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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Tuesday, January 31, 2012

DDP Meetings Update

Besides the upcoming meeting on Feb 10 (don't forget to bring whatever camera you will be using to take photos and video for the DDP), I have scheduled two more DDP meetings in March. We will meet at the Grace United Methodist Church Fellowship Hall for all these gatherings. March dates include Thusday, March 8th from 6-8pm, and Friday, March 23rd from 1-3pm. Both of the March gatherings will be potluck style. Please prepare DDP eligible foods at your home and bring a dish to pass if you can. We cannot prepare foods at the fellowship hall, so make sure they are all ready to be eaten before you bring them. Post what you plan to bring at our Facebook site so we don't all bring the same things. We will use these times to share recipes or food preparation methods, as well as opportunities for me to update research subjects about the DDP. We will also have a DDP booth at the NMU Pow Wow on March 17-18th in the Vandement Arena, so be sure to come by the booth and stay a while and talk to folks about it.

Monday, January 30, 2012

DDP Recipes Forum

In response to a request at last Friday's meeting, a new feature has been added to the group site. We now have a DDP Recipes Forum! Please post any recipes you use there. You can also add photos of the food or supplies needed.

Meeting on Friday, Jan 27th

We went over meal and exercise planning at our meeting last Friday. The above images are examples from my own planning. The meal plan is based on what I have in my inventory as of today, or what I plan to have before the diet begins. Dr. Mohafy suggested that I consider adding more protein to my morning meals, but other than that he said it looked pretty good. He also suggested that we may want to consider some alternative ideas as to how we are approaching the portions of our diet that are indigenous. For those of us who are going 100% it is easy to say that all of our foods will be indigenous, but for those who are committed to less than 100%, there were questions about to fraction out the amount of food they will be eating. I suggested that we do it by meals. For instance, if someone is committed to a 25% level, then they would eat at least one meal per day that is indigenous foods only. Other suggestions were that folks could eat indigenous foods only on certain days of the week, or that all the foods could be mixed indigenous/non-indigenous if the proportion of indigenous foods in the mix was at a 25-100% level. It is up to each individual how they approach their DDP experience, as long as they can explain how they are going to keep it above 25%. Perhaps a good way to try out the online journals at the DDP group site is to have each of the research subjects answer the following question in their online journal: What level of the DDP are you committing to and how will you structure your meals to ensure that you are able to maintain that level or above? 

Friday, January 27, 2012

Table Salt, Kosher Salt or Sea Salt Your Choice

After reviewing the differences between table salt, kosher salt, and sea salt, I have decided to leave it up to the research subjects to choose which salt they wish to use if any as part of their DDP experience. Table salts apparently have an anti-caking agent and iodine added to them during processing, sea salt has more trace elements like iron, sulphur and magnesium. Kosher salt can be either one, but it is not suppose to have any additives. I will probably use kosher salt or sea salt as they would lack the anti-caking agent.

Introducing DDP Physician Dr. Scott Doughty

Dr. Scott Doughty is a family medicine physician in Marquette. He has taught for the past 5 years at the Marquette Family Medicine Residency, the same program which graduated him in 1995. From 1997-2007, he was a staff physician at the Zuni Comprehensive Community Health Center in Zuni, NM. For most of that term, he served as the director of the Zuni Diabetes Program, and enjoyed many opportunities to assist with community wellness projects. Other Indian Health Service experiences include work at the SEARHC/Mt Edgecumbe Hospital in Sitka, Alaska, and a student rotation in Fort Washakie, Wyoming. Scott is honored to have an opportunity to contribute to the DDP, and looks forward to a year of learning with, and being a part of, the DDP community. He lives in Skandia with his wife, Amy, a certified nurse midwife, and three young daughters.

Thursday, January 26, 2012

Request for Donations Letter

A general letter of request for donations has been uploaded to the DDP group site. If you are aware of an organization that would like to donate dried or frozen indigenous food items from the Great Lakes Region, indigenous seeds, gardening equipment, hunting/fishing/gathering supplies, storage equipment, or recording equipment, please share the letter and a copy of the DDP flyer with them. They may contact Dr. Reinhardt via email at, or call 906-227-1397 with any questions about the DDP. The group site is located at:

Thursday, January 19, 2012

Upcoming DDP Research Subjects Gatherings

We will be holding a DDP research subjects gathering on Jan 27th and again on Feb 10th from 1-3pm in the fellowship hall of the Grace United Methodist Church at 927 W. Fair Ave. in Marquette. This is just up the hill from the Cener for Native American Studies. Click here to see map. Please rsvp by emailing me at: Please indicate in your email if you plan on attending or not. We will discuss planning our daily diet and exercise at the first gathering, and will discuss data collection at the second meeting. If you are unable to make these meetings, I can meet with you individually at some other time, just email me and we can try to come up with a time convenient to both of our schedules.

We are hoping to be able to use the fellowship hall on a regular basis for two indoor gatherings per month during the DDP implementation phase, but we will have to wait and see if we get approved. We will also be looking to schedule two outdoor activities per month on the alternate fridays. We realize that not everyone will be able to make it to all of the gatherings, but fridays are usually pretty open on most people's schedules. There will of course be other times that some of us get together and do things DDP related, but we thought it was important to have some regularly scheduled days and times to help us plan out our yearlong adventure.

Smithsonian Mammals Database

After we realized that we had forgotten to include bison, elk, and moose on our mammals list, we went back to the Smithsonian database and tried to figure out why they didn't come up in our search. We have since updated the master food list, but we found some issues with the Smithsonian database. I contacted them about the issues, and here is their reply: 

Dear Martin,

The GIS mapping interface allows you to go from the range map of a species to the species page (small icon to the right of a checked species name), but the reverse is not an option as each species range map does not have a unique URL on the GIS map. We are updating the site to add the remaining mammals of Mexico, and we will add the range maps to every species page. I cannot give you a date certain when that will happen, though we are perhaps only a month away.



Robert Costello

National Outreach Program Manager
Smithsonian Institution
National Museum of Natural History
Washington DC

Tuesday, January 17, 2012

DDP Flickr Account Up and Running

Sam and I just got the new DDP FLickr account up and running. You can get to it by copying and pasting the following URL into your browser (or just click on it):

We don't have much uploaded yet, but give us a few days and I am sure we will get more on it.

Tuesday, January 10, 2012

Boiled White Pine Bark

I just got done eating some boiled white pine inner bark. I let it boil for about an hour. It was stringy but soft enough to seperate and swallow when I chewed it. It had a nice taste, unusual to my tastebuds, but nice. Look at how dark-red the water was when I was done boiling it! I was reading about eating the bark at another website, and the author claimed that he has not had any luck with boiling it. I am wondering if maybe the age of the tree has something to do with how soft it gets when boiled. The website I was looking at was:

Monday, January 9, 2012

Victory Seed Company Donation

Chi-miigwech (many thanks) to Victory Seed Company for their donation of $250.60 worth of corn seeds to the DDP! Now we need to get these seeds out to the research subjects so they can start growing them. We are hopeful about getting a domed greenhouse here on campus at NMU, but if it doesn't happen, we will need to rely on individuals to volunteer their homes and greenhouses to start plants for the DDP. The seed packet information says it will take 5-10 days for germination at 65 degrees fahrenheit , and it will take about 112 days to harvest. Thus, we should plan to start them indoors mid to late April and then transfer them to our gardens as soon as it warms up outside. If you are able to start some corn plants, please contact Dr. Martin Reinhardt at or call the Center for Native American Studies at 906-227-1397 and schedule an appointment to pick up some seeds.

Thursday, January 5, 2012

White Pine Tea

I made some white pine tea from the needles yesterday. It was very light tasting and gave me a burst of energy, probably due to the high concentration of vitamin C. I also steamed a piece of the trunk and peeled the inner bark to make some flour. I am going to steam and peel some more this weekend until I have done the whole tree. I actually chewed on some of the inner bark and it tasted pretty good, although it was a bit stringy. I imagine if it was cooked it would be soft enough to eat. Maybe I will try eating some like that this weekend also.