Interested in desert harvesting, growing native crops, and resources for traditional Sonoran Desert foods - mainly Tucson, Arizona but not limited to this area?
I am a Mexican-American type II diabetic. I also edit Diabetic Mommy
I learned the benefits of whole foods. From there I found the Okinawan Program/pyramid. Because it was heavy on science but short on spirit, I read about macrobiotics. I learned you should eat native foods in season. This led to learning about the traditional foods of the Tohono O'Odham and Akimel O'Odham Indians.
There is not a lot of info out there. I naively thought I'd be able to find a market that had vats of dried corn, cholla buds, mesquite meal, etc. I was terribly wrong.
The Native Americans in this area were previously extremly healthy people. They harvested food from the desert and grew a few crops. Most foods were steamed, boiled, and roasted. When the Spaniards came, they introduced frying, fatty meats, and dairy foods. Later on came reservations, government surplus, and World War II. These things made it harder for the Native Americans to hold on to their traditional ways.
Obesity and diabetes became huge problems. The Mexican-Americans in this area have ended up in the same situation.
We need to find resources that make these foods available in a realistic way for reasonable prices. What is out there, is very expensive.
Some food resources I am trying to locate are:
Mesquite bean pods/flour, 60-day corn, squash, chia seeds, amaranth, tepary beans, chiles, prickly pear pads and fruit, saguaro fruit, cholla cactus buds, plantago seeds and other native grasses and greens.
One name I ran into a lot was "Native Seed SEARCH." They are worth checking out. Native Seed/SEARCH