your fridge provides the optimum preservation for all things. Just work to have it filled with more freshness cause “fresh is the word.”

-Alife Allah(@alifeallah)

C’BS ALife Allah is the co-editor of the Hood Health Handbook and co-creator of the HoodHealth concept.

About The Author

The Source Magazine Staff Writer

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