Decolonize Your Diet: Recipes to Sustain Revolutionary Love by Luz Calvo, Ph.D. and Catriona Rueda Esquibel, Ph.D., is so much more than a cookbook. It is a user's guide to a Latino cultural reawakening. This book reintroduces readers to the richness and life-affirming qualities of Mesoamerican foods, providing wholesome, traditional plant-based recipes.
By framing this project through the lens of decolonization, Calvo and Esquibel put forward a social analysis that depicts diseases like diabetes, cancer, and high blood pressure as a legacy of colonization. In this book they explain decolonization in concrete termsthrough critical discussions of the everyday practices of cooking, preparing, and eating meals. By sharing food stories and recipes, the authors foster a critical consciousness about the injustice of the global food system. Decolonize Your Diet is an urgent call to US-born Latinos to resist acculturation, to honor their traditional food cultures, and to recover their spiritual connection to Mother Earth.
Throughout Latin America, pre-Conquest food traditions live on in the recipes that have been passed along from generation to generation. These food traditions are based on whole foods: corn, beans, squash, chiles, chia seeds, amaranth, quinoa, and wild greens. Due to NAFTA, globalization, and GMO corn, this rich cultural inheritance is in danger of being completely wiped out. The authors argue that these millennia-old native foods can help restore the physical and spiritual health of our communities.
With emphasis on sustainable food and the authors' critique of GMOs, Decolonize Your Diet aligns with slow food advocates like Barbara Kingsolver, Anna Lappé, and Michael Pollan. Calvo and Esquibel are also inspired by the work of Bryant Terry, whose cookbooksespecially Vegan Soul Kitchen and his forthcoming Afro Veganreclaim African American foods for physical and spiritual health.
Decolonize Your Diet targets a young, urban Latino audience, reintroducing heritage foods that fight diseases of development in order to awaken a connection with the cultural and culinary practices of our indigenous ancestors.