Health Problems

It’s Not Convenient to Eat Unprocessed Foods

It is not convenient to find whole grains if you have never looked for them. These days, with thousands of unhealthy choices at every turn, it takes time and energy to locate healthy foods. But once you find them, there are no more excuses. Look at the photographs in Price’s Nutrition and Physical Degeneration in addition to visiting your tribal health center to witness the amount of sickness around us and you will be hard-pressed to come up with reasons not to take care of yourself and your family.


1. Lance Gibson and Garren Benson, “Origin, History, and Uses of Oat (Avena sativa) and Wheat (Triticum aestivum)” at

2. For example, 1/8 of a fried bread recipe that calls for 3 ¼ cups flour, 1 cup of non-fat dry milk powder, 1/2t salt, 5 T chilled lard (that will be stirred into the mixture until it looks like tiny cubes), 1 c ice water, 1T sea salt, and 1C lard for frying contains 543 calories; 308 of those calories come from fat. Although this recipe yields small amounts of valuable nutrients (protein: 21%; Vitamin A: 7%; Vitamin C: 2%; Calcium: 37%; Iron: 26%; Thiamin: 46%; Niacin: 33%; Vitamin B6: 5%; Magnesium: 10%; 10.7 g of protein and 324 mg of potassium), the problem here is that this one serving of fry bread also supplies 53% of one’s daily requirement of fat—67% of that being saturated fat, in addition to 35 mg of cholesterol, 1274 mg of sodium, 47 g of carbohydrates and only 1.4 g of fiber. This can change, of course, if one adds high calorie, concentrated caloric foods such as honey, butter and sugar and the aforementioned “taco” ingredients. See

3. For more information on the Boarding School Syndrome, see D. Mihesuah’s Comment: “Activism vs. Apathy: The Price We Pay for Both,” for special issue on “Problems in the Ivory Tower,” American Indian Quarterly, 27: 1/2 (2003)

4. Eric Schlosser, Fast Food Nation: The Dark Side of the All-American Meal (New York: Houghton Mifflin Company, 2001), p. 248.

5. W. W. Newcomb, Jr., Indians of Texas: From Prehistoric to Modern Times (Austin: University of Texas Press, 1961), pp. viii-ix, 139-140. Considering that SPAM is high in fat, cholesterol and sodium, we can call Newcomb ignorant as well as racist.

6. Schlosser, Fast Food Nation, p. 120-131.

7., Inc. “About Trans Fat,” See McDonald’s press release at

8. Parade, “What America Eats,” November 16, 2003.

9. For information about government commodities, see

Taken from Devon A. Mihesuah, Recovering Our Ancestors’ Gardens: Indigenous Recipes and Guide to Diet and Fitness (Lincoln: University of Nebraska Press, 2005), pp. 55-63.