This great article in Al Jazeera America hits a whole bunch of my interests: healthy eating, decolonization, sustainability, preserving culture: Eating indigenously changes diets and lives of Native Americans. Basically, more than one group of researchers who are also Native Americans have decided to look into seeing if they could eat the way their ancestors ate.
Reinhardt, a professor in the Native American Studies program, was helping to serve up fry bread, Indian tacos and other offerings at the annual First Nations Food Taster, a fund-raising event for the Native American Student Association, when he had an epiphany: “Would my ancestors even recognize this as food?”
If you, like me, are a fan of Michael Pollan’s work, there’s a lot here to find interesting. There is considerable overlap with the “paleo” diet (although the researchers set their time threshold at 1602, rather than the dawn of agriculture) and with the locavore movement (with different locales for different Native American researchers).
The article touches on all sorts of question: Do we even know what they ate? Are the plants and animals still available? Is such a diet healthier than a modern Western diet?
Interesting as the food issues are, the issues having to do with decolonization are at least as interesting, as are the issues having to do with sustainability.