Soy Vegetariano!

Paz! Tau!

Las matematicas de hoy son comprendimiento y conocimiento. Today’s mathematics is understanding knowledge. Understanding is growth and development. Knowledge is information. We must continue to grow with the knowledge that we gain, striving ever more, to elevate ourselves and our quality of existence.

I wanted to post an article below about vegetarianism amongst so-called Latin-Americans. Why being vegetarian or vegan seems like some new age Euro-centric fade, vegetarianism and veganism have their roots not in European cultures but in ours. Honestly and actually, most Native peoples had and have a majority plant-based diet. Mant tribal Nations only ate meat at certain points in the year to supplement their plant foods. Many who ate a considerable amount of meat did so for environmental reasons as well. Especially for those of us from the warmer areas of the planet Earth. There is still the overwhelming majority of our people who reject this lifestyle because of tradition. Which I respect. However, as society continues and industrialization/commercialism remains, the quality of foods available become poorer, especially meat product. This, along with fried foods and refined-sugar products, is what contribute (along with SWINE) to the growing numbers of heart disease, obesity, diabetes and other serious health problems in our communities. We need to seriously rethink this, as a people and as a community. Believe me, I have created some pretty damn tasty “veggie” versions or Latin dishes like ‘mofongo‘ and soy-cheese ‘papusas‘, so it isn’t like you have to stop eating the foods you love. What we have to do is learn how to transform them by replacing certain ingredients. I am actually looking to open up a Caribbean/Latin vegetarian eatery here in Pittsburgh, in the future. I want to broaden my peoples’ horizons and assisting them with a long life, while keeping with tradition.

In all reality, one only has to research our culinary history, especially so-called Indians and so-called Africans, to learn about the vast bounty of fruits, vegetables, grains and herbs that our people have utilized for thousands of years. Not as a garnish. But as an integral element in our diet.

Please read and enjoy the article. I build that you take something from it and apply to your life.

Vegetarians add some cultural flare to meals
By: Gabriel Ramirez / Más staff

Move over, carne asada.

Tofu tacos are the new rage.

At least that’s how many Latino vegetarians feel.

While there are not a huge number of Hispanics becoming vegetarians , they are out there and they are figuring out new ways to add a bit a culture to their meals, sans the usual carne asada tacos, chile verde or pollo asada dish, said Laura Pinyan, director of dietary services at the Pacific Health Education Center in Bakersfield.

With many Hispanics facing problems with obesity, high cholesterol and heart disease, following a vegetarian lifestyle could help them lead healthier lives, local Latino vegetarians said.

Camila Chavez found her transition to a vegetarian lifestyle not only easy, but also saw it as a way to honor her uncle Cesar E. Chavez, co-founder of the United Farm Workers union.

“Cesar was a vegan. He didn’t eat any animal products. He was a vegan because he believed in animal rights but also for his health,” Chavez said. “Growing up I was always surrounded by vegetarians and vegetarian meals were always an option.
When Cesar died, I decided to become a vegetarian in honor of him.”

Chavez enjoys a variety of Mexican-style dishes that do not include meat, such as cheese enchiladas, rice and beans, pozole and even foods such as soyrizo (imitation chorizo) and tofu tacos.

Tofu is a product made from soybeans that are ground up with water and then thickened.

If you are interested in trying out tofu tacos, go to Anita’s Restaurant at 4240 California Ave.

“I think healthy eating needs to start with children,” said Chavez, who believes that Hispanics wishing to become vegetarian should make it a gentle transition.

“Think about cutting out red meat and eating only fish and chicken. Then eventually cutting out meat completely,” she said.

For Araceli Campos, becoming a vegetarian was much more difficult but a necessity.

Campos had been diagnosed with high cholesterol six months before becoming a vegetarian. After altering her lifestyle to exclude meat, Campos saw a drop in her cholesterol.
“It is hard at first, but you can train your body,” she said.

Campos grew up in a family where red meat was abundant and vegetarian alternatives were not available.

“When you eat out order food catered the way you want it and learn to use
alternatives whenever possible,” she said.

Meat alternatives such as tofurky, tofu made to look and taste like turkey, can be purchased at health food stores like Trader Joe’s and Lassen’s Natural Foods and Vitamins in Bakersfield.

And if you want to learn how to make vegetarian meals, Pacific Health Education Center offers classes.

“Having a healthier diet, such as a vegetarian diet has been proven to help people live longer,” Pinyan said.

Other complications such as high blood pressure, obesity, heart disease and diabetes can also be avoided.

Pinyan said the blueprint for a healthier diet among Latinos is already imprinted in the diets of their native cultures.

It all goes back to rice and beans, and a few other things, of course.

“People in Hispanic countries typically have a diet that consist of little red meat and are high in rice, beans, tortillas, tropical fruits, vegetables and drinks like horchata,” Pinyan said. “The problems occur when they come to the United States where food is cheaper and large servings of red meat, candy, desserts and sugar sweetened juices and sodas are more easily available.”

Pinyan said these easily accessible foods are the road to obesity.

Want some more food for thought?

According to Pinyan, eliminating meat from your diet also helps decrease abdominal fat.

For more information about vegetarian lifestyles, call Pacific Health Education
Center at 633-5300 or visit www.pacifichealth.org.

Shape Up Bakersfield
Vegetarian Cooking Classes

Classes are free.
Learn how you can feed a family of four with $40 a week. Sample each demonstrated dish and take home easy and delicious recipes. Instructor is bilingual and translation is available.
Feb. 28, March 7 and 14, 6:30 p.m. to 9 p.m.
Pacific Health Education Center, 5300 California Ave., Suite 200.
Call 633-5300 for more information.

Vegetarian Recipes

10 corn tortillas
2-3/4 cups of enchilada sauce
1-1/2 cups of enchilada filling
1/4 cup shredded cheddar-style soy cheese

Heat tortillas in ungreased skillet or microwave.
Spray 9x12 baking dish with vegetable oil Spray and pour 3/4 cup of sauce in bottom.
Place 2-1/2 tablespoon of enchilada filling in center of each tortilla and roll up.
Arrange in baking dish and cover with remaining sauce.
Cover and bake for 20 minutes at 350 degrees.
Sprinkle top with shredded cheese. Bake uncovered for 5 minutes or until cheese melts.

Serves 5

Enchilada Sauce
1 cup chopped onion
1/2 cup chopped green pepper
2 tablespoons, oil
3 cups tomato sauce
1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
1 teaspoon cumin
1/2 teaspoon salt

Sauté onions and green peppers in oil.
Add to the other ingredients and simmer 5 to 10 minutes.

Enchilada Filling
3/4 cup fine chopped onions
1 tablespoon, oil
1/4 cup hot water
6 ounces of crumbled tofu
1/4 teaspoon cumin
2-1/2 tablespoons soyannaise
1/4 teaspoon salt
2 tablespoons shredded cheddar-style soy cheese

This article was reposted from: http://www.masbakersfield.com/home/ViewPost/6310


The Irish and Latin America

A famous political cartoonist Thomas Nast, for Harper's Weekly in 1876, attempts to link both Irish and so-called African Americans in "ignorance." One is white and one "negro", but they are equals--"equally grotesque in appearance, equally dangerous to the republic".

Las matematicas de hoy son “conocimiento y nacir”. Knowledge is information. Born means to complete or to bring forth. El grado en el supremo alfabeto es “Salvador o un mismo”. It is this knowledge that one continuously strives for that allows to to prepare themselves for anything in life. The more we know about the world around us the better a chance we have to harnass the energy of change and use it to benefit ourselves. Simply, when knowledge is made “born” to someone, it is given to them with enough to allow them to do something for themselves, save their own selves with. I can tell you not to eat something because it’s “bad” for you. However, if I take you through the science of that food step by step given the knowledge you need to identify for yourself what’s bad inside of it and what’s not. That way you are responsible for the knowledge that was born to you or shared with you. Now you must be the savior of your “self”.

Having “knowledge of self” manifests at varying degrees. To many of us within the so-called Latin American diaspora, “knowledge of self” can be a very “face-value” subject. What I mean is that one may recognize the African and Indian in their blood, know and even been to/grew up where their parents are from, etc. They may know certain details about their own family’s history. However, when one speaks of “knowledge of self”, generally what they speaking of when we refer to “knowledge of self” is a more in-depth awareness and understanding of your own history and present reality and how all of it relates you to all people, places and things. As a result of the Civil Rights Era and a resurgence of cultural awareness and activism since, many of us tend to focus on the more apparent and less embraced elements of our identity- usually Indian and African. We have long been conditioned with the idea of being “Spanish” because of the language we were made to speak. And as a result of the rebellion against racism and colonialism we tend to down play the Euro blood within us. Let me say that identifying yourself as Indigenous or Black first and foremost should not mean a “hate” for that which you did not control directly. And by this I mean the influx of Euro blood within many of our family trees. These should be examined and understood for this knowledge will allow us to have a clearer and more whole or complete history of the American continents. We can also save ourselves from the same racist precepts that plague our adversaries. What I mean is that, we know we have been taught that we were savages, uncivilized, unattractive etc. In efforts to reverse this and instill a strong self of self identity and pride into people we may then embrace the extreme perspective to counteract the psychological damage done by the Devil. So then we may say “Black is Beautiful” or “Brown Power”. There’s nothing wrong with that, except that the images and propaganda that go into pushing these slogans often conflict. You have “black” people who are very light skinned, straighter hair, etc, who may not feel as if they are included in the “black is beautiful” idea because of how they look and what they are told “black is”. “The blacker the berry…..” so to speak. A phrase that can be detrimental and cause someone to think that they aren’t “black enough”. Or, as an example of “brown power”, a Puerto Rican walks into Mexican groceria only to be told that only “Mexicans” were welcome to shop there. We end up still harboring degrees of a mindset that impedes our own ability to progress.

Especially for my Borikua brothers and sisters who have grown up in Chicago and New York amongst the Irish. There has no doubt been tensions. However there actually would be more reasons to come together with them in the name of oppression and injustice than not. The Irish are a group of Europeans considered the “niggers” of Europe. They were colonized by England. Actually St. Patrick’s day commemorates the bringing of Christianity to Ireland by St. Patrick’s, and ultimately the end of their true selves. They weren’t allowed to speak their own language, Gaelic. And actually many rebellions in the early 13 colonies were executed by Irish workers and Free and Non-Free Indian and Black slaves. Anyone ever hear of the Boston Massacre? That’s not to say that they didn’t have a hand in the slavery and genocide of Original people though. President Andrew Jackson, Irish, was propelled to the U.S. Presidency due his reputation as an “Indian Fighter” and was the figure who pushed for the “trail of tears”, stripping the Cherokee of their land in the Southern U.S. to clear more land for cotton plantations and enslaved Africans.

Knowledge Born. Learning more brings a person into fuller human "being". It is this knowledge and application thereof which seperates us from our pitbulls. But seriously, it allows us to become closer to our selves. Because it reality, while you have a lot of our people saying "Yeah, we are Indian, African and Spanish" they may not be. They may be Indian, African and IRISH. Nothing wrong with that. It gives that person a unique history and connects more dots of the events that come together to form the world we know and experience today.

Below is an excerpt (and the link) of an article dealing with the Irish history and Latin America, fitting for St. Patty’s day. Do the knowledge. I build that you enjoy it and get a lot from it.

“Since the mythical visit of St Brendan the Navigator to Mexico in the sixth-century, through the conviction in December 2004 of three Irishmen known members of the IRA accused of training guerrillas in Colombia, the pattern of relations between Ireland and Latin America has been heterogeneous, fragmentary, and erratic. The Irish presence in this part of the world is frequently linked to colonial and post-colonial tensions in Europe and the Americas, which are generally connected to British, French, Portuguese, Spanish and, more recently, US American imperialistic policies and discourse.

Of the 40-odd countries and territories shaping the map of Latin America and the Caribbean* only Argentina and certain Caribbean islands developed recognizable Irish communities which endured throughout the times. The other places in the continent have been visited by Irish missionaries, soldiers, merchants, scientists, teachers, and others who either settled in the region and left their visible or subtle traces, or re-emigrated within the Americas or to other parts of the world (though Brazil, Mexico, and Cuba developed Irish communities that sooner or later disappeared).

The number of Irish who emigrated to, or settled temporarily in, Latin America is still a matter of debate among scholars. However, it is significantly lower than that of the emigrants to the English-speaking countries, i.e., US, Canada, England, Australia or New Zealand. Argentina, the country that has attracted the largest quantities of immigrants received an inflow estimated by some scholars in 45-50,000 Irish-born persons. In addition to this, thousands more scattered in the region, especially in Uruguay, Brazil, Venezuela, and Mexico, as a result of military operations, trade, and colonization schemes. It is also important to consider the significant rates of re-emigration within the Americas, especially to the US, and to Australia, England, and back to Ireland, as well as from the US to Argentina in the 1820s, to Cuba where they worked in slave-like conditions in sugar plantations, to Panama where they died among the multinational workforce constructing the Panama railway, and to Brazil where they were recruited in New York for land settlement schemes in the 1860s. Even in the most successful Irish settlement in the region, Argentina, approximately one out of every two immigrants re-emigrated to other destinations, and this is an indication of the elevated mobility of the migrants.

The chronicles of the Irish in Latin America often reveal epic qualities, whether from the victim's or from the hero's standpoint. The former expresses an attitude of real or perceived economic exploitation by, and political subordination to, powerful foreign forces, and typically includes the exile mentality by which the English rule in Ireland (or the US American control over Mexico) led to emigration as the only secure way to ensure survival. The latter – the hero narrative – reveals the position (sometimes perceived as superior) of the Irish with respect to local Latin American ethnic groups. Both perspectives frequently neglect the everyday lives of the immigrants and their families, their settlement patterns, and their relations with other ethnic groups. As Graham Davis argues, "it is tempting in writing on the Irish pioneer settlers to isolate their story and to laud only their achievements. Such an approach distorts the Irish experience by suggesting a privileged contribution history" (Davis 2002: 238). Furthermore, it neglects the social and economic relations of the Irish and their families with native Amerindians, Hispano-Creoles, Africans, Catalonians, Galicians, Scottish, English, Italians, Germans, French-Basque, and immigrants from other parts of the world, as well as the cultural transfers accomplished among them.”

For more information- http://www.irlandeses.org/murrayintro.htm