Caution: Results Not Guaranteed If You’re Black

My mom got a prescription that said in the side effects section, “May not work on black people.” Be aware that this is not a post about racist pharmaceutical companies. I don’t know how racist pharmaceutical companies are. This post is about how dumb people can be.

It goes to show that anyone is vulnerable to the ignorant ways of the past. Dorothy Roberts had a TED Talk called The Problem with Race-Based Medicine. Some of her points included that race is not a biological category. She said:

Race is not a biological category that naturally produces these health disparities because of genetic difference. Race is a social category that has staggering consequences, but because of the impact of social inequality on people’s health.

The majority of us know that race is a social category, construct, a made-up piece of crap. In laymen’s terms, skin color = real, race = fake. But we have assimilated and accepted the race put on to us years ago.

Black people are at higher risk of high blood pressure, diabetes, and obesity. But does that have to do with race or with social differences? Some research says there may be genetic factors, but none that have been proven. According to Roberts, social differences is the answer. Roberts says race medicine does the following:

  • diverts attention from the social problems
  • lack of access to high-quality medical care
  • food deserts in poor neighborhoods
  • exposure to environmental toxins
  • high rates of incarceration
  • the stress of racial discrimination

Race medicine is not the only entity to blame for the social consequences. Thankfully, we don’t have to wait for change to come to our communities, we can make the change.

This topic cannot fit into one post — oh no — instead it will be a series. First stop, food deserts.

Food Deserts

Any part of the city with three chicken shacks, five McDonalds’, two payday loan stores and zero grocery stores, is a food desert. There’s food in your community, sure, but what are your options?

  • Grease
  • Deep fried
  • Processed
  • Cheap

Yes, I’m coming for your favorites! And the fact that it’s cheap makes it appealing. Big businesses know they can make bad food for cheap, sell it for cheap, get you to buy it…for cheap. As big businesses gain more money, brown families gain more illness. But it’s up to individuals to educate themselves on what’s going into their bodies. That’s where I come in. Hi!

Food deserts in poor neighborhoods likely lead to a lack of diverse food knowledge. If you’re not exposed to something or taught it, how would you learn it? This is why some people hear vegan and say, “yuck!” It’s why some people never learn how delicious brussel sprouts are. They are SO delicious!

Here are some tips to fight the food desert and get healthy!


You can get all types of meal ideas on Pinterest.


Don’t sleep on the ‘Tube! Follow people on YouTube who specialize in different types of food videos. Subscribe to vegan channels, like Jenny Mustard. She makes super quick, adorable and actually useful food videos. The girl knows what she’s talking about and her food looks all levels of YUM!

Seeing vegan food made, will show you how to make meals you’ve been wanting to try and show the apprehensive carnivore that vegan is not a dirty word. Also, search for vegetarian and general healthy meal recipes on YouTube. There’s an option out there for you!

Get Organized

I’m going to assume you have an iPhone and tell you to USE YOUR NOTES APP. Sorry about the yelling, I have to make sure you hear me. After you find the meal ideas on Pinterest and YouTube, save the links to your notes. Then make a list of recipes and each needed ingredient. This will show you which recipes are cost-effective, worth the time, and which can wait. Ballpark prices so you have a plan once the grocery shopping begins. The worst feeling is getting to the Trader Joes line and seeing the total pass $100 when your goal was $70. Be prepared.

Grocery Shopping

Now, where does one grocery shop when living in a food desert? My vote is Trader Joes. Find one that’s close, grab your grocery list, and get to shopping. I find the best combination of products and deals at Joe’s. Two words: peeled garlic. 🙌🏾 Two more words: sunflower seed butter. That was three words, so what. Another option is Peapod. It’s an online grocery store that will deliver your groceries straight to your door. They also have meal kits, with complete meal ingredients and instructions. Try the salmon risotto. So good.

There you have it, folks. My take taking control of your health and avoiding the risks of food deserts. Next, we’ll take a deeper look at the types of foods that should be on that grocery list and why they’re important to your health.

Until next time, stay healthy and put down the burger! 🙅🏾 😝

Originally published at