Society for the Anthropology of Food and Nutrition
Society for Medical Anthropology
Cosponsored - Oral Presentation Session
The "age of enlightenment" is often cited as the historical moment that shifted environmental perceptions toward utilitarian interests. Many scholars believe this to be the root of today's environmental concerns, but that is not the same environmental history experienced by many people of color. Rather, what altered human-environmental relationships for this group of people was, and is, colonialism. The legacy of settler colonialism is reflected in the health disparities that many oppressed communities face. Dietary illnesses are not simply the result of bad food choices, but the result of forced assimilation and oppression. Through a collection of ethnographic narratives, the paper takes a decolonial approach to food and food sovereignty to explore how the resurgence of traditional diets gives promise to restoring the biocultural complexity needed to face an uncertain future. Such a decolonial approach encourages a radical structuring of our food system and the very meaning of our food.