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Old 01-23-2005, 07:12 PM   #1
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Frybread kills!!???!!

Harjo: My New Year's resolution: No more fat 'Indian' food


Posted: January 20, 2005
by: Suzan Shown Harjo / Indian Country Today


I promise to give up fat ''Indian'' food this year and to urge others to do the same.

Target number one: the ubiquitous frybread - the junk food that's supposed to be traditional, but isn't, and makes for fat, fatter and fattest Indians.

Frybread is bad for you? Well, let's see. It's made with white flour, salt, sugar and lard. The bonus ingredient is dried cow's milk for the large population of Native people who are both glucose and lactose intolerant.

Usually the size of a tortilla, frybread is an inch thick with a weight approaching a lead Frisbee. It's fried in grease that collects in the dimples of the bread, adding that extra five teaspoons of fat to the lining of the diner's arteries.

If frybread is not eaten at once, it turns into something with the consistency and taste of a deflated football. To make the recipe totally irresistible, it's topped off with margarine, jelly or some other plastic not found in nature.

Frybread was a gift of Western civilization from the days when Native people were removed from buffalo, elk, deer, salmon, turkey, corn, beans, squash, acorns, fruit, wild rice and other real food.

Frybread is emblematic of the long trails from home and freedom to confinement and rations. It's the connecting dot between healthy children and obesity, hypertension, diabetes, dialysis, blindness, amputations and slow death.

If frybread were a movie, it would be hard-core porn. No redeeming qualities. Zero nutrition.

Frybread has replaced ''firewater'' as the stereotypical Indian staple in movie land. Well-meaning non-Indians take their cues from these portrayals of Indians as simple-minded people who salute the little grease bread and get misty-eyed about it.

''Where's the frybread'' is today's social ice-breaker, replacing the decade-long frontrunner, ''What did you think of 'Dances with Wolves'?''

But, frybread is so, so Indian. Yes, some people have built their Indian identity around the deadly frybread and will blanch at the very notion of removing it from their menu and conversation.

My heavens, how will the new and deculturalized Indians and wannabes ever relate to the Native people they are paid to consult with if they don't extol the virtues of frybread?

During the opening week of the National Museum of the American Indian's museum on the Mall, a reception for contemporary Native artists ended with a good Indian band's not so great song, ''Frybread'', whose lyrics consist mainly of the title being repeated ad nauseum. When a non-Indian Smithsonian employee grabbed the microphone and brayed out, ''frybread, fryyyyyybread,'' the dignified artists and patrons ran for the nearest exits.

One Native artist, Steven Deo, is on a campaign to increase awareness about the danger of frybread and other so-called Indian foods. Deo, who is Euchee and Muscogee (Creek) and dances at the Duck Creek Grounds in Oklahoma, has made a poster with the image of the grease bread and the words ''Frybread Kills.''

''Frybread Kills'' is part of a series called ''Art for Indians.'' The series is ''specifically aimed at our Native American community,'' said Deo, ''to create a cognitive dialogue about ourselves and our socio-economic class.''

Deo's second poster depicts lard and other commodity foods. An equals sign follows the image, so that the message essentially reads: ''Commodities = public assistance = welfare.''

In economically impoverished Indian communities, the commodities were known initially as ''poor food'' and morphed into ''Indian food.'' There's even a name for the round, doughy physique that results from the high-starch, high-calorie, high-fat and low-protein food: ''Commod bod.''

In urban areas and on many reservations, the byproducts of commods have nearly overrun traditional foods. Even week-old bread and berry pies baked in Pueblo ovens are vastly superior to frybread on its best day, but they're running a distant second at pan-Indian events in Pueblo country.

In great cultures, traditional bread stands for health, wellbeing and wealth, literally and figuratively. Traditional Native breads and foods stack up against any of the world's greatest.

Hopi piki, Muscogee sofkee and everyone's cornbread and tamales remind us why most Native people consider corn one of the highest gifts of creation.

The great Native cooks need only a few ingredients to make bread fit for a feast that is easy enough for daily fare:

Start with any fresh or dried base of pumpkin, wild onions, sage, sunflower seeds, walnuts, beans, green chiles, blueberries, huckleberries, sweet potato, pinon, camas, yucca or anything the cook likes to cook.

Add water and arrowroot, cornmeal, maple sap or any indigenous thickener and stir to the desired consistency. Make into any pleasing shape you want.

Sun dry or boil, smoke, grill or steam over juniper ash, seaweed, mesquite, shucks, peanut or pecan shells, driftwood or anything that's handy and tasty.

Prepare to see some smiles.

While we're at it, let's resolve to throw out all the civilization-era food in our kitchens. You know what to do with any Indian ''maidens'' or ''princesses'' or ''chiefs'' or ''braves'' on butter, honey, jerky or any products where the profits don't go to Native people. If they are Native-made products with stereotypical, cheesy images, give them a toss and let the Native manufacturers know they can and should do better.

Here's another resolution I urge you to adopt - to consume the ''news'' with a larger grain of salt than you have in the past. Conservative pundit Armstrong Williams was exposed recently as having been paid by the Bush Administration to promote its ''No Child Left Behind'' program. And this at a time when education is under funded and the Bushies are loathe to promote history or the arts with federal money.

The Williams' $100,000 understanding should lead us all to investigate who is trying to feed us a line and palm it off as ''news.'' Native people need to resolve to discover the origins of ''fair share'' and other current anti-Indian propaganda, and find out who gets what money from what source to spread the stories.

The next time you find yourself swallowing some leftover news du jour or get that suicidal urge for frybread, just slather lard all over the magazine or television listing and apply it directly to your midriff and backside. That way, you can have the consequence of the rotten stuff, without having to actually digest it.

Suzan Shown Harjo, Cheyenne and Hodulgee Muscogee, is president of the Morning Star Institute in Washington, D.C., and a columnist for Indian Country Today.
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Old 01-23-2005, 08:28 PM   #2
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i tired to make baked bannock once and i threw it at this guy who made me mad and it almost killed him....
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Old 01-23-2005, 08:38 PM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by middle of the sky
i tired to make baked bannock once and i threw it at this guy who made me mad and it almost killed him....
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Old 01-23-2005, 09:04 PM   #4
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killer frybread geez im not gonna stop eating frybread its too damn good lol omg that dude is my cousin haha geez
lmao at middles post
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Old 01-24-2005, 09:24 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by middle of the sky
i tired to make baked bannock once and i threw it at this guy who made me mad and it almost killed him....
THERE's the deadly bannock!!!

Actually this article reminds me of one I wrote in school about how I HATE bubble gum. *as I'm chewing and smacking and blowing bubbles*
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Old 01-24-2005, 09:57 PM   #6
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Frybread tastes great!!! However, I hafta agree, it's bad for me. Anything made with grease is bad for me. I truly believe that frybread contributed to my diabetes. Even baked bannock is not that nutritious. I love it too. I just hafta control my urges for it.

Use moderation.
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Old 01-24-2005, 11:07 PM   #7
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I LOVE it...the regular ol greazy kind fried in an inch of oil in a cast iron fryin pan...yummmy...especially my mothers.....I know its not good for me its common sense...but if there is a fresh batch of it at moms house u know every1 is goin to be be eating it
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Old 01-25-2005, 12:32 AM   #8
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I will NEVER quit eating frybread. I love it. Its sooooo good. I like what she said in that article, "If frybread were a movie, it would be hard-core porn. No redeeming qualities. Zero nutrition." Well, that can be said about anything that is.....drum roll pleeze....."GOOD"!!!! I mean, I know Snickers bars ain't good for me! I Know that Gummi Bears ain't good for me either.... They don't have to be! Man, what's sad about this article, is that she took time and energy to write about something that is just plain silly. We got a war happenin', a dang Tsunami that wiped out half of Asia, we got domestic issues, family issues, and this woman wants to write an article about frybread?
Ok..I'm done ranting...
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Old 01-25-2005, 12:38 AM   #9
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at birthday parties i might fry em up with weiners in the middle or cheese or jam... but now-a-days i cant be bothered.....holuh! maybe special occasions... never used a recipe..... just watched this guy make it..
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Old 01-25-2005, 12:49 AM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by wyo_rose
THERE's the deadly bannock!!!

Actually this article reminds me of one I wrote in school about how I HATE bubble gum. *as I'm chewing and smacking and blowing bubbles*

haha good point...she was prolly eating sum as she wrote the article.. or prolly made a fresh batch and it turnned out wrong...LOL.. but seriously comon.. LOL... and as another poster mentioned... anything eaten out of moderations is bad..... one just has to have te self control... but hard to when it comes to fry bread... itss Soooooooooooo Yummy
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Old 01-25-2005, 02:21 PM   #11
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I met Susan Hargo in 1987, when I was a Washington DC intern that summer through a youth program. Believe me she looked like she had had plenty of frybread in her life-time. I don't think she's trying to actually tell us to stop making and eating it, but it's more of a wake up call and social commentary on how us native people are living our lives. BTW; I will never stop making and eating the great frybread either, but I have noticed that I have cut back alot over the years, I probably only make it 3-5 times a year now. Isn't it interesting that many of us grow up only learning how to make frybread, and not our traditional breads????
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Old 01-25-2005, 08:30 PM   #12
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Life kills!

Scientists, in a decades long statistical study of mortality data, recently discovered 100% of all vicitms of heart disease, high blood pressure, cancer, and diabetes had life in common. "It was amazing," said Dr. Doom, "every one of the deceased had at one point partaken of life." The study leads to the unmistakable conclusion that life is fatal -- always.
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Old 01-26-2005, 04:51 PM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by middle of the sky
at birthday parties i might fry em up with weiners in the middle or cheese or jam...

How bout....make me some!! hehehe mmmmmmm cheeeeeeeeez or jam wif powdered sugar on top *drool*
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Old 01-26-2005, 09:00 PM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by OLChemist
Scientists, in a decades long statistical study of mortality data, recently discovered 100% of all vicitms of heart disease, high blood pressure, cancer, and diabetes had life in common. "It was amazing," said Dr. Doom, "every one of the deceased had at one point partaken of life." The study leads to the unmistakable conclusion that life is fatal -- always.

LMAO.. good perspective.. and So true.. LOL...
ya notice in these moderns times.. its all bout whats gonna kill ya next everything from the water we drink to our kitchen appliances to the air we breathe, before the techno age it was all about what would make you better, and ironically those things that claimed to makes us better or our life easier are Now being blamed to harm us or actually make life more stressful and supposedly killing us. LOL..
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Old 01-27-2005, 03:18 AM   #15
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Hey MOTs, were you trying to make hockey pucks. Probably would made more money if you sold them as pucks if they were that hard. Remember that if you ever have to travel to Winterpeg in the winter. Would be able to pay for your way back. You really are crazy dude.
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Old 01-29-2005, 08:24 PM   #16
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"... Hello, my name is Alvin, and I've been fry-bread free for over eight years..."

"Fry-bread...The Anti-drug"

"Fry-bread...It's not just for breakfast anymore"

"Fry-bread...I'm lovin' it" (This would make a great franchise)

"Diet Fry-bread...All the Taste and none of the carbs" (Who are we trying to fool)
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Old 01-31-2005, 12:59 PM   #17
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There is actually some low carb "flour" called wheat protein isolate. You use it just like flour, and I've been meaning to try to try it for frybread and see how it goes. It's very expensive though - 5 pounds for $25.00!!!!!

Then if you fry it in canola oil, or virgin coconut oil, it wouldn't be so bad.
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