Nutritionist Marcella Gilbert reviews Tanka Dogs

June 21, 2010

Nutritionist Marcella Gilbert reviews Tanka Dogs


In the spring, we had an extensive interview with Marcella Gilbert, nutritionist with Whirling Thunder Wellness Program, Winnebago Tribe of Nebraska (photo at right). We covered a lot of ground from cultural preservation to ideas about diabetes prevention in Indian Country. When we parted, we gave her some of our new buffalo Tanka Dogs to see what she thought of them. This is her review:

Tanka Dogs


The American hot dog, an integral part of the American landscape, has been around long before the first lost European set foot on any "new lands." However, for "Americans," the hot dog is considered to represent wholesome American themes, such as family picnics with happy hot dog-toting children and, of course, baseball and now all other sports events.

As the food industry dictates food consumption and expense to their benefit, the American people are subject to less wholesome nutritious food choices. Unfortunately, the all-American hot dog has become one of the worst fast foods available, certainly less wholesome and nutritious. The family picnic changes into a picture of an overweight child sitting in an armchair playing video games while wolfing a hot dog along with chips and a (soda).

Food in America has turned into something of a drug; many Americans carry extra pounds due to addictions to foods rather than satisfying a normal hunger. Finding foods that meet Americans' requirements of being fast, healthy, tasty, and inexpensive can be a challenge. Fortunately, it is not impossible. By using natural foods from wholesome beginnings, the hot dog can be made to meet the American requirements of a fast food nation.

Tanka Dogs are made with free range-grazing buffalo and brown rice sugar, no preservatives or fillers are added. The nutritional value of buffalo has long been exposed to the American diet and of course Native Americans have known the value of buffalo meat beyond 1492. A low-fat, protein-rich, flavorful hot dog is once again available to revitalize the wholesome picture of the family outing without the extra pounds.

Marcella Gilbert, biographical information:
Current employer: Winnebago Tribe of Nebraska, Whirling Thunder Wellness Program
Education: Masters of science in nutrition from SDSU
Tribal affiliation: Cheyenne River Sioux Tribe

For more of Marcella Gilbert's perspective on Native American health and culture: The diabetes epidemic in Indian Country

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