Heritage Cuisine & Health Traumas


Heritage Cuisines, Indigenous Practices Address Native American Health Traumas
by Valerie Segrest
August 5, 2012
New American Media

Valerie talks about “deep food,” as opposed to local or slow food, as key to improving health in indigenous communities. Deep food grew with the people of the area, the two evolved together so that they are interdependent. She mentions several projects, including the First Foods Sovereignty Project and the Skokomish Community Garden and Elder-Youth Mentoring Project, that are reviving deep foods in different places.

It’s making me wonder…what are our deep foods in Hawaii? Yes, there is traditional Hawaiian food with many valuable, deep, and significant connections to the physical and spiritual well-being of indigenous people here.

But what about the foods from our plantation ancestors? Many local people find our roots in Hawaii’s plantation era. Immigrants from around the world brought with them traditional recipes and foods that evolved with them in far away lands. Do these foods also hold the same value and health benefits to local Hawaii people as traditional Hawaiian foods?

Imported “colonizer’s” foods are killing us all the same. Should the conversation about local food in Hawaii also look at the deep foods rooted in the different times in our past?