Author Topic: Dietary decolonization  (Read 3551 times)


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‘It could feed the world’: amaranth, a health trend 8,000 years old that survived colonization
Indigenous women in North and Central America are coming together to share ancestral knowledge of amaranth, a plant booming in popularity as a health food

An elderly woman cuts an amaranth crop, in Uttarakhand, India. The plant is indigenous to North and Central America but also grown in China, India, Southeast Asia, West Africa and the Caribbean. Photograph: Hitendra Sinkar/Alamy Stock Photo
“This is a plant that could feed the world,” said Tsosie-Peña.

For her it also has deep cultural value. She is part of growing networks of Indigenous women across North and Central America who have been sharing ancestral knowledge of how to grow and prepare amaranth. Seed exchanges, including those in New Mexico and California, are part of a larger movement to reclaim Indigenous food systems amid growing recognition of their sustainability and resilience in a time of climate crisis and industrialized agriculture.

“Supporting Indigenous people coming together to share knowledge” is vital to the land back movement, a campaign to reestablish Indigenous stewardship of Native land, and liberation of Native peoples, Tsosie-Peña said. “Our food, our ability to feed ourselves, is the foundation of our freedom and sovereignty as land-based peoples.”

This is a story of two histories: the remarkable survival of amaranth through colonization and the women like Tsosie-Peña who, in the last 20 years, have expanded networks of Indigenous people celebrating its ancient cultivation.
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