dimanche 14 avril 2013

FOOD FASCISM AGAINST AMERICAN INDIANS


FOOD FASCISM
Is a fashionable term used, especially among the Middle Class Literati to denote imposing the unscientific but popular health/diet systems upon other people, who may enjoy eating Meat and are not averse to eating Gluten-full food or full fat milk. While these naysayers are at best a nuisance, they are not Fascists in that they don't actually cause harm.
Then there are others who hide behind Capitalism and hide their evil intentions behind personal freedom and competition. And their actions actually cause physical harm to people and this is Fascism. A selfish ideology hiding behind noble ideas of Freedom.

One Such case is the Food Fascism I witnessed recently on a visit to an Indian Reservation.
Due to the criss crossing of federal and tribal legal authorities on the very same piece of territory, some times Indians are unable to exercise their supposed sovereignty in their own land.
So, there might be businesses within the Indian Territory, which are harmful to the health of the Indians, but they are not able to stop it or control it.
Thus Indians can’t control the kind of food that comes to their food deserts and these greedy outsiders increase the food insecurity.
Recently I was taken to see VENDING, which has become a gathering spot for school children and adolescents. I had this image of games, a couple of soda machines and some snacks to buy. I was not prepared to what I was brought to see.
Remember this is a small village of Indians with a few white people living within the Indian Territory. There are not many options for food in this village: Dairy Queen, some lower level fast food outlets. Even McDo thinks this is not profitable a place that there are no cafes, fast food American restos. The nearest McDo is 60 miles away.
When you enter the hall, your senses are jammed with rows and rows of vending machine selling every thing that has to relate with food. And obviously with the in built condition that, in this isolation, vending machines cant sell healthy food but preserved food and canned drinks of all sorts. There are also frozen pizzas, hamburgers and hotdogs already prepared and there is a microwave oven ready for your input.
I am sure the owner is saying: I don't ask them to buy anything, if they don't want to buy it, let them not come.
Easily said. There are no other places to go and there is no great innovation from the tribe to offer a similar place where freshly prepared food is provided.
Legally the owner who is white is doing nothing wrong, but carrying on the centuries old exploitation of the unfortunate Indians. It is unethical when I was told that a Health care Provider (white) to the Indians in the local facility has some financial interest in the Vending Enterprise. The prices are higher than normal.
I was reminded of the poem United Fruit Company by the Chilean poet Pablo Neruda, part of which I quote:
Meanwhile Indians are falling
into the sugared chasms
of the harbours, wrapped
for burials in the mist of the dawn:
a body rolls, a thing
that has no name, a fallen cipher,
a cluster of the dead fruit
thrown down on the dump. 
Pablo Neruda
MY QUESTION IS SIMPLE!
WHY DON'T THESE PEOPLE LEAVE INDIANS ALONE?

This does not mean that every one in the Indian country is eating badly. Far from it. During my weeklong visits to this Indian reservation, my colleagues, who are all Indian, prepare lunch and dinner for me, from fresh ingredients as much as possible, but always keeping in mind to provide our bodies with healthy sustenance.