Mihesuah Devon Abbott - Recovering our ancestors' gardens

Author : Mihesuah Devon Abbott
Title : Recovering our ancestors' gardens Indigenous recipes and guide to diet and fitness
Year : 1957

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Introduction. Poor health resulting from lifestyle choice is a serious problem for many Americans, including Indigenous peoples. Heart disease, obesity, diabetes, cancer, high blood pressure, and alcoholism rage across tribal nations and have struck both the young and old. Fatty, greasy, salty, and sugary foods pervade our marketplaces, schools, and homes. Restaurants serve portions of processed foods that are more than an adult should eat at one sitting,while television and video games have replaced sports and other outdoor activities. Deceptive and manipulative commercials paid for by the food industry have brainwashed consumers into thinking that processed foods are nutritious and, as a result, we flock to fast-food restaurants, buy unhealthy products, and are now facing the consequences. All Americans face the potential for developing bad lifestyle habits, but it is particularly distressing to see that Natives across the Americas have lost touch with their healthy, traditional methods of cultivating,preparing,and preserving foods, in addition to the consistent activity that kept them physically and mentally fit. Despite all the publicity and discussions about diets, many Indigenous people (like many other Americans) have not been particularly interested in improving their diets and activity levels. Even though we are pelted with information that tells us about the dangers of processed, salty,and fatty foods,manyAmericans continue to eat badly even though they are becoming ill from their unhealthy lifestyles. Sadly, it usually is not until a person is diagnosed with diabetes, heart disease, high blood pressure, or lung cancer that he or she begins to consider what they are eating, drinking, and smoking, and how much they sit around. There is hope. By educating ourselves about nutrition and making informed decisions, most health problems can be prevented. As Time Magazine, October 20, 2003, reports: “90% of diabetes and 80% of heart disease cases can be directly attributed to unhealthy eating and lifestyle habits.”1 Many of us are paying attention. Not all Indigenous people fall prey to the seductive ads of McDonald’s playgrounds that lure children and therefore their parents into the store. Many of us ignore the television ads showing how cool one can look while eating chocolate shaped like potato chips or the ads telling us that we too can ride skateboards like maniacs while drinking sugar and caffeine-laden soft drinks. We immediately recycle the newspaper coupons for macaroni and cheese and rich desserts.We drive past Long John Silver’s, Burger King, Wendy’s, and Del Taco without a glance even if our children whine and demand that we stop. We exercise daily or as close to it as we can get. If we do falter in our quest to eat healthy, unprocessed foods, it is in small amounts and not very often. ...

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