Since the attempted gastronomic conquest by Spanish missionaries during the early 16th century, Indigenous-Mesoamerican gastronomy, over 80% maize-based, has been heavily seasoned with rebel herbs, spices and communities that continue to resist culinary imperialism- the imposition of European patriarchal, gluttonous-heavily carnivorous, salt & sugar Mother Earth destroying diets.
Today, the destructive face of globalization’s response to world hunger has been lead by a low-intensity genocidal regime continually marketing and manipulating us to believe eating a daily heavily animal based diet is part of our identities as Xican@-Latin@, African, Asian, Pacific Islander peoples and Diasporas. Despite this western-patriarchal paradigm that puts profit over human and ecological health, a rich and vibrant legacy of a culinary rebellion continues to preserve ancestral seeds, plant-based foods, healthy bodies, and ecological balance in what is today called Mexico and the U.S. Southwest.
As a local response to the globalization of food, taste and disease, la COMIDA, was carefully prepared by combining an intricate trenza of herbs, spices and community. COMIDA has a unique flavor which communicates a collective grassroots memory of Food as Sacred. Many of us, people of color, have forgotten the fundamental understanding that the health of our bodies is dependent on the health of our community: land, air, water, animals, and plants. As a result of this forgetting, cardiovascular, obesity, cancer and diabetes, colonial food related diseases, have spread wildly. In addition, the production of colonial-modern foods is the contributing factor to the drying and contamination of rivers, lakes, and water sheds; deforestation, and other ecological disasters.
La COMIDA is seasoned with knowledge that rejects Eurocentric superior food complexes which have infiltrated our minds and made us to believe that our ancestral COMIDA’s (foods), heavily plant-based, were signifiers of inferiority. Tasting COMIDA stimulates the bodily sensory way of knowing (taste, smell, touch, sight and sound) in such a flavorable way that gente de maize scream ¡Liberacion!
Not to be confused with the affluent White community led vegan and raw food movement, COMIDA’s call to action is part of a growing movement from below to radically help people of color Remember and Honor our own Food as Sacred. Also, COMIDA lends a critical perspective into understanding the Latino Health Paradox. That is, when looking at the foodways of first generation migrant communities in the U.S. one will find that these are heavily plant based and a testament to the legacy of gastronomia en rebeldia. A lesson from which many of us more acculturated folks who seek healing and decolonized minds, bodies and spirits can take and apply to our own daily practice. By taking on a plant based diet and remembering food as sacred, only then can we begin to heal our Aztlan, Tonanztin, Mother Earth.
Cocina, a place reclaimed as a space of truth, healing and liberation.
Ollin, healing in movement.
reMembering, the act of recovering the sacredness of foodways, for the survival of our existence, our relations and of our next seven generations.
Inter-gastronomia, the relationship between cultures, foods, cooking and eating in the Americas before culinary imperialism.
De Aztlan, the sacredness of human bodies, la madre tierra and ecological communities: plant, land, animal and seed.