Antebellum Slave Diet: Nutritional or Not?

The essay will begin with a discussion of the staple foods and other common foods that were available to the slaves, including those foods grown on the slaves' provision grounds. After addressing the types of foods that were available to the slaves, Fogel and Engerman's argument will be critically analyzed with factual evidence opposing their claim. The evidence will include first-hand accounts from slaves of dietary insufficiencies, including underfeeding and malnutrition. Then, the essay will describe ways in which the slaves' poor diet triggered day-to-day resistance, as well as how the fruits and vegetables they cultivated on the provision grounds sparked commerce among the African American slaves. Also addressed will be an analysis of how the slave diet is remembered and how it has influenced the African American diet of today through "Soul Food.aE Factual evidence that supports the essay's arguments is collected from an assortment of primary sources and secondary sources.



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