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Open Access Publications from the University of California

Decolonizing the Diet: synthesizing Native-American history, immunology, and nutritional science.


This article examines historical evidence that correlates a decline in Native American health and fertility with ruptures to indigenous food systems following European colonization. It suggests new interdisciplinary ways to study the association between breached indigenous nutritional practices and a decline in Native American health. These objectives bring together students of history and natural science and entail new ways of synthesizing hitherto separate scholarly enterprises in the classroom. In light of the most cutting-edge scientific literature on nutrition, metabolic syndrome, and immunology, they require a new consideration of the historical association between Native American health and indigenous food systems.

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