Thursday, November 19, 2015

Decolonizing my plate

I continue to work through  "Lose the Clutter, Lose the Weight" by Peter Walsh.  The current chapter is a discussion on the benefits on mindfulness.  I feel like I am receiving a messages from the universe about mindfulness.  Walsh describes a greed-reduction classes offered by Diana Winston who has her students consider a chocolate while completing an eating meditation that starts with thinking about what led to the chocolate being in front of them.  They are asked to consider all the people and natural elements that came together in it's creation.  To wander all the paths the ingredients may have taken.  At the end of the section he writes "Not only does this exercise teach you to get more satisfaction from less, it remind you that a lot of work and resources go into the food you eat and the material goods you buy.  So purchase (or eat) something only if you really need it.  And if you buy it, put it to good use."

This description struck me as a great encapsulation of the issues of modern consumerism, and the related lack of awareness of what goes into the food we eat.  If I really think about what is in that cheap chocolate bar do I still want to eat it?  It is that personal self delusion that allows me to scarf it down and forget about the politics of chocolate growing and how the food business is manipulating what I want to buy. 

I know that decolonization of food is something I need to do, but it seems like a hard one.  I don't know why is seems so daunting where there is evidence of the health aspects, both physically and for the related landscapes as well as community health in the cases of co-op gardens.  There are benefits related to the empowered nature of this type of eating.  Indian Country has a number of articles examining a return to traditional eating, moving away from bread and healing through diet.

There also appear to be lots of resources available like
 #nativeeats  cookbook
 The Mitsitam Cafe cookbook
Original Local: Indigenous Foods, Stories, and Recipes from the Upper Midwest cookbook
Decolonizing Diet Project  which appears to be dormant but the blog is still available
Spirit of the Harvest: North American Indian Cooking  
The Native Recipes blog which seems to have a lot of resources
Indian Country recipes for beef stew and sweet potatoes
Plus the cooking shows on the APTN like Moosemeat and Marmalade and this podcast I have tried yet from the Okanagan
Top 10 Fit Natives on Instagram
So with all these resources and inspiration what is stopping me?  Knowing how my current diet is not best for me, knowing the hard is does to the environment and the other benefits another way of eating would bring why is this decolonization so hard? I am going to keep thinking about this one.  Have you had a similar struggle?  Have you found something that helps?

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