Decolonizing our food systems: narrative inquiry into the barriers to accessing foods that reverse chronic disease

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Richer, Nicolette
The purpose of this study is to highlight the barriers that Indigenous People and People of Colour face when accessing health care for chronic diseases. With the rise of diagnoses of chronic degenerative lifestyle diseases over the past sixty years, a disproportionate amount of these are people of BIPOC communities. This study involved interviewing BIPOC people who have experience dealing with the healthcare system in relation to chronic illnesses. It was made very clear by these discussions that not only is there a lack of education for indigenous health, but also a huge injustice relating to food for chronic disease reversal. The root causes of these diseases are not due to what Canadian and USA agencies have identified as age, race, gender, obesity etc. but much more complex and systemic issues. This study indicates that these diseases stem from a history of colonization and trauma and the displacement of BIPOC people from their lands, ancestors, culture and knowledge. The findings of this study emphasize the importance of adopting a holistic, systemic approach to chronic disease prevention and management. Instead of relying on individual-level risk factors, it is crucial to identify and address the complex historical and ongoing processes attributed to chronic diseases in the first place. By doing so, this study outlines the possibility of reducing the rise of these diseases and promoting health equity for BIPOC communities. Keywords: BIPOC, Indigenous Peoples, Chronic Disease, Food as Medicine, Plant-strong Wholefoods, Reversible Chronic Diseases, Colonization, Risk Factors
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