January 04, 2021 2 Comments
NOTE: This was originally posted on 1/7/13.
I started working for Tanka Bar in 2010.
Up until then, I had never heard of paleo or primal living. I read more about it after seeing how many people following this lifestyle were Tanka fans. It seemed simple enough -- fresh, real foods and removing processed foods out of your diet. Make sure to get plenty of sleep, play and sunlight. The result of my following this way of life was improved health and weight-loss, which I have tracked here on the website.
This winter I took a leap and decided to move up from my home of Dallas, Texas, to the location of the Tanka Bar headquarters - the Pine Ridge Indian Reservation in South Dakota. It is considered one of the nation's major food deserts. To say that fresh foods are limited here is an understatement. When I walked into one of the stores I had a little bit of trouble finding fresh produce that hadn't started to go bad in addition to a very small selection. I realized very quickly that where I come from, I've been very lucky. Most of the stores here are pretty much entirely the aisles you are supposed to avoid in any store -- processed, full of wheat gluten and refined sugar.
Around here there aren't stores to choose from at every corner. There aren't year-round farmers markets. There aren't health food stores. If you want all of that you have to drive 90 miles out to Rapid City. That isn't always an option, which I found out myself considering the cost of fuel. You can also drive about 35 miles to Martin, S.D., and find better sources but nothing like what you can in a bigger city.
Last week I cooked for our office. I chose what I could, prepared as paleo a meal as possible and everyone seemed to like it. Above is a video, shot by our marketing specialist Jason Stover, of the process.
Complete elimination of processed foods is a challenge here. Grab-and-go sugar and salty snacks are cheap and easy. But even in a location such as this, eating a better diet is possible. For example, the meat here isn't super pricy but it isn't grass-fed, which means lean cuts are best to cut down on the toxins present in conventional animals' fats. And although fresh produce is limited, there are some foods you can still find -- a few green foods and root veggies.
I intend to put myself fully in the situation and see what I can discover as far as local and fresh food sources and work with what is here with the realization that not everyone can drive out of town every weekend to find better food items. Anything is possible and I look forward to learning what can be done.
March 17, 2021 25 Comments
Tanka Fund’s goal is to convert 1,000,000 acres of virgin prairie to regenerative agriculture built around a buffalo based economy. Join us in restoring health and prosperity to Native communities.
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