The Decolonizing Diet Project (DDP) was a pilot study of the relationship between humans and Indigenous foods of the Great Lakes Region. Dr. Martin Reinhardt, associate professor of Native American Studies served as the principal investigator and a research subject for the DDP.

The planning phase of the project ran from 2010 to 2012. The implementation phase ran from March 25, 2012 to March 24, 2013. The analysis and reporting phase was from March 25, 2013 to Summer of 2014.

Dr. Reinhardt authored a chapter in the following publication about the outcomes of the DDP:

Reinhardt, M. (2015). “Spirit food: A multidimensional overview of the Decolonizing Diet Project”. Indigenous Innovation: Universalities and Peculiarities, eds., E. Sumida Huaman and B. Sriraman. Rotterdam: Sense.

Reinhardt co-authored a DDP Cookbook with fellow research subjects Leora Lancaster and April Lindala:

Reinhardt, M., Lancaster, L., and Lindala, A. (2016). Decolonizing Diet Project Cookbook. Featuring Indigenous food recipes from the Great Lakes Region. Marquette, MI: Northern Michigan University, Center for Native American Studies. Reinhardt is currently working on another chapter for an upcoming publication which will feature his and his wife's (Tina Moses) reflections about the DDP.

A DDP Three Year Follow-Up Study was recently conducted by K. Nim Reinhardt, a senior nursing student and Indian Health Services Scholar/McNair Scholar at NMU (and yes, she is Dr. Reinhardt's older daughter too). Findings from this study may be submitted for publication soon also.

The DDP continues to influence many other projects and has a wide following on Facebook and in communities around the world. Dr. Reinhardt continues to present on the project and will be looking at future projects related to the outcomes of the DDP.

We would like to thank all of those who have assisted with the DDP over the years and would be more than happy to answer any questions about the DDP via email at:

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Friday, December 9, 2011

Interview with Peter Payette and Scott Herron

This morning I was interviewed by Peter Payette at Interlochen Public Radio, along with Scott Herron from Ferris State University. To listen to the interview click on the link below and then click on the native diet mp3 link.

Thursday, December 8, 2011

Legal/Political Impacts on Planning the DDP

Well, we are starting to see how law and politics may impact our study. We are planning a fieldtrip to harvest white pine next week to get the cambium (inner bark) and the needles. In preparation I contacted the US Forest Service and asked what permissions we would need. I explained that I have a tribal harvest permit but that the student workers do not. I was told that we would need to get a free use permit. I was also told that although I have a tribal permit that I was still expected to contact them and ask for permission which they would attach to the free use permit application. I am attaching a scanned copy of the form to this posting. 

Tuesday, December 6, 2011

Moosewood, Marquette Food Co-op, Sunflower Oil, Apios Americana, etc.

I am excited to try sunflower oil as a medium for cooking, as a salad dressing, etc. I have never tried it before so it will be new to me. I got 17 groundnut tubers in the mail yesterday! Can you believe the only place I found them was on ebay, haha! We are going to try and plant them in the NMU greenhouse and see if we can get them to generate more for the DDP. We are going to try some in wooden boxes with soil, and some in pots, and maybe a few in a water environment. We may be closing in on the corn and bean varieties soon. I am leaning toward including all non-gmo corn at this point, as I have yet to see any evidence that would suggest I should rule any out. We are excited about the possibility of working with Moosewood Nature Center here in Marquette as a partner. Andrew Bek is the director and will also be applying as a research subject. We are also enthused about the relationship we are fostering with the Marquette Food Co-op and other local food providers. Abbey and Sarah and Brian have been very helpful and we look forward to working with them.

Thursday, December 1, 2011

Human Breast Milk

After much thought, I have decided that human breast milk should be included as an eligible food for the DDP. It was a food that was available in a pre-colonial context in the Great Lakes Region, and it has great nutritional value. It will probably seem strange for many to consider adult consumption of human breast milk, but when you think about it, it is any more strange to drink cow milk? Human breast milk availability will be an interesting challenge for research subjects. It will obviously be availble to any lactating mothers that are among our group, but for the rest of us, it may not be as easy to access. I have found a couple of sources that are available online. I have communicated with one human breast milk provider about availability and cost. She has suggested that she is willing to undergo a medical screening, and usually gets between $1-3 per ounce for her milk. I have also read a few articles about human breast milk being used as medicine both historically and in a contemporary context.