One of the many ways in which we can begin to decolonize is through our food. Food has long been used as a tool of war and today we see the results…and are blamed for them too. Many diseases like diabetes are blamed on “race” or “cultural” diets. In one example, in Texas, severe inter-generational cancer clusters were blamed on corn tortilla consumption of Mexican American peoples, not the chemical companies located in the community that birthed Monsanto Ag and Agent Orange.
Gut health is tied to emotional health as well, and eating foods that we don’t have inter-generational relationships with can and has disrupted us. This disconnect between ourselves and the food we ingest exists at different levels, including but not limited to: (1) a lack of consciousness or care of the benefit/harm that food item poses to us short and long -term, and (2) a disconnect with the source or creation/preparation process of the food, or as many say in ceremony, “the energy that goes into the food.” The latter may perhaps be the cause of the former. Access to healthy food and to the knowledge of how to grow and prepare them are barriers to our health.
Colonization has separated us not only from each other, but from ourselves through separating us from out gut, from our own mouths, and our own hands. The elders say we are a reflection of the universe, with sacred math defining the number of fingers, toes, and articulations we as human peoples have. We are a reflection of the cosmos. Macrocosm, microcosm.
With this same understanding, we are also a reflection of our environments – natural and unnatural. Our generation also has a reflection of colonization, causing us to individually (yet collectively) face external and internal divisions and borderlands. So if we refer back to the wisdom of the elders, the well-being of our internal, individual, geography is directly connected to the well-being of our external, shared geography. Both landscapes – our individual physical bodies and the body of Mother Earth – are sacred geographies. And both have been under attack.
Getting healthy is possible, and there are many ways to do it. Regardless of the path towards health and well-being you choose, the way to begin is always by taking a step forward regardless how big or small. Here are a few links and media from Decolonize Your Diet, The Sioux Chef, and the Kitchen Curandera that can help you get started at home, with ideas, recipes, tips, and more information:
More recipes by Decolonize Your Diet:
- Bebida de Tibicos: Water Kefir
- Cancer-Fighting Quesadillas
- Champurrado (vegan)
- Chiles Poblanos Rellenos
- Easy Way to Bake a Whole Pumpkin or Winter Squash
- Huaraches for Dinner!
- Luz’s Early Summer Potato Salad with Verdolagas
- Nopales al Vapor Estilo Otumba
- Plum Paletas con Yerbanís
- Recipe: Amaranth Salad w/ Blackberry Serrano Vinaigrette
- Tropical Fruit Vinegars
- Xocolatamal – Luz’s Award-Winning Chocolate Tamalli
- You say Pitaya, I say Pitahaya
Via the Sioux Chef: