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viernes, noviembre 21, 2008

Decolonial Food For Thought: A Thankstaking Special

1 comentario

A Thankstaking xef

The Thanksgiving dinner is a symbolic feast that represents 516 years of culinary imperialism and internal colonization. The mass produced turkey stuffed with its own exploited inner body parts and smothered with its very essence mounted with butter-gravy. The turkey-huexolotl-el guajolote- was a culinary delight before the arrival of the colonizers. However it was a ceremonial food that was taken with pachamama's permision and prepared and served with a blessing by the native healers-los y las xefs-the cooks.

Today the masses eat the mass produced, feminized bird with out any knowledge of where it came from, who package it or even who prepared it at the restaurant. La Raza call this feast or so-called "holiday" thankstaking because of the violent genocide, rape and appropriation of native land, culture and ways of living. I call it thankstaking for those reasons too but also because they took our natural ways of eating.

Jeffrey M. Pilcher tells us in Quev vivan los tamales: Food and the Making of Mexican Identity, during the colonial period the culinary imperialists-los conquistadores-replaced corn with wheat. Arguing that corn made brown people lazy and weak, the culinary imperialists exploited indigenous peoples' health and labor to grow wheat instead of the sacred maize so that the elite back in Spain could have greater access to this imbalanced food. Later, during the industrial revolution, agro-businesses replaced local food with mass produced food, healthy diets with the bourgeoisie diet. These examples were methods used to globalize capitalism and of conquest-"the conquest of wheat."

My fellow compañera,"meXicatl", puts it like this, "heart disease, cancer, diabetes, and obesity were sicknesses only common amogst the elite pre-industrialization. Our gente, everyday people, never suffered these illnesses untill the mass production of processed foods and feminized meats."

Today,516 years later, some of you may be celebrating Thankstaking or saying "No Thanks!" yet you continue to thank the colonizer and his culinary imperialists for giving you meat and cheese that you work hard to afford and provide for your familiy and therefore refuse to give up.


Decolonial Food for Thought... by meXicatl:

Colonization has occurred in various levels as we are very well aware of. It has conquered our lands, minds, and bodies. But is there anything that we can do to liberate all these at once? Gloria Anzaldua said that we need a new Chicana/o nationalism that will "liberate the brown and female body as it decolonizes the brown and female earth" and I agree.Reclaiming our bodies from occupation and infiltration from colonial diseases (cardiovascular, cancer, diabetes, and obesity) will do just that. Returning to our roots, returning to our diets will liberate our lands and our minds.Stay away from an animalized ("meats") and feminized diet (products from female bodies such as milk, cheese and eggs). This is the colonizer's food ways not the indigenous way. Cows, chickens, pigs all arrived off the conquistadores boats and through the acts of culinary imperialism infiltrated the healthy, spiritual, sacred maize and plant based diets.Eat papas, frijoles, calavasas, maize, greens, roots, nopales, aguacates, y arroz. Eat the Mexicatl way not the Spanish way! Decolonize the diet and honor the sacredness of food...all creatures and all plants are our relatives. In solidarity with life...As Cherrie Moraga stated in Queer Aztlan... "Aztlan is no longer a mythological homeland but is indeed flesh, skins, and bones under occupation by imperialist patriarchal United States..." It is time to reclaim our sacred Aztlan!! Decolonize the diet!! Let's help liberate our animal relatives from the continual oppression and exploitation and bring balance to our decaying ecosystems!!


Decolonial Food For regeneracion pomona:

Capitalism-the colonizer-has, once again, taken away and patented the ancestral knowledge that is our indigenous ways of living-eating. He stole it and keeps it only for his white families on the west side. He calls it "vegan" and "going green" while our gente, east of the river, continue to search for the roots and natural ways-Panche Be-amidst this chaos we call Diabetes (of ALL types), Heart Disease, Obesity, imbalance and the destruction of pachamama . But it's like John Trudell says, "[we are] struggling to learn when all [we] have to do is remember...honor your relations" the way of our ancestors.Don't forget about the land, the air, the animals, the water, our brothers and sisters all of over the world resisting the colonizer and his agents that infiltrate the brown body-la madre tierra-Aztlan.Cherrie Morraga says, "Aztlan is that physical land mass we call our bodies" so reclaim it and reject the colonizer who infiltrates your body disguised as the, queso fresco, tacos al pastor, quesadillas, tamales de puerko, pozole con patas, elotes con mantequilla y Parmesan cheese.



Rockero dijo...

Bien dicho compañer@s. Nice references and allusions, too. I enjoy Pilcher's work: he wrote an excellent book on our comediante poblano Mario Moreno, better known as Cantinflas. And the "conquest of wheat," is a nice allusion to the compañero kropotkin's conquest of bread, where he points out the roots of the exploitative system and offers solutions like the ones we're now implementing here in the LA-SGV-IE area.

Why are all these people coming down with gluten allergies? Maybe it has something to do with the fact that maíz is the grain of this land. From Canadá to Sudamérica el lo que cultiva nuestra gente. We are people of corn.

Thanks for tying health, diet, history, cultura, and consciencia política together.

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