Food Sovereignty: Sustaining Cultural Identity and Self-reliance

By: Rachael Novak

If you’ve ever been to a powwow, chances are the unmistakable scent of warm fry bread and the temptation to try a “Native American food” lured you to one of the food vendors. It’s far less likely, however, that you learned much about the complex history of this powwow staple, now beloved by so many across Native America and beyond. While fry bread is undeniably delicious, it has contributed to high rates of obesity and diabetes in American Indian communities. In fact, the Federal government has distributed many processed foods that are high in calories and unhealthy fats and low in nutritional value throughout the various waves of physical and cultural displacement of Native peoples over the last 150 years. In particular, the forced movement onto reservations restricted access and connection to the land and food sources that had sustained Native Americans for time immemorial. A century and a half of historical trauma and federal policy has contributed to the prevalence of modern-day “food deserts” in too many Native American communities, equating to a dearth of access to healthy and high quality foods. read more

Food – A manuscript for America’s Changing Urban Neighborhoods

Author: Clara Ritger
 
Where you are from is often a good predictor of what you like to eat. Nostalgia for our regional cuisine—“what mom always made”—drives our preferences in the kitchen. Being from the west coast, my jaw dropped when I found out two Southern friends would be bringing mac ‘n’ cheese to our Thanksgiving party. While you would never find mac ‘n’ cheese on my family’s Thanksgiving table, I was told it wouldn’t be Thanksgiving in the South without it. read more

Nazca Mochica – A Peruvian Culinary Fusion

By J. Estevez

I was recently asked by my good friends at NooshTube to interview the culinary brains behind DC’s newest Peruvian restaurant, Nazca Mochica (pronounced: Nas-Ka Moh-chee-ka), one of the recent additions to the booming international restaurant scene in Washington, DC. read more

Cultural Connections Across Time: Seasonal Traditions and the Ancient Refrigerator

By Emily Grumbling

As the days get shorter and colder, fall traditions begin. Harvests are brought in from the fields. Homes are prepared for winter. Warm comfort foods, such as soups and pies, are relished. Today, many will celebrate Mehregan, an autumn festival with origins in ancient Persia, whose observance has spanned thousands of years. It is a day of harvest, charity, and thanks, accented by traditional meals such as lentil and lime stew, rice balls, and figs. read more

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