“Traditional Foods Principles,” which address the physical and spiritual health of individuals and communities in conjunction with the wellbeing of the land.

At longhouse gatherings, public feasts and community events in Western Washington tribal communities, elders often speak about the importance of native foods. They say that wealth is having access to native foods, and the knowledge of how to gather, prepare and serve them. The values and cultural traditions around food today are as applicable as they were generations ago. These Traditional Foods Principles address the physical and spiritual health of individuals and communities, in conjunction with the well-being of the land.

1. Food is at the center of culture

2. Honor the food web/chain

3. Eat with the Seasons

4. Eat a Variety of Foods

5. Traditional Foods are Whole Foods

6. Eat local foods

7. Wild and organic foods are better for health

8. Cook and eat with good intention

Valerie Segrest is a native nutrition educator who specializes in local and traditional foods. An enrolled member of the Muckleshoot Indian Tribe, she works for the Northwest Indian College's Traditional Plants Program. Valerie has a BS in Nutrition, and a Masters in Environment and Community.

Valerie Seagrest from Shalini Kantayya on Vimeo.

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