Creating a LOCAL Healthy Food Network within the Navajo Nation through entrepreneurship, farmers and ranchers to improve access
When thinking of groceries, many different ideas come to mind. From a traditional Dine perspective, “groceries” would be quite a unique list of items likely to be sourced only on Navajo or by Navajo people. The list might look something like this: “ blood sausage, mutton jerky, dried blue corn, juniper ash, and Navajo cushaw squash”. To Dine, this food is medicine, not groceries. During the peak of the pandemic mutual aid organizers and community leaders provided food/groceries and water to the most rural areas of the reservation. Not only did they provide, but also encouraged optimum health by boosting your immune system with certain natural nutritious foods. There is clear research that organic, natural, locally sourced food is one of the main tools to combat the health crises and this pandemic. Aside from culture and health, there are many other beneficial reasons for sourcing from local growers and producers. Many producers advocate for initiatives in climate change, water rights, land restoration, and more. Local organizations also have established bonds with their community members where support can grow from.