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OP: How to Eat to Live

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by Elijah Muhammad

Muhammad Mosque of Islam No. 2, 1967. Hardcover. Very Good in Fair jacket. First printing.

“The European white race, blessed with the privilege of eating the best food the earth provides, has taught us to eat the worst (divinely prohibited) food,” says Elijah Muhammad (1897–1975) in his 1967 book, How to Eat to Live, a prescriptive diet for members of the Nation of Islam.

Muhammad, after founder Fard Muhammad, led the Nation from 1933 until his death in 1975 and was responsible for firmly establishing its dogma and theology. He directly mentored Malcolm X, Louis Farrakhan, and Muhammad Ali, all in turn giving the NOI global recognition.

Elijah Muhammad, among his other teachings, advocated for a very specific diet regimen for members of the Nation. His perspective accounts for the physiological, spiritual, and decolonial needs of Black bodies. 

All beans (except small navy beans) and field peas, collard greens, sweet potatoes, rice, corn in any form, white flour, and, of course, pork are forbidden—a clear stance against traditional Black Southern foods, which Muhammad associates with oppression and white depravity. 

He also recommends eating only one meal a day—to give the digestive tract ample rest—and growing and cooking one’s own food to encourage self-sufficiency and to avoid highly-commercialized, less healthful foods. 

Notably not a cookbook but an instruction manual.

We are pleased to offer the scarce first printing in Very Good condition. The book block is clean and crisp, printed on sturdy stock. The jacket, graded only Fair, has seen better days and is heavily chipped and creased and lacks the front flap. 

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