Florida Agricultural and Mechanical University
(BLACK PR WIRE/FAMU-TALLAHASSEE) – With the recent celebration of World Vegetarian Day on October 1, many African Americans are faced with the reality that the food they regularly partake in may be detrimental to their health.
Cora Wilson, 25, a senior public relations student at Florida A&M University, knows that some of her favorite foods may cause health issues in the future. “Pretty much I’m on a college student’s budget, and eating healthy usually means spending a lot of money and then the food doesn’t even taste as good,” said Wilson.
Aturah Ahmahtsiyah, part owner of Soul Vegetarian Restaurant in Tallahassee, Florida, believes that the reason people are so resistant to a vegetarian diet is because they don’t know how to make vegetarian dishes appetizing. “I used to eat meat,” said Ahmahtsiyah “If the veggie dishes taste good there’s no problem. People are always surprised when they see vegetarian food is actually something you can enjoy.”
Ahmahtsiyah attests to the health benefits of a strict vegetarian diet, saying that it greatly reduces the risk of medical conditions like high blood pressure, high cholesterol and obesity, all of which plague the African-American community and can lead to heart disease. According to the Centers for Disease Control, “Heart disease is the leading cause of death for people of most ethnicities in the United States, including African Americans.”
Edward Thornton, a patron of Soul Vegetarian, follows a strict vegetarian diet because he prefers the quality of life a vegetarian diet provides. “I had to switch to a vegetarian diet because it’s just a better way of living,” said Thornton. “I feel healthier now and I know I’ll be healthier in the future.”