“It’s very odd to live in a world where medicine is given to you by certain people in white coats, whereas food is that thing that makes you sick.” —Raj Patel, Real Food Reads Ep. 52
If you follow Real Food Media, you know that these past few months we’ve been basking in the media love fest for Diet for a Small Planet (50th Anniversary Edition), Frances “Frankie” Moore Lappé’s best-selling cookbook-come-political-manifesto.
Updated for a world set ablaze by the climate crisis, Diet (sadly) remains as relevant as ever. With characteristically rigorous and devastating statistics, Frankie tells us: “Largely because of the shift to corporate-chemical practices and heavy reliance on meat, our food systems globally generate as much as 37 percent of greenhouse gas emissions… Nearly 60 percent of all calories Americans eat now comes from ultra-processed food [and] in 2017, 11 million deaths worldwide—one in five—were from diseases in which poor diet is a risk factor.”
How did we get here? According to Raj Patel and Dr. Rupa Marya, authors of Inflamed: Deep Medicine and the Anatomy of Injustice, colonialism is largely to blame. In our recent Real Food Reads conversation, Raj observed, “Western colonial capitalist civilization is very weird in thinking that food and medicine are two different things… as opposed to understanding that, in fact, food and medicine are part of a broad, coextensive web.”
So, what’s the antidote? For Patel and Marya, as well as many Real Food Media friends we’ve learned from over the years, looking to the world’s Indigenous cultures, and working to decolonize our food system, is the way forward. Whether or not you celebrate Thanksgiving (or recognize Thanks-taking), here is a Real Food Media reading list filled with decolonizing inspo and planet-friendly recipes:
Wishing you healing and peace this harvest and holiday season,
Tanya, Tiffani, Christina, and Anna
P.S. Looking for more info specifically geared towards dismantling white settler narratives of Thanksgiving? Check out this great “Unlearning the History of Thankstaking” resource list curated by Neftalí Duran for the I-Collective.