Thursday, December 8, 2011

La Cocina: A Dignified Occupation by Chris Rodriguez

Red quinoa with roasted corn, red bell peppers, leeks, carrots, celery and purple onions.* 
My roots of rebellion first manifested in the form of public protest and occupation i.e. the South Central Farm encampment, organizing restaurant and hotel co-workers, May Day of 2006, and Cal Poly Pomona student occupation/ encampment-just to name a few. Most importantly, however, are the lessons I've learned from my elders who have shown me through ceremony that radical change begins with the self and in the home. It is a difficult lesson to learn that if one is not healthy within being an effective agent for the true liberation our communities desire is very difficult if not impossible. The Zapatistas say, “the most precious thing you can give to a movement is health.” We say health, autonomous and self-determined, is constructed through maintaining and promoting a plant-based diet--

Monday, October 31, 2011

Decolonize The Occupations!

by Chris Rodriguez

The destructive face of globalization has reached all corners of the planet. While the land, water, air, animals and humanity are in need of a world-wide movement of liberation, most people continue to overindulge and over consume. The United States is of course the leading force behind this mass consumption and destruction. But, as a Mexican writer for the radical blog Desinformémonos said, “finally something begins to move in the belly of the beast.” Yes, I’m talking about the Occupy Wall Street movement. Writing from within the belly of the beast, however, implies a responsibility to challenge the language of empire and remind us that beyond occupying space, there is a deeper struggle, a five hundred plus year-old indigenous movement, to decolonize, recuperate and liberate occupied territory—physical and geographic. Perhaps the use of the term “occupy” is embedded in people’s consumption of the U.S. Empire’s mass media promoting endless war and domination of the world. I feel it is safe to say that this has normalized the idea of occupation, and as we are witnessing today, has also made it easy for the masses to reclaim the word “occupy” as a positive, progressive one. But did you ever stop to think about how your own physical mind and body are occupied? Do we really need to occupy more space? How will these questions reach a leaderless movement of occupation? Well for the folks who take the time to read this post my intention is to express solidarity with the those who are voicing their rage at the occupations. Perhaps some of you camping out at civic centers and wall streets across the U.S. Empire will have time to read this post and get inspired to praxis what you’re preaching.

Friday, May 27, 2011

A "Latino Health Paradox" or Radical Ecological Indigenous Foodways?

A graduate research paper
Chris Rodriguez
for the
Department of Latin American Studies
California State University Los Angeles
Fall 2010
Updated and revised for Decolonial Food For Thought (Spring 2011)

This post has been removed because I am editing it for publication!! In between work, preparing dinner, hand scrubbing diapers, doing laundry and grocery shopping, I am squeezing in time to finish the last revisions of what will soon become my first published chapter. My working title for the chapter is “Zapatismo as gastronomy: re-framing the Latino Health Paradox” and it is part of a forthcoming anthology by Ashgate Press on Radical Nutrition. Stay connected for updates on this exciting project. 

Thursday, March 17, 2011

Earth-Centered Foodway Systems of Gastronomy: Statement of Purpose for Doctoral Studies at the University of Washington

(I decided to share this letter to all you, my relatives, not only to provide a model of a critical statement of purpose but to share with you the strength and determination of this young Xicana who wrote this letter by surrendering to all of her relations which guided her thoughts, prayers and fingers : ) ---University of Washington, Seattle is the next stepping stone, I was accepted.)

To enhance cultural, ecological and healthy sustainability amongst immigrant first, second and third generation indigenous Latino communities residing in the United States, the revitalization of a Mesoamerican cuisine counter to global imperialist food ecologies and paradigms is a vital element in securing the continual existence and preservation of a pre-colonial food culture, knowledge based and natural system of living. Presently, in Michoacán, a southern region in Mexico, a “below the grassroots”[1] indigenous foodways movement, lead by Purepecha women in partnership with the Conservatory of Mexican Gastronomic Culture has become safeguarded by the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) as an intangible cultural heritage. Aside from its authenticity this project or Michoacán Paradigm is an ecological food preservation and sustainability model for communities in search of an alternative method of safeguarding one’s ancient cultural existence.

Monday, March 14, 2011

Palabra on Indigenous Veganism

What is the difference between Indigenous Veganism and Veganism?
Primeramente, it is not the same. Indigenous Veganism is centered on the clear understanding that as Indigenous People it is OUR RESPONSIBILITY to nurture and protect the land and our ecological relations. Supporting Confined Animal Feeding Industrial Operations along with their by products DO NOT fulfill this responsibility. Yes, as indigenas our diets seasonally and ceremonially did include animal flesh such as those from non-animal farming industries as the venado, codorniz, rabbit, iguana, guajalote, fish and in the north buffalo; however these relatives were not exploited or oppressed but were honored and eaten with respect and NOT on a daily basis three times a day! This is a colonizers way of eating which takes from mother earth as it does by mass-producing toxic flesh grown in animal and fish farms by the millions and producing illusionary food products that are deemed necessary for our survival.