Native American Ancestors' Diet Part of Study and Challenge
ScienceDaily (Oct. 23, 2012) — Martin Reinhardt is taking the "eat local" movement to a whole new level that is rooted in history. In an effort to closely replicate his Native American ancestors' way of life prior to colonization, he and a diverse group of volunteers are adhering to a diet consisting of foods indigenous to the Great Lakes region and a complementary exercise regimen They are more than halfway through the one-year Decolonizing Diet Project (DDP). Recognizing that others might be curious to try it, but unable to commit for an extended period, Reinhardt invites the general public to follow the list of DDP-eligible foods for one week, Nov. 2-9.
The idea for this study was sparked by the 2010 First Nations Food Taster at Northern Michigan University in Marquette, where Reinhardt is a faculty member. The event is held each November as part of Native American Heritage Month.
"I had participated several times and it had always been in the back of mind how closely related the food we serve at these events is to the foods our ancestors would have eaten in a pre-colonial context," said Reinhardt, who is an Anishinaabe Ojibway citizen of the Sault Ste. Marie Tribe of Chippewa Indians. "There is a deep historical interconnectedness, or spiritual kinship, between indigenous peoples and their traditional homelands that makes the act of eating indigenous plants and animals much more personal. We had to decide how we were going to execute this and how we would find our foods."