Decolonize Your Diet: Notes Towards Decolonization

Catrióna Rueda Esquibel | 11.24.2016

The following is the seventh installment in our Dismantling Racism in the Food System series. Click here to download this Backgrounder, or view in full below.

The idea of cancer-fighting foods is not a new one—popular media is often dominated by the latest “food craze” to cure cancer, diabetes, Alzheimer’s, heart disease, and more. In the book Decolonize Your Diet: Plant-based Mexican-American Recipes for Health and Healing,1 we talk about how our project was inspired by Luz’s recovery following a breast cancer diagnosis. This Backgrounder is a brief introduction to the Decolonize Your Diet project and its role in a much larger movement to reclaim traditional foodways as a form of resistance to ongoing colonization.

In the aftermath of Luz’s cancer diagnosis, food had become a very scary subject in our house; we worried that “eating the wrong food” might “bring the cancer back.” Through working with food, Luz came to regard meals not so much as a danger, but as a way to bring cancer-fighting foods into their body, an active opportunity to fight fear with food.